Being a millennial is tough. When I hear things like we’re the first generation in history where the average person makes less than the previous generation, and that we’ve amassed $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. I’m like, whoa.
So maybe we are the product of a system that doesn’t work anymore. So what? It wasn’t our fault. Come to think of it, it wasn’t anyone’s fault. Everything changed. The economy changed. Technology changed. And instead of waiting for the system to change, I decided to change. Here’s what I did.
1. Create opportunities.
For me, this means applying an entrepreneurial mindset to all aspects of my life. It doesn’t stop at my day job either. I’ve tried to adopt the traits of an Intrapreneur. An Intrapreneur is a person within a company who generates ideas, solves problems, and takes on challenging tasks. Intrapreneurship doesn’t require a change in job title. All it takes is a change in mindset and some ideas.
2. Come up with at least 10 ideas a day.
I’ve been doing this for about 8 months now, and still can’t believe how much my life has changed since. It gives me the confidence that I can create ideas to solve any problem I face. Everyone can benefit from some fresh ideas, so I practice coming up with them every day.
I dedicate at least an hour a day to learning, and only learn about things I’m truly interested in. I listen to audiobooks and podcasts on my commute. I read books and blogs in my spare time. Right now, it’s mostly the work of James Altucher, Seth Godin, and Tim Ferriss. I learned almost everything in this post from them.
I try to write for thirty minutes to an hour a day. Everything I write about is a result of my daily idea lists. I don’t post everything I write, but when I do, it gives me the confidence to speak up when I need to most.
When I started posting my writing, my like-minded network reached out to me. Creating a voice created connections. Having their backing and support means more than opportunity, it means friendship. On similar lines with the picture in this post, I’ve seen that the best way to improve my network is to improve myself.
6. Exercise, eat well, and sleep.
If I’m not physically healthy, I won’t be able to perform the other steps in this post to the best of my ability.
7. Money in the bank.
I recognized the several alternatives to higher education to help advance my career. I axed mutual funds from my portfolio due to their high fees and subpar performance compared to the S&P 500 index. I realized the need for a security fund of at least a year of expenses to be kept in cash. I still haven’t bought a home, because for now, I’ve valued my flexibility and down payment over investing in an asset that has a 0% long-term return.
8. Embrace interests.
Finance, sports, entrepreneurship, writing, and health. I’m interested in all of them. At one point in my life, I decided to ignore my interests. Then I realized I was doing myself an injustice. Life is too short to ignore passions.
9. Be grateful and kind.
Whenever I’m stressed out, I take a deep breath and list three unique things I’m grateful for. Of course, there’s the Golden Rule as well. When I remember to do these two things, it clears my mind to focus on what I can control and what truly matters.
10. Slow down.
At the end of the day, I kick back. I survived. I improved. Now it’s time to relax. To listen to music, watch sports, or watch a movie. To be surrounded by loved ones. To be in the moment. To take my life back one last time.