Seven essential tips for avoiding the quarter-life crisis:
1. DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU THINK: We are naturally wired to believe that the thoughts in our heads are true. But sometimes we cling to beliefs about ourselves that simply don’t match reality. Change your attitude, and stop believing the thoughts in your head that are simply not true. Allow yourself the mental freedom and space you need to breathe and figure stuff out simply by challenging your thought patterns.
2. KNOW THYSELF: Most people who escape a quarter-life crisis do so for one reason: they know who they are and what they want. If you don’t know who you are and what you value in life, you’re going to have a hard time figuring out what is a good fit for you. Don’t sweat the details, though—this isn’t about having all the specifics of your life mapped out or a particular job title to aim for. It’s about knowing, generally, what kinds of things you want your life to be about, and then exploring the possibilities.
3. IGNORE OTHER PEOPLE: Not literally — healthy relationships are quite important. What isn’t healthy is comparison. A lot of people start to slip into crisis mode when they look around and start comparing themselves to their peers. Your college roommate is making bank, your cousin is traveling the world, your best friend just got engaged, your co-workers are all buying homes and having babies, and pretty much everyone has it all together — except you. Suddenly, you feel inadequate. Get over it. What other people are doing with their lives doesn’t matter, no matter how fun or glamorous it might seem. You have one life to live and, surprise, it’s yours — not theirs. Life isn’t a competition or a race. If you act like it is, odds are you’ll start to feel like you’re losing. Skip the drama and learn to be content. It you’re happy with yourself, that’s what matters.
4. FIND MEANINGFUL WORK: At least half of your waking life will be spent working. If you’re not doing something that matters to you, you’re going to be miserable, trapped, and you’re going to have a quarter-life crisis. The important thing is that your work matters to you — not other people. Your friends might think your job is boring, but the reality is that you don’t need to change the world to be doing something that matters. If it matters to you, then it matters.
5. DON’T TAKE EVERYTHING SO SERIOUSLY: Sure, one of the keys to success is hard work. But hard work without rest is also the key to burnout. Have fun once in awhile, and don’t feel guilty about it. It’s during times of rest that our bodies reenergize and our brains are free to dream and imagine new possibilities. Many times the first step to solving your problems is to take a step back from them. Rest, laughter, and creativity help to put things into perspective.
6. ASSESS YOUR FRIENDS: Satisfying relationships are exceptionally good at preventing quarter-life crises. The relationships you’re really going to want to pay attention to are the people you surround yourself with every day. Avoid people that attract drama and chaos, or those who are cynical, jaded, pessimistic, and unhappy. If your friends have abandoned their dreams and self-medicate with alcohol to take the edge off, you’re in serious danger of winding up just like them. If the people you hang out with are dragging you down, it’s time to part ways.
7. HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF: A surefire way to wind up in a quarter or mid-life crisis is to follow someone else’s program for your life. So don’t do that. You’re not always going to know the next step, what you’re doing, or how everything is going to work out. But if you know the direction you should be going and you’re not heading that way because you’re scared, you’re off track. If you have a vision and a passion, you should follow it. If you don’t, expect a crisis on your hands in a few years when regret sets in. Sometimes you have to take a big, scary leap into the unknown and trust your heart. If you know who you are, and you have good friends to support you along the way, you’re going to be OK.
>>>The seven tips of advice come from the fantastic Josh Shipp, a motivational speaker and bestselling author – he coaches teens through his site: www.heyjosh.com. Along with being named a CNN Young Person Who Rocks and to INC. Magazine’s 30 under 30 list, he is launching a TV show appropriately titled JUMP SHIPP. The basis of this reality show is Josh provides one person each week a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live out their dreams – illustrating that the only way to experience the life you want is to make the leap. Pretty cool, right? I’m excited to check out the show and totally appreciate and admire the work Josh is doing. Enjoy your weekend! xoxo