We are the most fortunate generation in history, but you would never know it. Faced with a global crisis of unprecedented proportions, it’s easy to forget that our population has the highest standard of living to date. At the same time, we have the entire world at our fingertips and the opportunity to pursue unlimited possibilities. – and yet, herein lies the problem. So many options have left a generation of millennials lost, confused and unsure of what to do with their lives.
We find ourselves living in a newly globalized world facing total economic, environmental and cultural collapse the likes of which our civilization has never seen. We are inheriting a broken system that is plagued with seemingly insurmountable challenges. But is this really any different than what the countless generations have faced before us?
Much like our ancestors that have preceded us, we have been conditioned by society to believe in an agreed upon cultural story and corresponding set of values. Among these ideas is the concept that we are to look outside of ourselves for answers – particularly on what to do with our lives. Our parents and teachers tell us to do one thing; society tells us to do another. Perhaps we are not getting the answers we seek because we are not asking the right people.
Rather, we must begin to ask ourselves what it is that inspires us. What is it that we are passionate about? Whatever it may be, our purpose becomes to find others who share in our dreams, and create a life around that vision. The most overlooked component to this seemingly simple task is to take the time to actually identify our dreams in the first place!
Identifying A Social Purpose
This is a question not posed often enough by people of our generation. If you are seeking answers, first start with the right questions. We have been told our whole lives to go to school, attend college and get a good job. Money becomes the sole object of obsession and with it everything that can make us happy will be ours. This is true to an extent, but we must not sacrifice quality of life for the chance to simply earn the highest profit possible. Chasing only the money has left many millennials burnt out, unfulfilled and downright depressed!
So while money is an important component of wealth, it is not the full essence of what it means to be wealthy. Things like health, happiness, fulfillment and the opportunity to be creative all play a role in experiencing true happiness in our lives. To move forward, we must abandon this notion of “it’s just a job” and realize that it is our life!
According to social entrepreneur and Forbes contributor, Naveen Jain, success is not measured by how much money we have in the bank, but rather how many people’s lives we have impacted through it. Success is experienced when we do things which have never been done before, and an entrepreneur is not necessarily a person who starts a company, but someone who solves a problem. Given what the current job climate is like for millennials, its entrepreneurship or bust at this point.
The future of our world also depends on our ability to be socially conscious entrepreneurs that earn a living doing something we believe in and love, which also contributes to the greater good. The first step to accomplishing this in your own life is to simply start with that vision and goal in mind. The next step is to use the tools of the new millennium, like social media, to begin creating that which we seek.
Tapping the Social Media Revolution
With the arrival of social media, we have seen extraordinary changes to every aspect of life. Revolutions that topple governments are literally springing up overnight on Twitter. Occupy Wall Street people connecting on Facebook are responsible for a global protest on a massive scale. The true potential of social media is just beginning to show us what it’s capable of.
So with our generation raised on social media as a part of life, it is crucial that we learn to utilize it to the fullest potential possible. For instance, I remember thinking Facebook was a great tool for self-promotion, but after reading Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People in the Digital Age, I have since learned it is a far more powerful medium when used primarily for social engagement.
The best way to engage people through social media is by committing to posting several times a day in which you ask others questions or their opinions. Rather than the usual nonsense, share motivational quotes and articles on your pages that inspire people. Better yet, share an article that you wrote!
Also look into starting a blog to network with people who share your interests. Create and take part in a community online by offering unique content of value that benefits a niche audience. Build a following and use these new connections to network and attend conferences that interest you. Reach out to famous people or business leaders who inspire you and begin to follow and like their pages too. Begin building your life around an industry or movement you’re passionate about, and you’ll find that new opportunities will pop up which you may have never known even existed.
A Shift in the Way We Think
In our age, information has become the most valuable resource there is, and social media has exponentially multiplied our ability to share this information quickly and easily. As social entrepreneurs, we recognize the value of information and how it can be translated into wealth that benefits people, profit and planet. It is the current mentality of profit over everything, however, that is responsible for our myriad of global problems.
So despite all our globe’s various economic and political woes, the one true predicament we face is ultimately a crisis of consciousness. There is a deep rift in our thinking which says everything is worth sacrificing in the name of the bottom line. That is suicidal thinking, and the only our world will change for the better is a shift in our minds towards benefiting people, profit and planet. To address our world’s problems, it is important that we first start with this simple shift in our own consciousness.
The global crisis is actually good in that it presents an unparalleled opportunity to innovate, grow and evolve beyond our present paradigm. Our global reality is merely a macrocosm of our own individual selves, and their evolutions are intricately tied. The greatest spiritual texts of all time talk about our purpose in life as self-realization, knowing that societal evolution will follow. Our task is to awaken to an evolutionary impulse within ourselves in order to develop our gifts to their full potential and enact meaningful change in the world.
Social media has created a new globally connected subjective reality, and for the first time in history, a space for us to collectively envision a new world. This allows us to completely bypass traditional corporate controlled mainstream media and participate in the global conversation. Listen to your passions and make use of the new media tools to create a sphere of influence and do something you love that brings benefit to the world.
The advent of the information age has broken down the boundaries between the psychic and physical worlds, and our thoughts are manifesting as reality faster than ever. Use this to your advantage, as a global convergence of growth is now upon us. It is the duty of every entrepreneur to go through this process of growth in order to fulfill his or her own dreams, and in turn, the true potential of our civilization.
This article was written by Anthony Chiaravallo and originally appeared as a 4-part series on www.Eruptin.com.