3 Strategies I Used Daily To Figure Out WTF To Do With my 20s (And Life)

by Alexander Heyne · 39 comments

Wtf Thumb

My early 20s (until about 26) were literally the biggest clusterfuck you can imagine.

I went through a dozen jobs by the time I was 27, because I hated every one of them, I didn’t make much money, and I couldn’t justify putting off all the cool projects I wanted to do in my life.

So I didn’t do anything.

Looking back now (after having made a lot of progress), there were really three strategies that worked well for me.

That’s what I want to share with you in today’s video.

3 Strategies to Combat That “WTF” Feeling

First things first, which one of these three strategies do you think you could implement to see good results?

Are you currently using any of them?

And if you aren’t taking action… wake your ass up and start doing something, because ultimately that’s what worked best for me.

I didn’t get any slap in the face from God saying that I should go down a certain path, and so I forced myself to go down any path.

You can always course-correct along the way anyway, so don’t let yourself get stuckĀ thinking about life, instead of acting your way through it.

Also, as my first video, do you want me to do more video?

What about video + article?

Just written?

Let me know below.

-Alex

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Moses Moorman June 16, 2016 at 11:44 am

Great video Alex. I am 25 years old, and like you, I have been through numerous jobs since graduating college due to lack of passion and fulfillment in each. I can attest to what you are saying about the “slap in the face” moment. After the last job I quit, I went through period of trying to figure out what I wanted to do, getting excited at one moment, only to talk myself out of further pursuing it because it wasn’t something I could see myself doing forever. After months of doing nothing (I would exercise to fill voids but thats about it), and countless nights of not sleeping due to extreme anxiety/depression, I figured it was time to pack up my things and move to Costa Rica. I thought that by doing that, I would find peace in my mind and allow myself to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. While I can undoubtedly tell you that surfing and hanging on the beach for 3 months definitely relieves stress/depression, I found myself blowing through my cash and needing to get back to reality. I had all these plans to pursue things when I got home, only to find that the closer I came to taking action, the more unappealing they became. Here I am, nearly 3 months later and going through the same anxiety/depression I felt before I left for CR. I’ve decided it is time to do ANYTHING and I am in the process of applying to several jobs that actually relate to my Earth Sciences degree. I found your video really helpful and will continue to look through your work since it seems like you were in the same shoes as I at once. Thanks again for posting and I look forward to continue following your page.

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Alexander Heyne June 16, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Make it happen Moses – loved hearing your story.

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Serena June 16, 2016 at 11:45 am

Hi Alex! Loved the video. Please do more of them. I think this was really helpful because I’m definitely going through a “WTF” moment right now as a 27 year old. I went recently went back to school full time to get a second BA in psychology, but I’m starting to feel trapped because of all the schooling I’m going to actually need to become a psychologist (PhD…), and I miss working. I have a good friend living in a big awesome city and he’s trying to convince me to just come & find work. Maybe I will find a job that I really like. Maybe I need to throw shit at the wall & if anything, at least gain some valuable skills? Thanks for the video, it is inspiring & motiivating! :)

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Alexander Heyne June 16, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Yes and yes – to both things you said. Throw shit + gain skills. Are you 100% sure being a psych is what you want to do?

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Serena June 16, 2016 at 5:53 pm

No, I’m not 100% sure, that’s why I’m feeling the “WTF”. I do think I could be good at it, but I also think I just like working with people. :P

(GPOB) Elvis M June 16, 2016 at 11:48 am

Thanks Alex! Great strategies. I personally like the part where you talk about essential self and social self.

Definitely, video is the way to go.

I’m currently experiencing something similar. I started ecomm business and a career in IT and these new things are helping me in expanding my brand and eventually the new skills I’ve aquired are really useful in my main project… especially the selling part. I never wanted to sell stuff but in order to quit your job you’ve got to sell. And the better the quality the better.

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Alexander Heyne June 16, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Yep, so true dude. Lots of us don’t like selling, but that’s what pays the bills. No one likes to hear that advice :-)

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Molly June 16, 2016 at 11:57 am

I’m not a fan of videos in general. I can usually read faster than what’s being spoken, often there are too many things going on to hear well, and by reading I’m able to pass over or skim parts that aren’t relevant to me. I feel this way about all videos. Yours was nice but I just don’t like being stuck having to watch something all the way through when I could be done in half the time. If you were to write the entire article for people like me and still do a video with the same information for people who’d rather watch, that would probably be, much more work for you but, ideal.

