How to: Never Reach Your Goals, Die Miserable and Unfulfilled, And Wake up In Someone Else’s Life

by Alexander Heyne · 47 comments

confusedThere’s pretty much only one way to die unfulfilled, and never achieve anything you want in life.

It all pretty much comes down to one thing.

It’s not being afraid.

It’s not “making the wrong decision.”

It’s not about not having enough money.

And it’s also not about failing to cross things off your bucket list.

There’s really only ONE habit that will prevent you from getting where you want, and it’s this:

It’s not about making the wrong decision, it’s about NOT making a decision at all.

Not Making a Decision IS Making a Decision

The other day I sat down with one of my perpetually lost friends and he was asking me about ten different life paths he was considering taking.

“Ehhh, I could be a musician, or a biologist, or do charity work. Lots of things.”

“I’m just not quite sure which one I should take, I’m afraid of investing time into the wrong one and getting set back a few years, and I already tried that and screwed myself.”

Me: “So what’s the problem?”

“Eh, not sure about committing to any one thing, maybe I should sit on it a bit longer and try to figure it out.”

But here’s the thing:

My friend and I had this exact conversation two years before, and he was literally in the exact same position in his life. Navel-gazing, thinking about paths to take, “trying out” different things, never committing, bumming around, and not making any progress whatsoever.

Two YEARS had elapsed in the time that he was “figuring it all out.”

Okay. Different story now.

My friend Matt is in a totally different position.

He got a secure, high paying job out of college as an accountant, which gives him the financial stability he wanted even though he’s horribly bored.

No biggie, he figured – he can just coast with his salary for awhile.

However, Matt has been trying to find a career he’s really passionate about – something that’s cool to talk about, that’s fun, that would be a great conversational opener at a party.

Thing is, just like my friend above, Matt has been an accountant for five years and hasn’t even interviewed for any other jobs, he hasn’t started a business or written down any ideas, and he isn’t physically any closer to this “new” Matt than he was five years ago.

And five years ain’t no joke. You can go from idea ==> six figures in a business in 5 years. You can go from 100 pounds overweight ==> fitness model in 5 years. You can go from lost, confused, depressed ==> found, calm, and incredibly happy in less than 5 years.

He was pissing time away.

In fact, I see this sabotaging a lot more 20 somethings than almost anything else. Waiting for “the right time.”

There Is No Right Time, There is No Quantum Leap, There is no Big Break


In the West we have this idea that there’s a right time, or there’s going to be some “big break” or magic perfect time to do something.

Travel the world.

Have a baby.

Get married.

Start a business.

Take up salsa.

Learn French.

But realistically, we often repeat this exact phrase: “I’m going to do it in a few years” or “I’ll do it someday.”

… And then “someday” never comes.

Our life is made up of today, repeated thousands of times. Tomorrow is just another today. Someday is just another today!

So if you aren’t taking steps TODAY to get where you want to be “someday” – you won’t get there.

There’s also this idea of timing. Waiting for the perfect time.

Sure, some things have good reasons for timing – women have peak fertility in their late 20s, maybe you should wait until you have money to get married and have kids – but other things don’t.

Traveling is a great example. Almost everyone says they want to travel the world, but a lot of people don’t save any money to make that a reality.

When I ask my friends why they don’t save money, they often give super vague responses:

“Don’t have that much money right now.”

“I’ll do it later.”

“Traveling is expensive.”

“Meh, not really so sure.”

But do you see the point of all these responses? They are dodging the question and waiting until some other time later. Which is why most of them never end up traveling, or they manage to get in a trip or two over a decade.

Stop Being Afraid of Making the Wrong Decision

Most of us just die a slow death.

We either wait for things to happen in life because we think they take too much effort, or we’re afraid.

So life evaporates before our eyes – days, months, years all go “poof” – and we wake up 20 years later, in someone else’s life, realizing we never did all the stuff that we wanted to do.

One day we wake up and go “WTF? How did this happen?”

And the easiest way to screw yourself is by waiting or letting life take its course.

Making ANY decision is better than waiting for the right time, or not making a decision.

How to Do, Be, And Achieve Everything You Want

Stop waiting for the right time. Stop trying to figure it all out. Stop waiting for ‘someday’ or next year.

