Tag Archives: Bill Gates

So What If I Want “IT” NOW… Life is STILL a Marathon (The Monday Fits)


“…The Millennial generation is accustomed to having questions answered quickly, acting on that knowledge immediately and receiving feedback on demand…” (source) 

“..The demand for instant results is seeping into every corner of our lives… The need for instant gratification is not new, but our expectation of ‘instant’ has become faster, and as a result, our patience is thinner..” (source)

“What’s really driving this is the need for instant gratification……Even when ordering online “they” crave immediacy …. the desire for convenience – and within that the desire for immediacy in a multichannel world.” (source)

One thing I have heard for the last 10 years, is that my generation, the millennial generation, loves instant gratification. With our current technology, and information at our fingertips at every minute of the day, our minds want everything faster from retail, answers to questions, and any service that you can think of.  Well, I have news for everybody, DID I ASK FOR THIS LIFE? NOOOOOOO

Yes, I do expect my computer to boot up quickly, I hate when Netflix or Hulu takes longer than 10 seconds to load , and I definitely enjoyed Youtube way better when I did not have to watch a 15 second advertisement prior to the showing of my video. Well, I have news for everyone, sometimes I don’t want this life, the need to be instantly gratified, YOU KNOW WHY?

Life is a freaking marathon. Most events feel like a marathon. AND the most IMPORTANT things that are done of any substance or quality happen over a period of time.

So the personal desire to see results tomorrow sucks sometimes. I wish I was more comfortable with waiting and not bothered when certain things take time. In fact, it would be awesome if things happened instantly only every once and a while so it would be like a surprise. I could say, “Oh, this a nice change, things are happening quickly for one.”

Why am I ranting about this? Because it’s summer, and as always there is always someone that I know preparing for the bar exam. Yeah, I had to study for that once. And my advice is  always remember studying for the bar exam is like a marathon. Training, studying hard is long, and it sucks, but you have to prepare every day or you will get behind and you won’t have all the knowledge needed to knock out the bar exam. You HAVE to do a little something each day, even when there are no results, no progress. As millennial, I had to learn this too. WHY?

As much as we want or love instant gratification, it doesn’t really mean everything in this thing called life happens instantaneously. And I repeat, Life is a freaking marathon.

Marriage. Kids. Buying a House. Running a Business. Paying Down Debt. Building Savings. Staying Healthy.Taking care of a pet. Do I need to keep going?

Now, don’t get me wrong, we look for shortcuts. Technology has provided this desire.  It doesn’t not however make us lazy. It’s time to change story that is being told about us. I WANT to change the story. This is the story that I am trying to tell:

  1. We are results-orientated.  – We may take shortcuts, or change course several times trying new things over and over instead of trying one tried and true thing, but  we want the best results. Does it matter that we’ve learned to cut corners and be effective. Got it?
  2. We don’t want to waste time. – Why keep unnecessary information in your brain, that’s what google is for. Or why do something when there is a quicker way to do it. Tradition is important. Unnecessary tasks are not. We grew up with recycle, reduce, reuse. We want to emphasize the REDUCE part. Cool?
  3. We can work hardThe way we want to work just looks different. I don’t want to work from 8-5, sometimes I want to sleep in, start at 10 AM, but I am willing to work at 7 PM and I don’t need a baby sitter (i.e. my boss) to be productive. We just want freedom in how we get to solutions, because we know there are so many ways to get there. Make sense?

Bill Gates is quoted as saying, “I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job, because, he will find an easy way to do it”  and if it makes sense to him, maybe the older generations need to walk into the light. And we’re not trying to be lazy, we’re just different. Just like every generation before us. The reality is that, “People fear what they don’t understand”  (source: Andrew Smith)

Call us the “Trophy Generation” if you want to, but as one person pits  it, Jeff Avallon, the vice president of business development at IdeaPaint, a workplace technology firm in Boston says, “Millennials’ behavior is totally functional for the world they inherited. They don’t respond to traditional” [enter any word here] … Sorry, there’s no longer enough time for that. The economy demands constant innovation, and the ruling-by-iron-fist model is not nimble enough for reacting quickly. Millennials are simply trying to do better.” (source)

Look at Amazon.  The way they complain about how Millennials wants things fast, its as if they would have preferred Amazon not figure out how to get our orders to us faster. Would everyone prefer to go back to week long shipments?  Because you remember the time when it took a long time? Now that’s silly. If we choose to create other opportunities that are quicker and easier that is good, even if we spend a lot of time figuring out how to get there. Because there are so many things in life that are like a marathon, that take time and are challenging and there’s nothing humans can do about it, not even Millennials. And if we fail at events in life that are like marathons, because we are in love with instant gratification, well then, so be it. We will have to ADAPT to those things. So maybe it’s time everyone ADAPT to us.


