The subject of this post doesn’t seem, at first glance, to be a very paradigm shifting statement. In fact, it seems quite normal. Take a step back, go and find people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, and you’ll discover that ‘normal’ has changed. And in the context of my subject line, when it comes to ‘choice’, what was normal has shifted quite dramatically.

In an interesting article on Gen Y in the US (For Millennials, Belief is a Choice), their belief and belieflessness has become not only complicated with the range of choice available, but also by the fact that ‘choice’ has changed.

The concept of religion as a personal choice is a generational shift. My generation did not think of religious belief as a choice. You were Catholic, Jewish, Presbyterian or Baptist, just like your parents. But young people today take a more conscious approach to faith.

In another post (For 1 of 4 Millennials The Old Time Religion is Not for Me) focussing on new research released by PEW, in a similar context, had the following that caught my eye:

At the same time, the Pew study reveals that spirituality among young adults is undiminished. “Members of today’s Millennial generation, ages 18 to 29, are as likely to pray and believe in God as their elders were when they were young.” This leads them to conclude in their headline: “Young Adults ‘Less Religious,’ Not Necessarily ‘More Secular‘.”

Choice can often be the enemy of focus. Without choice focus is easy. With too many choices, and an environment in which you can make them, finding focus can be difficult. You end up with too many options.

I then began thinking about some other aspects of Gen Y lives that possibly have been influenced by this shift in choice and the overwhelming availability of options?

In a business context it’s not uncommon for a majority of Gen Y assembled to move jobs as regularly as every 2 years. Very few can describe themselves with one functional title. They often seem to me to be on an adventure to find the holy grail of business. Not sure what it is, where it is, or what’s needed to find it? To use a line from the 2nd quote above, one might say: ‘Young adults, ‘less focussed’. Not necessarily ‘more work avoiding‘.

There are countless articles on how Gen X and Y are redefining marriage. Fewer seem to be getting married and many are waiting longer to do it. Is this also a case of choice and too many options out there? Could one say: ‘Young adults, ‘less married’. Not necessarily ‘more single‘.

I certainly could use this thought pattern to talk to at least:

  • money (long term saving)
  • communication
  • politics
  • cars and travel

The list is as long as Gen Y has interests and activities. Or is it?

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