There is no easier way to screw yourself over than by WAITING for some magical pixie dust to be spread all over your life and make it all better.

Most of us sabotage ourselves through being passive.

Complacency IS a decision, whether or not you realize it. Doing nothing IS doing something.

So no matter how confused you are about a certain  life path – TAKE ACTION on something, anything, every single day that will push you forward.

The harm of making a bad decision is much less than the harm caused by not making any decision whatsoever.

The “how to get there” is less important than knowing what you want – when you know where you want to end up, you can figure out how to get there. Draw a dot on a map – I’m sure you can find a way there, no matter how long it takes, right? Even without money, resources, connections – you can somehow find a way, right?

Doing nothing is doing something.

And there is no easier way to sabotage your life, than by just letting it “happen” – and saying you want to do things “someday.”

There are only 7 days in a week, and someday is not one of them. It’s not taking the wrong action that messes you up – but not taking action at all.

Leave a Comment Below

Thoughts on this?

Have you found yourself sabotaging yourself without realizing it – by not taking action?

Have you seen this happen with your friends?

Tell me what you’ve noticed below.

– Alex

Image: freedigitalphotos.net

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Cameron August 5, 2014 at 8:17 am

I read a lot of posts like this, and whilst I agree with some of the sentiment, I’m always struck by the naivety of the approach. In the West we have this notion that we can do anything, achieve anything, that if you don’t like an aspect of your life you can just change it. Just make a decision and everything is magically transformed. I just don’t think it’s that easy:

-You can’t just click your fingers and get a cool new career. It’s really hard to find a job. Any job! Yes, you can retrain or learn new skills, but that’s often prohibitively expensive and the opportunities are not always there for the inexperienced once qualified. In the meantime, how do you make ends meet? This is why people stay in jobs they don’t find fulfilling, not because they are too lazy to make a decision.

-Yes, you can travel. It’s great to see the world. But what do you come back to? It’s easy to escape for a while, but with no clear plan on a return you can find yourself stuck in the same situation you sought to escape (something I have personal experience of).

-Is it really that easy to set up your own business? How many people possess the skills or finances to do such a thing? Not as easy in practice as in theory.

I’m not meaning to deride the whole post – I actually agree with a lot of it. I just wanted to point out that things aren’t always so easy. People shouldn’t be made to feel guilty just because they feel trapped in an unrewarding situation. Sometimes people are trapped there for valid reasons.

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Kelsey August 5, 2014 at 10:21 am

Mark-

I have had all these thoughts so many times, and I think the point of this article is to say… we can stay stuck in these exact thoughts for days, months, years. I know I did. We can convince ourselves that there is never a good time because honestly, there never is. Change and growth also takes sacrifice and, honestly, pain.

I think many of us think it will be easy… I know I did before I started my journey towards changing my life. I left a cushy Ph.D. program in psychology the past December that would lead to making a lot of money as a forensic psychologist to do something more “creative”. It has taken a lot of hard work (more internal work than anything) to get to a place 7 months later where I feel I have direction on where I want to go. It took 7 months because I the first 6 months I was terrified of making the wrong decision. I made the wrong decision before with psychology, surely I can’t trust myself.

What I’ve found along this journey that it is rarely what you are doing, but how you are living. Had I known what I know now, perhaps psychology would have been a much different experience for me. But sometimes we have to take that leap in order to learn the lessons that open future doors.

It might sound a little woo-woo, but I believe that sometimes when we open up some space for possibility and stop trying to plan every detail that is where the best ideas and creativity can happen. Instead of looking at travel as a means to escape, maybe looking at it as a means to explore. Make the point of returning to wherever you came from as time to reflect on the lessons learned while traveling, rather than time to “figure it out”. I am taking a lesson from my own playbook and heading out for a month and a half to visit an aunt and work intensely on my business. Since I don’t have a huge chunk of change saved I’ll stay with my aunt, be mindful of spending, and throw myself into learning the business skills I need to start my own since I don’t have a business background.

I share all of this from experience rather than judgment, because I have had all those thoughts (and millions more) nearly every day for the last few years. What stopped me from making a decision wasn’t money or responsibility or a lack of business sense… it was me. And now that I’ve (started to) prove myself wrong and listen to my gut over my head, big shifts happen.

