The further I go, the more it seems that the only thing that separates the dreamers from the achievers is conviction. I think that all of us are blessed with flashes of inspiration but lots of us either fail to act on these ideas at all, or worse, fail to follow through consistently until the dream becomes reality.
We live in the most technologically advanced society ever to walk the planet but instead of using all the tools at our disposal to accomplish huge goals, the technology seems to be making us soft and impatient. Instead of inventing fire or growing crops, our young people are lying on the sofa eating chips. Or worse – they are filming themselves doing outrageous, dangerous stunts and posting them on the internet in a desperate plea for attention.
So here is my question for the week – what sort of values do we want our children and grandchildren to grow up with? What do we want them to believe – that extreme reckless behavior is the path to success; or that planning, dedication and application of education will result in milestones being achieved?
“But surely the answer is obvious!” you scoff. “Everyone knows that hard work and dedication pay off.”
And that is precisely the problem – we have become complacent too. We are walking around under the delusional assumption that this will blow over. But it won’t.
Social media has developed a fame crazed attention deficit generation who are absolutely convinced that if they try hard enough to stand out they will get noticed.
This is a difficult concept for our generation to grasp. When we were growing up, we idolized (or resented) the famous for their good fortune – saying it was all a fluke or a coincidence that they “got discovered”; but was it really? I would submit that all of the people we read about in the tabloids either were encouraged to do what it took to get themselves noticed, or were hand selected and cultivated by a producer or promoter on a mission to find the next rising star.
The problem today is that we live in a shock and awe culture with access to live broadcasting techniques, and every day it takes something more and more extreme to stand out. The social media generation is not short on conviction – but they might be lacking common sense. Did you know that there is a company that has paid for footage of snow boarders hurtling down the side of a mountain with an avalanche bearing down on them, and that more than one person has died in an effort to create this footage?
Not convinced? Consider the outrageous New Jersey party girl “Snookie” – she combined false eyelashes and outrageous drunken behaviour with an unplanned pregnancy and parlayed it into a reality TV show in which viewers watch her struggle to clean up her act and become a “good mother”. If that is not an example of how to become famous by being a party animal, then I don’t know what is.
So here is your assignment – the next time you see one of your younger family members ask them who they think is really cool, or who they wish they could really be. If they say Bill Gates, breathe a sigh of relief. If they name someone you have never heard of, start asking questions.