You want meaning.
You want your work to be more than work. You want to care about it a lot. And also to be able to turn it off and not care about it when you want.
You want flexibility. You want remote work. You want community and connection. You want to travel. You want a sense of place.
You want tech everywhere. But you don’t want to be ruled by tech. You want tech to be the servant, not the master. You want to master it and not feel trapped by it.
You want to gain deep expertise without getting pigeonholed. You want to seize opportunities and experiment, but you don’t want to be left without options if you fail. You want to not let fear of failure stop you, but you don’t want to engage in fawning over failure itself.
You want a lot of money, but you don’t want to have to care about money.
You want to share your life and ideas publicly, but you want privacy. You want to live out loud and build a network, a brand, a following around your interests and abilities, but you don’t want to do cheesy self-promo, take some course on gaming the system, or have to be phony or scrub your online presence of humanity.
You want to entertain radical ideas while not being treated as a threat to stability.
You crave innovation and entrepreneurial action over protest and politics. You want to work with others on ideas you like without getting lumped into a collective mass or tribal war.
You want to engage without being labeled.
You want to be more than what some algorithm determines. You want to show more than some keyword scanner can find. You want to defy your advertising avatar. And you want companies to tailor their offerings to your tastes.
You want to stand out. You want to make a dent. You don’t want to burn out or be ignored.
You want to take the initiative, be the creative force in your own life. You don’t want to stand in line, follow orders, seek permission, wind through mazes, engage in meaningless ritual, tolerate monotony, signal conformity, or waste time and money playing social status games.
You want status, but you want to earn it by work, not buy it with paper.
You are the prove-it generation. The build-it generation. The show-it generation. The actions-over-words generation. But you don’t lack words and you don’t want to be told to shut up until you’re an expert. You want to be free to be a loud amateur, or a quiet expert, or anything in between.
You want honesty. You want clarity. You don’t want condescension, paternalism, or technobabble by authoritarian “experts.” You want results and open exploration by tinkerers and mischief-makers.
You know you’ve been given great gifts of wealth and technology and opportunity. You don’t take them for granted, but you refuse to be satisfied with this abundance or grovel as unworthy inheritors.
You’re not afraid to be optimistic and refuse to stay put. You maintain discontent optimism.
You don’t expect to be taken care of and won’t tolerate being controlled.
You know you have to work much harder to build a life you love than to simply exist in one you tolerate. But you’re willing to put in the work. It’s the challenge you want to embrace. The adventure you’re ready to embark on. You don’t fear work, you fear waste. But you resist robotic efficiency without frivolity.
You seem demanding, paradoxical, petty, grand, boring, thrill-seeking, narrow, and broad all at once to the generations before you. You’re comfortable owning all these attributes and more. You hold no malice and seek no violent revolution. You want to build, not destroy. Add, not subtract. Make flaws irrelevant by replacement, not debate and reform.
You don’t care what they call you or label you. You just want to do you. And you will.
Keep it up.
There’s nothing wrong with your generation.