I would also go out on a limb and say most of the people who follow and read this website do, in fact, possess the skills to start a business. And that none of us are too lazy to make a decision, but sometimes we don’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to get to where we want. I think it is more fear than laziness. I absolutely understand all these thoughts and circumstances because I’ve lived them, but it wasn’t until I stopped believing them as fact and started changing some of the thoughts and took action that life started to change.

Thanks so much for sharing and for allowing me to challenge some of my ever-present legions of doubt!
Kelsey

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Alexander Heyne August 5, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Killer response Kelsey!

Mike August 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

Isn’t there something missing? Want some more examples I heard from my friends?

– It’s not that easy, when you’re allready [add any age above 35]

– It’s not that easy, when you’ve got [choose one or more out of … old parents, children, properties, a collection of old cars … and many more] to take care of.

– It’s not that easy, when you’ve got a girlfriend, that doesn’t wanna [add anything].

Sorry, but that’s excuses. All of that.

It is that easy. I know what I’m talking about, because I did it (changed almost everything). Within less than 5 years and at the age of 40+ when starting these 5 years (and no, I had not enough money to retire …).

So the good news is: It not only is that easy, it’s also never too late … Well, as long as you’re alive …

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Alexander Heyne August 5, 2014 at 11:40 pm

LOVE this, thanks for sharing Mike.

Zimzam August 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm

I agree with both the post and parts of this comment. I disagree that the post in naive. You are as trapped as you allow yourself to be. You are as free as you allow yourself to be. These two statements I just made sound like bullshit, but having the correct mindset definitely helps.
In the post making a decision and making an effort are both hard concepts. It is obvious that life doesn’t become just great at the click of your fingers. Hard work and dedication does, as well as risk-taking.
It isn’t about making 1 change and life becomes fantastic. In my opinion it is a change of mindset, and then your actions start to follow. It might take 1 decision or it might take a further 9 decisions, but you are on the right track if you put your happiness and deep wishes as priorities in your life.
About escaping for travel. There is a good post on this website about how escaping won’t solve all your problems – I think it’s this one http://milkthepigeon.com/2012/08/08/reasons-not-to-quit-your-job-and-travel-the-world/
However if travelling is a dream, why not go achieve it. I don’t think that life should be intricately planned from your current perspective. You don’t have to plan for what you might do after-travel. I have many friends who refuse to go travel because they don’t know what they will do afterwards. Trying new intense things like travelling is a way for yourself to go with the flow for a bit, to see where it might lead you. I was 25 when I when travelling alone for 3 months. That’s a damn young age for me to think of what I might do afterwards. I say, do it and see afterwards how you feel.

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Alexander Heyne August 5, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Things definitely are never as easy as they seem Mark – you’re absolutely right. And I don’t want to give anyone that impression. But my point is not that it’s easy – my point is that, despite it being incredibly hard, it’s still worthwhile. It’s still worth going for it and grinding away every day.

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laura August 27, 2014 at 9:45 am

If you believe its hard to find a job then it will be hard to find a job, if you believe that there are many job opportunities for you then there will be many, your reality is created by the thoughts you choose to think, change how you think and the outer expression will change, try a book like You can heal your life by Louise Hey, was one of the first books that helped me set into motion positive change. Things got worse before they got better but now the inside of my mind is a completely different place than 10 years ago. Any self improvement work takes time and effort but its totally possible to change your life for the better. Keep putting one foot infront of the other and you will get there eventually. Peace

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Alexander Heyne August 29, 2014 at 9:40 am

Excellent Point Laura! I completely agree.

Alexander Heyne November 24, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Mark – none of these things are easy. 100% agree. But does that mean you should avoid them?

If your dream girl is a 10/10, and you think you’re a 6/10, yeah that’s gonna be hard to woo her.

Do you give up on her, though?

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Anna August 5, 2014 at 10:59 am

The next Albert Einstein. I’m so pleased to have found you.

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Alexander Heyne August 5, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Haha, you must have me mixed up with someone else! Thanks though Anna :-).

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Juan Manuel Rodriguez Martino August 5, 2014 at 11:09 am

Thank you Alex for all your Wisdom and Courage.

Atte.

John

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Alexander Heyne August 5, 2014 at 11:39 pm

You’re welcome John, I hope it helped!

