Our story began like many of yours. We are Millennials born between 1980 and 2000 into a world full of futuristic technological advances, a labor market that values intellectual over physical prowess, and psychological climate that emphasized the importance of high self-esteem and sharing our feelings to resolve conflicts.
Our parents, many of whom are Baby Boomers, grew up during a time of significant social turmoil and began rejecting the norms their parents had instilled in them. Although they still value hard work and loyalty to an organization, Boomers also raised their children to value creativity and independence, and to believe in their own sense of specialness. For the younger members of our Millennial cohort with Gen X parents, these parenting values are especially common.
So by the time we reach adulthood, we have a firm subconscious belief that we can achieve anything and (due to the instant gratification culture we grew up in) that instant success is a real thing we deserve and can expect in our lives.
We are idealistic, creative, and greatly value meaningful work. Many of us are driven by our passions and our dreams, but because we have often been protected from failure by our folks or our educational system via “participation trophies” and grading curves, we subconsciously find ourselves giving up on our dreams because we interpret failure as a bad thing.
In online communities, the persistent social comparison in which we engage simultaneously inflates and demolishes our sense of “specialness,” leaving us feeling both validated and wanting more. The truth is, in many ways the human desire to be liked and feel community is exacerbated by our ability to connect with millions of people of over the world. Expending energy pursuing an overabundance of potential connections can ironically leave us feeling deprived of meaningful community and relationships.
While social media can be used as a beautiful tool, the quantification of our popularity and the rise of internet stardom further distort our sense of true self-worth, self-love and self-compassion.
The good news is, there is hope! Honestly, when we are asked to describe the Millennial generation, the characteristic we highlight is hope. Many of us came of age through 9/11 and the economic downturn, which left us with a desire to serve, to make the world a better place, and to forge ahead in the face of financial adversity.
This means many of us are willing to take low-paying jobs so we can pursue our creativity, our dreams, or whatever gives our lives purpose and meaning. Millennials have a foundation for success, in large part because we believe it is possible!
This is where the story of Motivational Millennial begins. We (Ivy and Blake) left stable careers in the pursuit of our dreams and over the course of time have come up against struggles for which we were totally unprepared.
The worst challenges of all have been internal. Being told our whole lives “You can achieve anything!” gave us a firm sense of idealism but also left us subconsciously believing that achievement should be easy. Let’s face it: members of our generation often feel that if something is hard it means we aren’t meant to do it, and we end up changing our paths dozens of times.
What we weren’t taught often enough is that failure is a part of the process. Every single successful person has experienced failure before reaching their goals, and most of the time they’ve experienced it more than once! When you have a dream and a firm understanding that the path will be harder than you expect, you are more capable of maintaining the emotional resilience and fortitude that result in true success.
At Motivational Millennial, we want to foster the bravery and idealism that Millennials already have and provide tools to help them figure out what gives them a sense of purpose in life. We also want to guide them in designing and achieving their dreams, no matter what obstacles they face.
As personal development professionals, we value personal growth, authentic self-reflection, community, and the courage to move forward in the face of fear. On our journey to build and grow successful companies, we have learned many insights and strategies, and we will only continue to acquire more!
Join us and other Millennials who are living life with a sense of purpose and achieving their goals!