Thursday, July 30, 2009

Introducing the Four Generations.....

Today we will look at the profiles of the four different generations that are mixing together at work, at play, at home and mostly every other area of life you can think of.

As you think of yourself, your parents, your children or even grandchildren see if you can relate to some of the characteristics given for each generation. As in many things if we understand someone, we are better able to create better relationship with them. As you read this, much like personalities, it takes helps you not to take things personally if there is disagreement or a conflict. You may even begin to appreciate some of the differences that growing up in different time frame has produced and possibly decide to adopt some of their philosophies even if they seem outdated or too modern.

We are going to learn about the generations so you can better understand them and about the challenges that shaped their formative years. Those events impacted their attitudes, perceptions, values and expectations in life and at work.

So let's begin....

"Veterans" or "Silents" range in age from 62-85. This generation values hard work, respect and sacrifice in all areas of life. Veterans are considered among the most loyal and dedicated employees. Their values and work ethics were shaped by the Great Depression, World War II, and the postwar boom years. Veterans have a strong commitment to teamwork and communication. The Veterans now consist of the most affluent elderly population in U.S. history due to their willingness to conserve and save, after living through the Great Depression and WWII. They pay with cash and save. The communication style of the Silent Generation tends to be formal, focused on the idea of properly putting information into a well crafted letter rather than the “off the cuff” communication style of e-mails and text messages.

"Boomers" range in age from 43-61. They grew up with prosperity and are into status. They have high expectations and want to be fulfilled in every aspect of their lives. They love working for a cause. Boomers are the first generation to actively declare a higher priority for work over personal life. Their values were shaped primarily by a rise in civil rights activism, space travel, Viet Nam, and inflation. They are more optimistic and open to change than the prior generation. The Baby Boomers were the first generation to be raised in front of a television. They are the generation that made L'Oreal and Just for Men necessary. They identified themselves as "youth" and aren't letting go.

"Gen Xers" range in age from 27-42. They value self-reliance and are willing to give up "stuff" to have the lifestyle they want. Their motto is "I work to live, I don't live to work." They naturally question authority figures and are responsible for creating the work/life balance concept. The first generation to grow up with computers, technology is woven into their lives. Divorce and working moms created "latchkey" kids out of many in this generation. This led to traits of independence, resilience and adaptability. The events that formed their values were Roe vs Wade, Aids, Challenger,and the Clinton Admin. Gen X want people to be honest, straightforward, and to avoid hype with them, just be real.

"Gen Y or Millennial" range in age from 26 and under. The want respect and technology is an expectation not an extra. They use technology to connect with people, text message, instant messaging, cell phones are main sources of communication. They are the "look at me" generation. If it's not interesting or relevant to them they tune it out. They feel no one has a right answer and have a "prove it to me" mentality. This generation was and is defined by 9/11, internet, kids shooting kids, globalization and cell phones. Gen Y respect people who care, respect and build relationships with them. One half of this generation has a tattoo and/or a body piercing somewhere other than their ear lobe. Asked about life goals, this generations top goals are fortune and fame.

If this subject is as fascinating to you as it is to me go to this link for all the information you could ever ask for.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Veterans, Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y.......

"Each Generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one after it." George Orwell

In previous posts we have discussed how understanding others will help us to have better relationships in all areas of our lives. We can be more effective at home, in work situations and in ministry if we take the time to understand where the other person's thinking is coming from. We can be a more motivating parent, teacher, instructor, trainer, boss, coworker, adult child, brother, sister, aunt or uncle if we know our audience. We touch on this with the personality tests but there is another piece of the puzzle that we must look at.

Let’s try an analogy to help understand the issue. What often happens when a family gets together for a holiday or a vacation? Four generations — you (let’s assume you’re a Boomer); your children (Xers); your younger children and possibly grandchildren (Gen Y); your brothers and sisters (Boomers); and your parents (Veterans) — everyone wants to get along and have fun but then the irritations begin to surface.

Grandma or grandpa ( the Veterans age 62 -85) begin to say things about your children and grandchildren being lazy ("back in my day children would get up and do the dishes!") The Boomer's (you and your siblings, ages 41 - 61) are thinking, " Why does mom/dad have to be so critical, can't they see the positive instead of the negative?" Then the children (Gen X ages 27 - 42) checking their laptops and the stock market or younger children or grandchildren (Gen Y, ages ? - 26) listening to music or playing games on their iPhone or Ipod look up wondering what the problem is???

