Recently, I quit my job, ended my lease and traveled to another country. I was not living a happy life in the first two months after I turned 24. I guess part of that has something to do with me starting a new job right after I graduated, without giving much thought to this important transition in life. Graduation means transitioning from a student to an independent individual who has to figure out how to stand on her own feet in this world. I had been working in a real job for a year in 2015 and 2016 outside of school, and I had thought of myself as an independent adult long before I graduated. However, the idea of “I will go back to the University later” had kept me in a certain mindset that I could do whatever I want and spent all the money I had without thinking too much about the future until I graduate.
I didn’t give enough thought about what kind of life I wanted to live and quickly jumped into a job that took the majority of my time and energy right after graduation. Three months into the job, I realized this is not something that I wanted for my life. My life sucked, and because of the 1-year work experience immigration requirement, I also felt trapped in this life because I might have to stay in this job for at least a year. All of that has caused me severe depressions because I lost hope in building a better life.
I booked a long trip earlier this year starting end of April because I wanted some dramatic changes in life to make it better. However, traveling isn’t the right solution at all, because my problem is not with where I am living. It is with what I am doing with my time.
Then I chose to solve the problem itself – quitting my job and freeing up my time so that I can spend time on things I really want to do – starting my own business and building a life I want to live.
After working in 2 different jobs that I had taken seriously, I finally gave up on this thing called employment. I have always known that there is something fundamentally wrong with employment because there is no perfect job that’s created just for me to enable that exciting life I want to live. Because work is such an important part of my life (yes I am a workaholic), I can’t stand giving up control on a large part of my life and let someone else defines what my work entails.
Before figuring out what I want for my life, at least I know now what I don’t want for it.
Finding out what I want for my life is a huge subject, and I am not expecting to solve this question anytime soon (I might never be able to finish the process of discovering the life I want). However, I can at least write up about what I want for the rest of my 24-year-old life. I have nine and a half month left until I turn 25 – an age that stands for maturity in life as I always think of (of course you can have a different opinion on that, but that’s how I feel about milestones in life, not 30 but 25).
1. Run my own business as an independent individual or in a team.
Four things that are are important to me, which lead to the thought that running my own business is a necessary part of building a good life:
- Freedom – Be flexible in choosing what, how, when and where to work. The ability to say NO to project I don’t want to work on or money I don’t want to make.
- Reward – Be responsible for the outcome and be rewarded equitably for it. The ability to negotiate the price for the value I can bring to the table is important.
- Creation – Build a product or service from nothing. Create a system that works. Find a solution that solves problems.
- Impact – Serve my clients well. Deliver value to people that I care about.
2. Keep learning about the fundamentals of how to be a human being
- Learn about myself. Learn about what I’m good at or not good at; what I like or don’t like; what drives me and what disappoints me; what makes me excited and what makes me bored; why I am here and what I stand for.
- Learn about my relationship with other people – how to make friends with people from a different background; how to empathize and be deeply connected to others; how to be interested in others and to draw other people to me; how to be inspired and inspire others.
- Learn about my relationship with the world – who I am in different social contexts; how the social environment influence me and how I change the environment; the wisdom of life and the fundamental principles of how the world works.
3. Design and build a life I enjoy living
- Draw from my learnings from point #2 above, intentionally find solutions that make things work, habits that make me happy and decisions or goals that lead to a life I’m passionate about living
- Build and keep healthy relationships with important people whom I enjoy spending time with, whom I can share my successes and issues with, whom I can rely on and be willing to support unconditionally, whom I care about deeply and whom I can share my life with. It includes family and best friends. I’m lucky to say that I have at least three such good friends.
- Connect with interesting new people or new things. I want to influence and be influenced, inspire and be inspired, interest and be interested.
To keep me on track with those 3 most important things I want for the next nine and a half month, I will ask myself three questions every day before I go to sleep:
1. What did I do today that contributes to building a good life? (solutions/habits/decisions, relationships, new people or things)
2. What did I do today that contributes to building a sustainable business and how does that impact Freedom, Reward, Creation, and Impact I mentioned above?
3. What did I do today that helped me learn and grow as a human being? (what did I learn about myself, my relationship with others, and the world?)
I hope I can be ready to turn 25 on Feb 15th, 2018 by sticking to those 3 things I want for 24. Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts with me 🙂