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Suzanne August 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

Dear Alexander, sometimes being hit between the eyes with the obvious is good medicine. I applaud you for reminding your readers that their destiny, fate, legacy, LIFE is in their own hands. Another witticism that goes in line with your great posting is Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail. Thanks for stimulating the collective consciousness.

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Alexander Heyne August 5, 2014 at 11:40 pm

You’re welcome Suzanne! Glad you found it interesting.

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jade August 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm

”Yes, you can travel. It’s great to see the world. But what do you come back to? It’s easy to escape for a while, but with no clear plan on a return you can find yourself stuck in the same situation you sought to escape (something I have personal experience of).” I agree with what Mark said here. I catch myself in same predicament as this. My other prob is not that I don’t have things or dreams to still accomplish in life But that I had much dreams and HAD done them all already so now end up empty existing life. Do you also have any write ups on how you can help people like myself who got nothing else to do because they done everything else they wanted?

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Alexander Heyne August 5, 2014 at 11:49 pm
jade August 6, 2014 at 11:57 am

Thanks for the link Alexander! will digest it in a few :)

jade August 6, 2014 at 12:11 pm

omg ! you nailed it Alex ! thanx sooo much!!

Bill Boteler August 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm

I try not. to. do. this.. Still, the fear you describe is a powerful inhibiting force that creates inner confusion. I bet you this has more impact. on. people. than it should.

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Alexander Heyne August 5, 2014 at 11:50 pm

The fear is incredibly powerful bill, you’re right. But what are your options? Be afraid and don’t act, or be afraid and do something about it?

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Anna August 6, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Where does the fear come from?
Our society glamorizes and promote self sacrifice and hard work before our “selfish” urges of making ones self happy by following ones dreams wouldn’t you agree? We are literally made to believe that in order to be happy we need to suffer first. “No pain, no gain.” (Duh) – why does it have to hurt? Maybe that’s the reason people put off doing what they think will make them happy? Fear of being judged as selfish? Or maybe they just decide they are happy enough? Or maybe it’s enough to just plan and procrastinate. The way we feel is a state of mind which we can manipulate to help us achieve whatever we desire. If we want to feel bored we construct our bored story, if we want to feel deprived we construct our story of deprivation. Some people just want to be whatever story they feel like telling . If their’s is one of procrastination and they stop procrastinating, who are they then? Maybe that’s the fear? Loss of ones identity?
I believe we are fulfilled and accomplished when we realize that we are so much more than the story we tell, we are what we decide we are( even life piddlers) (lol) and if that makes us happy and hurts no one then where is the harm?

I don’t believe we can judge another’s life as having been piddled away anymore than we can judge another’s as time well spent. Any given circumstance in our life at any given time is a result of our choices always. Some chose to live a life of piddling and fear and some chose to be fearless and plan and carry out. Either way we are living our life in whichever self identifying method we chose. And why not? It’s our life to live.

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Paul August 12, 2014 at 11:16 am

I feel as though this blog was written for me. :) I have spent the past 2 years saying to friends and family how I want to do something great with my life. So when the question come from friends and family “So What’s this great thing you want to do?” I reply with “no idea.” it kills me inside because I do believe I am capable of doing greats things with my life I just have absolutely no idea what it is. Your friend, the one who is perpetually lost, sounds a lot like me. Though I have spent the last 2 years working hard on saving money as I would like to take a break for a while. Due to never wanting to return to this dead-end job again while getting some perspective on life. I fear that the end result will be returning to my shit job. It’s certainly not a lack of ambition or desire. It’s more of an overwhelming uncertainty in life. I love how most university now place most of there undergraduate courses online. I have taken 2 undergraduate courses online and passed 2. However, When I attended interviews, the interviewers merely laugh and giggle at an online degree. Which is very dishearten. They concluded that an online degree is not a “real degree” I would then like to attend a real university but what’s the point? When I already know the knowledge and you only spend about 12 hours a week in a university for four years. seems some what of a waste of time.

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Chris August 15, 2014 at 9:59 am

Great post Alex.

This autopilot “thinking things over” mode is the most debilitating place a person can be.

The downfall of most (including myself) is attempting to analyze things that are in fact, impossible to analyze.

Not only do most of us not know who we truly are, but we haven’t the slightest idea as to how anything in our life will pan out.

With this is mind, my advice would be to remove your brain from the equation. Pick a direction that intuitively feels right and, take a swing.

