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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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                                1 How To Break the Procrastination Cycle 2 Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing) 3 5 Tips for Overcoming Procrastination and Feeling Overwhelmed 4 Why You Procrastinate: 7 Possible Reasons You Can’t Get Anything Done 5 Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

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                                Last Updated on March 31, 2020

                                How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

                                How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

                                How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

                                There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

                                The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

                                For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

                                1. Feeling Eager and Energized

                                This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

                                2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

                                The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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                                3. Still No Action

                                More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

                                4. Flicker of Hope Left

                                You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

                                5. Fading Quickly

                                Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

                                6. Vow to Yourself

                                Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

                                Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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                                How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

                                Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

                                To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

                                1. Feeling Eager and Energized

                                This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

                                2. Plan

                                Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

                                3. Resistance

                                Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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                                What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

                                4. Confront Those Feelings

                                Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

                                Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

                                5. Put Results Before Comfort

                                You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

                                6. Repeat

                                Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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                                Final Thoughts

                                Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

                                If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

                                Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

                                Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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