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2. Individuality: a basis for what's cool today.

Each of us is a one-of-a-kind individual. What distinguishes us is our uniqueness. It's something that's gained a lot more attention in recent decades. We are no longer just cogs in the machine, but rather, we have the ability to select who we wish to be. One of the greatest gifts of the twenty-first century is individualism. That's one of the reasons we've selected Individualism for our "what's cool" series. 

Individuality does, however, come with a lot of stress. Individuality suggests if we work hard enough, we can become anything we wish. As a result, we are under  a lot of stress, both in terms of choosing our course and putting in the effort (that's right, it takes effort to be cool!).

In the past, we just followed in our parents' footsteps as we grew up. We married someone who was a good match for us. We selected a practical location and started a family. That's how life was lived. There were no questions.

The contemporary era is distinct. Everything can be questioned beyond a certain age:

  • Rather than adhering to one career path, cool people increasingly switch jobs. The current trend is to experiment with several vocations and jobs.
  • We now follow our hearts and sentiments rather than logic and reason when it comes to relationships.
  • We travel more instead of settling down and starting a family in one place.
  • We relocate elsewhere and may decide not to start a family.

People now assume the ability to determine if their lives aren't serving them or if they need to change, just like they do with startups. Individualism is defined by exploration and self-realization rather than the family, society, or culture choosing what and who they should become.