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Articles to Share: discover yourself

Because some information is too good to be kept only for own reference…

If you’re in your 20s or still in the journey towards discovering yourself and your life purpose, you’re likely interested in what i’ve got to offer share here.

“The 10 Reasons Why No One Knows What They’re Doing in Their 20s”

Most people would probably click on an article with interesting or intriguing titles, or if the title calls for something pertinent to one’s life or simply hits home. This article does that to me. I always envy those who seem to know exactly what they wanna do in life, how to get there, and are so passionate about it. Truth be told, I’m invariably interested in these kinds of articles related to career/work advice genuinely hoping it’d benefit me in some ways and help me do better professionally.

The author starts off stating how evasive people can be when it comes to talking about their future, career, or school and wonders if people know what they’re doing and where they’re going. “It seems that people are going down a blind path in the hope that it will all work out.” (I do hope so…) The thing for me is, talking about what I want to do in life isn’t a boring subject, but a tough one. However, if he – and many other writers – takes the time to write about all these, that could only mean there are a lot of people who are like me, even if they’re studying at the top school/university, working a prestigious job, and earning a hella sum of money.

I’ll be summarizing the points:

1. You didn’t take advantage of your college years. Many people are guilty of choosing their major out of convenience: because the parents said so, it was a cool choice, it was ‘in’ at that moment, they were good at it in high school and simply found it ”interesting.”

I had a difficult time deciding what major I’d focus in because there are so many of them! High school exposes us to only a fraction of studies universities offer, so I don’t see why the last two points are incorrect. Instead, they should be the starting point. What one’s good at might suggest an area where s/he’s talented in (tested and proved) while what sparks one’s interest refers to something new to him/her but is something s/he’d like to try. Even then, we can only come to realize whether we like it or it fits us after we’re into it. Rene Suhardono (career coach, author of “Your Job is Not Your Career”) rationalizes money pays for the bills, not passion, especially one that you’re obsessed about but doesn’t pay off, but Andrew Ferebee propels readers to “find a way to turn your passion into a career” and start living it.

2. You live for the future. People are fixated on that happier, brighter, better tomorrow, oblivious of the opportunities today brings. It’s something along the lines of Marcel’s three phases in life statement. “Don’t live to be happy. Be happy while living. It is the journey that you must enjoy not the end result. […] Live fully and embrace the present.”

3. Your parents control you. There will likely be a generation gap way of thinking between parents and children. Parents will always want the best for their children, sometimes without the latter’s best interest in mind. “For most parents, work is work. They have  spent their entire lives doing things they didn’t like to provide for you. (You have to respect that.)” Heed their wisdom and advice, consider their inputs, but it’s your life you’re living – you gotta take control of it and do what truly drives you.

4. Your environment is holding you back. “Life is a series of rooms. And whom we get stuck in those rooms with adds up to what our lives are.” (from House M.D.; One Day, One Room) So, surround yourself with those who can help push you to be better.

5. You’ve taken the wrong path. Find what you truly care about, decide what you really want to do, then start taking steps to make it happen.

There’s a point I disagree with the author tho’. He mentions that many young adults are “all about short term gains and happiness. We want to be happy now, and we won’t sacrifice any part of that in return for future gains. So, we get to stuck in the endless cycle of day to day motions, because we’re content with that cycle.” I don’t see anything’s wrong with being content with what we have/are now. Not everyone longs to be filthy rich or super powerful, highly influential business person. If you’re happy with the simple life you’re enjoying now, don’t let others sway that stance. Period.

6. You stopped learning. Learning is an ongoing, lifelong process; education doesn’t stop at graduation. Learn from own experience and the mistakes of others.

It feels like it tho’, that learning has diminished tremendously since G-day most of the knowledge has vaporized. My brain isn’t put to work as hard as when I was still studying, I read way fewer books, also write-up something a lot less frequently. Even working isn’t half as challenging and intellectually stimulating as studying. Although I don’t like reading self-help business books, I do search for articles like this one to feed my brain; look for ways to gain me new skills while honing the current ones.

7. You do the same thing everyday. “If you do tomorrow what you did today, you will get tomorrow what you got today.” (Benjamin Franklin) If you want different results tomorrow, do different things today.

8. You’ve escaped to grad school. Getting masters degree should be the stepping stone to advance one’s career, or because it’s required, and not going just because, “to put off entering the job market, or to improve your resume by adding an additional line to it.”

My parents will put forward this idea every now and then, and I’m always against it because 1) it’s an ultra-expensive piece of paper that proves next-to-nothing. Everything can be learned, and it’s dawned on me that degree and high GPA don’t mean a thing; it’s experience that sells. 2) I’ve enough of study life and exams. 3) It’s such a waste of time and money.

9. You’re not pushing yourself. “Success is a product of hard work, not talent. […] Very few realize that you just have to do the work. Do it over and over again. Fail over and over again, and learn from those failures. […] Once you’ve started, don’t stop. Fix errors, but don’t quit.”

