The times they are always changing

The generation of our grandparents who have lived during World War II, were obsessed with economic security and raised their children to build practical, secure careers. It was important to work hard and make a living, to never again live as worse as during the war. So they told their children (our parents) to look for a secure job and make sure their children have it even better than they have. My parents, born during World War II and like most people their age, were raised in a house without a toilet, television, car, telephone, etc. And they started working since their childhood, because basically, there was no other choice. My mother had to look after her own family at a very young age and my father, who had learned to make wooden furniture, worked hard to build a business and a house his family never needed to take a vacation from, because there was no time to travel.

When they were building a life, the world entered the Golden 60s, an afterwar time of economic prosperity, new found optimism and exciting inventions. Older generations will always say that in their time, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. But for many people who were able to have a job in the 60s and 70s and worked hard, prices actually were reasonable. My parents were proud to be able to buy their first car when they were already in their 30’s. They deserved a good life, although they never showed off with what they had accomplished. Overall, many people in their time did it better than they expected to and this left them with a feeling of gratification and optimism for the future.

Have a look at Kamp44, a Dutch community that strives to keep World War II alive, an historical period that should not be forgotten.

When we entered the job market around the new millennium and after, the economical crisis had started and we were told to (once more) look for a secure job. But the times had changed, traditional companies with a pyramidal structure were already on a decline and turnover rates became high. For people who were born around 1980 (Generation Y) the journey became a little different. People started to realise that working for the same company all their lives became a rare option, and that it seemed to be important to also have fun on the ride.

Therefore, I believe the internet is the perfect answer to the economical crisis, because now anyone can put his services online at an incredibly low cost. Maybe you want to sell your handmade jewels via your own facebook page, promote your consultancy services on a small website, or teach others a skill you already master on Udemy. Whether you already have a job and want to earn some money on the side, or you decide to take a plunge and start your own business, the possibilities are endless. That doesn’t mean it will be easy to set up your own projects and earn your own money, but your chances are quite the same as for everyone else! The only thing that might hold you back is probably your own mindset.

Other people’s grass often seems greener and in today’s image crafted (Facebook) world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. Because people are only posting stuff when things are going well, we may think that everybody else is only living “the good life”. The truth is that everybody can be just as indecisive, self-doubting and frustrated as everyone else. The times they are always changing and we cannot control this. But if you just do your thing:

  • Your happiness won’t depend on the amount of money on your bank account.
  • You don’t have a feeling that you actually have to work in the way your grandparents used to do.
  • For most of our lives, we live by a script that tells us how and when to move from one stage to another. From school to work and marriage, we all know what’s traditionally expected of us, but we could just as well tear up this rulebook and write a new script, which is terrifying and thrilling as well!
  • You’ll be able to achieve your own version of life!
  • And a small note, much less important but it still gracefully comes along with it: you’ll never have any reason to envy others.