THIS IS NOT A SELF HELP ARTICLE!
Nah levels it’s not, I’m no lifestyle guru. I’m just ranting. Carry on reading though, it might be a half decent read.
I, along with most other millennials, are on a constant search to find a job, career path or business that gives us financial independence, satisfies our desire to “make a difference” (in a way that none of us can truly quantify) and gives us a healthy work life balance so we can travel to obscure corners of the world and make a travel vlog about it. Oh, and we’d rather we achieve all of this by our mid-twenties or else we get incredibly frustrated.
(*DISCLAIMER* This is not a millennial bashing article. I’m not about to tell you how idealistic and unreasonable our expectations are. I’m merely exploring some of the self-depreciating behaviours many of us have picked up.)
Not to say the aforementioned is unattainable, far from it. If you work diligently and have the right people around you, you can certainly achieve this. I say that to say this; you’re not meant to have achieved that type of lifestyle when you’re hardly even 10% into your career/business/project. There is a process you have to work through, and there’s no way to escape it.
I’m just a few weeks short of my 25th birthday. And a lot of people my age (myself included! – This is as much a therapeutic rant as it is a blog post) are either dissatisfied with where they are, frustrated about lack of finance or have a feeling of “emptiness” because their work doesn’t satisfy their altruistic desires.
Now, these frustrations normally manifest in one of three ways.
- You work relentlessly hard on a fruitless project/endeavour that takes you out the 9-5. You give yourself things to do and convince yourself you are being productive and thus have no time for a job because you are pursuing the “dream”. My friend, guh look werk.
- You chop and change jobs, career path and direction every few months because you’ve not found anything that allows you to “make an impact”. You’re not entirely sure what impact you want to make, but you’re certain it’s an impact you want to have.
- This one is the most common. You work your day job because money haffi mek. But you also run your side hustle. The problem is there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. You convince yourself that “sleep if for broke people” and listen to hours of Gary Vaynerchuck and Eric Thomas. You eventually burn out because 4 hours sleep a night will not sustain you no matter how much Eric Thomas tells you that you haven’t earnt it.
There are of course healthy ways to do all of the above. You can work tirelessly in pursuit of a goal and achieve it. You can also change jobs regularly and try different career paths and still move up in your career. And you most certainly can work a day job and balance a business on the side, that seems to be the norm for many of us nowadays. It’s only a problem when there is no balance.
We should all continue to try and find meaning, purpose and reward in our careers. But it’s imperative that our feeling of self worth does not rest solely on that which we do to earn a living. We all MUST have something outside of our labour that we enjoy, are passionate about and will do regularly. You work alone cannot keep you balanced. Join a book club, go to the gym or, in my case, write sporadic and randomly timed brain farts and pass them off as blog posts.