Newly released data shows that student debt for Americans has now reached an alarming $1.5 trillion. That’s up from $340 billion just back in 2001. While the trends are clearly showing a millennial obsession with skills development and personal growth, many experts in the industry wonder if generation Y is approaching self development the right way. Nobody understands this better than Garrain Jones.

People are obsessed with figuring out what millennials want. This is true for older generations and for millennials themselves. Young people are the product of whatever is most consistent in their lives, and good luck finding something that’s more consistent than social media these days. Because of this, millennials are constantly comparing themselves to their friends, and usually never feeling like they’re good enough.

This mindset is so common and it can create an anxiety-driven self-improvement process. But if you’re letting other people define your goals, you’ll never be truly happy. True happiness comes from inside you, and that should be what guides your self-improvement journey. Garrain Jones is a globally recognized transformation coach, and helps other find their purpose through transformational change and self-development. He shares how the Millennial generation has evolved into the generation of “self-love,” and why this has put them ahead of any generation that’s come before them.

Garrain Jones on The Drive to Improve

According to a recent survey, 94% of millennials made self-improvement commitments compared to only 84% of baby boomers and 81% of Gen X-ers. Millennials entrepreneurs are particularly always looking for tools to become more effective. They also spend twice as much on self-care regimens such as life coaching and diet programs. Garrain doesn’t believe this is a good or a bad thing. It all comes down to how you define your individual purpose in life. However, this focus on the self has led to some great things. For example, millennials have much higher emotional intelligence than previous generations, and a higher value on overall health.

Many people make fun of millennials for this, but being in touch with your whole self, your physical, emotional and spiritual self, is an act of love. It says that you’re willing to work on yourself and challenge the parts of your mindset that are holding you back. “Instead of focusing on all the terrible things that could happen if you don’t get what you want, focus on how you want to feel once you’ve gotten what you want,” says Garrain Jones. It’s an amazing exercise to set a feeling, a state of mind, as a goal. To do this you must first explore how you feel at the moment.

Being in touch with your feelings is so important because they are what drive you. If you have a fear of something, you are driven to run away from it. If you have a fear of being challenged, you will always run away from your problems. For better or worse your mindset creates a narrative for you to follow. By actively changing your mindset you can tune your energy towards living a better life.

Finding your Best Life

Millennials are clearly invested in living their best life. Whether emotionally, physically or spiritually, this generation spends a lot of time working on themselves. For this they are called “self-absorbed” and the “Me Generation”. But the people making these comments are the same people that are focused on being average. They don’t push their mindset because they can’t imagine something outside of what they’ve already experienced. They want to work a 9-5 job at the same company for 40 years and retire somewhere safe and warm.

The fact is those jobs don’t exist anymore. The rules of past generations don’t apply to careers and jobs as they exist today. Careers aren’t about what you know, but how well you can learn new skills. “A flexible mind and a love of learning will get you farther than any degree or certificate,” explains Garrain Jones. “With the world changing so rapidly, millennials have learned to adapt just as quickly.” They are constantly transforming to meet the challenges of our fast-paced world.

No Limits, Only Plateaus

If life is just constant change, the way you respond to new situations is everything. Bruce Lee once said that “if you always put limits on everything you do…it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” The way to push beyond your limits is to rework your mindset to open yourself up to the opportunities that present themselves every day of your life. To do this you need a state of awareness and presence that most people will never reach.

That’s why I have hope for millennials, because they would much rather focus on the present. They want to become a better version of themselves now and not spend their last 20 years of life having regrets. However, even when you want to improve yourself it’s not always easy. There’s always an excuse to delay changing something about your life that you know you need to change. Only by facing your challenges head on can you overcome them.

At the end of the day, millennials are proving that they don’t want to be bound by tradition. They are always pushing boundaries and looking to break the next glass ceiling. They aren’t preoccupied with what others think they’re capable of doing. “To truly improve, they need to also push the boundaries of their own mindset,” says Garrain Jones. You can’t transform yourself if you aren’t aware of who you are and where you’re at in life. Self awareness is the key to changing your current mindset and using it to push beyond the next plateau.

Jordan French is the Executive Editor of Grit Daily. He is a multi-media tech journalist on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur. He is the founder of Notability Partners and the co-founder of BNB Shield, Lisbon Hill Farms, Status Labs, BeeHex, BlockTelegraph, and Grit Daily. A biomedical engineer and intellectual-property attorney, French is the author of upcoming book, The Gritty Entrepreneur.