Friday, March 12, 2010

living in a material world

so i'm a 20-somethinger. and if you know anything about generational gaps, you will note that my birthdate places me directly on the cusp of two generations: the gen x and gen y (the millenials). they call me a cusper. i like being a cusper. i feel i have many characteristics of both generations, whereas my younger brothers are squarely gen y kids. i took a seminar on generational gaps in the workplace at my old company and i find it incredibly interesting. for example, when i see someone doing something wrong, or the slow way, or inefficiently or whatever, i'll suggest to them a faster/better way to do something. at this generational gap seminar, i said that if i saw someone doing something on the computer the long way (such as opening a document in excel or something), i would show them a faster way to do it. and its reciprocal: i would expect someone to show me the same thing. and i would be glad to know a new technique. or if i heard someone saying something incorrect, and this often happens with english grammar, i will correct them. not to be rude or mean or "i know more than you" but because, to me, they sound incorrect and others might think they sound dumb/less educated/whatever. if i make mistakes like this, i appreciate when someone corrects me. e.g. i always get less/fewer incorrect. if someone corrects me, i have no issue with it and am glad to be shown the right way (although i most often forget it). sometimes i choose to ignore corrections, like when my mom tells me that its "scratch the dog" not "itch the dog" (scratch being the verb and itch being the noun). but i would still always ask my dog (who is no longer living) "do you want me to itch you?" i think there are very few (correct usage of "few"! i think...) examples of when i ignore rules. anyway, back to this seminar. i was explaining that i show people how to do things better and this man in my group, who was probably 50+, said "oh my gosh! that would DRIVE ME CRAZY if someone took my mouse and showed me something else. i have my methods and i like my methods." i was SHOCKED that other people weren't like me

which brings me to this article i read titled "10 trends of 20-somethings." while the article is mostly about marketing TO 20-somethings, it brings up a lot of good points from a high-level. here are the most relevant to me:
1. Real-time expectations
3. Radical transparency
4. Expecting cheap or free everything
5. Demanding entertainment
6. Worrying about the planet
7. Seeing luxuries as standard
do you agree with any these?

in addition to this, i think one thing that people of my generation do (or maybe its just me, honestly) is be hard on themselves. i have very high expectations of people and even higher for me. i got an email from a former coach of mine (career coach - from a program at work. you know i've never played a sport). she runs her own company called yolo (you only live once) and she sent this story that i really liked.
Two Wolves
One evening a Cherokee Elder was teaching his grandson about a battle that goes on inside of people. He said "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride and superiority. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too." The grandson thought about it for a minute. Then he asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee man simply replied, "The one you feed."
are you hard on yourself?

[post title is from the madonna song "material girl" because that is the song i was listening to as i wrote this AND its also appropriately released around the time of my birth...]

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