Like most of you mid-twenty somethings out there, I'm questioning the life path that I'm on. Am I in an industry that I want to be in for the rest of my life? When will I make enough money to buy a house and have children? What would increase my happiness inside and outside of work? These questions are in my head from the second I wake up until the moment I manage to fall asleep. Anyone else experiencing this knows that it can make everyday life a bit stressful. I'm definitely not an expert on this (unfortunately), but I've figured out a couple tricks to keep me sane at least half of the time:
Symptom #1: Money & salary growth potential
Most motivated twenty-somethings will hit a salary ceiling late into their twenties. Just around the point where you have enough experience to be dangerous but not enough to manage others is right about the time this ceiling becomes visible. It seems that 95% of America accepts this and actually slows down their productivity, remaining in this slowdown until a promotion or job change is forced upon them.
Solution: Extra curricular income. It doesn't matter if you ever make a dime off extra curricular (passive) income, just the fact that you are working toward something will decrease this stress. I guarantee that the first $1 you make from your personal blog will be more gratifying and exciting than your weekly paycheck. Give absolutely anything a try, what do you have to lose?
Symptom #2: Everyday is exactly the same
It is amazing how easy it is for us get to the point where we don't know if its Tuesday or Wednesday, meaning, Monday was the same as Tuesday which will be the same as Wednesday.
Solution: Keep Busy. I've found that exercising and making a point to do activities help to break up the monotony of the daily grind. Challenging someone to a run via Nike + iPod, going canoing with your significant other or just getting a beer with friends during the week all seem to lower this stress. This sounds kind of cheesy and obvious, but think about what you did this weekwould it have hurt to get a beer with your buddies instead of playing four hours of Call of Duty?
Symptom #3: Pessimism
I'm the last one who should write anything about the toxicity of pessimism and how easy it is to get down on your situation; I'm the king of it. The self fulfilling prophesy of being pessimistic is your unhappiness actually makes you more unhappy.
Solution: Be optimistic stupid! One of the hardest things to do in life is to look at the bright side'. I have a couple of friends who, whether it's with girls or jobs, make a point to always analyze what's wrong with their situation. I've actually hypocritically preached optimism to them and how it would change their luck' around. Shockingly enough, an attitude change for the positive has change their situation for the better. Once again, what do you have to lose by being optimistic?
Finally, I have a sticky note on my monitor that says "Be Happy". It reminds me to think of the reasons I have to be happy. Sounds kind of dumb, but find something that you can identify with and will help you take a timeout from the pessimism that can surround you.