B2B Sales Copywriter + Product Marketing
The ripe old age of 43 seems like a good time for Simon Sinek to retire.
His recent interview on millennials, currently bouncing from one Yahoo account to another, annotated with precious notes such as “I’ve been saying this for years!” signals that his observations are turning fuzzy and he’s entirely out of touch with the world around him.
In any case, the unearned condescension of a professional peer who refers to working, tax-paying humans between the ages of 21 and 39 as “kids” is not worthy of the kind of virality and empty-headed reverence he is currently enjoying.
It’s lazy workplace propaganda masquerading as thought leadership. It’s a tired trope designed to malign a perfectly ordinary generation — and it’s as obtuse as it is utterly useless.
In this video, Simon Sinek delivers several gassy farts which you should walk away from swiftly and unapologetically, as you normally do with farts.
Some grew up rich. Some grew up poor. Some are Republicans. Some are fat. Some were born in France. Some watched Nickelodeon. Some were beaten by their parents. Some are twins. Some wet the bed till they were 8.
Do you see a pattern here? You shouldn’t. Millennials have nothing in common aside from being born during a certain range of years and a shitty economic crisis we inherited from the olds.
You cannot assign specific behavioral traits and a unique workplace temperament to a global cohort of people. Well, you can, if the point is to bullshit your audience in order to sell a book.
Right, 37-year old kids. Go on.
Sinek believes that we are simpletons, living in a fairytale world in which finding love and job satisfaction is like ordering a pizza off Seamless.
But only a simpleton would use a handful of empirical evidence to pin such a broad psychological analysis across 74.5 million Americans.
Here’s a crazy thought: Some “millennials” know how to form deep meaningful relationships. Other “millennials” don’t. They sound remarkably like humans across history.
Technology has always hindered some and propelled others. Before there was Tinder, there were dating sites. Before dating sites, there were sketchy chat forums. Before sketchy chat forums, there were personal ads in the newspaper. Before personal ads in the newspaper, there were yentas? Idk.
Aziz Ansari’s book on modern romance is a testament to how much harder we must work to find love, compared to our grandparents’ generation, who almost invariably sourced their life partners from down the street in their own neighborhood.
Yes, we are fully embroiled in the paradox of choice. Yes, we have an unprecedented level of social, romantic and economic opportunities, but we are fully aware of the arduous, long and difficult journey ahead of us.
The kids are just fine.
In the meantime, the only real thing we have to cope with is old people telling us what whiny, depressed losers we are.
This stream of hot, smelly air is the lie of all lies: that millennials lack patience, guts and fortitude.
It’s on these shaky grounds that old people request that young people quit buying $22 avocado toast in order to save for a house they couldn’t afford even if they never touched an avocado again.
It’s what they use to wag their fingers at young people who won’t move out of their parents’ homes, wait longer to get married and move from job to job.
Sinek specifically bemoans the untamable Millennial creature for craving impact in the workplace.
The truth is, if you feel you have no impact on the work, it means that your work has no impact on you. If you’re not getting out of your job, the smart thing to do is find one with a learning curve.
During these times, the feeling of making an impact is all we have left.
In our “millennial” world, incomes have been stagnant since the 2008 recession, our 401(k)s are potentially worthless and you would have to work an astounding 92 hours per week at minimum wage to afford a 1-bedroom apartment in the state of California.
We’re entering our prime years in the workforce with fewer health benefits, less job security, less earning power, while saddled with more college debt than any other living generation in the United States.
Millennials are not a problem generation and we are far from entitled. We are operating in a system that relentlessly demands our productivity and our best selves while simultaneously reducing us to the lowest common denominator.
Simon Sinek is just your grumpy grandpa, complaining that kids these days are too damn soft and when he was your age he walked 8 miles to school.
“Deep fulfillment” is an imaginary concept designed to sell self-help books to millennials. It’s funny, because neither one exists!
Sinek is concerned that we’ll never find “deep fulfillment”, as if it were a permanent state of earthly nirvana.
But neither did our grandparents or their grandparents, many of whom led perfectly pleasant lives without falling victim to this new age narcissism.
Thankfully, no one showed up in the fields where our ancestors toiled all day and peddled them such vague, impossible concepts. Perhaps they would have been miserable too!
Vaguely defined ideas like “joy” and “true love” and “deep fulfillment” — along with the expectation that we must achieve them during our prime working and child-bearing years — is setting a high, unachievable bar that is enough to send anyone into a spiraling depression.
I’ll take the contentment and general satisfaction of meaningful employment and good friends any day.
Don’t worry about us, Simon. We will figure it out!
Like this? Hate this? Come yell at me on Twitter — I’m @nandoodles.
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