Fun isn’t it?
Life really just is too short. This realisation came to me not so long ago and hence I’ve since been attempting to look at things with a fresh set of eyes, crossed or otherwise. London life whisks us away on a frantic journey of Starbucks, meetings, deadlines, grumpy faces on the tube, more deadlines, complaining, pushing and shoving and nobody has ANY TIME.
Don’t get me wrong, the pace is addictive (and sometimes thrilling) and of course everyone loves a Starbucks, but our generation is facing a miserable economy and ultimately a continued sense of non-achievement.
So I say its time for tea, contemplation and the consideration of what really makes us happy.
Just recently I read an insightful blog post by Benjamin Studebaker entitled ‘Why are Young People Unhappy?‘. This was evaluating how our generation (born in 80s/90s – generation Y) having unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved in our lives. The theory was based on the success our parents (born in 50s/60s) experienced in their lives due to a booming economy and this leading them to paint an unrealistic picture of possibility for our generation. Generation Y therefore grew up thinking that the same increases in salaries and standards of living were to be expected as in the 50’s and 60’s and that they would be possible achievements in our lifetimes. In truth, the declining economy we are experiencing means possibilities of this are slim to non-existent.
Therefore our generation continually experience a feeling of failure.
Generation Y is witness to some of the most exciting advances in technology and therefore impressive achievements, and yet, some could consider this our undoing. Lives move faster than ever before, we work harder and harder as the swiftness in technology means it is possible. We are all permanently attached to our Iphones/Blackberries morning, noon and night. Yet the salary increases are minimal and career progression is slow, we’ve all incurred student debts and many will have moved from their families to London, chasing the career dreams that were supposed to lead to the ‘ideal life’.
Who knows what the next generation will turn out like? I was having a deep discussion with a Business Manager at a school recently and she told me about nursery children having to be taught how to play. I mean in the good old-fashioned ‘mud pie’ kind of playing sense. They had been so immersed in video games/Ipads/DVDs they didn’t know how.
It makes you stop and think doesn’t it?
I was fortunate enough to visit a village in deepest darkest Siberia as a young teenager. It was an eye-opening experience and for some reason springs to mind now. My observations were in part a different take on life; a simple life can be a happy life. I collected potatoes by hand with farmers for two weeks, I watched children played with whatever they could find, outside. We walked for miles, I played with sticks and wild herds of horses, the air was cold, very cold. The expanse of land was vast with a tiny population in the village was about 25-30 people. They lived off the land. Moonshine is real. The poverty was very very real. I watched this village, in what felt like the end of the earth at a young age, support each other through thick and thin.
There is to much truth in why young people are unhappy, however I think it is time to take stock. Apologies if this sounds like a lecture, but I think we have more to give and it wouldn’t hurt any of us to open our eyes and for our generation to show what we are made of. So, the odds are different now than in the 50’s and 60’s? We have advanced technology on our side. We can experience so MUCH. We already have so MUCH. Ultimately all we need to change the picture of the dream that is possible for us. That is exciting and the options are endless. Do we need to buy houses to achieve self actualisation in life? Probably not. We need to experience, to feel, to explore, to laugh and to be who we are. It’s time to show our aptitude for change…(note to self)
Breath in some fresh air, walk, think, let your mind unwind, speak to people, have a lovely day, don’t get so wrapped up making a living that you forget to make your life.
So that’s my tuppence worth for today.
We are here. We are now.
It is up to us what to do with it.