A business colleague posted an article about millennial’s economic future looking bleak. He asked if this generation deserved a break, especially after two recessions, the rising cost of living and being entrenched in student debt? I started to answer his post until I saw that a millennial had posted the same article. Her plea for a do over and student loan forgiveness stirred up hundreds of comments from well-meaning people who were very divided in their views. It was a mirror into what’s happening in our world today and the deep division it’s created. In their effort to be helpful, they instead left her feeling judged. Her response that you give me advice without knowing who I am and my situation compelled me to write this article.
The financial inequities we face today and the divisions they are creating are staggering, especially for millennials! According to an article in the New York Times, it’s becoming ever more challenging for young people to accumulate wealth, shaping a future very different than what we once considered the American Dream. Home ownership is increasingly out of reach and rent prices are skyrocketing.
In almost every way possible, millennials in the U.S. are doing worse financially than the generations that came before them. Morning Consult’s quarterly report, The State of Consumer Banking and Payments which tracks evolving financial trends reports 46% of millennials said their finances control their life (compared to 33% of all U.S. adults) and 45% said that because of their money situation, they feel they will never have the things they want in life.
The financial divide we’ve created between those at the top and everyone else is alarming. Billionaires with unfathomable amounts of disposable income are blasting into space in the midst of a pandemic, as millennials find themselves burdened with overwhelming student loans and barely making rent. When the divide is this deep, it manifests well beyond financial realities, upper vs lower class (the middle is disappearing!) but generationally, between genders, races. Our experience of life and how we view the world has become radically different as well.
Unfortunately, the generation who’ll be left to deal with the long-term ramifications are millennials, now the largest generation in the U.S. Labor force. As one millennial posted:
Millennials can’t do it alone. In addition to doing what we can to dismantle the structures that create such inequities, they need our support with the daily realities, not our lectures. Yes, every generation had to face challenges that the previous didn’t. They suffered in their own way. But does that mean, because I suffered and came through it, you must suffer, suck it up, figure it out and overcome your challenges?! Hmm……I can hear voices yelling “Yes!!”
Consider this: If we’re going to turn around a society that’s deeply divided so we create a world that we all can live in, it starts with each of us. Can we let go of our right/wrong judgments and instead look within and find our compassion for others, especially our young people that are the future? If we continue to lecture them with our ideas and opinions which we perceive as right, they continually hear that what they’re doing is wrong. This doesn’t open them to new possibilities because they’re too busy defending their position.
What if instead we surround young people with a community that sees their gifts; that instead of telling them what they’re doing wrong, affirms the gifts we see in them? This opens conversations about how they can use their gifts in ways that can better support them and others. What if in doing this, they begin to come up with the answers to solve their problems and change the world for the better? Can this be a small thing we can do to begin to close the deep divide we’ve created?
As an executive coach, I’ve witnessed the power of seeing the gifts in others – how people feel valued and seen for who they are and do what’s seems impossible – how it’s turned companies and cultures around that I’ve worked with.
This “seeing” Tony LoRe, founder & CEO of Youth Mentoring Connection calls Sawubona (Zulu for “I see you.”). After seeing its transformational impact on thousands of inner-city millennial youths, I asked him to mentor me. Sawubona and his Gift-Centered Approach (in 30 countries) is closing the divide between at-risk youth who never thought they’d live past 18 to productive citizens, graduating from universities like USC and Harvard. It’s transformed the way I coach executives, so they close the gap between how they connect with and care for their people, especially in a post-COVID world, to how their people respond with the motivation to use their gifts to find innovative solutions – ones that help the company fulfill their mission because they feel seen and accepted for who they are. It’s creating cultures of well-being, purpose and profits.
How can you close the gap in your own way, so we help our young people create a world we can all thrive in and a shared future that changes our world for the better?
To learn more, check out my bestselling book, “Leadership’s Perfect Storm: What Millennials Are Teaching Us about Possibilities Passion and Purpose.” All proceeds are donated to Youth Mentoring Connection.