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Alexander Heyne June 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Totally – thanks Molly.

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Marcus June 16, 2016 at 12:14 pm

I like videos that use visuals to help me better understand a point. I did enjoy the background music. This video did not do much else for me that an article would have. Audio only could be another great option since you can create a podcast around your lessons.

I have been listening more to my essential self than the social one. I will start considering it though.

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Alexander Heyne June 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Awesome, thanks for the feedback Marcus.

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Paul June 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Hi Alex, I prefer reading since I can scroll back and forth and scan. Short 5 minute videos are OK, especially if I can speed them up with a video speed plugin.

Do both . Video and write.

PS I’m not a lost 20 something, I’m a lost 50 something :)

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Alexander Heyne June 16, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Deal! I’ll do both. This one came out a bit long, too. And we’re all lost 50 somethings at heart, I think haha.

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Ankit Adhikari June 16, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Hello all the way from Nepal. You’ve been to China and whether or not you know about Nepal but for a guy in a place like mine, for all the inspiration I get from milkthepigeon.com I can’t thank you enough. I’ve always liked your way of writing. The way you express things through your writings seem straight from the heart and genuine. Well done on the video. But don’t allow the naysayers to stop you from what you are about to start with your videos. It’s nice to have a face and a voice to milkthepigeon. As you said you can do both simultaneously. Carry on, Cheers! :)

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Alexander Heyne June 16, 2016 at 1:30 pm

You are awesome Ankit! I’ll have to visit your awesome country soon. I’ll do both ;-)

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Bill Boteler June 16, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Hi Alex,

Yes you are good at video and you should go for it.

Bill Boteler

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Alexander Heyne June 16, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Thanks Bill! How have you been?

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Milan June 16, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Hi Alex,
I’m really excited that you started making videos! Don’t stop writing though, I think the videos will complement your articles nicely. I think the essential self vs social self step is very important, I have also heard that “listen to the whispers” quote before and it can have quite profound effects. I have been listening to the whispers about practicing Reiki. That is my passion and I feel the vibrations pulsing through my body any time I think about it! More and more people come my way and ask me for healing. We all have the power of healing within. Like any skill it just takes practice. Keep up the good work! I love reading your articles and I can’t wait for more videos.

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Alexander Heyne June 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

Awesome, I’ll keep writing too, so no worries Milan :-) Keep going after that Reiki dream! Lots of people need it.

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Pablo June 16, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Hi Alex,

I like the video format. I think you should mix text and video from time to time. I have used strategy #1 from an old blog post of Milk The Pigeon (thanks!) and it has worked GREAT!

Best regards.

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Alexander Heyne June 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

Perfect! Thanks for the feedback pablo.

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Tisha June 17, 2016 at 12:48 am

I really enjoy watching the vidoes and hope you continue to post them! I feel it’s easier for me to absorb more of the information when I am listening and the points seem more powerful and personal.

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Alexander Heyne June 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

Awesome, i’ll do both Tisha.

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Lawrence June 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Loved the video – great points. Very specific.

Cheers:)

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Alexander Heyne June 19, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Cheers Lawrence

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Stephanie June 21, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Hey Alex,

I really liked this video and think you should keep doing them. It’s nice to put a face to the articles and you have such a positive and motivational energy that it would be wasted otherwise! Article + video would please everyone. I also like it when you use personal examples to explain a point because it’s more relatable.

I strongly agree with #1 – try ANYTHING. I’ve wasted so much time (years!) trying to figure out what my ‘thing’ is without actually doing/trying anything and staying in a job I dislike but it may not be the ‘correct’ path. Like you, it made me miserable and depressed. I’m reaching the f*** it stage now where I need to take action and screw what my ‘social self’ says. I’m starting to listen to those ‘little whispers’ that are telling me I love sci-fi, film & tv, and that its ok if I never use my Biology degree again if it means I’ll be happy. The next step is how do I get my foot in the door of an industry I have no experience in at age 25?!

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Alexander Heyne June 22, 2016 at 10:39 am

Hey Stephanie – 100% was true for me too. I got to the fuck it stage and had to try anything.

