I’ve had a great week in Lincoln visiting family, despite the cold! I also had the opportunity to spend time with those we now refer to as ‘Millenials’, a term many use in a negative context.
What struck me was that far from being this narsasitic generation they are portrayed to be, they are authentic. They will tell you their priorities, including putting themselves first!
Put on your oxygen mask
Many of us have learned to place others above ourselves. As a parent this is essential. However, even as a parent if we are not well rested and looking after ourselves we cope less well with looking after our children.
I often speak about Purposed leaders, those who have a sense of being called to achieve a goal bigger than themselves to the benefit of others. However, even Servant leaders must make time for themselves. Jesus often went off alone to pray (Luke 5:16). Being in the presence of the Lord, is like oxygen, it rejuvinates us. Even, if you don’t have faith in Jesus times of quiet reflection are restorative.
Millenials seem better able to set boundaries and say No to things encroaching on their priorities (obviously a generalisation). Many are able to prioritise themselves without feeling guilty. Whilst some may do this selfishly, and let’s be honest we can all be selfish, many are simply putting on their oxgen mask. It’s not that they think they’re more important. Afterall we’re told Millenials care deeply about causes.
Being authentic and bold
It takes being authentic to tell others you are making yourself a priority. Also a boldness to do it, even if you’ll be judged. I remember when my husband and I decided to move abroad. It was a tough decision leaving our families behind, especially when we’re close and the children we’re write young. Some felt it was selfish of us but we knew we were supposed to move. It took us a while to make the decision because of this.
Millennials seem to be better at authenticity. We joke about living in an age of TMI (Too Much Information), but I value this. When my step- daughter’s or my niece’s and nephews, who are Millenials, feel comfortable enough to tell me what they really think that’s a blessing. Such real talk is the key to communication and relationship.
A lesson to be learned
The ability to prioritise, including making ourselves a priority is a lesson we all need to learn.
How many times have you agreed to something when you should have said No?When we are tired, have no conviction for a thing or simply feel a need to get off the treadmill and getaway we need to say No. Being able to prioritise and set boundaries is critical in leadership.
So this week as you think about your schedule and prioritising your time. Make time for yourself, to re- charge and consider it a lesson from the Millenials!
Have a great weekend.