The Promise of Greatness and the Shock of the Mundane
Some years ago I read an article and watched a video about how Gen-Y and beyond seem to all think themselves special and unique. The moral of the story is that us younglings expect all the greatness there is to be had but not the hard work that comes with it because of the unrealistic expectations we collected as children. Yes, we were encouraged by our parents to do better than them and dream big. However, we shy away from the hard yards and crumble when confronted with the challenges of being young professionals. The long hours, the tough clients, the boring tasks, the pay, are all teething pains and a part of life, but what is it that makes us believe we are entitled to better if we don’t first earn our stripes?
In my opinion, it’s a matter of people like myself who set out with some majorly unrealistic expectations and going through the process of resetting them and accepting that you owe yourself a lot more than the world owes you. I started out in my first corporate job expecting to climb the ranks, make tonnes of money and gain some crazy Harvey Spector-esque fame (shout out to my fellow Suits). It quickly dawned on me that the moments of glory and empowerment were far and few between and never at the level of those on screen. I started questioning why and initially, through the mist of ego and pride, did not see that I was holding myself back from achieving. I always prioritised the big picture and didn’t make sure that the foundations of my big projects (admin, emails, work orders, receipts, calls etc.) were immaculate. I would find myself trying to squeeze out the next big idea and eventually succumb to the backlog of what I thought was ‘not as important’ work.
I’ve since learnt that you must work for those glorious moments and now believe that those moments are not defining even if they may feel really good. I believe that the culmination of your hard-work will ultimately give us Gen-Ys the satisfaction, sense of purpose and achievement we so eagerly crave. Granted, sometimes things do not go our way by circumstance or sheer luck, but I think that if we can roll with the punches and remain focused on our objectives, we can obtain greatness. So, I now leave you with some wise words I once heard.