THE BLOG

Manipulating Time, Waiting for the Generation Gap to Close

08/28/2012 03:19 pm ET | Updated Oct 28, 2012

The funny thing about time is that rather than the reality of how long or short something is, humans have the ability to apply meaning to moments where time "stops" or it "feels like forever." We have the power to morph and change the meaning of moments. My entire life is a series of meetings. I have a different breakfast meeting every day, then go off and just meet people all day long, interviewing people about their lives, learning about what they want (big or small).

When you have five meetings a day, it is not surprising when one of those meetings fall through on a daily basis. I used to get so frustrated when I would get an email an hour before, "Sorry, meeting ran late, can't make it," or "So sorry, crazy day, can we reschedule?" Recently, however, I started to see a pattern in these meetings that were rescheduled until later. Rather than me forcing to see that person that day or the day later, I would just casually reschedule them for when it was convenient.

What then happened was amazing. In every instance, things were unfolding before me that completely changed the context of what our conversation would be so by the time I got to the meeting, it now was not just a casual brainstorm or a friendly lunch, but a meeting that perfectly aligned with what had now unfolded. People kept saying, "It's so weird, this just feels like the perfect time this came up." I realized when you stop applying a fixed meaning to everything in your life and are more flexible with time and the meaning you apply to time, the more doors will open for you.

I think our generation is so on the ball, on to the next thing, constant movement, instant gratification. Our obsession with time, our "I'm so busy" complex and our craving to be instantly validated sometimes make us forget we aren't the only ones on this planet and that if we want to make a real dent in anything, it isn't going to happen in a day, and more importantly it shouldn't happen in a day.

While Generation Y are movers, shakers and dreamers, it's important to realize there's a whole other generation ahead of us that has ideas, belief systems and gifts to give to the world but were just brought up in a different time. I started to realize this when I leaned heavily on my dad to help me with business advice. My dad has always been on the ball with trends, whether in marketing or in finance, and growing up I always looked up to his savviness, but I actually forgot how much of a resource he was to me because I was constantly discussing/deliberating/bouncing ideas off of ONLY my Generation Y counterparts. When my dad, with his sensible business sense and structured mindset, was able to give me authentic, genuine and smart advice, I had an "aha" moment. We have been trying to so quickly bridge this generation gap, making changes in the world every moment that leave a legacy behind that it is easy to forget about all of these amazing, smart mentors that can help us; while they may not be able to share 3,000 pictures on Facebook, they have experience that we do not yet have, they have time that we have not yet experienced on this earth.

Start to look around you for the pre-Generation-Y mentor you can learn from and possibly teach. While there are a lot of changes that need to be made in the world, there are also a lot of changes we need to make in ourselves and can learn from them. This frustrated, anxious lifestyle filled with rushing and over-programming is not the way we should live, we can learn a lot from our parents, grandparents, teachers, all we have to do is make the time to listen.

For more by Amanda Slavin, click here.

For more on wisdom, click here.