Success: Why are Millennials so miserable?

Or why time is the new paradigm of success

Millennials have seen the transition from the old World into the new one. Never before had a generation access to so many opportunities, plenty of options and infinite ways to create success. Then why are Millennials incapable of being happy? What is the underlying cause of a constant dissatisfaction that Millennials seem to face? Why are Millennials so miserable?

To understand this, we have to look into three different fields:

1 — The eternal pursue of goals and achievements

Millennials grew up with standards of achievement as the opportunities arose like never before. People had the chance to study, “be someone” and access to higher degrees of education, something unprecedented before. From a very young age, we were told this was our chance to do it, because our progenitors wanted to give us the chances that they themselves did not have. We were told that pursuing higher education degrees would open doors for us and, even though that was well intentioned, higher education degrees did not mean we would be happy or happier than before. Those degrees did not mean we would be doing what we love or feeling valued for our service to the community. But that’s how the story goes: we study, we get a degree, we get married, we have children, just so that history can repeat itself! Pausing the loop and taking a deep look into this, may actually be the best thing we can do, not only for ourselves, but for future generations as well. Perhaps education needs a new set of frames. Perhaps we need to rethink what is prioritized at school and at home and also look into our definition of success, both personal and within societies.

Success seems to translate somehow in a constant pressure to be perfect (also created — or enhanced — by the technology boost as people are constantly looking at whatever the others are doing). There is a sensation that we in ourselves are not enough, we are measured by our varied achievements and by the goals we set up for ourselves. From the way we look like to the activities we do in our leisure times, there is a push to constantly have a next thing happening, creating plans or setting up goals. The overall message we send to each other (but especially to ourselves) with the frenetic constant run to achieve is “I am not enough”. Since we were given opportunities that weren’t available before and expected to grab them, there’s a mixed sense of obligation and an eternal emptiness as we chase yet another goal and then another and then another. This makes us feel energy depleted, completely sucked out of life and unable to be here and now. It’s like we’re going nowhere, incapable of enjoying the moment and just dancing as Alan Watts brilliantly depicts with his charismatic voice!

Except that: there is no “where” to go, except to just be! Being is the goal or destination or achievement in itself and as long as we are unable to feel that, we will endlessly expect that achievement will take us somewhere that it’s already here, we will expect the emptiness to fill itself without realizing that nothing external can actually fulfill us. Which brings us to the next point:

2 — Lack of connection

Millennials grew up through the technology boost that took over the world. Some of us grew up with cassette tapes, recording that specific song we loved whenever it was played on the radio, from tapes we were amazed when compact discs arrived by selecting any track or easily going back and forth on the song and then we saw the birth of MP3 and the possibility to carry all the songs in the world in the palm of our hand! We also lived the transition between meeting someone up at that specific place and time previously booked live or through a landline into having the possibility to being constantly “connected”.

The internet era bombarded us with information, consequently making communications and any aspect of life much faster. As phones became an extension of our hands, we were able to carry anything we need anytime anywhere in the form of apps and varied hi-tech creations which allow us to virtually access anything with just one click. We may even have an intimate relationship with a program as exceptionally shown in the movie Her where the protagonist creates a love relationship with a computer program. Sure, cell-phones are quite useful with a wide number of resources, but the whole purpose of the phone was to make our life easier and to actually connect us with each other. We have to take an active look at this tool and ask ourselves if it is contributing to a sense of not enough time to do everything, a pressure to be perfect and an active constant distractor of ourselves and our reality. As we feel more and more zombies, there is a syndrome of unaccountability where people don’t seem to keep their word or their functions with responsibility and excellence as if they are numb and doing it for the sole purpose of obligation with no joy whatsoever.

History was written by men. This is an important aspect if we consider that 1. Half of the society are women and 2. Men would tend to tell facts and disregard emotions, which explains why in an era where we’re advanced like never before at so many levels, we’re simultaneously living “an emotional dark age” [1]. We just don’t know or have any clue whatsoever on how to deal with our emotions, we don’t understand that emotions are our compass in life, nor do we know how to surrender emotions in order to increase our vibrational energetic level [2]. Basically we don’t know how to navigate our emotional state or how to live through emotions, so we do anything we can to avoid them. This is enhanced by the constant use of the phone hypnotizing us whenever we are bored and unable to actually sit down with ourselves. No wonder we are disconnected from others, disconnected from ourselves, disconnected from spirituality and a sense of wholeness!