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Mark Cameron August 15, 2014 at 10:20 am

Like you Chris, I have spent eons analyzing and procrastinating. The advice you give above is true, and explained succintly. I’ve never really thought about the problem in the way you describe; that these problems are impossible to analyze, but as soon as I read your words I realized that you’ve hit the nail on the head.

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Alexander Heyne August 21, 2014 at 10:15 am

Mark –

I see this a LOT, especially in 20 somethings – paralysis by analysis. There’s an old Dale Carnegie quote: “Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Alexander Heyne August 21, 2014 at 10:16 am

Chris –

Exactly!

“With this is mind, my advice would be to remove your brain from the equation. Pick a direction that intuitively feels right and, take a swing.” 100% agree.

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Bob August 17, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Dear Alex,

So much of this resonates with me. I would almost go so far as to say I agree with almost all of it.

There is one problem though. This problem exists for people like me. What if you don’t know what you want to do? I too feel the lack of reward. I too feel the realisation that what I am doing isn’t enough. I know that I will look back at this time in my life with regret. In fact, I already do so to a certain degree.

But I put it to you, what happens if today (not tomorrow) I say to myself that this is it. Today I decide to live with pragmatism only. I decide that life is not about some dream off day in the future and that it is truly time to pull one’s socks up and go all out. What does one decide to actually do?

It seems that you could probably recursively bring my point back to your paradigm of ‘no decision is a decision’ and I would still agree with you on that point. The reality I am sure for not only this member of generation-Y is still a question of ‘What to do?’

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent my time procrastinating. I’ve also done the travelling thing. I’m still searching…

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Alexander Heyne August 21, 2014 at 10:14 am

Bob,

Great question: “There is one problem though. This problem exists for people like me. What if you don’t know what you want to do? I too feel the lack of reward. I too feel the realisation that what I am doing isn’t enough. I know that I will look back at this time in my life with regret. In fact, I already do so to a certain degree.”

The answer is a lot less sexy: begin experimenting. Read books, take people out to coffee, send emails. In other words, cultivate that burning fire to figure out WHAT you want to do. Every day, cultivate a single purpose: Begin experimenting to figure out what it is you truly enjoy.

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Maria August 17, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Alex, I woke up in someone else’s life in my late thirties. According to my experience you’re right. It took me a year to wake up. For quite a while it felt like there was no use in getting out of the bed. Then I got this feeling that although I’m in my late thirties it isn’t too late. It isn’t if you’re worth it and you are, I mean anyone of us. I realised I was the only person responsible for my life although I projected it outside. When you put things out of your reach you cannot act on it. My life happens through me. So I’m happening to myself not people, or events although it manifest through them, hence the projection. I understand what Mike says about being excuses and being easy, to me what is not easy is to be conscious of it.Conscience is different from intelligence. Zimzam statements are no bullshit. Then too much thinking. I’m realizing life is more about heart than head. I agree with Chris. It takes faith, courage, love, strength, truth, authenticity to live boldly. You don’t figure out these you just live/act them or not and then maybe you figure things out through them. There isn’t time, there’s just now. So, there’s no right time yet you can be right on time. Then you get up and start over.

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Alexander Heyne August 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

Hi Maria !

“There isn’t time, there’s just now. So, there’s no right time yet you can be right on time. Then you get up and start over.” Totally. And it wasn’t easy for me- it took me years to fully flip my life upside down and transform it into something I really enjoy. It’s all a work in progress though, right?

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Anon August 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Hey man. Thank you so much. Stop being afraid of making the wrong decision.