* Sawubona: A Zulu greeting meaning “I see you.”
Is Crypto Safe? What You Need to Know
What You Need to Know About Crypto Security
The cryptocurrency market is booming with more new coins and startups than ever, but they’re not all created equal. Cryptocurrency is a trailblazing technology that could overhaul the financial systems of the future. However, it’s wise to do your homework before actively trading or investing in cryptocurrencies with price volatility and privacy concerns.
What Is A Cryptocurrency?
Digital money that makes use of cryptography to safeguard transactions and regulate the generation of new units is called Cryptocurrency. It’s called a cryptocurrency because it relies on cryptography’s encrypted form of data. Cryptography also provides anonymity for users by obscuring their identity and, indeed, all aspects of their transactions.
Cryptocurrencies can be mined, traded or used to purchase goods and services. A person would have to rely on already established relationships with merchants or banks to make purchases in the past.
How Safe Is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is more than an idea to create a digital form of currency at its core. Cybercriminals have learned that they can target these digital currencies because they are not regulated and not backed by any government. In theory, it’s tough to track down the source or the location of cryptocurrency transactions.
Cryptocurrencies are a prime target opening for cybercriminals since it’s difficult to trace transactions and identify the individuals involved.
How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrencies
Cybersecurity in Cryptocurrency is a common issue and one that you should be aware of if considering an investment. Though the concerns are real, these problems can be mitigated mainly through a few simple security steps before trading or investing in Cryptocurrency.
Here are some basics steps to help secure your account from Cryptocurrency transactions:
Enable two-step authentication and password protect your computer when searching for cryptocurrency exchanges. This will prevent anyone from accessing your machines if they are stolen or hacked.
Use a Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network (VPN) is a computer network where you can hide your proper IP address. If a hacker were to try and break into your account, they would see an IP address from the VPN, so it would be impossible to gain access.
Backup Your Wallet
Backup information that includes public address and private keys. This will help you retrieve any lost currency or prevent others from transferring Cryptocurrency from your wallet.
Use Multiple Wallets
Using more than one Cryptocurrency wallet helps protect your investment from theft even if your account is compromised. If you have a cryptocurrency wallet on multiple devices and platforms, it’s easy to keep a backup of your information in case of an account breach.
What Are the Risks Associated with Cryptocurrency?
With all the blockchain talk about decentralization and anonymity, getting swept up in the hype is easy. Cryptocurrency has become a rapidly growing portion of the investing market, and many retail investors are looking to trade or invest in cryptocurrencies.
While the technology behind cryptocurrencies is impressive, risks are rushing, making trading and investing in Cryptocurrency risky for inexperienced traders.
Phishing scams come in many forms, including emails and text messages. These scams can occur on an individual or a more general level, as most commonly happens. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes information on detecting phishing scams. Still, it’s hard to tell the difference between a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange and an imposter because most large cryptocurrency exchanges do not have contact information listed for regulatory reasons.
Cryptocurrency is a very volatile market that can swing wildly in either direction in almost no time at all. All cryptocurrencies are responsive to news, which can cause price changes within minutes or hours. There are also several different types of currencies, so you may have a hard time getting used to the volatility of each type. If you see only one digital currency (e.g., Bitcoin), it’s easy to assume stability when it’s still highly volatile.
While using crypto for online payments is a convenient method to pay for products and services, there are significant hazards involved with such transactions. When you pay for anything using bitcoin, you have no way of knowing the seller’s identity or having your payment details validated by a third party. You’re on your own if there’s an issue with the transaction.
With online purchases, you don’t have access to a complaint process, and there is no recourse if something goes wrong. This all results in anonymous transactions that pose risks online. As long as Cryptocurrency continues its rapid growth, this will be an iCryptocurrencyilers and sellers will need to solve.
