What motivates youth?

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Although this is just a blinding glimpse of the obvious, the youth of today is amazingly certain about their uncertainty. We like to learn but we do not always want to be taught, and we are self-interested.  John Zogby writes in the first half of his book First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing Our Millennial Generation, that with their boundless creativity, the youth of today comprises of innovative diamonds who revolutionize the way problems are solved and decisions are made.

And come to think of it, what could possibly motivate a generation like this?

To motivate this not so easily impressed generation, what’s better than the everlasting question in their minds – WIIFM aka What’s in it for me? And when I say this I don’t mean it’s a self-serving query, or that this generation is selfish, I simply highlight the fact that it is selflessly interested in its own being. “What do I want to do?” ” Where will this take me?”” How will it be different from what I have now?” – In other words, what’s in it for me?

This is not surprising, and here’s a sufficient reason why – The youth today is capable enough to understand that any decision that involves us, has to be about us.   And this probably brings forward one of the most evident characteristics of this generation- they are perfectly sufficient to lead themselves. The statement you are more likely to hear us say is,”My motivation comes from within me”, rather than hearing “I need someone to motivate me.”   But every now and then, we do need an additional external nudge. Daniel Pink, The author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, quotes that “This generation is a purpose maximiser generation, who cares about mastery very deeply and wants to be self-directed.  The carrot and stick motivation has become very last generation. “And evidently,  the youth tends to be more motivated by its own purpose and sense of direction.

And the external nudge that the youth needs has to be something that gives the cord to the youth, that asserts their need to be important in a world which to them has an illusionary version of success and gracefully sums up to a few key moments.

According to the Global Youth Survey conducted by Kairos in 2013, 62% Of the global Youth agree that society has become too individualistic.   They are in charge of themselves and take their roles seriously.

Another such question that the youth wants answered is ”Do I have a say in it?” Which is just another way of asking,  is it significant enough to affect me? As held in the Deloitte 2017 Millennial Survey, the youth today looks for directness and passion more than radicalism. They are under a ripple effect which means that local, small change motivates them more as it is in an environment where they can feel in control, empowered and a lot more stable.

Hence when we ask this generation, “what motivates you”? The answers are dynamic in a very restricted potential of their own being. Which is not so bad after all, because once the youth sets its mind on something,  they do it with courage over timidity, a quality of imagination, and an appetite for adventure over the love of ease.


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