Success is not a numerical value. It is not power or social rank. Success is happiness.
Hopefully, we have always been encouraged to follow our dreams. Yet we all have, at some point in our lives, realized that doing so did not seem realistic anymore.
It is an unfortunate and disturbing truth, but many of us will end up choosing pay over passion.
That is okay.
This generation, more than any, knows that it is possible to learn to love what you do, even if it does not come until years after you begin doing it.
Despite constant criticism from the Boomers, this generation has many more redeeming qualities than it realizes.
Of the endless reasons I have to defend Generation Y, I will list just three.
We have led the path to acceptance of all kinds of people, regardless of their sexuality, the color of their skin or what religion they choose. In fact, we elected the first-ever black president.
Also, there are now 36 states with legal same-sex marriage. It is hard to believe that less than 10 years ago, the United States as a whole had either statutory bans on same-sex marriage, or no legality whatsoever behind it.
Our generation has allowed more people than ever to be who they truly are, without fear of being cast aside because of it.
After all, it would be a terrible thing for the world to miss out on the full extent of life and emotion that is you.
We are more tech savvy than ever. We are more resilient, adaptable and practical than the older millennials.
We have an intuitive understanding of technology, and it shows. Generation Y is plugged in and switched on at all times. Armed with smartphones, laptops and iPads, it is clear that this generation will soon be leading the way in the workplace.
We are passionate. We are following our dreams. And we are making it much easier to do so.
With crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, one can develop an idea and earn money based on just that.
Take Emily Brooke as an example. Brooke, 29, is the founder of Blaze Laserlight, a bike light that projects a green bike symbol on the ground five metres ahead of the cyclist in order to alert others of their presence.
Brooke created a prototype over a weekend and raised $28,307 in just five days through Kickstarter. Thanks to technology that came out in this generation, Brooke was able to successfully begin her own business.
In an interview with The Guardian earlier this year, Liam Casey, CEO of PCH International, called us “Generation Y Not,” and said that “They may not always be right but they speak with such clarity and passion, they’re worth listening to.”
Being passionate about something is undoubtedly one of the most attractive qualities a person can have. Being able to do what one love’s as a career may very well be the strongest indicator of success. Generation Y understands this, and it is one of the most important concepts older millennials can benefit from.
Take it from a Boomer who followed his passions fully and paved his own path to success.
In a very heartfelt Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs once said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Let us move forward together.