At a recent conference, I met more than sixty successful, driven, and super smart millennials. They included app developers, investors, startup company owners, real estate developers, consultants and more. And while they were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and driven, they were also stressed, uncertain and cynical.
Our formal educations teach us to pursue careers that will pad our bank accounts and impress the heck out of our parents and peers. What we don't learn is how to manage difficult emotions, develop resilience, excavate our deepest desires, and engage the inner drivers that propel us toward meaningful action.
While at one time we thought that pursuit of a meaningful life could wait until retirement, we now know that that delay is a large contributor to the rise in mental distress being experienced across the board.
Technology is playing a role on both sides of that coin, as well. As a lover of technology, we need to remember that we are human--to put down our devices and engage in human pursuits: fun, hobbies, communal activities, art, outdoors activities (without our devices; way too many people hiking on nature trails with their phones on speakers, even listening to the news!)
The research is clear--people who pursue meaning over security are MORE financially successful than those who pursue a safe bet, banking on retirement to live a meaningful life.
I'm not advocating that you quit your job; I'm advocating that we add meaning to our lives, in whatever form that may take. What does fun look like? What takes your breath away? What puts you in a state of flow?
The 17th century educational reformer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (whose principles were adopted by Albert Einstein) believed in "learning by head, hand and heart." What might you do to engage your heart and your hands, as well as your head?
This article, Hands On Experience, interviews high-achieving lawyers who use crafts to stay sane in stressful careers, relax, recharge and have fun.
Please share what uplifts and recharges you. You never know whom you might inspire!