An attempt to understand the world of current events, finance and the economy on a level that allows me to teach it. I'm a journalist. Oh and the occasional post about family, life and kids!
We all hear these phrases, heck we’ve probably all used one before. “It’s not fair.” “It’s not my fault.” “I deserve (insert word here).” “That’s not my job.” “I should get the same treatment as them.”
It’s aptly called entitlement, and it’s sweeping the millennial generation like an absolute wildfire that is raging out of control. It’s toxic, it’s damaging, it’s disgusting and frankly, it pisses me off. I don’t mean it simply makes me mad. I don’t mean it’s just aggravating. I mean it literally enrages me and I’ll fight anybody who wants to challenge me on it (verbally of course).
It’s become such a pet peeve of mine that I don’t allow my children to use the phrases “not fair” or “not my fault.” Their vocabulary will not include such phrases that passively push responsibility away from them and onto another person or object. I won’t allow it.
I cringe when I hear a co-worker say it, I bite my tongue when I see it in the classroom or in talking with friends. I experienced so much of it in the past week alone that I’m writing a blog about it.
“Never dodge responsibility….EVER.” –John Wooden
I worked with an individual recently that had legitimate concerns that she wasn’t going to get promoted. She was furious. In her words, she deserves to get promoted because she’s been with this company for over 4 years. “Wow,” I said. “Sounds like you have a tough time, why don’t they want to promote you?” She told me it had to be because she’s a woman and she’s younger than her boss so they must just be jealous. I respectfully asked, “What have you done to ‘deserve’ said promotion?” Remember just 2 paragraphs ago I said this enrages me? Here goes: She had no answer. Her actual response was “I deserve it because I work really hard.” Hmm. This is a girl who also makes sure to take all 6 sick days she’s given annually because it’s “her right.” This is a girl who refuses to work overtime because it’s “not fair” that nobody else wants to work overtime so why should she? This is a girl who gives pushback and argues every time her boss asks her to work harder. Here’s the unadulterated truth dear: You’re a loser. That’s why you aren’t getting promoted. You expect handouts and aren’t willing to EARN the promotion. You aren’t a team player and are more interested in yourself than anyone else and you’re lazy. Period. This mentality is not an isolated incident. It’s extremely common.
This disastrous mentality is ever-increasing in our society and our workforce. No more are people interested in getting the job done regardless of how long it takes or how hard it is. I don’t mean to simply marginalize the millennials but based on my experience, it’s the millennials who act like this. I’m fully aware it exists elsewhere as well.
In this economy, why wouldn’t everybody be grateful to have a job? I don’t give a damn if you have to work Saturdays and miss the football games or you have to work longer hours because you need more money. In my analysis, I vehemently believe a huge part of this is due to a lack of gratefulness. This legalistic society we’re evolving in to seems to breed this behavior. It’s sickening. My kids go to a sports competition and everybody gets a trophy just for showing up. Hard work and perseverance are no longer celebrated to the extent they used to be. We passively coddle our kids and have unintentionally bred a new generation of whining, ungrateful and Twitter-spoiled brats.
“WE KEEP FINDING NEW WAYS TO CELEBRATE MEDIOCRITY”-Mr. Incredible
I created a table to demonstrate the various differences between having what I call a “business mentality” versus an “employee mentality.” This doesn’t mean we all need to own a business, but I believe if we apply some very basic, yet extremely effective principles to how we handle ourselves in life and in the workplace, we’ll see almost immediate effects.
A mentor gave me advice once that I’ll never forget. He said “Jeremy, own what you can control. Be accountable and never do for others what they can do for themselves because you’ll facilitate their lack of accountability.”
Own what I can control. I can’t control the weather. I can’t control what happens to me in life (to an extent), I can’t control what others do. What I can control, nay, what I WILL control is my attitude regarding those things in life. It’s not in “God’s” hands, it’s in mine. It’s not dependent on majestic or cosmic factors aligning, it’s dependent on my ability to work my ass off and seize every opportunity to learn, grow and advance. Whether or not I succeed in life is dependent on MY actions. No excuses.
I will never subscribe to an employee or victim’s mentality. When we allow those thoughts to stay in our minds we become apt to accept failure easier, to give up more, to create self-perpetuating habits of failure. I’m not a failure, I’m a winner.
“The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they become too heavy to be broken” —Warren Buffett