Do I have the success that I thought I would have? Where am I going with my life? Have I been able to put a dent in the universe? Am I really happy? Is there a purpose to my life? Who am I…?
If you often ask yourself these questions and fall under the 20-35 year age bucket, then folks, you might be experiencing a Quarter-Life Crisis (QLC). With almost every Millennial going through this crisis, QLC has become one of the most dominant youth issues if not among the dominant issues. But is it just to call this phase a crisis or is it more than what meets the eye, an opportunity for turning ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ into your ‘Quest to Live Cheerfully’.....
So, what is QLC anyway?
Simply put, it is a phase in our prime where we try to find our calling. Or, as Google search defines it, a period of insecurity, doubt, and disappointment surrounding our career, relationships, or financial situation. We feel unsatisfied with what we want to achieve or with what we have achieved along with a constant feeling of anxiety and stress from thinking about the future. This can lead us to spend sleepless nights, depression, panic attacks, and hours of caterwauling.
With that said, let's understand what can set off QLC?
Sometimes QLC gets triggered when we start comparing ourselves with our friends who we feel have achieved more than us or have advanced in their careers or relationships. In doing so, we start overvaluing the things missing from our lives and undervaluing what we have thus risk getting engulfed by jealousy and anguish. For some, it can occur due to their preconceived notions about adulthood and become trapped between the memories of the past and the harsh present. For some, it could be overburdening oneself with the responsibilities one carries, the need to support your family, and meeting the expectations of parents. Or it could be the monotonicity in one’s life like following the same old 9-6 routine. But no matter what the cause is, the end effect is the same: a state of turmoil.
But is there any silver lining to this crisis and how do we steer our life’s boat in these uncharted waters?
If we allow ourselves to look from a slightly different perspective we would find that what may seem like a crisis at a first glance is a golden opportunity for us to evolve on different psychological and mental levels. It is the period where we can grow the most as in these moments we shift our focus on the needs rather than wants from life. We question the orthodox definitions of happiness and success that society, and we, have imposed on ourselves. We are inspired to look for our own sense of happiness instead of following an erroneous mob mentality. These struggles reveal our innate flaws which we never knew existed and allow us to work on them making us wise and a person of strong character.
Let us contemplate how we can cope with a quarter-life crisis and reroute ourselves on the path to fulfillment:
Change is the only constant
Humans are a product of nature and so whatever laws apply to nature, they apply to us as well. Like the transition of seasons takes place in nature so do the situations in life. It is not a question of whether they will change rather than when. We only need to be patient and accept that we aren’t supposed to have it all figured out so early in life. We only need to actively observe as life unfolds itself and seize this opportunity to push beyond our powers of endurance.
Find your calling
Remember, everyone has a different sense of success and it isn’t always equivalent to the accumulation of material wealth. Some find it in driving a socio-cultural change whereas, it is a life spent in peace for some. Don’t let others’ versions of success tempt you; find your calling. Ask yourself these questions and stop not till you find something which resonates with your inner knowing; if it is something that you are passionate about? Does it align with your sense of success? And, does it do good? Because let’s be honest, people can be passionate about performing illicit activities.
Pride & Prejudice
The ability to think is unique to humans. However, its overuse can sometimes lead one to fall prey to self-made notions causing one to agonize in vain. Acceptance of the fact that one is stuck and lost becomes crucial at this point and one should not hesitate to ask for support. Reaching out to people who have been through and are going through this stage can make one realize the situation is not that bad and one’s perception of ‘falling behind’ isn't accurate. Don’t be embarrassed to share your struggles, remember, you are not the first person to go through QLC. It is also an opportunity to assess your ego and work towards controlling it.
Pause and reflect
During personal or professional crises, it is always a good idea to introspect your past decisions and understand the root cause of your anguish before entering the troubleshoot mode. Give yourself time to understand who you are and what flaws you need to work upon so that when facing situations you make sound decisions that bring no regrets later. Our aim should not be only to overcome the challenges of the present but also to be prepared for the challenges of the future; to fully realize our true strength, and harness the force of the inner light that we have been endowed with, at the darkest of nights.
All of this can be achieved via the practice of the science of self-realization. This supreme science enables you to focus on your true elemental form, thus dispersing the clouds of confusion surrounding you. As you enter the microcosm, all prejudices limiting you step aside. The newfound energy pumps you up to take on challenges with boldness. SAM offers a practical solution to our innermost complications. Not only it has aided thousands of SAM volunteers in realizing their true strengths and embracing QLC but it also guided them in finding their calling thus turning ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ into their ‘Quest to Live Cheerfully’.
Stay tuned to SAM for more such blogs illuminating you on how to make the most out of your QLC.