Is that when things become testy? How many times is there so much friction created that family members leave the gathering saying never again? Do you usually just think, " this is just the way our family is." Could this be due to generational differences and not just be “the way the family is?”

Whether at a family gathering or in the workplace, how do you manage the different generational differences - whether it be conflicting work ethics, different values and or styles? How do you all just get along, have fun together and work without conflict?

Every generation has created its own style and every generation says the same things about other generations — “They don’t get it” or “They have it so much easier than we did.”

We are going to take the next few post to look at the four different generations that work and play together in our world today and see if a little understanding may lead to a greater place of peace, unity and enjoyment of each other.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rejection and Perfection

Perfection defined:  as lacking nothing essential; being of the highest excellence, flawless, exact, faultless, without defect and being supremely excellent. 

Biblical Perfection defined: Growing to complete maturity

Perfection is another protection we use to keep from being rejected.  Most people with the root of rejection suffer from the problem of perfectionism.  

Do you....
  • try to be perfect through hard work? a workaholic
  • Are you suffering under the burden of never feeling ok, always feeling just a little unacceptable?
  • Do you feel if you could just do better then maybe people would accept you?
The pressure to be perfect will steal your joy.  You won't have time to be happy . You won't have time to enjoy life.  We may even put the burden on others to be perfect and have unrealistic expectations on our relationships.   Perfectionist many times demand perfection from others as well as themselves. 

We reject ourselves and others because of imperfection.  

How do we learn to accept ourselves as we are?  Like many areas of life that we grow in - we must first recognize perfectionism is a problem in our life, then we must make a decision to press on many times a day.  When you do things you wish you hadn't done, or you say things you wish you hadn't said......instead of beating yourself up for hours.... let it go....and press on. 

God doesn't expect us to be perfect but wants us to grow in maturity. Maturity is not doing everything right or perfectly it is knowing we will make mistakes.  Maturity demands that your attitude is, "I have made a decision that I am not going to live under guilt and condemnation.  I am not going to live my life constantly trying to figure out what is wrong with me.  One thing I'm going to do, is to forget what lies behind (my mistakes) and press on to what lies ahead. (greater victory over perfection every day)

Philippians 1:6

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rejection Protection

Rejection Defined: To be cast aside - thrown away as having no value.

Some facts about emotional rejection:
  • We try to avoid emotional rejection more than physical pain
  • Every person is attacked by rejection, starting in childhood
  • More than anything the fear of rejection will keep us from moving forward and keep us from building relationships.
How do we "Protect" ourselves from rejection:

We make "Inner Vows" and we make promises to ourselves, such as:
  • "Nobody will ever hurt me again"
  • "I'll never get close to anyone again"
  • "I'll never let anyone control me again"
  • "You can't trust anyone or men or women"
  • I will NEVER....................
Inner vows develop unhealthy thought system and those thots develop fears

RESULT: We spend most of our time avoiding rejection rather than building loving relationships.

SOLUTION: Forget yourself, reach out, give to others and build them up


1 Peter 2:23 and Acts 10:38 show us the example Jesus gave to us, in doing what he knew to be right and never defending Himself or worrying what others thought.

Next Post: Rejection and Perfection

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Root of Rejection and Your Perception

If you have a root of rejection in your life you may walk into a room and if someone does not notice you you may assume that all the people in the room don't like you.  You feel rejection simply because you weren't given attention but reality is the people in the room just did not notice that you had joined them.  

How many times do we suffer unbearably because someone doesn't give us what we think they should give us and in reality they didn't know what we were in need of. 

Perception is how you see things, not necessarily reality:
  • Rejection based people perceive things as rejection that are not.
  • Rejection based people can not be confronted.  
People with a root of rejection also have a hard time being confronted.  This is because they can not separate their opinions and ideas from the real person they are.  When someone disagrees with their opinion they feel they are being rejected as a person.  People can disagree with your opinions and still love and respect you as a person.  

