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The Meaning Crisis in young people today

"just do you"

by Mason Villeneuve

Time, our most treasured form of currency and the most fleeting one as well. We're not all guaranteed the same amount of it, or the quality of it either. It is that immovable construct that our lives revolve around. Given these assumptions, we would all be using our time in whatever way we deem most useful, fulfilling and purposeful. Right?

Not most of the time. I don't know about you but I sure do enjoy a 20-30 min social media binge when I'm bored. So why aren't people spending their time in the most productive and fulfilling ways possible? I believe it comes down to two things, congruence and society. Many young people today are facing a meaning crisis, they're wondering what do I want? How do I want to get there? That's just the beginning of those complicated questions.

Young people especially are being pulled in so many directions of influence that "being you" seems like an ambiguous question behind layers of undiscovered meaning. This is where congruence and society come into play. Social media and our very modernized society has afforded many in our society comforts dreamed of only a hundred years ago. The flood of influence on "how to get rich" or "why ____ is completely wrong!" among the content online that distracts people from their N.O.W. has implemented false impressions among young people.

Many are struggling to align their internal values with their direction and more importantly actions in the world. It's hard to talk about how enthralled you are with creating social change, a new business venture, or a change of mental direction openly because of the fear of social rejection. Our virtual public squares of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and others hold incredible potential for growth and the sharing of ideas/value. However, younger generations that have grown up using these platforms are connected greater mentally to their online presence and opinions of their content. My older audience might not understand, but if your TikTok blows up and the top comment is "L" with 5,000 likes, thats NOT a good sign. Combine these factors with the challenges of beginning your own venture with little knowledge or advice can be daunting. The end result ends up being the vast majority of college graduates and young people choosing down instead of up. Not taking part time risk, while embracing accountability to their aims subsequently keeps many below their glass ceilings forever, or until that "mid-life crisis" sets in.

This is the challenge I am working to overcome through Next Moves N.O.W. Young people today are thirsting for something real, that genuine feeling of purpose that comes from connection and involvement to whatever they care about. That's why I created the N.O.W. Daily Planner, to help others find their place in the world and start towards a better one. I included over 10 activities inspired from literature, and knowledge I've obtained through life and education. These activities will help you identify negative influences, label your vices, identify your strengths and virtues, set long term goals, new habits and more. Use the knowledge of yourself to guide your day-to-day goals. You have found your N.O.W. (need to do, ought to do, want to do) now plan away. Day by day, you can live in your N.O.W. to feel present but aimed and prepared in the right direction for your future.


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