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nish September 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Hello Mr Heyne,
I recently came across, milk the pigeon blog. you are doing a rather remarkable job. being a beacon for those lost quarter life crisis afflicted people. It requires a mighty heart. I even ordered the book FLOW- by dr. Mihaly.
I agree with all that was said above……..
But I have a some doubts.
How do you forgive yourself for the lost time? How does one deal with the guilt? I dont compare myself with anyone I know. But its not helping. Maybe if I find something which I love doing for the rest of my Life I would console myself telling that it had to take this much time for me to get here. But being stuck at a dead end job just for the sake of money…… shunning relationships and family just because they do not share the same ideals as you and battling it yourself without no support everyday is too much to deal with.
how do you overcome that fear which comes when you are about to embark on something new? something unknown? life is all about taking risks right….. how does one take calculated risks?
I can sum up my current work situation in a single line from ” The Great Gatsby ” by Scott Fitzgerald ” I was within and without”. I dont like my job and yet I am still tolerating it, being mediocre and playing it safe. I am trying very hard to come out of this shell and risk it all just to find out what I like to do with the rest of life. My existence depends on it. I feel I can do a better job at something else, where my passion is. But I am scared to take it up as I dont know what it might actually entail.
Gabriel Garcia once said ” Wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good”. Now I know what I dont want. Thats the way I want console myself for the past, where I wasted time, sweat and tears.
But How do I find out What I really want? Where do I find purpose? I know no one can know me better than myself. But what do you do if you dont have the answers? I am quite frustrated.

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Alexander Heyne September 7, 2014 at 11:04 am

Nish – you can’t do anything about the past. Guilt is like “getting shot by an arrow, and then shooting another arrow into you” as the Buddha said.

Just do your best today to make your life better.

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Bill November 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I would say you should definitely DO IT NOW.

Here is what can happen if you don’t.

You can get very old (like I am 59) and you have not got a family – no wife and kids because you were afraid to make a commitment which is a big decision.

And other things that can happen include not travelling when you wanted to travel. In that case you need to figure out how you are going to get the money an the time to travel or just get a job overseas – but again you have to decide to do it.

There are many things like this. I won’t say that indecision is the only thing that can go wrong. You can spend years trying to be a ballerina and not get far and feel like you wasted your life. I am not saying you should quit trying but you have to be flexible and devoted to your dream and you have to take action.

This economy out here is obscenely expensive. Jobs are hard to get in anything. It’s easy to decide to focus on the money. I had just as hard a time getting interviews for jobs I was less interested in than in the ones that I had passion for. In fact, the ones I had passion for ALWAYS called me for interviews or at least they did more often. So you are wrong if you think employers aren’t interested in your passions.

The problem is that it is just so costly out here and competitive and easy to give up. It is scary to think about marrying and starting a family. As an environmentalist I even wondered if it was responsible.

But my advice to 20 somethings is to boldly try things and ignore the advice of anyone who encourages waiting or weighing options – act as if there were no time. Someday you will be older and may feel like you missed out on things you could have done when you had more time.

Sincerely,
Bill

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Alexander Heyne November 25, 2014 at 11:26 am

Love this advice Bill! Thank you for sharing.

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Vicky December 8, 2014 at 4:13 am

I’m nearly 43 and yes i think i can say for certain that Alex is 100% correct that passivity is a decision & unless you’re doing it purposefully/strategically, it’s absolutely the way to ensure your life gets stuck and stays that way for years and very possibly forever. After losing my way for 20+ years i’ve FINALLY had to admit that my passivity, i.e. ultimately fear is the problem. I’ve started ditching the things i don’t want in my life like a crappy permanent admin job. Now i’m far happier already temping on half time with a lot less cash as it means i have the opportunity and space to go after what i want. Nothing is ‘permanent’ or ‘secure’ anyway. All you need is one underhanded cowardly boss or colleague to snuff out that idea. And yes, I have lots of unsaid heavy criticism and judgement hanging in the air from certain people who think I’m childish, weird, irresponsible etc etc etc, (even though i’m not prevailing on them or taking advantage of anyone), but if i live another 43 years and still feel incredibly lost, stuck and frustrated, then it will ONLY be my fault. If you’re not satisfied with your life then deal with the fear, criticism, the pain of rejection even, no matter how that might look on the surface in the short-term, otherwise trust me that you may well end up having to deal with far more e.g. serious depression, an addiction, which will of course makes everything a million times harder and complicated.

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Cherie February 19, 2015 at 8:17 pm

I’m almost positive this post was meant for me. I’m 25, with a one year old, and a husband. I feel like I need to have so much more accomplished at this point in my life because I have someone depending on me. I dabbled in college, but decided I wanted to Cosmetology school to put my artistic talents to good use. Now I have a business idea so far from cosmetology. I am set on making this business happen but feel like I can’t get from point A to point B. Due to life and money. So I go back to my daily grind and work my job I hate and barely pay the bills. It’s driving me insane. I’m 25 and feel like a lost 16 year old.