10. You’re a walking stimulus junkie. A stimulus junkie—moving from one stimulating quick fix at a time to another, consuming the newest media and trends like an addict. Whenever you’re making a decision about life, ask yourself: “Is this making me a more confident person and advancing my goals, or is this distancing me from who I’m meant to be?”

What to do, then?

1. Be honest and true to yourself. Sit down alone and wrestle with this question, what do you hope to accomplish before you die? The article embeds a video featuring Adam Leipzig talking about finding one’s life purpose through 5 easy steps: 1) Who you are — as simple as your name, 2) What you do — what the one thing you’re supremely qualified to teach others, 3) Whom you do it for, 4) What those people want and need — that they come to you, and 5) How they change/transform as a result. If you can answer those five, you’ve done something that people who go to Yale couldn’t figure out for 25 years, he said.

2. Embrace change. Things change. People change. The environment changes. Push yourself into uncomfortable territory. Do one thing that scares you everyday. The uncertainty, pain, and frustration mean growth. You’ll come out stronger on the other side.

If you think the last two points don’t help much, the article directs reader to another article that has gotten more than 100K hits: “The 13 Lessons to Learn in Your 20s to Discover Yourself”

1. “I am enough.” While we’re envious of other people, somebody out there’s envious of us. It’s way easier said than done, as this is what I’ve been telling myself: stop comparing and accept what you are and have. Define your own success and happiness. “There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” (Nigel Marsh)

2. Know when to let go of the past. We may forever regret the mistakes we made in the past, the only thing we can do is forgive yourself, remember the lessons it taught us, and move on. “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” (Robert Tew)

3. Neither hard work or talent are sufficient on their own to produce success. If you work hard slaving for somebody else’s business, you’re helping them achieve their dreams. Talent alone doesn’t bring you greatness and recognition. So, make the best out of your talent and work extra hard towards accomplishing your own goals is the win/win solution.

4. Be grateful. For everything you currently have – “Look around you. Look within you. Everything you see is something to be grateful for.” They’re all gifts, which can easily be taken away from you. Let that resonate and you’ll appreciate the littlest/simplest things more. E.g. I’m always grateful for being awake in the morning, while still lying on my bed, and for being able to live through the day in the evening, before going to bed.

5. Be humble. Acknowledge you don’t know everything. “I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean…” (I hope you dance – Lee Ann Womack) If you picture how insignificant you’re as a being compared to the size of your community, your city, your country, your world, your universe, but also the impact you can have on each and every one… “That awesome scope, that feeling you get from looking at it, that’s humility.”

6. Play your game, not theirs. No one will realize your dream for you. Meanwhile, don’t be too harsh on yourself if you misstep or fall behind, because it takes more time and effort to build a pyramid than ordinary-looking buildings. The road to success is never easy, isn’t it?

7. Do what you love. Discover yourself by doing the things you love. Your work is your contribution. Perform the best work you can that will give the most to society. Develop your skill set and get so good they can’t ignore you!

8. Procrastination kills. Everyday should be one step closer to your goals. Otherwise, you’ll spend your life waiting and waiting and waiting for who knows what. I wouldn’t wanna be that person.

9. Career and Money is not everything in life. They say work/life balance in today’s workforce and society is not possible at all; don’t even think about it! Here, the author propels to find the balance between the two. “Don’t chase just one or the other, chase a life worth living. A life well lived. You want to arrive at the finish line surrounded by the people you love.”

10. Be spontaneous, take risks. Spontaneity will make you feel alive. Risks are what bring rewards. And for crying out loud don’t listen to anyone who tells you to be reasonable or even worse be more realistic.  Rational people work for other people. Unreasonable people define the world they live in (Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay-Z). You’re learning and growing when you’re uncomfortable. Staying in your comfort zone leads you nowhere. So, go out there, take risks, and welcome the world full of unimaginable opportunities.

11. Be willing. The 20s is the time to learn what works, what doesn’t and become wiser as a result. Practice what you read/learn. “That is what separates the doers and the dreamers.”

12. Surround yourself with good people. This mirrors point #4 above. Your environment matters.

13. Don’t make permanent life decisions in your early twenties. Discover yourself, have fun, go out, try new things, switch careers, party, explore, find out what you want. Date as many people as you want. Discover who you are. Build your business. Develop yourself. Become the the best man you can be and the man your future partner will want to be with for the rest of their lives. […] You always have your late twenties and thirties to settle down, that’s what they’re there for.

Both articles are written by Andrew Ferebee. Each point is elaborated to such length and detailed explanation that both articles end up being long and verbose but they’re worth reading. He put a lot of thoughts and time into this, spending around 20hours on each article. I’ve summarized, quoted, and paraphrased the contents, mostly for my personal notes, highlighting those which hit home, but make sure to check the articles out yourself.

Now, putting ‘em into practice… hmm… that’s the hard(er) part…



I blog sometimes, gush ofttimes, snark all the time.

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