The Success Sacrifice.

I think there is a lot of pressure on twenty something year olds to have it all figured out. We have the media telling us we are useless, the worst employees to date etc, we have people younger than us, those in their teens who are making millions and creating amazing apps and then we open our newsfeed and we see our friends and acquaintances travelling the world, getting married, starting families or rising up the career ladder. And then we look towards ourself and wonder what we have achieved. Have we even achieved anything? Am I not supposed to be a multimillionaire right now? Am I not supposed to be madly in love with the person I am going to spend forever with right now? Should I have not travelled the entire globe by now? What am I doing with my life?

Relax. Take a deep breath. Take a few more deep breathes. Now read this.

Everyone has their own timelines for success. And everyone has their own definition of success. Some people I went to university with will be fully qualified fledging lawyers before 25, while others will have married and had kids, while others will have travelled to a few countries. Some people will work 70 hour weeks and will become partner by 45 but may not have children, might never be home to see their partner, might not get the time to travel the globe, might retire by 60 and get to see the world. Others might postpone their professional careers and travel the globe, see the northern lights, eat pizza in Naples, dance in the Monsoon rains in India and enter the corporate world at 28, a few years behind others, forever perhaps playing catchup.

Every success requires sacrifice. If you want to become a CEO, no matter what, you are going to have to sacrifice some aspect of your life. You will not make it to every single one of your child’s recitals, you may not make every single meeting, you may not make every training session, every date night or see every country in the world. But you will make the ones that are important.

And thats the thing, to be great, to be an expert, you need to cut other elements out of your life. Figure out your priorities and eliminate anything which is not a priority. For example: when I was studying for my final law exams, I cut out socialising and sport for a year as those were not priorities. What were priorities? Study, sleep and my mom. That is where my time went, if I was not studying, I was sleeping. If I had time off from university, I was at home with my mom. Those were my priorities. And that is how I came out with a first class honours in law as I knew what my priorities were.

Now, that university is over, my priorities have shifted. The things I want to achieve in life are different. This brings me to my second point. Your priorities or the things you expend your energy on, don’t always have to be the same things. As soon as a priority is not bringing you happiness or a sense of achievement, reevaluate and change it. For example, health and fitness has been a massive priority for me the last couple of months. This meant I was eating clean and getting up before work to gym. Now, between being sick and in bed for the last week and getting on a flight to South Africa to spend two weeks with family, my priorities are shifting. I will be focusing more on family time and less on fitness and health. I will still be keeping myself accountable but will not be doing intense gym sessions, simply for the reason that if I stand up I feel like fainting, and due to possible time constraints.

What to take from this article: figure out your priorities, time is limited so you only have so much time you can expend. Make sure your time is going to a worthwhile place. Secondly, your priorities are not set in stone and can shift. Just because you make something a priority or a goal, does not mean it always has to be, as soon as you don’t feel a burning passion for that goal or it does not make you happy anymore, reevaluate it and change it if required. 

Growing up: The realisation you are an adult

This moment may come as a startling realisation to some or as a series of small realisations to others. To me, it was a mixture of the both. Moving out of home into my student residence, I had the realisation that I was growing up, moving to a foreign country – growing up, becoming financial responsible for myself – growing up, booking my first doctor’s appointment –growing up, getting my first ‘real adult job’ –growing up. 

But today, I was faced with the realisation that I am now actually an adult. No quotes around the word adult, no use of the verb ‘adulting’ which I aways used to suggest that this was a temporary phase, I was not an adult, I was just currently being an adult for the purpose at hand. But today, I realised, I am an adult.

This realisation came to me today as I was in my bed, off from work sick and I got a phone call from a headhunter asking me if I was interested in a new job. For this job, I would be paid significantly more, would be using my linguistic as well as legal skills but would be required to relocate leaving a city I love and a job with a very good law firm. When I got off the phone, I thought of who should I ask for advice? And that is when I realised, this is my decision. No matter what anyone says, this is my life and it is up to me to take full responsibility for it. And that my friends, is being an adult. Having the freedom to do exactly what you want, but also having to take all the shit that comes along with it.

Anger: the secondary emotion

Being angry is a natural human experience to have and can sometimes be of benefit by showing you your own limits and boundaries in life. However, being perpetually angry or constantly feeling like you are quelling you anger is not the way to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Anger is known as a secondary emotion. That means it is a cover up emotion as it is a reaction to one of the primary emotions such as frustration. However because it is such a quick reaction to feel anger, most people do not even realise that they are actually experiencing another underlying emotion such as frustration, humiliation or fear.

 

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This knowledge will help you to deal with your anger. Next time you feel yourself getting angry, ask yourself why are you angry. What is causing this anger. Are you frustrated by your computer not working, are you fearful that your boss is going to view you as incompetent and fire you, are you feeling a loss of control in the workplace or are you feeling humiliated by the words being said to you. By identifying this underlying emotion, you will be able to better tackle the issue at hand.

In short, anger is a secondary emotion which means it is triggered by another feeling you are having. It is a healthy emotion but the actions associated with it, can cause issues in your life. 

Action step: next time you are feeling angry, before launching into a tirade of abuse or stifling that anger, take a second and identify exactly what emotion you are feeling be it fear, frustration, guilt, humiliation etc. Once identified, your anger will dissipate and you can focus easier on resolving the issue. 

Overwhelming

This prompt came up in my feed and it got me thinking about being overwhelmed and why those in their twenties are so overwhelmed.

Feeling overwhelmed is a natural human emotion. I think especially in our younger years, we have less experience, less of an idea of what we want to do in life, but on the other hand all these options of what we could do in life.

Your twenties are overwhelming. Most of the major life-decisions are made before someone hits thirty. By the age of thirty, most people have moved out of home, are in a serious relationship with or even living with their (future) partner, are settled in a career path etc. That can be all very overwhelming. If you fuck up your twenties, you are going to forever be playing catch-up. What job to pick and what person to date? Your answer to these questions will set in motion your life for forty plus decades. And that my friends is the truth. Choose carefully, because your twenties define your life. 

No pressure.

via Daily Prompt: Overwhelming