The solution: start setting up coffee meetings with people in that industry, and learn what it takes.

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Evelyn June 22, 2016 at 12:15 am

Hi Alexander,

Loved the video – it was simple and to the point. Though I personally do have a preference for reading/words than video/audio stuff.

Also, completely off-topic – been trying to “purchase” your book you mentioned in your email; but am unable to do so no matter what I try on the amazon website. I keep seeing the “title is not available for purchase” and am unable to download it to the kindle app etc. Is there something wrong? =O

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Alexander Heyne June 22, 2016 at 10:38 am

Hey Evelyn,

It’s currently being updated on Kindle, that’s why :-) Does the print one work?

-Alex

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Evelyn June 24, 2016 at 7:30 am

Haha.
None seem to work! The print edition option isn’t available either. Pretty bummed =X perhaps it could be due to me living in a different region? (I’m in Asia). Prior to this, I’ve been unable to purchase certain items off Amazon purely due to me being in a different region etc.
-Evelyn

Helene June 28, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Hey Alex!
Thank you so much for the video! I really think this format suits you and it’s easier to follow while doing some extra stuff at the same time. Besides, I’m one of those who remember shit better listening and I believe there are many of those as well so stay on this track!
I personally find the first strategy the most useful. I’ve also at some point of my life realised that unless I actually start doing something though I may not be 100% sure about it I will end up just wasting my whole life. Thanks for pointing that out, really motivating shit!

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Alexander Heyne July 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Hey Helene,

Sooo true… just have to start doing something.

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Matt July 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Very good stuff! Actionable, which I like! Where can I learn more about your Chinese medicine work? It sounds interesting. I just found your page recently.

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Sophie August 11, 2016 at 9:56 pm

The video is great, love your site. I prefer reading and came to comments looking for the three things. Paraphrasing the 3 things for those who want to just read:

1. Throwing shit at the wall. I read all these books, didn’t find the one thing that called out, many worked well, 80% well say, but none were the “slap in the face like dude that’s what you want to do”. Then I procrastinated. I didn’t do anything for years and got severely depressed. I promised myself I’d do something different, because that wasn’t working: for the next 5 years I’m going to force myself to do something. I took jobs that might be on the path, say 30% of what I wanted. One step leads to another and each step gives some of the skills you need to be successful. Something will work.

2. Social self vs essential self. Essential self: what do I truly believe and want? Social: What do mom and dad want for me? What does society say I want? What do I think I SHOULD want? But Essential Self – what do I really want? For a choice – make two columns – what does social self say, what does essential self say?

3. Listen to the whispers. It’s not often like a slap in the face, more of a niggling little feeling. Still sounds cool, comes as a little intuition, very very easy to ignore. I write those whispers on paper. There’s so much there, you never know unless you go down that path. As you go down the path you become more and more successful.

(Dude, this video was really helpful. And something I really needed to hear. All three are useful. I sorta did #1 in my 20s but with mixed success. #3 is most useful to me now at age 35. Painting is one of my biggest “whispers” – when I do it, though, my ego jumps up and down and says “see, you don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t even like this” so I quit. Trying to work with that feeling and my goal now is just to keep doing #3 and not worrying if the whisper changes directions.)

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Abbey August 23, 2016 at 1:39 am

Watching and hearing you speak added more personality to you and Milk the Pigeon. I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and seriously, your tips are life changing. Much of the bold decisions I made were because your blog was really able to connect with me. To me, that’s how effective your writing is. And btw, thank you for sharing all your stories and tips to all of us out here.
Now that it’s my first time to see and hear you speak, I kinda felt like, “Oh wow! This is Alex! He’s a real person!” And it’s gonna be super cool if maybe I’ll get to cross paths with you someday, and I’ll know it’s you!
So I guess what I’m saying is, do both. :)

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Alexander Heyne August 24, 2016 at 2:45 am

Awesome :-) Thanks Abbey

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Barbara October 13, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Great video!

Congratulations!

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Alexander Heyne June 24, 2016 at 10:15 am

Hi Evelyn,

Yeah, it definitely could be b/c you’re in Asia. The print version was also updated last night – should be fine now. I’ve had lots of people in the UK have similar issues.

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