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What Highly Successful People Were Doing When Facing Their Quarter-Life Crises

What Highly Successful People Were Doing When Facing Their Quarter-Life Crises

Ranging between the period from late teens to early thirties, the quarter-life crisis is the phase during which a person is transitioning to adult life but feels doubtful about their life. The term is comparable to midlife crisis.

The core crisis of the problem that is quarter-life crisis, is the problem of fitting in. Researchers have found that this is the time around which people have the strongest desire to fit in, the time during which they are hoping to give a direction to their life.

Quarter-life crises are common among young adults — about two-thirds of young adults are believed to have experienced this crisis in some form. The experiences of people vary significantly, but eventually people get through it.

The crisis isn’t faced just by average Joe or plain Jane out there. Even the most famous folks in the world today have gone through this crisis in one way or another. Some have made smooth transitions through this period, while for some, paths have been rather tricky.

Here below, we present to you what some famous people were doing around the time when they were facing their own quarter-life crisis at the age of 25.

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton was a recent law school graduate.

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    Hillary Clinton began dating former US president Bill Clinton, who was also a fellow law student at Yale, at the age of 23. Just before she turned 25, she received her JD degree, which was in the year 1973. That same year, she also began working at the Yale Child Study Center.

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    2. Donald Trump was given control of his father’s real estate company.

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      At 25, the young real estate developer took over his father’s real estate development company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, which has since been renamed to The Trump Organization. This was in 1971, when he also moved to Manhattan to be involved in larger building projects, through which he came to public recognition.

      3. Richard Branson was running Virgin Labels successfully.

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        Branson started a record shop in London at the age of 20, four years after he had dropped out of school due to dyslexia. He went on to launch the record label Virgin Records in 1972 at the age of 22. Mike Oldfield’s debut album Tubular Bells became the label’s first release in 1973, which became a chart-topping best-seller. The label later signed the likes of Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, and Genesis.

        4. Warren Buffett was working as an analyst.

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          Buffett earned his master’s degree in economics from the Columbia Business School in 1951 at the age of 21. He then worked as an investment salesman at Buffet-Falk & Co. for three years and later as an analyst at Graham-Newman Corp. for two years. In 1956, he went on to start his firm, Buffett Partnership Ltd., In Omaha.

          5. Arianna Huffington was travelling to music festivals around the world.

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            In 1971, when she was Arianna Stassinopolous, she met British journalist Henry Bernard Levin and the two began a relationship. They travelled to music festivals around the world for BBC for several of the ensuing years. In the meantime, in 1973, at the age of 23, she also published her book The Female Woman.

            6. J.K. Rowling had just come up with the idea for Harry Potter.

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              Rowling was 25 in 1990. She had just moved to Portugal to teach English. It was also the same year that she first came up with the idea for her Harry Potter series while on train from Manchester to London. She immediately started the first book, but it took her years to finish it.

              7. Stephen King was working as an English teacher.

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                King graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Maine in 1970. A year later, he married Tabitha Spruce, a fellow student at Maine. That same year, he was hired as an English educator at Hampden Academy in Maine. He was 26 when his first novel, Carrie, was accepted by the publishing house Doubleday in 1973.

                8. Mark Zuckerberg had worked for five years at Facebook.

                AUSTIN, Texas -- They came expecting a civilized, one-on-one discussion, but they got what some attendees described as "a train wreck." Ballroom A of the Austin Convention Center was packed to capacity Sunday evening for an hour-long interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the keynote speaker at this year's South by Southwest Interactive festival. The 23-year-old billionaire founder of the social networking site was interviewed on stage by author and journalist Sarah Lacy. Using her unique, friendly style of interviewing -- closer to two friends chatting than a straight question-and-answer session -- Lacy tried to get the notoriously tight-lipped Zuckerberg to open up. But the discussion rarely strayed beyond the usual business fare and eventually descended into a string of awkward moments punctuated by the audience's heckling.

                  Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dormitory room at Harvard in 2004. It had already changed the world, from changing the notion of reaching out to the masses to creating the need for social media management. It was in 2009 however, when Zuckerberg was 25, that Facebook finally turned cash-positive for the first time. In the same year, it also hit 300 million users.

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                  9. Elon Musk was running his first company, Zip2.

                  Courtesy Alexandra Musk -- Elon Musk, right, in this undated photo is show with his brother Kimbal, center, and father Errol, left.

                    In 1995, when he was 24, Musk dropped out of a PhD in applied physics at Stanford to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. He then started the web software company Zip2, along with his brother Kimbal Musk, using $28,000 of his father’s money. The company was purchased four years later by Compaq for $307 million.

                    10. Jeff Bezos was working on Wall Street.

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                      Bezos graduated from Princeton University in 1986 at the age of 22. He then went on to work in the computer science field on Wall Street. He worked at Fitel, Banker’s Trust, and D.E. Shaw & Co. He became D.E. Shaw’s youngest ever vice president in 1990 when he was just 26.

                      11. Steve Jobs had just made Apple a publicly traded company.

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                        Steve Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, started Apple Computer in 1976, when he was just 21, in the Jobs family garage. Apple I was released in 1976, which was followed by Apple II in 1977. Jobs took Apple Computer public in December 1980. At the end of the first day of trading itself, it had a market value of $1.2 billion.

                        12. Larry Ellison was working as a programmer.

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                          Ellison dropped out of the University of Illinois, Champaign after the second year and University of Chicago after just one semester. In 1966, aged 22, he moved to Berkeley, California with little money. He went on to switch technical jobs between different places for about a decade. His final job before Oracle was at Amdahl Corporation.

                          13. Eric Schmidt was doing his PhD at UC Berkley.

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                            Schmidt was doing his graduate coursework at UC Berkley from 1976 to 1982. He earned his PhD in computer engineering from Berkley in 1982, at the age of 27. His focus was on distributed software development and computer networking. He later joined Sun Microsystems as its first software engineer in 1983.

                            14. Bill Gates made a deal that earned Microsoft its first real success.

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                              Gates was just 20 when he founded Microsoft along with Paul Allen in 1975. In 1980, IBM approached Microsoft for an operating system for their upcoming personal computer. This was when he made that famous deal — offering IBM the software although Microsoft didn’t actually have it. It was purchased only later from Seattle Computer Products.

                              15. Oprah Winfrey was hosting a TV show in Baltimore.

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                                In 1976, at the age of 22, Winfrey moved to Baltimore, Maryland to co-anchor WJZ-TV’s six o’clock news. She then joined Richard Sher as co-host of local talk show People Are Talking in 1978. The show became an instant hit and she stayed there until 1983 when she moved to Chicago to host AM Chicago, through which she truly made her name.

                                Featured photo credit: OnInnovation Interview: Elon Musk via flickr.com

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                                Nabin Paudyal

                                Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                                Last Updated on October 22, 2019

                                How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

                                How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

                                We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

                                With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

                                So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

                                1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

                                Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

                                So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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                                You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

                                If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

                                Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

                                2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

                                Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

                                Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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                                Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

                                Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

                                3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

                                If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

                                This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

                                Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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                                When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

                                If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

                                Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

                                4. Get up and Move

                                We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

                                When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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                                If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

                                Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

                                It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

                                Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

                                The Bottom Line

                                It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

                                Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

                                More Resources About Boosting Focus and Productivity

                                Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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