Something to look forward to

This is one of the easiest ways to feel better about life.

Instead of gazing into the abyss of nothingness wondering what the future will hold, you can set yourself up with something to look forward to.

It could be a catch up with a friend in a few days time or a holiday a year from now. But it could also be you making time for a hobby you enjoy one evening after work.

I think the reason having something to look forward to can help us feel better is because it gives us some indication of how the future will be. Granted we can’t predict everything but if we can set one or even a few things in stone then suddenly the future isn’t so frightening.

It’s common to fear the unknown and so if you can in some way bring some sense of knowing or stability, it helps make things easier.

Disrupting the plan

Most people have some kind of plan. Even if it’s just a loose idea of how they would like things to be.

You carry it around with you wherever you go, it influences the choices you make.

You say yes to doing that thing that will help you progress and hopefully make things easier in the long run. You say no to things that are fun, exciting and interesting because you consider them a distraction.

But then sometimes something or someone comes along and disrupts the plans you made.

It could be someone that makes you realise that you’re settling, a listing for an amazing kind of job that you didn’t even know existed or meeting someone that went down a non-traditional route and has managed to make a great life for themselves.

Your eyes become open to the possibilities of life. You realise that the plan you made was created to give you a safe and stable life rather than being something you were truly passionate about.

Taking risks in your twenties

Apparently, to quote TLC ‘This is how it should be done’.

People often say that your twenties are the best time to take risks and explore life.

You’re young, for many you don’t have as many responsibilities like a mortgage, home repairs and children, you might still live at home so you have a lot of expendable cash etc.

People say that your twenties are the time to do things like travel, try different jobs, move to a new city, start a business, basically just go out, find yourself and figure out who you want to be and how you wan to live.

In some ways it’s a lot of pressure and being in that age group, I ended up taking the opposite approach.

I’m almost half way into my twenties and so far I’ve been focused on things beginning with the letter S like saving, structure and stability.

In a lot of ways that’s great but on the flip-side it’s meant that I don’t often have room to take risks and explore.

But I’ve noticed my desire for those things growing and so the balancing act begins.

In search of stability (don’t settle)

I think that in searching for stability you don’t give yourself enough room to explore and take risks. You align yourself in things that feel safe and reliable then convince yourself that it’s what you truly desire.

The pursuit of stability is often about fear and control. As human beings one of our core needs is survival which is linked to staying safe.

But in pursing something that doesn’t have outcome certainty it brings up risk of jeopardising safety and therefore survival.

Perhaps you wanted to make art for a living, but you chose to be a HR assistant instead. The idea of making and selling your work for a living has risk because it might not work. What if you don’t make enough money, you can’t pay your bills, you have to move back with your parents or move with friends, you get evicted, you have to sell all your possessions blah, blah blah

The inner monologue is amazing at getting carried away. You can go from one small inconvenience to thinking your entire life is over. And I think that there is a string need for an awareness for that so that we don’t end up listening to that voice.

You don’t want to end up wishing you’d taken a chance in your twenties, thirties or forties because you decided to live your life in search of stability.

But you don’t have to go in the opposite direction either. Go for what brings you joy, what you care about or what interests you.