Orrin Woodward and the leadership of LIFE/TEAM have made it possible for the Y-generation to cure the common mis-conceptions that have been dealt by offering an opportunity for us ‘millennials’ to have the chance to pursue excellence.

I have been asked by a few people to write an article stating my opinion about being part of the Team as a young woman (yes born in the mid 80’s when Twisted Sister and Madonna gained popularity) and some personal advice or experience while on this journey.

I would just like to give a little background on ‘my’ people – also known as generation Y, the Millennials and the digital generation. If you were born somewhere around 1980 to the late 1990’s you would fall in this category. There have been many pre-conceived notions surrounding ‘us.’ Ever heard these comments about the ‘young’ people of today:

            • Spoiled/Entitled                                    

            • Lazy                                               

            • Little respect for authority

            • Self-centered

            • No loyalty and lack of commitment

            • Poor social skills

In some regards, I can see where this perception might be obvious from an outsider’s perspective. I did teach in a couple different public high schools and was able to witness some of this first hand. I believe the change in trends and the technology boom is what created most of these terms. We just don’t know any different (is what I used to say). But even with these labels, I realize how much potential the Y generation has at prospering in the tough economic times our country is facing. We have the opportunity to create a better life for our families than what we witnessed. Granted physical, economic, relational, emotional and spiritual struggle is at an all time high (not just for our generation but as a society), and it’s in these moments that I know we thrive. We have witnessed our parents working multiple jobs to make ends meet and seen the heartache that life brings and we don’t want to fall into that pit. I would say the Y generation is very achievement/team oriented, family centered and tech-savvy and that’s why I have so much confidence we (in addition to the baby boomers) will make a big dent in history for the new babies being born.

Instead I want to take a 180 degree turn and talk to you if you are part of the Y generation or associating with this population or even just know someone in this age group. When I talk about the LIFE concepts and the 8 F’s to those my own age (faith, family, friends, finances, freedom, fitness, following, fun) I recognize right away the excitement and then there is this hidden self doubt that creeps in. I understand life is no bed of roses, and that some of us may have been dealt a hand of cards we wish we could push across the table, but yet we wake up with the courage to face each day and make it great! But when the opportunity to change our life enters the scene, the fear radar begins to go off and the shield goes up. I too experienced all these emotions when the idea of changing my life was a possibility. The question I often ask myself is, “where did this thinking stem from?” I believe it’s the labels that have been placed on us and the evidence in our own family upbringing.  However, when initially being introduced, instead of running away and hiding from it, I mustered the courage to embrace the chance I was being given to have a better life. In fact, I didn’t really have a choice. I had no other options to be successful and to live a life of purpose and excellence. (Do you?) If this sounds all too familiar then it means you are on the right track.

My advice to any ‘millennial’ is TAKE THE CHANCE! I have heard several times that FEAR is only ‘false evidence appearing real.’ There is nothing to fear in having a better life. We need to clean up the negative perceptions by committing to something, chasing down a purpose in life, working hard, loving and respecting people and serving others. The cycle of change for the Y generation starts and ends with us. There is no time to have regrets about what we “coulda, shoulda, or woulda” done had we taken the chance.  

My advice to any other person not in this age group but needing advice on what to do with the ‘youngsters’…three things: PUSH, INFLUENCE and BELIEVE in them! There are so many young people who are looking for their shot. Many can’t afford college, most are in jobs they don’t like so they are not willing to work hard and almost all don’t understand the economy and freedom or what to do about it. Even though it may take them a little longer to commit to anything or eliminate some of the distractions (because life is too ‘fun’ right now), keep believing in them, I promise they will thank you for it some day.

I feel truly blessed that God put it into my heart to believe in Orrin Woodward even when I raised my shield in fear. It was not in my own plans to pursue this profession, nor was it in my plans to discover my purpose. What LIFE does is gives people a chance. The Y generation is searching for something to be a part of, something that is worthy of their time and efforts and something that will make a difference in society. The system is that good that it can take a young person with no business experience, no confidence or self esteem and little support and somehow make it work. It is a journey I love pursuing and a passion that makes my heart beat stronger every morning I wake up. I can’t think of any better gift to share with a young person than the LIFE business. It will lead them towards a path of excellence and a purpose they may have never discovered.

Blessings, Kristen