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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

7 Things Millennials Can Do to Beat the Quarter Life Crisis

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7 Things Millennials Can Do to Beat the Quarter Life Crisis

Everyone has heard of the midlife crisis, but some may not be aware of the quarter life crisis. This is a period in one’s twenties when you may feel anxiety over where you’re going in life or the quality of the life you’re currently living. It can be marked with self-doubt and general uncertainty. The term has only recently become popularized in relation to the current generation of young people in their 20s to early 30s who collectively answer to the term “millennials.”

Typical features of the quarter life crisis are:

  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • An overwhelming dissatisfaction with the direction of one’s life
  • Feeling as if life has no specific purpose
  • Feelings of self-doubt and confusion

Left unchecked, these feelings can trigger a downward spiral from anxiety to depression, or worse. One recent report by public-health groups Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust points out that drug, alcohol, and suicide deaths have risen in nearly every age group over the last decade, but the increase has been especially pronounced for younger Americans, the so-called millennials[1].

Statistics on the Quarter-Life Crisis | Business Wire

    If the quarter life crisis is responsible for playing any part in these troubling stats by increasing a sense of despair and hopelessness, then finding ways to overcome it early on could be incredibly important[2].

    Here are 7 simple steps that an individual at risk can take to give the quarter life crisis a side-step:

    1. Identify Your Top 3 Personal Values

    Really knowing what makes you tick, what turns you on to life, is incredibly empowering. This information can act like a compass for you as you go through life, giving you a sense of clarity in your decision making. This clarity will eliminate a lot of the mental fog that can cause self-doubt and confusion.

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    Your personal values are the things that are at your core, that make up your essence, and which you consider to be highly important across every aspect of life.

    Examples of personal values are: Creativity, Growth, Honesty, Responsibility, Persistence, etc. Getting down to just 3 values can be tough, but when you do narrow it down, you will have a clear focus for everything you do.

    2. Detox Your Mind

    On an average day, most of us are overloaded with more information and communication than we can handle or process. Sometimes the clutter of all this information and mental noise can fog what’s really important to us, and for us.

    In the same way that our physical bodies can benefit from a good detox – eliminating the bad, and flushing out our systems with the good – so too can our minds feel refreshed and renewed after consciously deciding to monitor the information we let into it for a period of time.

    Try one week without reality TV, soaps, gossip magazines, news, social media, etc. Try flushing your mind out with a combination of silence and carefully selected positive material designed to boost your mental well-being.

    Instead of scrolling through Facebook, try picking up a good book. Instead of that dramatic reality show, turn on a documentary about the real world instead. You may discover something new you enjoy doing, and, at the very least, you’ll learn something along the way.

    3. Adopt an Attitude of Personal Responsibility

    This is one of the easiest tips to implement if you are mentally prepared to take it on during a quarter life crisis. Your attitude is nothing more than a choice. This piece of advice puts you fully in the driving seat of everything that happens around you.

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    100% responsibility means that even if something isn’t your fault, you still take responsibility for how the outcome has impacted you. This gives you the opportunity to open your eyes to how you might actually be affecting things that you previously thought were outside of your control.

    This is especially important if the effects that you have been experiencing have been less than positive. 100% responsibility means always asking, “What could I have done differently? How can I change my behavior in the future to positively affect the outcome?” Ask these questions instead of looking at what other people have done wrong, or how they are to blame for a given set of circumstances or outcome.

    The next time you feel some frustration or anger building up inside you towards someone or something else, just ask yourself, “How might I have contributed to this situation? What would I do differently if it were to occur again?”

    If you have trouble reflecting on these kinds of questions, try adding in some mindfulness meditation to make some space in your mind for these analyses. You can get started here.

    4. Practice Responding Rather Than Reacting

    For most of us, most of the time, when we speak or act, we are reacting instinctively to something that has been said, or something that has happened immediately beforehand. Responding means that we allow a little pause, some space, between what is said or done, and what we choose to say or do as a result.

    It doesn’t have to be a big dramatic pause, just enough time for us to give brief consideration to the things we do and say. In this pause, we can do a quick mental check, which will eventually become automatic, to see if we are responding in a way that aligns with our core values and is in line with us taking 100% responsibility[3].

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    Reaction Vs. Response

      Try using that space in your next conversation, and see if you don’t feel a great sense of calm about your communications and interactions.

      5. Pick a Destination and Enjoy the Journey There

      This tip refers to the principle of having a specific overall purpose to your life, and learning to enjoy the process that will help you to achieve it. Once you are clear on your values, it becomes much easier to identify what direction you want to take your life in, and for what specific purpose. That is your destination, and it will help you move through a quarter life crisis with more confidence.

