Millennials (the tech savvy, social justice advocating, independent, college debt wielding, ambitious and optimistic group of trendsetters with over $200 Billion in buying power) are causing much debate as to where they got their unusual mindset.

Where did this generation get their unique, fearless and ambitious mindset?  Is it true that they are lazy, self-absorbed and entitled? Why are they so different from past generations? I'm so glad you asked! Before I give my opinion like so many other contributing writers on ‘millennials’, let me first introduce myself. I am a millennial, an artist, mathematician, entrepreneur and college professor. I am one of those ambitious, optimistic and (seemingly) highly educated millennials who denounce fear because of how we view the world. Let me start with the first question posed. 

Though Generation X and others heavily criticize us, they are to be thanked for creating such the amazing mindset we millennials possess. We grew up with Gen X parents, who complained about the rigidness of the corporate structure, elongated work hours, poor benefits, the low glass ceiling, and meager pay. As children watching our parents come home day after day unhappy, unfulfilled and tired beyond belief, we promised ourselves that we would not endure the same adulthood they did. This isn’t true for every millennial but since we are always grouped into the same category, (though stats show we are the most diversified generation…EVER) by opinionated journalists who seemingly despise us, I’ll group us together for this article. We decided we would only do what we loved for a living. We decided we would be paid our worth and not a penny less. Many decided to be their own bosses and make better working conditions for our employees and to contribute to the world as a whole.

To have $200 Billion in buying power cancels out the notion that we are lazy. That money isn’t all handed down from trust funds, some of us actually work! I take that back, most of us actually work and several jobs at that! The millennial mindset can be synonymous with the entrepreneurial mindset; creating businesses and lifestyles that are conducive to having artistic, capital and social freedom. Almost all millennial businesses or traits have one underlying principle, social consciousness. A study done by the Social Times states that "Twenty-four percent believe they can make a difference in their community by buying products that support social and/or environmental causes. At least 70 percent of millennials have purchased a product that supports a cause. And 90 percent of millennials are likely to switch from one brand to another — even when price and quality are equal — if the second supports a cause" such as Toms, Warby Parker, Figs, Panda, etc.

We are a generation that believes in working smarter, not necessarily harder. In order to survive in the terrible economy handed down to us, we adapted and started to thrive. We have created companies that have connected the world, helped people we have never met and constantly looking for ways to contribute positively to the world we live in. We respect everyone and demand that respect back but will not waste time trying to prove it.