My father wasn’t a drill sergeant. But when I was a kid, and things didn’t go my way, he would tell me to “toughen up.” When I complained about high school, he reminded me of his own teenaged years in England: “When I was 16 years old, I worked full-time as a mechanic’s apprentice. At night, I studied at a vocational college to become a full-fledged mechanic. And nearly all the money I earned went to my parents.”
I’m part of the so-called Generation X. But my father and I shared a certain trait. I also believed the next generation–in my case, millennials or Generation Y– needed to toughen up. Plenty of people say millennials aren’t resilient. Too many people in their 20s were told they were special when they were kids. They often earned sports medals and trophies just for showing up.
Simon Sinek wrote the bestselling book, Leaders Eat Last. In an interview with Inside IQ Quest, he shared his thoughts on millennials. He says they were raised to be entitled, self-absorbed and emotionally vulnerable to failure. Maybe he’s right. Perhaps they were coddled more than previous generations. But my view has come full-circle. Today, I have a soft spot for millennials.
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