Posts tagged suggested
Posts tagged suggested
I think I’ve finally got the list in order. I’m a little disappointed in this year’s list, as I only had about 17 albums to choose from. And my top 3 were fairly obvious. But c’est la vie. So without further adieu:
- Bon Iver - Bon Iver
- Drew Barefoot - Forrest Creatures*
- Dangerous Summer - War Paint
- New Found Glory - Radiosurgery
- Hellogoodbye - Would It Kill You?
- K.Flay - I Stopped Caring in ‘96
- The Head and The Heart - The Head and The Heart
- Owen - Ghost Town
- Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math
- Childish Gambino - Camp
* This album didn’t come out in 2011, but there was no way for me to discover it then and I’m making the exception just this once.
by Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D.
“Men resemble the times more than they resemble their fathers.” - Ancient Arab proverb
There’s been a lot of talk recently about people of my generation. Often referred to as Millenials, GenX or GenY, Jean Twenge calls us: Generation Me (GenMe). Those of us born after 1971 (though I personally think post-1980 is more accurate), for the most part, we are the children and grandchildren of the Boomers. We are too young to have really experienced any part of the Cold War or remember a time before the Internet. We grew up with sesame street and most of us were still in school when 9/11 happened.
At the beginning of the last chapter, Twenge sums up GenMe as follows:
So here’s how it looks: Generation Me has the highest self-esteem of any generation, but also the most depression. We are more free and equal, but also more cynical. We expect to follow our dreams, but are anxious about making that happen.
From the rest of the book, it appears GenMe has a pretty steady dichotomy of traits. On average, we have higher self-esteem and we are more free and accepting of other cultures and lifestyles. We are for greater equality and are more confident and assertive. The flip side is that we also have higher anxiety and depression, take criticism poorly and are easily disheartened and cynical (especially with politics). We feel entitled and are generally more narcissistic than those that came before.
According to Twenge, it appears most of GenMe’s biggest problems (being directionless, loneliness, narcissism, anxiety/depression, apathy, lack of community) stem from one common place: the meritless “self-esteem” programs we took part in as children. From very early on, we are taught that “everyone is special” and that “we can be anything we want to be.” But these ideas are fed to us without teaching us WHY we are special and how we can be better. There isn’t an emphasis on teaching self control or hard work, but merely that we are all “unique snowflakes.” As a result, we have become increasingly more narcissistic and selfish than previous generations. We put a great deal of focus on our own needs, resulting in older generations often perceiving us as spoiled. And it’s because of this increased emphasis on self, and always being told we are special, that we tend to look down upon conformity, and value personal expression and individuality (this might help explain why so many of us are so appearance obsessed and why trends like tattoos and piercings have increased in popularity).
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Granted, you could probably save yourself a lot of time and just read the last chapter and get a pretty decent overview of what was talked about and what the author thinks we should do to better deal with members of “Generation Me” as well as what changes we should make to prevent some of the negative traits in future generations. I’m not entirely sold that Twenge is totally accurate in her depiction of my generation, but I realize that I’m biased and I’ve really only had a limited and probably sheltered experience with my own generation. That being said, I think she was pretty spot on with a vast majority of her points, so it’s definitely worth a read if this type of thing interests you.
Check out Jessica Livingston’s post: What Stops Female Founders? it reveals the advice she would give to her 25-year-old-self.
I think it’s a wonderful post. I left my job in the corporate world to take the full plunge into our NYC based startup when I was 24. The post is a completely accurate…
I really enjoyed this article. The advice Livingston gives, while probably targeted and very appropriate for women, is definitely relatable to men as well. Definitely worth the read.
Successful women know only too well that in any male-dominated profession, we often find ourselves at a distinct disadvantage. We are routinely underestimated, underutilized, and even underpaid. Studies show that women need to perform at extraordinarily high levels, just to appear moderately competent compared to our male coworkers.
But in my experience, smart and talented women rarely realize that one of the toughest hurdles they’ll have to overcome to be successful lies within. We judge our own abilities not only more harshly, but fundamentally differently, than men do. Understanding why we do it is the first step to righting a terrible wrong. And to do that, we need to take a step back in time.
Chances are good that if you are a successful professional today, you were a pretty bright fifth grade girl. My graduate advisor, psychologist Carol Dweck (author of Mindset) conducted a series of studies in the 1980s, looking at how bright girls and boys in the fifth grade handled new, difficult and confusing material.
She found that bright girls, when given something to learn that was particularly foreign or complex, were quick to give up - and the higher the girls’ IQ, the more likely they were to throw in the towel. In fact, the straight-A girls showed the most helpless responses. Bright boys, on the other hand, saw the difficult material as a challenge, and found it energizing. They were more likely to redouble their efforts, rather than giving up.
Why does this happen? What makes smart girls more vulnerable, and less confident, when they should be the most confident kids in the room? At the 5th grade level, girls routinely outperform boys in every subject, including math and science. So there were no differences between these boys and girls in ability, nor in past history of success. The only difference was how bright boys and girls interpreted difficulty - what it meant to them when material seemed hard to learn. Bright girls were much quicker to doubt their ability, to lose confidence, and to become less effective learners as a result.
Researchers have uncovered the reason for this difference in how difficulty is interpreted, and it is simply this: more often than not, bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.
How do girls and boys develop these different views? Most likely, it has to do with the kinds of feedback we get from parents and teachers as young children. Girls, who develop self-control earlier and are better able to follow instructions, are often praised for their “goodness.” When we do well in school, we are told that we are “so smart,” “so clever, ” or ” such a good student.” This kind of praise implies that traits like smartness, cleverness, and goodness are qualities you either have or you don’t.
Boys, on the other hand, are a handful. Just trying to get boys to sit still and pay attention is a real challenge for any parent or teacher. As a result, boys are given a lot more feedback that emphasizes effort (e.g., “If you would just pay attention you could learn this,” “If you would just try a little harder you could get it right.”) The net result: when learning something new is truly difficult, girls take it as sign that they aren’t “good” and “smart”, and boys take it as a sign to pay attention and try harder.
We continue to carry these beliefs, often unconsciously, around with us throughout our lives. And because bright girls are particularly likely to see their abilities as innate and unchangeable, they grow up to be women who are far too hard on themselves - women who will prematurely conclude that they don’t have what it takes to succeed in a particular arena, and give up way too soon…
I think this should be titled, “The Trouble with Bright Kids.” While I have no idea if it’s more prevalent with girls or boys, I’ve definitely seen it happen to both, regardless of gender. It’s more, like this article says, an issue of emphasis on being “smart” and “great” and not so much on hard work and self control. This is similar to the issue of meritless self-esteem building. Children are taught that they are wonderful and special, but not encouraged to grow their skills and develop through hard work.
Take the time and watch this. It’s only 20 minutes, but I think it might be my favorite TED talk yet.
Tom Preston-Werner at Startup School 2010: Optimizing for happiness
A bit long, but I enjoyed this.