Millennials grew up in a world of winning: winning in technology, winning in education and even winning in participation, for just showing up. This mentality of “everybody wins” is detrimental to the human race, as it distorts reality.
Losing acts as a stimulant; when we lose, we try harder to win. This competitive nature breeds success. However, when everyone “succeeds,” is success really attainable? The answer is no.
According to Jean M. Twinge, author of the “Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement,” “We want to encourage effort, but the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ mentality basically says that you’re going to get rewarded for showing up. That won’t build true self-esteem.”
Participation awards have built a generation who hit the hard wall of reality. With millions unemployed, the time is now to change our ways and realize it is okay to lose. We are not all great at everything, nor should we be. Our mistakes show us where to improve, and our improvements show us where our mistakes lie. It’s time to create a society where distinguishments matter, and that “A” you worked for in biology shows your determination and achievement, not just your presence.
This detrimental mentality not only affects millennials but also everyone today. Take clothing sizes for example. The fashion industry has altered measurements for sizes, making size 10 now larger than the size 10 in the 1970s. This just makes consumers believe they still fit into their former size without truly facing reality. Society must stop catering to people’s feelings and finally show reality.
Generation Z is in a unique position. With the knowledge of their predecessor’s mistakes and the best education the world has ever had to offer, GenZ can make it acceptable to lose. Failing promotes perseverance, drive, determination – all traits of a successful and resilient human being. As Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Make sure to find those 10,000 failures in order to find the one light switch, and all else will be history.