The article explains why Gen Y yuppies (whom the author nicknames GYPSYs) are unhappy. It suggests 3 reasons:
1. Happiness = Reality – Expectations
We (GYPSYs) have unreasonably high expectations.
Our parents and grandparents’ generations had simpler goals: secure jobs, homeownership, a loving family.
The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security. The fact is, a green lawn isn’t quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY. Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.
(The stick-figure artwork is a plus)
According to Cal Newport, the phrase “follow your passion” barely existed 20 years ago!
This reality-expectations gap is made worse because…
2. GYPSYs think they’re special and unique
We not only have higher goals, but we measure success in comparison to everyone else. And there’s always someone smarter/richer/better-looking/etc
“Sure,” Lucy has been taught, “everyone will go and get themselves some fulfilling career, but I am unusually wonderful and as such, my career and life path will stand out amongst the crowd.” So on top of the generation as a whole having the bold goal of a flowery career lawn, each individual GYPSY thinks that he or she is destined for something even better—A shiny unicorn on top of the flowery lawn.
These comparisons are easier than ever to make, due to…
3. The downsides of social media
Social media creates a world for Lucy where A) what everyone else is doing is very out in the open, B) most people present an inflated version of their own existence, and C) the people who chime in the most about their careers are usually those whose careers (or relationships) are going the best, while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation.
Their solution? Stay ambitious. Stop thinking you’re “special”. Ignore others’ success.
A (sarcastic?) reader comment:
This is pretty cool… except I am special. Call me a gypsy, but I studied a real major in college, went on to get my masters, had a 4.0 throughout, got my dream job, earn great money, have a smokin’ hot wife, a big house, nice car, a muscular physique and am smarter than most people I have ever known or met.
Thanks Alex for the find.