      Doing the things that will take you towards that destination will be what makes up a substantial part of your life, so it is important that you see it all as part of a process that you can enjoy. Take pride in this because you know it is all contributing to you achieving your purpose.

      One activity that can help in identifying what purpose you want to have in life is to write a letter to yourself from the perspective of an older version of yourself.

      What will that version of you have accomplished? Where will they be in life, and how will they feel? With all of that, what would they tell you, their younger self, about the next steps to take?

      Your 20s and 30s can feel like a lot of back and forth as you explore what does and doesn’t work for your life. This can lead to a sense of feeling lost and unbalanced. Try to remember that this is all temporary and that once you find your niche, things will get easier.

      6. Keep It All in Check With Balance

      Balance here refers not to balancing all the different roles and responsibilities that you need to fulfill on a daily basis in order to manage a quarter life crisis, but rather balancing the 3 elements that make it possible for you fulfill those roles in the first place – your physical body, your thinking mind, and your guiding spirit.

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      Balancing them doesn’t necessarily mean spending equal time on each, but being aware of each and giving them acknowledgement of the role they each play in your life. For your body, this means eating right, resting well and getting some exercise. For your mind, this could mean that after your mental detox, you adopt some new habits about what goes into your mind, and the space you give it to process the information overload each day.

      Depending on your beliefs, your spirit may be as simple as your gut feelings. The emotions that we feel can be a guiding voice regarding a particular situation. This is not to say that you should be ruled by your emotions, but equally, don’t ignore your inner voice – it’s often giving the wisest advice.

      7. Put Your Life in Your Hands With a Plan

      Chances are, if you’ve ever planned anything important, you’ve had a written plan. Starting a business, planning a wedding, a project at work…it all gets written down. How much more important is this for your life?

      Imagine holding a document in your hands containing the plans for the next 5 years of your life. Identifying your top 3 values is a great start. From there, you could go on to create your bucket list. Then, pick the top thing from there that you would like to prioritize for achieving in the next 12 months.

      Then, jot down a list of everything that you would need to do to make it happen. What are the major stepping stones for achieving that thing? What are the specific tasks that you would need to do to achieve each of those steps? When will you do each of these steps?

      These are some of the basic questions that you would need to ask yourself to give yourself a great chance of making that thing happen. If you take a little bit of action on each of these steps on a regular basis, you will reduce your risk of being hit by the quarter life crisis. You’ll also increase your ability to deal with it, if that is where you already find yourself.

      The Bottom Line

      The quarter life crisis is not an inevitable transition into full blown adulthood for young adults. You can find a way to eliminate or reduce its effects before it even starts by simply identifying your values and recognizing which direction you want to head in. The first few steps are always going to be the hardest, but they’ll be the most rewarding if you can push through them.

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      More Tips for Millennials

      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

      Reference

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      Last Updated on September 16, 2021

      Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

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      Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

      Have you ever felt like you’re unable to feel anything? You know exactly what this feeling is if you’ve been through it. The feeling of a meaningless life is unexplainable.

      A meaningless life may not look bad. In fact, there’s likely nothing obviously wrong. You may be living in your dream house with the love of your life. Your well-paid job in the company that you dreamt of is doing great, too. However, you feel like a part of your heart and soul are missing.

      If you feel like nothing is right, you may be living a meaningless life. But don’t you worry, because you’re in the right place to find the perfect solution for you and your unique life.

      What Is a Meaningless Life?

      Let’s start by helping you put a finger on your issue. Is it actually a meaningless life or just a rough slump?

      Be clear on one thing: no human’s life is ever truly meaningless. Basically, your life can never lose its meaning and purpose. If you’re living in this world, there is some reason deep down. The only issue is that you have lost the vision to identify it. Your perspective is too blurred to figure out what you are in this world for.

      A meaningless life may mean you’re going through an existential crisis. You could be borderline depressed. The feeling of emptiness may prevail all other emotions. However, you can be sure that, despite all of this, there’s still meaning to your existence.

      All you have to do is push through to find it.

      If you feel that you’re living a meaningless life, negativity will surround you like wildfire. However, you’ve got to keep your head high so that you can look ahead and find an answer. You have to strive to find your life’s meaning to continue to live a life of high motivation.

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      Before you move on with the rest of the process, make sure to first imprint this in your mind. Only then will you be able to guide your thought process in the right direction.

      Is There Any Meaning to Life?

      Life, in its literal term, means to exist and reproduce. The reproduction not only includes the creation of humans like yourself, but also of thoughts, ideologies, and philosophies.

      A person who is living a meaningless life has a very different view of what life is supposed to be. That is where the issue arises. To understand the meaning of life without any misconceptions, one should look at the philosophy behind this concept.

