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A message to Millennials

  • A message to Millennials

    A message to Millennials


    So this talk was actually inspired by a yoga class that I was taking, so in full disclosure that’s where it came from, but my hope is that you will find some value in it and the intention of it is to help you gain a deeper understanding on why I believe that this generation of the millennials, so anybody born 1980 to the year 2000, and I’ll even extend that to the ones born after 2000, are different than and are experiencing the human experience in a way that no other generation before them ever has. So in that class the teacher was talking about how in this fast, rapid, moving world, how important it is to be able to pause, slow down, and to go back to the way things used to be before technology, before all these advances to make our lives faster and faster and faster.  And, all of a sudden, something clicked and I started to think of something.  I started to think there’s a generation of people that have no idea and have no point of reference to the way things used to be. The way things are right now is the only way they know and the only way it’s ever been. So to kind of elaborate on this, I remember when I was a kid and I really wanted something, it was my birthday, a holiday, and I really wanted something, and I would tell my parents and they would tell me, well let’s go to the store and get it, I was a picky kid, what I wanted was often not in the stores, really hard to find, but you know I remember getting a catalogue from them. And a catalogue was pretty much, I mean half of you have no idea what I’m talking about, but hopefully most of you do, but a catalogue is pretty much like a department store magazine and you can go through it and pick out the items you want, and I would tell them a thing or two and write down the item number and they put a check in a envelope and we ship it off. Maybe 3 to 4 weeks later the item comes, after days and days and days and days of waiting and running to the mailbox and seeing if it’s there or not. And sometimes even getting letters back from the department store saying that the item you want is not in stock, they don’t have it in your size, this is going to take another two weeks, so I learned, I had no other option, but to sit with my discomfort to get something I wanted I had to learn patience. And with the advents of technology and things like the internet and websites like Amazon, when the same kid wants something at some point he would order it on Amazon, and maybe a week later it would come to the house, so a little bit less waiting.  But, then Amazon Prime came. And if you order something within 48 hours it’s at your house, so a little bit less waiting.  And now on Amazon if you order the same day, on the same night, you can get your item. A little bit less waiting. And they’re making robots and drones, so when you order it within a few hours it’s at the house, so a little bit less waiting. So what does that do for the individual’s ability to tolerate discomfort. They feel when they want something they have to get it now. To even go back further just to show the contrast between not just the generation before but the generations before that. Let’s say you were angry at somebody, pissed off at somebody, and they didn’t happen to live within your 100 mile radius, and at some point before telephone, you would have to write them a letter, and put out all of your resentments and anger in that letter, put it in an envelope, take it to the post office, ship it off.  Maybe a week later that person gets the letter and they’re reading it, and they’re writing back to you, and by the time you get it back two weeks has gone by. And the anger may or may not still be there, but the inability to leave the anger immediately, and having to sit with the anger for a period of time allows an individual to tolerate discomfort. But telephones came, and not the millennial generation but before that telephones came, and before cell phones if you were pissed off at somebody you grab a payphone and call them at their house. And if they’re working you get the answering machine, “Hello, we’re not here right now but leave a message and we’ll get back to you right after the beep” and you tell them everything    you want to tell them and really give it to them and they get home from work late at night and they listen to the message and they don’t want to call back because it’s late so they wait the next day and call and you’ve woken up now in a completely different mindset and then technology got faster.  You got cell phones now if you’re pissed off you call somebody and tell them off right away.  It got faster, text messaging, video chatting. So generations of millennials don’t have to sit through the discomfort of emotions like anger. You know, one of the other characteristics of human beings is nobody wants to be lonely.  It’s a fear we have. And throughout generations if you wanted to meet somebody to come out of loneliness, maybe you met them in school, maybe ran into people in the grocery store, maybe at the gym, maybe a family member or a friend say’s “hey, I want you to meet so-and-so”. People had to sit with loneliness. But now with apps like Tinder they can swipe right a thousand candidates, people, and get out of that feeling of loneliness.  So they don’t even have to tolerate that. And one of the biggest, saddest differences between the millennials and generations before that is generations before really valued the wisdom and the experience of the generation before them.  I know for myself personally whenever I really wanted to learn something I’d go to my grandfathers and I would soak in their experience and their wisdom because I couldn’t find that anywhere else, it didn’t exist. But these generations of millennials, they can go get all of that wisdom in a 5-minute YouTube clip, and all of a sudden, cut out the middle-man, which is the older generation, which is that value. So, why is all this significant in this talk?  Because one of the characteristics of addiction is the inability to self-regulate stress. The inability to sit in uncomfortable feelings, the inability to connect to others. Now, if you ever watch a millennial and on, you know the generation is getting worse and worse by the way, multitasking with 10 or 15 different things at once they’re not experiencing the range of emotions of the human experience. And that’s never happened before. They’re constantly out of self. They’re never with themselves to process, to sit with, to let emotions pass by.  And, what other way, ’cause we see this population showing up in addictions in epidemic rates so what other faster more insured, more tested and tried and true way to escape feelings of self because of that discomfort than with substances, with addictive behaviors. So, my intention like I said for this talk was to help you gain a deeper understanding of addictions, but also to bring about the point that treatment for millennials, treatment for this generation, needs to incorporate, needs to include, psychoeducation, teaching them on going back to the way things used to be in order to find peace, serenity, calmness, because that’s the way human beings are hardwired, we’ve always been hardwired that way. And one of the most fascinating things I want to share with you is if you read an autobiography on someone that’s very successful in the tech world, people that create a virtual world and they’re in charge of it, almost all of them take vacations, and almost sabbaticals, from that world.  They have places like in Wyoming and Montana and they go for weeks at a time, two weeks at a time, and detach from it all. Because they know that it’s only by detaching from this rapid, fast pace that’s being created, are human beings able to go back to the way things used to be, to the way we’re hard-wired. Because that’s where we’re able to make better choices, that’s where those same executives are able to look back at this world and figure out ways to improve it.  It’s impossible to do while you’re in it.  And unfortunately millennials are constantly in it.  So that’s why more and more treatment centers are incorporating things like mindfulness, meditation, breathing, because all of those things give the individual the ability to pause, slow down, and go back to the way things used to be. And if the millennials don’t have that point of reference, those are ways to teach it to them, so they can start creating that point of reference.

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