Do we have a voice that’s not lost in politics? A scream for help that doesn’t get lost in the noise of plausible deniability? If the bigger picture can’t help us then what can? I’m now well into my 30’s with friends ranging from late 20’s to early 40’s… and we’re suffering, big time. Why? What is happening to my generation, why is everyone so damn miserable and unsatisfied?
Over stimulation, I believe, may very well be the cause of all this stress. At work, we’re constantly plugged in via our emails, which for some come in as a constant stream with the expectation that you must respond immediately. When we get home we’re tied to our phones which plug us into what everyone we know is doing (among many other things; games, email and so forth) and how amazingly un-flawed their lives look. The wonderful vacations and the perfect selfie. This constant stimulation can and in my opinion is definitely causing some of our stress, but is it the only cause? Other then the fact that we’re being constantly stimulated by our electronic devices, what else is happening? Time, it’s taking away our time.
Time to talk about how we’re feeling, time to talk to our children about how they’re doing, time to make decisions about our lives and whether or not something needs to change. Time to be present with our lives, to be present with ourselves. This lack of time to be introspective within our lives and ourselves has us going mad with stress and the unrelenting feeling of dissatisfaction. Our over stimulated lives have effectively become a sort of repression to our emotions, we’re now no longer a generation repressing emotions from childhood trauma, but rather from the trance of modern technology. What’s worse is our culture feeds into the technology trance by it’s standards of behavior and expectations there in… What do I mean by that?
Email used to mean that you could send someone an email and when they got around to it they would respond, be it 1 hour or 1 day, that was pretty standard, which basically meant you could check your email once a day. These days people tend to use email as a chat room, if you’re not responding right away, then you’re a slacker, not a team player, damned by this crazy cultural expectation. So people have become tethered to their emails… You could be working on a complicated task that will probably take you 2 hours to complete, but an email pops up, you respond, you start back up on the task where you left off, when the person you responded to emails question, and off you go down the ping pong working style that’s created as a result of this crazy email expectation. This is not to exclude the unscheduled visits by coworkers to your office or work-space, the unproductive and distracting office meetings and so forth. We’re wrought with distraction… The fact is that when you work in this “ping pong” style, details will be forgotten and consequently quality will suffer.
We have to start understanding that this way of “working” isn’t just effecting our work, it’s effecting our lives. This reactionary way of looking at life is very shallow. It causes people to make impulsive decisions without thinking them through. It’s causing people to work behind the ball instead of in front. It causes parents to only react to the behavior of their children as it arises… This is not okay. We need structure, planning and time blocking… THIS isn’t just for the type-A personality. This formal structuring is becoming a necessity among our generation. Life has only gotten more complicated as a result of the technology boom. Contrary to our belief that it would make our lives easier. When you plan your day, it raises the awareness of everything that makes up your day. It raises the awareness that when you’re in the mode of reacting you’re only ever touching maybe 30% of what actually makes up your life. Therefore, it’s easy to conclude that if you’re living in reaction there is a good 70% of your life not being tended to.
I have a bleeding heart for my generation… We’re suffering, badly. Health is deteriorating, therefore our quality of life suffers and we’re all going mad with stress. It’s not just at work, but it’s also at home. Either our kids are acting out, or our relationships are suffering. We’re drowning in our lives to try and stay afloat with the standards of life. The adage of roof over head and food on the plate is hollow and void of value to our generation, it’s become the only standard we can sustain. Suffering may be a part of life and politics may be good at distracting us enough to avoid the core issues, but when a core generation isn’t thriving the system will self correct… Sounds familiar right? We’re a political system set up to thrive as much as possible until the next unexpected event comes to correct the imbalance, we’re a political system set up to react.
It’s true that there are parts of life that cannot be predicted, but there are ways of designing your life to be prepared as much as you can for those moments. When you get to the end of your life, the only thing you can never get back is time. Time with your children, time with your spouse, time with yourself. So if you’re caught in the rat race giving away your time to meet the diseased expectation of our currently overstimulated culture, then you’re giving away the most valuable resource you have for nothing in return. Unapologetically protect this finite resource. Plan your day to hit the pivotal marks of that day and stay focused. Prepare to succeed. As easy as it is to blame society for our stress and our current state of being, with the lack of help and consideration from our government, we need to take control back. We as a generation need to realize that the power is in our own hands. If we change behavior, so too will the behavior of our work places change. We are after all a society set up to react to the behavior of it’s inhabitants, THAT is where we have a voice. Change the way you move according to the way you want to live and watch the world change in order to meet that expectation.