I know many young people feel the world doesn’t take them seriously.
They might be in their tweens, their teens, even their early ’20s or later.
And whenever they think of an idea, or they come up with a plan, people don’t even give it a second thought. It’s always the same:
“Yeah, but what would you know? Come back when you have some experience.”
And yet the funny thing is – for a certain definition of funny – old people say the same thing happens to them.
No one takes their ideas seriously.
Everyone looks for the younger people, the people who are more up to date, more in touch, more energetic or whatever.
As if experience were a bad thing…
So we have on the one hand young people being pushed aside until they have more experience. And on the other, there’s old people being pushed aside as if they’ve already been used up.
If you’re on the receiving end of this, it sucks.
But you know choosing to play the victim is no choice at all.
What can you do about it?
I invite you to think about things this way:
Youth is a virtue and so is age, but the great thing is that they’re not the same virtue.
They are different – even complementary.
Just think about all the positive things about being young – things like enthusiasm and energy and optimism and just this relentless drive to keep going.
And think about all the good things that come with age, like wisdom, experience and instinct, and just being able to see through the nonsense with a bit more perspective.
Whatever situation you’re in, whether you’re too young to be taken seriously, or too old to be taken seriously, or somewhere in between, I invite you to bring the best of both of those qualities.
You have two ways to do that:
The first is to lean into the strengths of your stereotype. If you lack experience, how can you compensate for that with your greater mental flexibility?
(After all, you haven’t learned bad habits or false limitations yet…)
And if your credentials aren’t as fresh as the next person’s, how can you compensate for that with your worldly wisdom?
Some things to think about there.
The second strategy is to prove the haters wrong.
If you’re young, then how can you be wise? How can you have a broader perspective on things?
And if you are older, think about all the ways that you could be enthusiastic and energetic again.
It’s a classic strategy:
Lean in to your strengths and develop your weaknesses.
Give it some thought and you’ll find the answers.
Then again, maybe you want a shortcut.
So how about a list of 60 actionable ways you can improve your life, right now?
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