Archived entries for Thoughts on Life

Never working again



“Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” -Harvey MacKay

When I heard that quote on some television show last week, it really spoke to me. This is such an awkward period in the lives of people in their mid to late twenties that can easily be defined by one word..confusion. For the last few months I have been beating myself up wondering what I am going to do with my life. After I exhausted all wondering, then I began to look at my friends and wonder, why is it that it seems that everyone else has seemed to figure out this thing called life but me? Why is it I absolutely dread going to work, but a lot of my coworkers don’t or at least don’t wear their dread on there faces. After actually talking to some of my friends I found that I am not the only one, a lot of people are going through this thing called the quarterlife crisis, which I wrote about in one of my first posts on this blog that I have neglected for the last few months.

I think the biggest question that I a lot of people in my generation have is, what do I love doing? I guess that is why I love stories about people who found their passion in something completely different from what they were classically trained to do. How can one figure out what one loves to do? Live. Going to work every day at something you merely tolerate for a check is not living, and it is not going to help you find out what you love doing. I am not completely crazy and I realize external factors such as bills and families can make it hard to just up and quit your job and start finding yourself, but I guess that’s where side projects come into play, and just trying different things you in your spare time that you think may be interesting. All the while working on these side projects, you can keep busy and perhaps uncover your passion.

One of the hardest thing is figuring out where to start, what projects to take on, how to get them off the ground. That’s the stage I’m at now, first step in my process has been pretty simple, start a list of things you think you might want to do, or things you do already when you have spare time or things you would do if money was not an issue. Take it from there.

Hopefully eventually you (and I) can get to the point where we find what we really love doing and never have to work another day in our lives.

My Generation

Yes Yes, I know it has been an extremely long time since I last posted, but I read this really interesting quote today and I felt like posting it. The quote is from Penelope Trunk the founder of Brazen Careerist blog.penelopetrunk.com. Anyhow, I just thought that it rang very true.

“How can you tell if a member of Gen Y hates his or her boss?”

“You can’t. This is a non-confrontational generation. They change politics by voting, not screaming in the streets. And they change the workplace by quitting, rather than complaining. This is a generation that enjoyed mutual respect with their parents and their parents’ friends. Gen Y at large feel uncomfortable being openly confrontational than other, less cared-for generations.”

Not saying I hate my job or anything like that, I’m just saying that this quote was pretty good at explaining my generation’s “apathy”. (Please do not think I think that my generation is as apathetic as previous generations would like to think)

Living At Home After College

A few weeks ago I read a post over at a www.singleblackmale.net, in the post the author explained how if a man was living at home this immediately disqualified him from her pool of eligible bachelors. After talking to a few of my friends, all of whom have pretty decent jobs and could well afford to move out (one of whom moved out and decided to move back home to save money), I was inspired to write this post. Here are a few of the reasons I have come up with not to move out immediately.

Student Loan Debt.

Today’s young adults are faced with a much different environment once they embark on their journeys into the real world. I often talk to my uncle about financial stuff and he loves to brag about how when he graduated college, which he paid for by working at the school, the college he attended owed him money; this not the case for many of today’s graduates. A 2004 study found that about 25% of graduating students carried over $25,000 in student loan debt, which did not include parent incurred debt. If you were already starting out with that much debt, why would you want to go deeper into debt by adding on extra expenses? There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to knock those student loans out early or at least reduce some of that principal before taking on unnecessary debt.

Uncertainty About Your Future.

Almost every friend I have that bought a house or condo or rented an apartment out of college regrets the decision. At this stage in our lives we tend to be very unsure of what we want to do in many different facets of our lives, especially professional. The ability to be flexible in your pursuit to find out what you really want to do with your life is an extremely valuable asset to have. Prematurely moving out greatly hinders this flexibility; it is extremely easy to get sucked into remaining at a job you hate or in a field you detest just to make ends meet. There is nothing wrong with staying home for a little while to try to lighten the debt load and gather your thoughts. This is a perfect time to figure out exactly what you are working towards and how to get it; it can be hard to figure out what you are working towards when you are working to pay rent/mortgage, utility bills, student loans, credit cards, and all the other expenses that we tend to over indulge in as adults.