This lack of overall connection as if we were living in the world inside individual bubbles is the main source of this eternal un-satisfaction and restless pursue of goals. It is not possible to feel connection when we constantly abandon ourselves. We are our first and primary source of connection, we need to tune into ourselves again to be able to actually experience connection within and in the world around us. [3]

3 — Nutrition

Last, but not least, even though Mankind has never been so aware of all the things that impact health, it seems like there was an overall misunderstanding when it comes to the subject of food. Let’s clarify the main thing: we are part of a living organism called Earth, we’re connected to our home, the Earth, in an endless intertwine of energetic trade translated through the air we breath or the food we eat.

The main important things to retain about food are: eat local and natural (whatever you plant, you’ll ingest, it will nourish you, it will literally be your nectar of life — the same is valid for the air we breathe but that is a whole topic in itself), eat according to the season (the body requires different nutrients according to the atmospheric conditions it is exposed to) [4,5] and eat in a balanced way as equilibrium is key! There is also one small detail that makes all the difference: from a human body nourishing point of view, one of the main ingredients of a good absorption is cooking [5,6].

The saying “the secret ingredient is always love”, it’s not as mystical as it seems. The energy we emanate as we prepare a meal and the energy we emanate as we actually eat play a very important role in our overall health and wellness, because both the food we cook and we ourselves are made of water [7,8,9,10].

Why is this important and why does this affect Millennials?

Like no other generation before, Millennials had access to all kinds of vitamins, minerals and unprecedented information and products to attain perfect health. However, the one thing that people don’t seem to have is time! And time is what generates that presence that allows love to just flow naturally as one prepares a meal or as one seats down and actually connects with the food to be savored and ingested with the goal to nourish the temple of our souls. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine [5,6] it is important to eat with presence and totally dedicate oneself to that activity (what could be called mindful eating), because eating while participating in important conversations and/or activities that require concentration, mental effort or a strong engagement of the brain imparts the spleen (note: one of the main responsibilities of the spleen is the intake, processing and distribution of nutrients from food)[4,5,6]. It is also important to choose local fresh foods daily and to cook with love and appreciation for these gifts of the Earth — but who has time to prioritize cooking over a pre-cooked meal thrown into the microwave [6]?

As people are subjected to unrealistic deadlines, work-schedules or endless tasks, wellness falls far and far behind which ends up numbing the body, impeding the person to be rooted in the temple of the soul and to actually feel. Since emotions are the compass of our state, if we systematically don’t feel them by: suppressing them, repressing them, expressing them in an unhealthy way or escaping them somehow [2] we are, then, imparting our own function and therefore compromising our natural state of health and wellness. Cooking is a way of caring for ourselves and the ones we love, it’s a way of connecting, so we must have time for it, we must prioritize it again!

Time

People need more time to tune into themselves, to cultivate connection, people need time to learn how to breathe with quality, to cook with love, to nourish themselves with pleasure. People need time to savor life, the new definition of success! Millennials were given endless opportunities, but not the most important gift of all: time! Quality time is the single most important investment that a person can make. No wonder so many Millennials are quitting their “successful” jobs to pursue enjoyment, often translated into enjoying quality time. Societies and communities are adapting to this mentality shift and initiatives such as the Degrowth Movement or the Universal Basic Income are popping up!

A solution to consider to address the time issue could be reducing the daily work schedule from 8 hours to 4 hours a day (or 6 hours in a preliminary phase). Since now we have both main members of the family in the work place contributing to their own community with their natural abilities, it should be possible to reduce the daily working time for each single individual. As technology continues to take over jobs, Governments are considering the Universal Basic Income for the sake of allowing means for people to sustain themselves. As necessity is the mother of invention, more and more possible solutions should come to the rescue in the upcoming future.

Up until then, these are some key reflection points as to why, the one generation that had everything to be successful and could even be considered so from certain perspectives, is miserable and what exactly is the meaning of success in the Millennials-age.

References:

Reference 1: The Anatomy of Loneliness by Teal Swan

Reference 2: Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by Dr. David R. Hawkins

Reference 3: The Completion Process by Teal Swan

Reference 4: The Yellow Emperor Classic of Medicine by Maoshing Ni

Reference 5: Cosmic Nutrition: The Taoist Approach to Health and Longevity by Mantak Chia and William U. Wei

Reference 6: The Five-Elements Wellness Plan: A Chinese System for Perfect Health by Barbara Temelie

Reference 7: The Fourth Phase of Water, Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor by Dr. Gerald H. Pollack

Reference 8: The Miracle of Water by Dr. Masaru Emoto

Reference 9: Shadows Before Dawn by Teal Swan

Reference 10: The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton