I hate seeing people I care about struggle with the fact they aren't totally happy with the direction their life is going.
Most of us are in our early 20s, just a couple years out of college. So why do we all think we need to have our lives figured out right this second?
Seriously, I'd be lying if I said I never thought, “Oh crap, I have no idea what I'm doing.” But does anyone actually know what they're doing at this age?
Well, for every 20-something who has their life figured out, there are probably 25 of us wandering around without a clue.
So when you're starting to feel like your life is at a standstill, and you're unhappy with its direction, remember these things to help get you through it:
1. Don't compare yourself to others.
We need to stop thinking everyone has to be at the same point in life just because we're the same age. And most times, you never know the full story of what someone's going through.
No one is going to openly brag about being rejected for a job. Even after someone excitedly posts about accepting a position, they could hate their job later down the line.
2. Don't fight toward an undefined goal.
Journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson once wrote a letter to a friend after being asked for advice about what to do with his life, saying, “That IS the question: whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal.”
If you haven't set a goal for yourself, you'll just be swimming forever.
For example, my first job out of college was the worst I've ever had. I was miserable and had no ideas about where to go next. But later, after a family friend helped me get a new job that I loved, I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Once I could see a clearer path for myself, I was able to set concrete goals that would help me get there. I felt much more productive with my time, and now, I have a much clearer view of who I want to be in the future.
3. Timing is everything.
You will figure everything out when you least expect it.
I'm a firm believer that everything happens when it's supposed to. There's a reason you spend a certain amount of time at a job, and there's a reason you meet people at a certain time in your life.
But instead of feeling stressed about not having all the answers, you just have to trust you'll end up where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there.
4. Fill your time with people and hobbies you love.
Your job or your relationship can be lost at any moment, but your friendships and family are constant. They have been and will continue to be with you through the best and worst of times.
Similarly, you'll always have your favorite hobbies to fall back on when you're feeling lost. But instead of focusing on feeling stressed, clear your mind by indulging in whatever activities bring you joy.
5. Keep trying new things.
If you're still feeling lost after doing the same things day after day, try something new. You may find a new hobby you love or discover a talent you never knew you had.
And hey, if you try something new and fail miserably, I can almost guarantee you'll have fun laughing your way through it.
6. Your job alone doesn't define you.
Even if your job is something you absolutely love, you'll still have some days where you feel frustrated with it. It's inevitable.
While you should chase your dreams, don't let your job define you completely. I know we spend so much of our lives working, but what we do outside of work matters just as much when it comes to who we are as a person.
So stop focusing on the negatives, and start putting your energy toward the positives. Eventually, you'll find the path you're supposed to be on, and you'll have a better view of who you are.