5 Reasons Why Millennials Care More About Happiness Than Money

Discover the way our generation gauges success in terms of happiness, as opposed to just money, fame or power, in order to climb the broken ladder (corporate, personal or otherwise) that we have been left dealing with in the face of a challenging economy and a future that though it looks dim for some is still full of possibilities for millennials who are true to themselves. 

1. Break the Hyper-Connection Once in a While

Here is a fact that people will tell you, we are the first completely hyper-connected generation. A generation consumed by instant information and a generation unsure if it is a good or a bad thing! We know a little bit about a lot, reversing the conventional ways of people knowing a lot about a little bit. A generation with a short attention span, energy and very little direction to go with, in a sense we are all over the place.

2. Success: Feeling Good over Dollar Signs

In the face of an outdated and crippled economy, the measures of success are changing for millennials. The ladder is broken and people are using “happiness” as a new measure for success. People just want to be happy and no matter what they do an end result of happiness is either consciously or subconsciously the true goal.

So take the ingredients: a fast paced, instantly gratifying society, a broken economic machine that measures material wealth over mental wealth, and a generation with a million good ideas to change the world; mix them together and you get a sense of why more and more young people are turning to more intrinsically satisfying jobs over jobs that provide the most money. It is an important paradigm shift that will really change the roles of colleges, how corporations market themselves and the measure of success; and it is all happening right now. Just sit watch.

3. Not a Bum, Just Sittin’ on It

A common trend in millennial job-seekers is a desire to wait for their niche to appear. A millennial will take a high paying job that has no intrinsic value with the intention or desire to do something that is a genuine love or passion with a much lower check in the future. In other words, millennials are showing a value in happiness over a value in money.

All around, this desire to do something we love is showing positive results in the workplace. One study showed millennials liking their bosses more so than Gen-Xers or baby boomers. This would make sense, considering like minded people are doing a job they want to do because they put value in the job. It is not a job that pays, it is a job that they do for a reason. It is a job of quality.

In these tough economic times, jobs are not easy to come by and for many, any job is a good job. But, jobs have also become something much more transient. They seem to resemble stepping stones more than a final career choice, as the ladder once suggested. Jobs are becoming more building and networking opportunities than small ladders leading to the “top step.” They are stepping stones leading to an eventual place of happiness.

 4. Taking Time to Think: Be Back Later

Millennials are taking time to think. The Twentieth Century was turbulent and it greatly diminished the “think” factor. But, while some may see millennials as a coddled mass (and in some ways we are) millennials are also a generation of soul searchers who will not be pushed around or told where to go and what to do. Millennials are just stopping to think about one thing, “What does happiness mean for me?”For every person, happiness is relative and it is ever changing; but in the end, it is the ultimate pursuit. Every decision a person makes is with the ultimate goal of the thing we call “happiness,” the quality in life.

5. Hyper-connected Happiness

Millennials are aware of the shoddy hand we have been dealt and rather than dig the hole deeper, why not just live in the hole and be happy with what we do in it and over time believe that happiness will prevail. The more people feel generally happy, the lesser national and social and economic problems will weigh down our dialogues. Real change begins with each person. This is a very Millennial change happening in a characteristically hyper-connected way; we know when all of are friends are happy, sad or otherwise on Twitter, blogs, Facebook or Google and this influences our priorities and directions. People doing something that makes them happy spreads and the hyper-connection spreads it, instantly, and it grows. As a voice for our generation once said:

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."

-Herman Cain

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Adam Hogue

Adam Hogue is currently living, working and writing in Providence, RI. For the past two years, he has been living and working as an expat in Gwangju, Korea. He has been a contributing writer for Policymic with articles being shared by NPR and Salon Magazine. He is an avid reader who enjoys good humor. While overseas, he traveled through Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and New Zealand. Adam has a strong belief that the essay and #longreads will never go out of style.

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