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If You Feel Lost At 29, Don’t Worry, Read This

If You Feel Lost At 29, Don’t Worry, Read This

The age of 29 is a weird think to think about. It is the penultimate year to yours 20s and one that leaves you in a fit of confusion on how to feel about the next birthday. A weird stigma surrounds the idea of aging in the current culture of America and it baffles me. At 29, people should be excited for 30, they should look back on the previous decade and see a trail of growth and harmony, not stare at the future in fear of what they will appear to others as. For those toeing the line of knowing all too well what it is like to be 29, never fear, just continue reading.

In a conversation I once had with a friend of mine she expressed the idea that she does not enjoy the idea behind the saying of “you look younger than you are.” It sounds wild but look at it this way, where were you ten years ago? I know myself I was more of a wreck than I am now, and that’s slightly terrifying if people can see me and expect me to be at that younger age. Although I have wild and vivid stories from that different past, I think where I am now is a much more sincere and honest lifestyle, and one that has been revealed with wisdom and spiritual power. At 30 I hope to wear myself as an individual that has survived all the questionings of my twenties, not back myself into a corner fearing what I look like and believing in the propaganda that I have to retain that youth.

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At the same time there is a bit of worrying that can still be happening at 29. Relationships may still be coming and going for some people while others are settling into their marriages. It can be an odd dichotomy of worlds to walk through. The entire idea behind life should not be to constantly compete with your friends, however. If you happen to be single (shoutout to all the others out there) do not — I repeat do NOT — rush into things just because your friends have. That can be a bitter way to end a potential beautiful relationship. It’s okay to still be meandering through life in constant wonder of who will scoop you into their arms. While your other friends may have found their love and are having kids, don’t worry, your chance will come. For those in touching relationships with children, you already are finding out so much about yourself through raising your offspring that you should be proud to look at age 30 and the next decade of growth that happens not only for you but your kids as well.

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Age 29 should also be a timeframe where before you enter a new decade, you should evaluate what course of action you have taken. Hopefully, your heart has been followed and you are doing things now that are worth value to you instead of just “getting by” like you used to (hence why that looking youthful idea irks me). If not, people have been known to dive into the friendly “quarter life crisis” and find out a better work situation for themselves. Again, don’t worry if that is happening, it’s better to have a want to better yourself the next ten years after a decade under the influence that was your twenties. I mean, think about it. At some point you turned 21 and might have been surrounded by college friends and the bar scene. It happens to most people. Now, at 29 you have a potential of eight (albeit maybe even 14) years of experience under your belt of partying and you can still have a great time. You just might be in a state where you also want to be having a great time in your work life as well, instead of ambitiously working to skate by with rent or mortgages. Another thing, no one is ever too old to go back to school. Maybe you have found a new happiness for meteorology or journalism or even fashion design. You will find you are even more equipped now after all the experiences life has thrown at you to find a new field to work in.

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At 29, people should have their heads higher than before. At 29, everyone should be happy to have lived their first quarter of their life. At 29, moving on is both pensive and poignant, but it marks a new chapter in life that people should show more excitement for. Instead of worrying about the big three oh, look at it directly and accept how beautiful you and your life are.

Featured photo credit: amjorsfeldt via cdn.morguefile.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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