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Alexander Heyne March 6, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Hey Cherie – well, what’s the next smallest step you can take? It’s impossible for anyone to provide a clear cut formula – what do you want, and how can you take one step closer to it?

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Raphael August 28, 2015 at 1:11 am

I don’t know if you’re still at this point but my older sister was in a similar situation (in her late twenties, with two young sons and she got divorced) when she started her security business. She had no background in marketing or in any related field but managed to do it anyway (at the cost of many sleepless nights) and now, she goes on vacation every two weeks or so.

Talk to the people around you, gather information related to your business idea, read books. Even the smallest steps can make the difference and take you closer to your goal. Just remember to not sit still. Besides, 25 is still very young. It’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out right away. If you can find it, try reading Alexandra Robbins’ “Quarterlife Crisis”. It really helped me out. :)

Cheers from a lost 26-year-old

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Arabyski April 14, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Getting fired from an operations position at a global company was the kick in the pants I needed to begin the rest of my life. Now I am in a job where I get to build stuff all day- just what my soul was aching for.
Don’t wait – and wait- like I did until they fire you from that job you hate; that job that sucks your soul away.
I got lucky. Make your own luck.

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Steve P April 18, 2015 at 4:34 am

Agree with most of the things you say Alex, but as far as timing when to have a baby, female fertility actually peaks in the EARLY twenties, not in the LATE twenties as you stated in your article.

See http://www.babycenter.com/0_age-and-fertility-getting-pregnant-in-your-20s_1494692.bc

So makes you wonder whether most people who are putting off having children until considerably later than early twenties these days are really being sensible from a peak fertility/health of the baby perspective or whether it’s yet another example of people’s tendency to put off making major decisions.

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Casie May 22, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Thank you, thank you…love this. Finally, I am going to make the change I have wanted to for 5 years. I have been waiting for all the stars to align and everything to be perfect before making the change. All the while, time slipping away and me getting more pissed off. So…I’m taking steps to make it happen. No more excuses. I already feel better! No more agonizing and being terrified of making the wrong decision. That’s a miserable way to be and you never get anywhere except further away from what you really want. Thanks so much for this post.

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stefano August 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm

I just ran into these postings and truly believed this is what i needed to come across. It’s 2015 and I have been feeling stuck in life since 2005. I began college in 2004 with the goals to become one of the greatest doctors alive. Major depression kicked in halfway through college due to finances, family issues, relationship issues, etc, in which all had a major effect on my grades. AKA no medical school for me. Fail. Took me forever to finish college given these circumstances, but i finished. Not in the major that I intended to. I took a sacrifice to graduate with professional studies so that I may finish on time and care for my family (yes married too). The job industry took a poll on me because I did not know what to do with professional studies. I picked up hours here and there as means to provide for my family. Wife was unable to work. Wife decides to practice infidelity for years i knew nothing of. I get divorced. Still looking for a job. Until today working hourly under some agency at a school for special kids. I took every route of career possibility from pharmaceutical sales to CNA jobs to B2B sales , etc. I still made below average. Way below average. Something was broken in the past that I need to go back and fix to even get on an average level. I have put about over 600 applications to different jobs but none are working for me. I am now thinking of becoming my own boss , but i do not know where to start. At all. I feel stuck in life, well here in the USA i must say. I spend more time looking for a secure job than actually enjoying myself. The hourly jobs I have are just temps. I feel like there is nothing for me here. Moving abroad and changing scenery sounds like a great idea but now i am more worried about my five year old son whom I would be away from if I ever took that route. Or would I? I dont understand how that process works. I can pick a set scheduled job (UPS, Airline, etc ), but I am putting more stress on myself because I am not happy. I wake up every morning asking the same question; what is my purpose in life? Answer; I do not know anymore. I literally woke up this morning and typed in that question on google and i ran into these postings. I sigh of relief it was to know that I am not the only person . 5 years after graduating college with an unintended degree, I am stuck in life. I want to be unstuck, with all seriousness.

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Amanda Northern July 29, 2016 at 2:42 pm

I found your blog yesterday and I love it! I feel like you’re speaking directly to me and this blog post is head-on with my life. I’ve realized I’m a seriously indecisive person and if I don’t commit to something I’ll end up with nothing! Thanks for starting this blog :)

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