A Way To Sift Through Possible Mates (Mainly A Reason For Guys)

Some people may not feel me on this one, but in talking to a lot of my friends we have often found that a woman’s reaction to this post college living situation is a great personality indicator of what type of person she is. It is true that there is a such thing as a scrub; there are men who are living it home because they do not want to grow up, if you fall in this category, this post is not really aimed at you. However, there are men that are living at home with a plan, there are guys that are saving money to start a company, erase debt, and trying to develop their lives in a manner that align with their definitions of success, if a woman can’t understand that you are living at home for a higher purpose, chances are she is not the one for you. This is a great indicator; it doesn’t take months and months of courting and pointless conversation or anything. It’s quite simple, if she has a problem that you are working towards your master plan, perhaps she does not need to be around when your master plan comes to fruition. An intelligent woman will recognize that you are being fiscally responsible, not cheap. If a woman realizes that you have goals, and you have charted out a path to reach them, chances are she may possess or appreciate some of the same fiscal and entrepreneurial qualities you do. I will reiterate, if you do fall into the scrub category, don’t be mad that the lady in question sees that.

I am by no means advocating being a deadbeat and remaining at home forever in an attempt to facilitate some never-ending quest to avoid responsibility and find yourself. I also do not condone living at home just because you are cheap and don’t want to grow up. I only support living at home if you are doing so in an attempt to work towards something bigger, or helping out your family. I tend to think student loan debt is the biggest reason to remain at home for while. I can also condone it if you are working on some entrepreneurial pursuit or if you actually have a plan for the money you’re saving, aside from being cheap. If you are debt free and just living at home so that you can afford to drive a Benz and pop bottles every weekend, get off your ass and move out, you fall in the scrub category.

Sh*t Happens: Don’t Let The Unexpected
Bring You Down

Arriving At My Epiphany

Recent events that have occurred in my life have begun to dredge up old thoughts I used to have a lot of when I first got out of college. There have been more than a few times that I would wonder why is it that every time I am actively working towards accomplishing some goal something comes up; be it a family emergency, a car accident or a friend that may need help, or whatever. It always seems that right when I think I am on the right track something derails the plans. Today it hit me, I felt like I had one of those “AHH HA” moments this morning as I was drinking my protein shake and listening to the marvelous new Mos Def album while driving to serve out my daily 8 hour sentence.

What was the epiphany you ask? It was this…Sh*t Happens. There are only two things in life that are certain, death and uncertainty. No matter how much you plan and plan, there is always something that can derail the plan. When you look back at most successful people in the course of history there is some tale of strife or hardship that they overcame. I am not talking about people that have inherited success, I am talking about success achieved through blood, sweat and tears. I tend to think that at the root of EVERY success story some hard work and unplanned hiccups occurred. While some people may have had their success handed to them, somewhere along the line, maybe generations back, there was someone who had to put in the work to bring a vision to fruition.

Complaining About The Unexpected is A Waste Of Time

In a previous post I wrote I gave some examples of people that did not allow the wrenches that were thrown into their master plans to completely derail plans. I am starting to think more and more that one of the key things that separate the successful people from the unsuccessful people is the ability to cope and keep moving in the midst of unexpected events. Many people complain when something happens that was not planned for, but what good does that do? Kanye West once wrote, “Never complain without offering a solution”, and that rings so true. If you can not offer up a solution that will allow you to change what you are complaining about, you will just complain endlessly, because you are not addressing the root of the complaint.