Appreciate Failure or Else… You Fail? (The Monday Fits)

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“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Taking risks, or pursuing your goals is something that is so important. I have touched on this several times in my blog, especially directed at my generation, millennials, and for young women. I find that success is often deliberate, regardless if luck, faith, or a blessing, had a lot to do with it, no one is successful from just sitting around doing nothing. But it’s long over due to talk about the challenges that you will face as you take risks in different areas of your life. And sometimes these challenges are small like hiccups, but let us not forget that life’s biggest challenges are also known as failures. These challenges are on a whole different level; more like a combo of swine flu and pneumonia.  That’s right, completely and utterly debilitating.

There is no denying that we will all experience failure, some are more familiar than others. I remember this idea in church, that if you’re not living right, the devil isn’t really trying to mess with you. When you’re walking down the path of righteousness it’s not going to be paved in gold and the path is filled with bumps and jagged edges because the devil is trying to throw you off track. I believe this is true in our lives as leaders, followers, employees, managers, friends, lovers, mothers, and fathers. Failure hits every part of our life, and how we deal with failure makes all the difference. Well, apparently, our generation is avoiding it like the plague, unlike generation X. “They” are saying that we need to fail a little more, and love it.

The millennial generation is taking a page out of the early baby boomer generation’s book: Don’t fail. A mantra of the older generation was to  “follow the rules, avoid taking risks, and don’t fail”.  “In fact, managers were once expected to be infallible, deflecting the blame when problems arose’… “young Boomers famously rebelled and adopted a risk-taking spirit—which their business leaders began applying on the job when they took over.” (source) These actions had an effect on the generation Xers that created cyber boom tycoons like Mark Cuban.

So as generation Xers are aging, and millennials are graduating, moving into new roles, and dominating the workforce, many would say that we need to take more risks, and go a step further and fail while we’re at it. However, based on the state of the economy, we’re kind of listening…. but not really.  “More millennials are unemployed than any other generation. Despite the national unemployment rate dropping below 6 percent, the unemployment rate for millennials remains stubbornly high at nearly 12 percent”. (source)  Can you blame of us for looking for security? I don’t even need to list the stats on education loans, millennials have more than any other generation, ever.

The economic downturn happened within the last 7 years, but there has been an overall push for “embracing failure” since the turn of the century  from commencement speeches to conferences that endorse failure as a part of the career process.“An NPR analysis of popular speeches going back to 1774 identified “embrace failure” as the sixth-most popular theme (outranking platitudes like “be kind” and “dream big”). Of the 38 speeches with this theme, all but three were delivered after 2000—by the likes of J.K. Rowling, Oprah, and Ben Bernanke”. (source) And based on the “startup failure’, there was a conference started in 2009 called FailCon.  Last year, FailCon’s founder cancelled the conference “out of the belief that failure is now so ingrained in Silicon Valley culture that a conference is unnecessary”. (source)

So there are a lot of people telling us that it is okay to fail, and that the more you fail, the better you will become and your future is a little brighter… blah, blah, blah. It is easy to become skeptical listening to Bill Gates, Oprah, and Mark Zuckerberg go on and on about how failure made a difference, because what good does that really do for you? Many stories of success come from people who failed and THEN were successful. Wouldn’t you love to hear stories in the midst of the struggle? That would be the realist stuff you ever heard.  Raw, blunt, and oh, so matter of fact. But the reality is nobody really hears the stories of those who are failing while they’re falling except themselves. Sometimes we have to learn to listen to our own stories in the midst of the struggle, and only from that place do we find the inner fight to move forward.

This is what I call appreciating failure, and learning the benefits it can provide. We can’t appreciate someone else’s failure. Appreciate means more than being grateful and understanding. After a mistake, whether it’s a week, or a year, or years later, we learn from our past mistakes. But appreciate also means to, “recognize the full worth of”. (Source). This idea is more than just learning what we did the wrong , where we took the wrong path, or maybe the goal was really out of our reach. But that there is actually something to learn from failing. To be resourceful, to be able to fall down and get back up, and we can’t learn that from anyone else: we have to learn for ourselves. But we must also recognize that failure happens even with the most well-drawn, organized, and laid out plans. That’s why I would say to some extent, we do have to accept failure , and recognize that it is not the end of the world. You may not be taking that risk, because you’re a afraid of failing, or your thinking that failure is the end of the road. It could be just the beginning.

We can put too much pressure on ourselves to not fail.  Let’s think about our kids who go crazy to the point of sickness over their grades or maybe cheat to get into that prestigious school or the young adult who becomes anorexic for the next dance performance, or the athlete who uses performance enhancing drugs. We always want to bash that they took it too far because they did x, y or z to get their end result, but are they not just trying to avoid failure at all costs?

Lately, my favorite comeback stories are baby boomers, who were close to retirement when the recession hit,  and had to pick up their life, pursue a new career at a point when they thought their careers were almost over.  Whether it’s because they still had kids in school they had to support or were foster parents, their resilience is humbling and refreshing, and reminds me that failure can happen to the most secure of us all. So I have learned to appreciate more and more failure in my life, regardless, if I want to or not, we have become familiar foes, friends, and sometimes best buddies. Failure isn’t always around, there are definitely times when I don’t want him around, but there are times when I need him, because that’s the only way I learn the tough lessons (because I can be hard-headed). Don’t be afraid of failure, you need it to thrive.