Sunday, October 17, 2010

Our Generation.

Count me as one of the few born after 1985 who has yet to see the quote un-quote movie of our generation. What is our generation? Are we Generation Y? Millennials? KanyeWestonites? For serious. Everyone in my peer group just wants to be Great.

The Social Network

Before I explain why I have been avoiding the story of Zuckerberg like it's a manic childhood phobia, let us first observe the most integral what I believe to be the most integral contributors to greatness.

Discovery of what your are good at it and passionately applying it to a vision.
(I've tried tirelessly to rid the random white spaces. HTML is not letting be great. (>_<) )
My Three Non-Related Inspirations and please do not judge the corny quotient.:

I found myself watching a DVR'd episode of this week's Grey's Anatomy per usual and literally began contemplating my life and my very existence when the neurotic Biologist patient passionately explained to Dr. Yang that "when you find something you love and that you are good at, you dive deeper and never let it go."

Hoda Kotb of The Today Show was on The Tom Joyner Morning Show. I'm unsure if what she said was all too profound. But when it's timely, it is always profound. Right? 
She was promoting her book, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee, and besides appreciating her humor, she said something that struck a nerve. 
She states that she did not learn to be her own advocate until later in life. She always believed that if you worked diligently, eventually, advancement should come naturally. However, one unassuming day she found herself feeling unconventional and and did something she had NEVER thought to do or thought she could do. At the time, she had recently learned that a new hour was going to be introduced on The Today Show and requested a meeting with her boss where she then expressed her interest and why she was the host that should be chosen. 
That simple. She asked for a raise. And convincingly. 
Now she's bffl's with Kathie Lee.

Sometimes in the mornings, preparing for the work day to come, I find myself listening to to the diction-less Steve Harvey. I know. I'm too young for the middle-aged morning crew (see Tom Joyner reference above), but I get a good chuckle out of it. And the crisp and pleasant voices of Shirley Strawberry and Carla Ferrell cancel out Steve's mumblings. If  you have ever  listened to this morrning show, you know circa 6:00 AM, due to his late life finding of the Lord, Steve gets all Evangelical. ...I let him be great. But recently he went off on a tangent that actually moved my sardonic spirit. Of all people... Steve Harvey said it best: "Finding what you're good at is the blessing itself." 

Having internalized the aforementioned for quite some time, I'll now explain my aversion of Facebook: The Movie That Has Distressed a Generation

A Summary of The Social Network From Someone Who Has Not Actually Seen The Social Network
  • Without great risk, no great reward.
  • Witty intelligent douche-lite's (Definition of Douche-Lite: Shy misunderstood young man, who does not possess classic good looks and charm, but has the biting tongue and Adam Brody Michael Cera essence to qualify for this classification.) of snark, applying their learned skills to create a technological revolution.
  • Outliers and their success origins. 
  • Elite New England culture and the inference that we should all be jealous of it...

You know? 
I just was not (am not) ready to subject myself to a lesson in becoming the next Steve Jobs Bill Gates, as if it isn't already what I ponder on the daily. 

I think there is something to be said about truly mastering something in particular. Those who do are simply better situated to exploit and recognize what's missing/needed/desired and more importantly, they are equipped to do it themselves. 

Zuckerberg created Facebook as a joke. A pet project if you will. 
And really, what he did was create a website that was a very basic extension of what ALL post-secondary institutions had at the time. 
A Freshman "Face Book" website. 
Cornell had it the summer before my freshman year, the year after Facebook started. Cornell's Freshman Face Book was essentially a website where the incoming freshman were encouraged to join to create profiles, list shared interests, join groups, become more acquainted with one another. 
You catching my drift?
Facebook founders entered the arena and thought:
"Hey, what if we made a site like all the freshman face book websites of our respective schools and combine them for HYP (Harvard Yale Princeton) students so that I can be popular?!" 
The remainder of the Ivy (and of course MIT) was added and you know the rest... 
I doubt he thought starting a frivolous and orginally exclusively Ivy League student profile website was novel or genius. 
But is that not how plenty of success stories begin? From a very basic/simple origin?  

My point?
He was able to exploit that untapped opportunity because he knew how to create complex websites, coding, etc... 
IT/Engineering/Mathematics: Those learned in analytical fields are well positioned. They have already mastered a technical skill set in an era of technological innovation. They understand the logic and reasoning needed for complex scenarios. They apply that to life. 

Being in an academic setting/professional field where creation is a constant (a code, a macro, a function, an algorithm, a WEBSITE) guarantees that innovation is inevitable. It is the nature of their field. They are given the opportunity more so than others to create en masse. The laws of probability dictate that eventually one of their side tinkerings, academic assignments, professional projects is going to be something of note that can be marketed to the masses, intentionally or unintentionally. 

Mastering a craft.  
It's one sure fire way to increase finding what you are good at. And at the very least, it's a definite way to guarantee you are always marketable. Always able to be the one innovating. 

The same applies to those who learn a specific non-technical skill-set, albeit: 
Fine Cuisine. 
Apparel Design. 

Learn it. Love it. Live it. 

Am I Are you the next Anna Wintour or are you the next Ed Haldeman?
Are you the next Coco Chanel or are you the next Keith Black?
Are you the next Pablo Picasso or are you the next Deion Sanders (Any reason not to mention Kobe. Damn... Too late.)

My fellow Millennials, 

Do not be discouraged!

Do not let Zuckerberg and his billions get you down!

You too, will be Great. 

It is written. At least for me. Screw the rest of you. ...I joke!

And maybe I'll eventually give The Social Network a viewing party. I'll have a bottle of my boo Jose handy for any unexpected bouts of bitterness. 
It's not good for the spirit. 

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