I realize that I complain a lot about hating the 9 to 5 lifestyle. I also notice that I tend to complain about unplanned strife and allow it to stress me out and make me depressed. How is this wasted energy I exert on complaining benefiting me in the long run? It isn’t, these complaints are not helping me in the least bit. Perhaps I should spend more time working towards achieving the goals necessary to lead a life I am happy living; I should spend more time developing habits and means that will allow me to just deal with unplanned events, in a manner that will not bring me down and completely discourage my productivity.

What do you think? Have there been things that have occurred in your life that you have wasted tremendous time complaining about rather than working on ways to overcome these obstacles and putting yourself in a position to better deal with them in the future?

Reasons Why People Become Lifers Continued:
Helplessness

**Note: This post is a response to a comment that was posted by one of my readers, Ralph. Ralph has a great site that deals with attaining success and maintaining a lifestyle that is conducive to success. Check it out @ http://potential2success.com/***

Last week I wrote a post about what causes people to become lifers. One of my readers, Ralph, added a pretty good comment where he included helplessness as one of the reasons people wind up becoming lifers. Ralph went on to describe the fact that some people feel as if they are not qualified, perhaps because of lack of education or other reasons, to do anything but the job they are doing so they don’t try to do anything else. I thought this was such a great comment, I felt like I should expand on it.

I have met a few people that feel like they are lucky to be in the position they are, and because of this they may not work to meet other goals they would like to set for themselves. Some people may think that because they lack higher education or come from a modest background they should consider themselves lucky to be where they are. While it is true that coming from a rich family or having higher education can make success a little easier to attain, just because one may lack those things does not mean that they can’t make an effort to try to work towards the life they desire. When I hear people say they don’t have an education, or that they are not rich and that’s why they cant’ truly be in the position they want to be in, I simply reply why not. History is littered with examples of successful people that lacked education, and/or rich parents. Continue reading…

Fresh Fridays: Yessss The Week Is Over

I was reviewing the posts that I have written and I noticed that a lot of them have been rather melancholy, which is probably a result of how I have been feeling lately. Anyhow, I have decided from this day on to reserve Friday posts for things that I have encountered throughout the week that I deem fresssssssshhhh. Yeah it’s great to be serious, methodical and analytical, but a huge part of my blog is about not letting the 9 to 5 rob you of your essence. So I have reserved Fridays just to exhibit some of the things that I think are cool. Please feel free to post your links of cool things you have encountered during the week, whatever they may be. Everyone’s essence is unique, but everyone must strive to keep it, especially in the midst of corporate servitude. I invite you to share your individuality with me…

The Quarterlife Crisis:
Where do we go from here?

I always say that once I graduated college I felt like the world was my oyster. Sure I moved back home with my dad, but that was just temporary in my book, I was just going to do that long enough to pay off my loans and buy a house. I had a job that had the possibility of turning into a career. The job I had afforded me the luxury to be able to purchase the things I needed and wanted, and hey I even got these cool business cards from a prestigious company with my name on it, which was just the epitome of cool to me. After about two years, once the novelty of the business cards and the paycheck wore off, I began to wonder what was next. I mean two years had past, I was still living at home, I was unhappy with my job, and my days just became a monotonous routine, and I didn’t feel like I was on the path to anything different. To be quite honest I started to get depressed, I started to feel like something must be wrong with me as to why I was feeling that way. I felt like a lot of my friends and family were proud of me and telling me what a great job I was doing, why was it that I did not feel that way? Why was it that I felt like I had no clue where I was going with my life? One day I was talking with a group of my friends from college about this and I was surprised to find that a few of them felt the same way; it was at this moment that one of my friends said he thought he was going through his Quarterlife Crisis. I remember thinking what the hell is a Quarterlife crisis?

