XGen, the oldest Millennials and youngest GenX (1970-1985) have grown up preparing for a crisis. We didn't know that our enviroment was shaping us - but we have a unique set of skills that are serving us well.
In series 1 of the LeaderX podcast, our "bet you remember this" feature takes listeners on a trip down memory lane, to help remind you of why you are different. Before I share your unique gifts, I want to take a tongue-in-cheek trip down memory lane.
Home alone was the ultimate movie for surviving lockdown without your friends and family around. You have to think for yourself, get creative and get resourceful. And for any 1980's kid, you were primed for a going it alone, from cold war with movies like "when the wind blows", Terminator, or finding inner strength from Rocky, Karate Kid and learning from Yoda.
No surprise our adulthood was spent watching castaway, 28 days later and fight club.
The time stealers:
Xgen kids grew up idling the hours away in some kind of activity. Whether your were programming your commador 64 or spectrum, playing snakes on your nokia or practicing social distance supermarket shopping with PacMan, slowing down and losing yourself for hours is kind of normal.
And all of those hours making mix tapes and collecting key rings, rubbers or practicing tricks with your hacky sacks taught you patience and perseverance.
Autonomy. Being the first kids to experience 2 parents working - but without the new helicopter parenting approach - you grew up self-reliant, independent thinkers who are actually pretty good at hanging out with yourself. You have been making your own decisions about what you do, what you eat and whether or not to do your homework or not for years. So working remotely isn't that strange for you.
Freedom. With that autonomy, you also grew up with a freedom mindset. You grew up being a free thinker, an optimistic realist and pretty skeptical of group thinking. You want to live life on your terms, as long as you aren't hurting anyone else - so you are totally doing social distancing, whilst keeping a freedom mindset - focusing on what you have, rather than what you don't have.
Relationship. Family was in transition in your youth. Divorces, blended families and hardworking parents meant being adaptable and flexible in relationships. You found your tribe - your people - and hung out with them. You formed friendships easily, but invested deeply in just a few. So hanging out on zoom or chatting on whattsap with friend groups is essential for connection, but you make sure you are checking-in with the really important relationships in your life.
Fun. Having seen our stressed out parents, and periods of real fear (cold war, aids, ozone layer, Iraq war), you learned to laugh our way out of crisis. Life is heavy enough, o you choose to inject fun into everything you do. Nicknamed the perpetual peter pans who never want to grow up, you find comfort in play, playing music loud, games and BBQ's.
Experience. You don't have the boomer mindset that life is a destination - waiting for life to start after retirement - or the millennial YOLO, so everyday needs to be awesome. Instead you know that life is filled with moments, it is a journey, so you don't sweat the small stuff. You also know that on that journey, you continue learning, growing and developing, so you are happy to spend your time reading, learning and trying new skills.
The Covid-19 pandemic is real, it is happening and it is serious. I too am a realist - but the optimism and abundance mindset of XGen is sure helping me through it. I hope you too will draw from your inner strengths and skills to find your way through. Stay safe, stay well and stay connected.
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