It’s never a “one rule fits all” when it comes to living your life, especially not for millennials. For some reason, millennials are the generation people love to hate.
Some say millennials are too entitled, selfish, impatient, and narcissistic. Knowing millennials, they won’t waste time proving people otherwise. They have better things to do.
Here are the 12 life rules that millennials should keep in mind:
1. Simplify, simplify, simplify
Live simply is perhaps the best life rule for millennials. Declutter, throw out excess baggage, cut back, and simplify your life. Here’s the thing: you will never run out of things to do. You always have to wash the dishes and do the laundry.
So take it easy. If you have a gazillion chores waiting for you, try not to get overwhelmed by simplifying how to get things done. Make a list and get organized. You need to create some space in your life, relationships, and environment to clear your mind. Stop making life even more complicated than it already is.
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann
2. If you don’t have control over it, stop stressing about it
There are many things that you don’t have control over—natural disasters, illness in the family, retrenchment, parents’ divorce, what others think of you, or even a really slow internet connection. These are life’s realities that most people love to torment themselves with. But what’s the point when they can’t be altered and changed?
A 2015 study by the American Psychological Association found that millennials are the most stressed-out generation. The top stressors are money, work, family, and health. While you have no control over a lot of life’s events, you have control over your attitude towards them. You can choose to fix them or deal with them, but please, stop whining about them.
3. Stop having fun and start being happy
Friday nights are fun, but do they make you happy? Going on perennial first dates could be fun, but do they make you happy? At one point in your fun-filled life, step back and think what really makes you happy and do it. If staying home and just watching TV makes you happy, then stay home and quit pretending you are the ultimate partygoer on Friday nights. Being happy requires being honest to oneself.
4. Be passionate about something
It could be baking, playing the guitar, collecting stamps, or basketball—have at least one thing that you are passionate about. Be that person who bursts with energy when talking about the things they love. If you are deeply passionate over something, it would be easier to look forward to each day.
Dr. Carol Bernstein, associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, said that finding meaning in whatever it is that you love increases resilience and decreases burnout. Anything that can divert people from everyday tasks and routines are good for them in many ways, she adds.
5. Be kind to one another
We hear Ellen DeGeneres say this exact line at the end of her talk show, and it’s a good reminder for millennials and the generations before them. In the end, only kindness matters. Some people say Generation X is selfish and basically a generation that people love to hate.
There is no study to prove or disprove that millennials are less kind than others, but this is among the golden rules of life that millennials can live by. Be kind, always.
6. Love what you do and work hard
By 2025, 3 out of every 4 workers globally will be millennials, according to a report by Time magazine. Millennials want flexibility, training, and feedback over a high pay. But just like any other generation, they also want to be managers and leaders. According to a research by services firm Ernst & Young, 87% of millennials took on management roles over the last five years. This shows just how much millennials value their career.
No matter how millennials are changing the corporate landscape, the number one rule at work remains the same: work hard, even if others don’t. Find a job that you love, such as customer service jobs, that you can invest in. Work with all your heart and never shortchange your outputs.
7. Never stop learning
No, you don’t know everything, and stop telling yourself otherwise. It’s a good thing that millennials are passionate about learning and making themselves better. A research entitled “The Millennial Leadership Study,” found that a majority of millennials want to be coached and trained, and they acknowledge that being a leader requires the desire to keep learning.
The one thing that they want to improve on is their communication skills. According to the study, 58% of millennials think the most important leadership skill is communication.
8. Save up and invest
A study by the Investment Company Institute found that millennials are investing at a younger age compared to earlier generations. Yes, you deserve to treat yourself with new shoes or a new toy collection every now and then.
But be careful where you put your hard-earned money. Instead of thinking that you are spending money, think that you are spending hours of your life. It’s true, you earn by the hour. So next time you buy that bag you don’t really need, think how many hours you spent just be able to make that purchase. Save up and invest as early as possible.
9. Eat healthy and stay fit
Set a goal for how you want to look. For example, before you turn 35, get the body you want and maintain it. It’s really more than what you see on the surface. You need to be healthy to drive your kids to school, play basketball with your boys, travel, and live a happier life. You owe it to yourself to be comfortable in your own skin.
10. Go out there and travel more
Money, or lack thereof, is always the excuse for not traveling as much we’d like to. There’s also lack of time and work concerns. Please find the time and the resources to go out there and see the world. It doesn’t have to be a cruise along the Caribbean or a really expensive European tour. Just take a break from your routine, discover new places, and meet new people. You’ll never appreciate “home” as much as you would after going away.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
11. Take a break from social media
There’s a recent study by the Happiness Research Institute that says 88% of people that are not on Facebook lead happier lives. Every once in a while, disconnect yourself and get out of the virtual world. Go to a coffee shop that doesn’t have wi-fi and just talk to a friend.
12. Always be grateful
No matter how superficial (and humble bragging) #blessed is, it is the law of life to be always grateful. Whenever you are feeling low or when nothing seems to be going your way, focus on the things that you are thankful for such as family, friends, coffee, warm bath, or the unexpected cash in your jeans. Always be grateful. You owe it to yourself to make room for gratitude and happiness.
It always helps to see things from a different perspective. Life rules are there to keep you sane and make things less complicated. There are times when you feel like there’s too much on your plate and you can no longer keep up. Rules will help you become more positive and a proper perspective will make you happy again.