We’ve all seen The Social Network and know the story of Mark Zuckerberg, who created Facebook, made a whole lot of enemies and basically took over the world. Some people are disgusted by his ruthless tactics and unrelenting drive, while others lie awake at night wishing they themselves had the power to harness even a little of those qualities.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on what side of the fence you sit on, the Mark Zuckerbergs of our 20 something generation have infected us all with their characteristics, causing the wider public to question: 20 somethings, confident or cocky?
To understand why we are the way we are, we need to delve back into our pasts and see the key messages 20 somethings were taught as we grew up. They of course vary in language and syntax but go a little something like this:
1. “You are special and unique and have a rare gift the share with the world”
2. “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up, all you have to do is dream”
3. “All people big and small, from different lands and colours should all be considered equal”
4. “If you don’t eat the crusts of your bread your hair will go curly and you mustn’t get up out of bed on Christmas Eve night or Santa won’t come”.
You get the drift.
After absorbing these messages day in and day out being rewarded emotionally, physically, spiritually and even financially for following these guidelines, the glaringly confident 20 something was born. Prepare your sunnies for these ones folks.
Fast forward 20 years and the fruits of having such an attitude is totally paying off. We’ve gone through further education or have worked our way up the workplace ladder at lightening speed. We have a good group of friends, and are quick to dump those that aren’t and know we look smokin in this season’s new Wayne Cooper. We don’t just pick up any old guy on Friday night and consult our 10 point “dream man list” before starting the “so where are we going conversation”. Ultimately, in all facets of our lives we know what we want, and are prepared to go out and get it. Right. Now.
Is this cocky? Conceited? The habits of a spoiled brat whose parents bought her too many Barbies? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no. We’ve simply learnt a life lesson that has been around for centuries but seems to have been forgotten in prior generations plagued by war, depression and domestic duties: you don’t get anything in life unless you think you deserve it. That is definitely not to say 20 somethings aren’t prepared to work hard or are ignorant of the obstacles life can throw, but more so that despite the challenges we are supremely confident in our ability to one day get there.
Confidence can be confused with cockiness when combined with a little toxin called jealousy. The only time I’ve accused a fellow 20 something of being cocky is when I’ve been jealous that I wasn’t confident enough in that situation to go out there and grab life by the balls myself. If you don’t think you are good enough for that job/promotion/world travel/handsome husband or elite athlete children then how do you expect anyone else to think you are worthy? And if you don’t have sincere confidence to reach for goals past your fingertips then what are you even doing here?
Sure we are confident, some would call us cocky. But with Mark Zuckerberg now worth 30 million dollars, that is a title we are happy to carry around.
Do you think some confidence is necessary to overcome obstacles in life? Is there a particular instance where it has proven to be a key to your success?
Much love and till later