I’m a Gen X entrepreneur and mom. Between my four kids, one is a Millennial, two are Gen Z, and the youngest is Generation Alpha. Like other Gen X’rs with a family dynamic like ours, I’ve wondered how to stay relevant in this mind-boggling, fast-changing world.
And staying relevant isn’t just a quaint idea; it’s a must in an age when people are working long past conventional retirement age (whether by choice or financial necessity), and living well into their 80’s and 90’s.
While learning the latest tech, listening to popular podcasts and keeping up with the latest trends have certainly improved my ability to relate to my kids (the occasional eye roll and chuckle at my expense notwithstanding), I’ve come to realize that being truly significant is an INSIDE job — best accomplished through self-awareness and personal growth.
Relevance is about our ability to influence and have an impact on others. We don’t inspire by staying small and neglecting our talents. We inspire by rising to meet challenges, overcoming obstacles, and becoming great at what we’re already good at and love to do.
Each of us has our own areas of genius. When we acknowledge them, develop them, and put them to use serving something bigger than ourselves (my own-‘em, hone-‘em, and loan-‘em philosophy), THAT’S when we become and stay relevant. The most relevant people will always be the ones who are still on a path to becoming the best version of themselves, still devising fresh ways to use their gifts in the service of others.
And that’s what I want to teach my kids by my example. I want them to see me, still meeting challenges head-on, still overcoming, still growing. My ability to inspire comes from combining the wisdom of my experience with the determination of someone on a mission to become the most exceptional version of herself, regardless of her age.
Trends come and go, today’s technology will be outdated next month, older generations will always look at younger ones in bewilderment, younger generations will always look at older ones and want to do it better. What stays the same is what inspires the human spirit — the hero’s journey, a destiny fulfilled.
No matter how many summers you’ve seen, revive those dreams you had when you were just starting out. Uncover those talents that are uniquely yours. Make commitments to yourself and keep them. Do something each day that challenges you to grow, to be a better You than you were yesterday. The world needs you, and you’re the only one who can become the You you were meant to be. It doesn’t get any more relevant than that!