Continue reading…

5 Ways To Know You Are In The Rut.

As I said in the previous post of this series, falling into a Rut is extremely easy, but one is often well into the rut once they realize some form of change needs to occur. This list assumes that you have goals, not dreams, but goals. If you don’t have any goals then there really is no way you can be in a Rut. However, sometimes the goal is something as simple as coming up with goals or figuring out what you want to do. Everyone should have goals, be they health, spiritual, family, educational, financial, etc, everyone should have something they are working towards. No one is perfect, everyone has something they could work on, and thus everyone is susceptible to falling into the Rut. This list is definitely geared more towards people in my generation, thus I am mainly talking to 20 something professionals, however I welcome any other additions to this list to be added in the comments section, any additions, that don’t overlap will be appended to the list. Also, if you don’t want to leave a comment, additions can be emailed to M.Wanzer@IsIt5Oclock.com.

  1. You can talk more about the new season of Entourage, True Blood, ANTM, or any other great TV show of our generation, more than you can talk about progress on one of your goals. I have begun to realize more and more that television is one of the major inhibitors to success and building wealth and independence. Americans spend an average of 151 hours a month watching television, which equates to about 5 hours a day. When you consider that we spend 8 hours a day at work, maybe 2 hours commuting and at least 6 hours sleeping, that average of 5 hours that Americans spend on TV can be greatly used to achieve goals.
  2. Continue reading…

Coming out of The Rut.

Too many vacations that last too long, too many movies, too much TV, too much video game playing – too much undisciplined leisure time in which a person continually takes the course of least resistance gradually wastes a life. It ensures that a person’s capacities stay dormant, that talents remain undeveloped, that the mind and spirit become lethargic and that the heart remains unfulfilled.
-Stephen Covey, Author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Once you leave college a lot of the spontaneity that your daily routine used to have is gone. If you try you can keep the spontaneity in your life but it is hard. I have said this in previous a previous post, but once you start working a 9 to 5 the days get very monotonous and the time just passes quicker then you would like. A lot of times your day may go something like this: Wake up, get dressed, eat something on the go for breakfast, get on the same road that you commute on every day for your morning drive to work, arrive at work, settle in, spend your next 8 hours working on a project, assignment, or task that you have been working on for the last six months. If you are lucky your projects change frequently, if you are unlucky you have been doing the same repetitive task for the last 5 years. When you finally to get home from your commute from work to home you rarely feel like working on a side business, going to the gym or taking part in some other productive activity, so what do you do? Most likely you will take part in a few of the activities that Mr. Covey mentions in the quote that I began this post with, thus falling into what I like to call The Rut. To digress for a quick second, if you are working the good ol 9 to 5 and you are not that far removed from college, the problem of taking too many vacations that last too long, as described by Mr. Covey, is not a problem you have to worry about, companies make sure you can’t do that by instituting the crazy leave policies, I wish I had the problem of being able to take to many vacations, okay now back to the topic of this post.

Continue reading…

Epiphany For The Day

I feel that at least once a week I have an epiphany: some idea I feel is so profound that it will change my life. I tell friends and family, and I think they will be amazed at how profound my thoughts are, but after about a week or two I forget about the epiphany. Anyhow, my epiphany for this week’s is this: I, like most other people, lack control of my life. I know, it’s a strange concept, especially since we humans have free will and the ability to make decisions, but I firmly believe that a large portion of the humanity is bred to accept the fact that they don’t have control over their lives and not even notice.

Two events occurred this week that made me realize how little control I have over my life. The first event occurred at the doctor’s office. While sitting in the docs office this week, I noticed a sign that basically informed me that I was obese. I immediately realized that I had to exercise and change my diet. So now, in addition to the project that I am trying to work on I must also incorporate the gym into my daily schedule. The second event that occurred revolved around a conflict of schedule between the company I work for and a class I was schedule to take, basically I have to make a choice between taking a class I am interested in and attending a work related event; what sucks is that this work related event is on a weekend, which is supposed to be my time. Anyhow, these events made me realize that our lives have to be planned around our jobs. More and more I am starting to believe that the only people that really have control of their lives, aside from the super rich, are entrepreneurs.

Continue reading…



Copyright © 2004–2009. All rights reserved.

RSS Feed. This blog is proudly powered by Wordpress and uses Modern Clix .