Cryptocurrency is a highly sought-after currency for investors due to its untraceable nature and ability to exchange value without interference from a third party, such as a bank. However, this feature also makes it an appealing target for cybercriminals.
If you’re considering investing or trading in Cryptocurrency, educate yourself on the processes used to make transactions and invest your money safely and securely with reliable services that vet every transaction before letting it go through. Before diving in headfirst, make sure you research the different types of Cryptocurrency available and what risks are associated with each one. For more information on Cryptocurrency and its different types, visit our blog now!
Where did the Zero Go?
For as long as I can remember, I always looked around me, mainly at other boys, to get a sense of where I stood, of who I was.
It’s as if I had drawn a horizontal line with pluses on one side and minuses on the other and my position was the zero. There was that really cool kid, he was a plus, there was the dorky boy, he was a minus… At times being in the presence of pluses was inspiring but it was mostly threatening, because at that moment, it didn’t matter how many minuses existed or whether my “zero’ was pretty high up there, all I could see was a plus, and that made me the minus.
This applied to everything; from being good at sports to drawing or reading or the way I looked or how smart I was or how popular or cool I felt at any given moment. It wasn’t really about how I was feeling though, I could feel like a million bucks but if a plus walked in along any of the possible categories that I valued, my insecurities would immediately trigger.
I became really good at growing and repositioning my zero, or my reference point, and became a master at gauging others, categorizing and comparing. I didn’t just compare myself with the world, I was also comparing myself to different versions of myself…where was I at any given moment, compared to where I had been before, or where I could be, or even worse… where I should be.
As some of the things I valued started to loose importance, new ones came online. Having the coolest Star-wars set got traded for being liked by the most girls, having academic success got traded for being regarded as witty and successful, being the coolest got replaced by getting to be the kindest…and so it went.
Then entered spirituality, the fix for all my struggles, or so I thought. It didn’t actually stop the comparison, because I turned it into the new playing field; The new standard where I got to measure and prove how special I was. There was a new flag to catch, and that was enlightenment.
I got really good at sustaining a very high level of consciousness, at being present, not judging people, being happy and all the things that came with paying close attention to my thoughts and emotions. I became particularly good at showing people how spiritual I was.
What a perfect solution… no more pluses to encounter because spirituality now trumped all. Someone could be successful and good looking and everything else that would make me feel less, but odds were they weren’t more spiritual than me; my spiritual zero was really up there. It felt like I had figured things out.
My sense of self was so invested in this new spiritual identity that I defended it with all I had. Seeing my attachment to it, was truly humbling.
I realized taking the next step required the willingness to let go of my spiritual crutch. I had to come to terms with my addiction. My fix was the next high, amazing insight or awakening experience. In essence, not much different from looking for the next toy or business deal and believing it was going to make me happy. Accepting this, meant recognizing the fate of the game I was playing: no matter how meaningful it seemed at the time, no success had ever been enough, no amount of recognition or validation had ever ended my need for it, no spiritual high had ever quenched that thirst; I was an addict and it was never going to be enough.
As if just having been defeated for the millionth time at a video game and throwing the game controller on the floor, I felt the air sucked out of me and the engines behind that drive snuffing out. It wasn’t the bells and whistles of winning; it was the blinking “game-over“ sign on the screen.
A New Energy
Life started to take on a different flavor from that point on. The old energy of attaining comes and visits but it’s seen as an old friend that used to be so familiar and I’ve grown apart from. The zero seems to bubble up but it’s now seen as just a thought looking for friction and contrast to find its bearings.
Old dynamics still sometimes play themselves out, emotions still surface and I sometimes find myself reacting in the ways I used to. Now however, they seem to happen within a larger context and they are recognized as just temporary experiences not as things that define an “me” or a zero.
When these thoughts or emotions are happening in the absence of a reference point, there’s no separation between the experience and the experiencer. All that’s left, is a deep intimacy with life that moves through the world with an open heart and mind.
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