      Like most branches of research, philosophy has numerous diverging answers to answer what the meaning of life is[1]. Here’s a quick summary of what I consider the most suitable understanding.

      It all starts from a human’s expectations and, ultimately, reactions. Every individual expects something from the world and, in return, has to react to the expectations of others. Generally, this idea is surrounded by wanting goodness. To achieve that, a person has to do good deeds as well.

      This cycle continues. But, of course, it is very complex. A lot of factors contribute to this cycle, such as selfishness, a different point of view of what’s good, emotions, likes and dislikes, etc.

      The point of this entire concept in philosophy is that, ultimately, the process of growth and reproduction comes to an end for every human. There’s no escaping that. Therefore, the goal is to live life in a way that, when the individual’s growth comes to an end, something good is still left behind for the cycle to continue.

      Where Does the Good Come From?

      This is the point where the differences come in. People with different beliefs opt for varying methods to reach the same goal.

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      There are four main schools of thought in philosophy in this regard, and they all offer different advice on how to move past living a meaningless life[2].

      1. God

      One school believes that God is the center of everything we do. Hence, goodness is anything that goes in line with the religion that you believe in.

      2. The Soul

      The other school of thought centers their actions on the soul. For them, anything that satisfies and calms your inner self is the path you should follow, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

      3. Objectivists

      The objectivists say that everything in the world is defined; the good and bad are certain, so no one should go beyond the set boundaries.

      4. Subjectivists

      The subjectivists, on the other hand, believe that since every individual’s cognition varies, the meaning of every single thing in the world is different. No two individuals can have a similar thought process.

      All in all, life comes down to one thing only: goodness. That is what life should be, and that is what you should leave behind. How you achieve it depends on which school of thought you agree with. Whatever you believe in is ultimately what the meaning of your life is.

      How to Stop Living a Meaningless Life

      Now you know that there is a meaning to your life, without question. You also have an idea of what this meaning is. You’ve got to figure out what you consider “good” and build your life around it.

      Regardless of which school of thought you agree with or what you have decided your life’s meaning to be, the process to implement will be a bit hard. To make it easier, here are some universal tips.

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      1. Unlearn What You’ve Been Told All Your Life

      Do not be distracted by what you’ve learned in your life until now. The truth is, you could have been told something for 30 years of your life only to find out that it was all baseless.

      The only thing in life that is definite is that there are no rules. We didn’t come into this world with a rule book or defined meaning. Every individual was given the ability to make choices in their life. So, take hold of yours, learn your right and wrong from scratch, and make sure nothing is detracting you from the real meaning of your life. Don’t be afraid if you learn something that goes against your lifelong motto if it gets you away from living a meaningless life.

      2. Know That You Matter

      This has been said a couple of times by now but, honestly, the more you emphasize this fact, the easier it will be for you.

      The fact that you’re alive, living in this world, and taking another breath to take means that you matter. Your life purpose is yet to be fulfilled, so you’ve still got to make some impact in this world.

      You are the one person that has to change the world, even if it is something as small as changing the life of one tiny creature. Keep this in mind at all times.

      3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

      If your life’s meaning was somewhere inside the circle that you stay in, you would’ve found it by now. Isn’t it obvious that what you’re looking for is out of your comfort zone? Then, what’s keeping you from stepping out?

      Don’t hesitate to step out. The short-term discomfort will help you find the long-term purpose of life, which will give you a lifetime of relaxation and a constant way out of a meaningless life.

      4. Follow Your Heart

      Whether you’re choosing which school of thought to follow or opting between what good to go after, never ignore your heart. Your intuition is your heart’s way of guiding you. Don’t let it take over, but also don’t forget to take it into consideration.

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      5. Do Not Let Go of Your Passion

      You know that one thing in life that you just cannot give up no matter hard you try? Stop trying to get rid of it. You’re passionate about something for a reason. It is a step for you to reach your life’s meaning.

      6. Be More Mindful

      The big things in life tend to take over the tiny details. These little things are signs to help you decode and find answers. Meditate if you have a hard time focusing, but always try your best to pay attention to the little experiences that you usually don’t notice.

      Conclusion

      If you’re a person who is going through the dilemma of living a meaningless life, try to use these tips to help you seek out your unique meaning. Although your life seems meaningless, rest assured that it’s not.

      The ball is now in your court. You’re the one who has to do the rest of the work. Use the tips to help you find the true meaning of your life, and then stick to it. Get on with step 1 from today without losing any motivation at all.

      All the work that you’ll put in the process now will help you achieve a life of happiness and peace worth living.

      More Tips on Living With Meaning

      Featured photo credit: Frida Aguilar Estrada via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Philosophy Now: What is Life?
      [2] Philosophy Now: What is The Meaning Of Life?

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