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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 Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do 2 Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More 3 10 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Worthless 4 How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week 5 5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

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                                Last Updated on September 22, 2020

                                How to Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do

                                How to Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do

                                You have probably heard the success stories about people who wake up early. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oprah Winfrey, and Olympic medalist Caroline Burckle all talk about the positive impact of waking up early on their lives.

                                Even though many assign a portion of their success to waking up early, many find it difficult to make the switch. While most people know what needs to happen to change their life, they find then difficult to implement consistently. To understand how to wake up early, you need to tap into the wisdom of those already doing it.

                                Here are the 6 things early risers do:

                                1. Stop Procrastinating

                                The first thing you need to do when you want to learn how to wake up early is to go to sleep earlier. Stop procrastinating. You will find it much easier to wake up when you are getting the proper amount of sleep. Set a bedtime that allows you to get 8-hours of sleep and hold yourself accountable.

                                The problem most of you will have at first is how tired you will feel. If you are someone who goes to sleep after midnight, waking up by 6 a.m. will not be easy. The reason you need to push through that initial difficulty is that you are going to be very tired at the end of the day. Realistically, you probably would fall asleep at your desk or doze off on your lunch break. Either way, waking up early no matter how you feel will motivate you to go sleep at the proper time that night.

                                Think of it as someone who procrastinated until the night before their project was due. Having done this myself, you do what you need to do to complete the project, whether that means working all night or cutting some corners because you don’t have time to triple-check your work.

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                                After you turn in your project, you feel both exhaustion and jubilation. After you make it through the workday and crash at home, you promise yourself you’ll never wait until the last minute again. This same feeling will happen when you force yourself to wake up early no matter what time you went to sleep. You are going to promise yourself you will go to bed at the right time.

                                Most people don’t go to bed when they should because they know they will ultimately make it up in the morning.

                                2. Pace Yourself

                                If you want to start waking up a couple of hours earlier each day, you may not be able to make that change all at once. It stands to reason the more drastic the shift, the more difficult it will be.

                                So, instead of trying to adjust your sleep pattern by several hours, start in 15-minute or 30-minute intervals.[1] If you wake up 30 minutes earlier each week, you will be a morning person by the end of the month. This may feel like you are drawing out your goal but in reality, you are accomplishing it much quicker than most. Most people who are naturally night owls find it difficult to completely change their sleep habits overnight.

                                Think of it as someone who is trying to quit drinking coffee. Outside of the fact you may enjoy the taste of coffee, your body is used to operating with a certain amount of caffeine and sugar. Some will be able to quit overnight and their body will adjust accordingly. And if you are one of those people, then do what works for you.

                                However, if you were to take an incremental approach, then you may first start drinking your coffee black. Then, you could switch to decaf before slowly lowering the amount of coffee you drink each day. As you can see, this approach will help minimize the feeling of withdrawal while getting the results you want.

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                                3. Watch Your Lighting

                                Light reduces your body’s production of the sleep-inducing melatonin hormone. In practical terms, your body naturally wants to be awake when the sun is up and go to sleep when the sun is down. This is called your circadian rhythm.

                                In the technology-driven world we currently live in, you likely look at a screen or two before bed. Studies show television and phone screens trick your body into thinking the sun is up. As a result, your body starts producing less melatonin. To help you fall asleep, you should stop looking at screens at least an hour before bed.

                                This can also mean that if you want to wake up before the sun, looking at your screen when you wake up can help you to stay awake.

                                Peter Balyta, the President of Education Technology for Texas Instruments says he wakes up at 5:20 a.m. and scans his emails before starting his day. This is also true for M.I.T. president L. Rafael Rief. He wakes up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. and checks his phone for anything urgent.[2]

                                4. Make It Worth Your Time

                                Have you ever woken up early but went back to sleep because you didn’t have a reason to stay up? To put it another way, have you ever fallen asleep because you didn’t have anything better to do?

                                If you want to be excited about going to sleep and waking up early, then you need to give yourself a reason to be excited. You can accomplish this by listing the three things you want to accomplish the next morning. Notice I said “want” and not “need” to accomplish. You don’t want to be dragging yourself into the next morning kicking and screaming.

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                                Your list should not only include what you want to accomplish but also why you want to accomplish it. If you want to take it a step further, list the consequences of not waking up early.

                                People who have figured out how to wake up early are shown to be more successful, persistent, and proactive in their life. They tend to be happier and handle stress better. It is also shown that people who wake up early procrastinate less.[3] If you find any of these benefits something you want to add in your life, then waking up early is shown to help.

                                5. Avoid Binging

                                There is a difference between sleeping and getting a good night’s sleep. Sure, you can drink alcohol and fall asleep, but you will not be getting quality rest. You will wake up feeling as though you slept for only a couple hours.

                                It is best to stop drinking at least 4 hours before bedtime. Binge drinking is known to impact your sleep-inducing melatonin hormone levels for up to a week. The same holds true with eating a large meal right before bed. It is not that your body can’t process food and sleep at the same time. The main concern has more to do with the possibility of indigestion or heartburn than anything else.

                                If you find yourself dealing with either of these symptoms, then you may want to stop eating at least two hours before bed.

                                6. Get the Blood Flowing

                                Those who have mastered the technique of how to wake up early tend to start each morning with movement.

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                                Your first movement is to get out of bed. To help you get out of bed, have your alarm far enough away that you need to get up and turn it off. Before you allow yourself to contemplate going back to sleep, take a moment, and do 10 push-ups or 10 jumping jacks. Think of each exercise as you taking one step further from being able to go back to sleep.

                                Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments wakes up at 4 a.m. each morning. She starts each day by exercising. Her exercises include running, weight lifting, swimming, and cycling.

                                You decide for yourself how you want to get your blood flowing. Whether you want to go on a walk, workout at the gym, or do something at home, make sure you are scheduling time to exercise.

                                Final Thoughts

                                The key to understanding how to wake up early is to recognize that it is heavily driven by the actions you take the night before. You will wake up early if you go to bed at a good time and get the proper amount of sleep.

                                By taking the time to prepare yourself both mentally and physically each night, you can ensure you are positioned for success the next morning. Once you have taken the proper actions the night before, make sure you use that momentum to start your day, on time.

                                The goal is to make the actions you want to take as easy as possible. The key to changing your life is to discover a way to have the wind at your back, going in the direction you want.

                                More Tips on How to Wake up Early

                                Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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