So what do we do with these perceptions?
  • When begin to feel rejected, check you perceptions - are they real or perceived.
  • Begin to see yourself as God sees you.  In His eyes you are valuable, special, and have purpose. Psalm 139: 1-18
  • Don't ever let how other people treat you or have treated you determine your worth.  You have worth and value.
  • One of the first steps to any kind of healing is to forgive those who have truly rejected you. 

Next Post: Walls of Protection We Build.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Root of Rejection

The following was mostly taken from "Joyce Meyers' series, "The Root of Rejection."  I highly recommend the book or CD set to everyone.  I do not think there is a person on this earth that has not suffered from some sort of rejection through their lives.  For some it may have not have had as much of an effect or they have worked through it.  But for most of us, I believe there are roots that need to be found and pulled out of our lives to be completely healthy and whole.

Rejection starts as a seed that is planted in our lives through different things that happen to us. Some of the things that can create a root of rejection are: 
  • Unwanted conception
  • a child born the wrong sex
  • comparison to another sibling
  • Adoption
  • Abandonment
  • Abuse of any kind - physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, withholding love
  • Peer rejection
  • Death of parent of parents 
  • Constant turmoil with in the home
  • Marriage rejection
This is just a short list as there are many other causes.  Remember when we look at these things we never look to blame anyone just to understand so we can be healed. 

If you have the root of rejection, you are probably going through unnecessary torment. Torment that will leave once you learn that those feelings are coming from that old root and old way of thinking.  The fear of rejection causes us to think and feel we are being rejected even when that is not the case. 

Some of the results of the Root of Rejection are: 
rebellion, anger, bitterness, guilt, inferiority, poor self-image, escapism, judgmentalism, poverty, fear, hopelessness, depression, defensiveness, hardness, distrust, disrespect, competition, jealousy, workaholism and the big one - perfectionism.  

Rejection starts as a seed and develops into a root - a root that will go deep down.  Roots determine the fruit of our life.  

If you are rooted in love and acceptance, then you will develop good things in your life - like self-control, meekness, faithfulness, patience, kindness, peace, joy and love.  

Problems like rejection are deep-rooted and receiving help is not usually as simple as praying a prayer and it all going away overnight  We have to work with God toward our healing.  We must make a commitment  to change and begin the process of renewing our mind.  

Interesting Fact:  75% of all world leaders are rejection-based people.

We will continue this series on the "Root of Rejection" for the next few posts. 
Next post will be about how rejection colors your perception of life. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Heathy Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem is defined as confidence in ones own worth or abilities, self-respect.  

One of the most destructive forces I see in most of my clients lives is a lack of confidence.  I am not talking about humility here - I am talking about not seeing themselves as God sees them. Seeing themselves through the negative messages that people or life situations have given them since childhood.

As I always explain to my clients - we have to sometimes look back to what caused our low self-esteem to understand it - this is not to blame but to understand.  If anyone in your life has put negative messages in your life, realize it is probably because of their own insecurities and their own lack of worth.  So we need to forgive but also understand.

Our Self Esteem or lack of comes from many sources: family, spouses, work, school, society and a list of others.  It comes from within us - how we see ourselves and it is influenced by Satan as he lies, accuses us and blinds us to the truth. 

How do you increase your sense of self-esteem and self-acceptance:
  1. Increase the number of positive thoughts you say to yourself and others  (use scripture)
  2. Identify you strengths, accept that God has given them to you
  3. Focus on small successes and positive experiences
  4. Decrease the number of negative things we say about ourselves and others 
  5. Practice giving genuine compliments to others.
  6. Develop an appreciation of your own worth. 
  7. Do not compare yourself to others, you are unique and special.
  8. Develop a more realistic view of the world and our place in it. 
  9. Accept that we are not responsible for the emotional responses of others and they are not responsible for our emotional responses.  We can choose how we respond.
  10. Accept your weaknesses and mistakes. (everyone makes mistakes)
  11. Accept others weaknesses and mistakes (forgive, forgive, forgive)
  12. Limit the number of commitments you make
  13. Spend daily time in the bible - write down verses that have to do with who you are in Christ on an index card and remind yourself often. 
Start a journal today documenting all the positive things said to you and positive events happening in your life - you will find there are many more than you realize. 

Next Post: The root of rejection