|12-21-2010, 03:29 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Constantly Questioning the Point of it All
I'm basically losing the plot and been doing so for a while now.
I'm in a situation in which, while I have my basic needs covered, I really don't know what else to do with my life. I feel compelled to get a job, make money, have a career, etc etc, but no desire to really go there. I just keep struggling with tons of guilt because I feel I should achieve all of that (whether I want it or not) because that's what people "do".
The lack of jobs doesn't help at all. Sending out resumés is as useful as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them into a black hole most of the time. And after 2 years of just having been able to pick 3 short term/part time min wage jobs, I feel like the fat ugly kid that noone wants in their football team at school because he's useless and stinks.
So I panic and picture an interview in the future in which they ask me "So what have you been doing? What are all this employment gaps?" And that's where I have to pull something out of my arse, create this really respectable facade so it doesn't look so bad. The real answer would be: "I've been feeling empty, meaningless, depressed and borderline suicidal, that's what I've been doing between jobs..."
I did go to college and I do have some skills, although very little experience. Not in England but in my home country. So everything I've achieved in the past, apparently doesn't count for much over here. It took me a long while to realize that I must start at the bottom. But, at the bottom of what? Should I start flipping burgers like a 16 year old kid, to get where? I don't what to manage a freaking McDonald's anyway. I'm a decade older than that and with less experience and less qualifications than a school kid. I have no idea where I fit.
I could maybe go back to school, or... It just feels like such a selfish exercise. Me me me, what do I want, what do I not want, what are my goals, blah blah... So what, it doesn't really make a difference whether I'm in this world or not. I could just vanish right now and everything would be pretty much the same.
When I was in school, I was busy and I had less time to feel like this but part of me was constantly pissed off because I felt compelled to go with it and make it work without having any other choice (parental pressure and all that). So... going through the motions, that's been like 95% of my life.
I'm also completely shellshocked and frozen under the notion of "There are so many things I could/should be doing right now... and instead I just sit here and look for past times with no real purpose or direction" because that's basically what I do all day. Feel guilty and look for ways to distract myself from that guilt and feeling of purposelessness. Many times even everyday tasks like eating or washing are so irritating, like "Sheesh do I have to eat AGAIN? Take ANOTHER shower? ALREADY? God, there's no end to it, someone get me out of here..."
I have no idea where to get motivation from. Where doest it come from?! What do you do when you just don't see the point anymore?
|12-21-2010, 03:39 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
So take the focus away from you and onto other people. Find out what people want and need and then go about giving it to them.
Got nothing to do with you, but being useful to the world.
It turned my life around from where you are to where I'm now - full of life, ideas, energy and love for it all.
And start by being grateful for what you have now. Steve wrote so many times about that and it was key for me too.
Me would say: "what, you want me to be grateful for 10 bucks in my pocket? What's that gonna buy? Won't last long enough never mind pay the debt."
And then I realized, well it is 10 bucks. It could be nothing. So I was grateful for 10 bucks. And before you knew it the 10 turned into 100. I'm now working on 1,000
I've been in that dark **** hole - only one way out, fight to put your focus on other people and start listing 10 things every day you're grateful for. In my darkest hours it took me the entire day to finish that exercise.
And stop whining. That'll go a long way.
|12-21-2010, 05:45 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Northern Ireland although I'm Scottish
I don't know your personal circumstances or what led you to having this 'victim' mentality but even if you are a genuine 'victim' you need to learn how to become a survivor.
One thing I've noticed with people who have a victim mentality is they all speak a common language and it goes something like this:
Why not learn a new language that goes something like this?:
Harsh as it may sound, life is not easy for most of us but we have choices to make and it sounds like you're making some pretty poor ones.
You don't refer to any disability preventing you from working, so why aren't you? You talk about resumes being useless - are you specifically targeting these or throwing a bunch of the same ones at the wall in the hope that one of them will stick?
You say there's no jobs - I've quickly looked on just a couple of the more popular job sites and there's literally thousands - I think what the victim mentality is saying "there's no jobs that I would be willing to do, the jobs that are on there are beneath me"
My advice would be to stop making all these poor choices you're making, stop feeling sorry for yourself and start taking action. No employer is going to come and batter your door down looking for you, certainly not with a victim mentality they won't. It's always everyone else's fault but yours.
I make no apologies for coming across as harsh here but at one time I was probably where you are and perhaps worse. I chose not to stay lying down though and you can too - it's simply a matter of choice!
|12-21-2010, 09:19 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Lansing, Michigan
I feel for you. I live in Michigan. When you say that there are no jobs, I understand. The only solutions to that are to get the education to what you truly want to do and then to move where there are jobs. The history of mankind is one of moving where the food/employment are. My state has lots of jobs, if you don't mind making $8/hr. The Census came back today and, out of fifty states, we were the only one to lose population, because of the job situation.
We all have choices. Skelly is right: find a way to be useful to humanity. It will help you out of the pit. Everyone has choices. (That doesn't make any of them good, only available.)
I'm going to business school to get an MBA. I am in Michigan because my husband is ill and I won't remove him from his grandchildren. I am trying to get my act together now, so that, when the inevitable happens, I will be well-positioned to live anywhere and do a job I love. Even along the way, my options are improving. I feel so much more useful than I ever have before. If you make the effort, people will notice.
Try to behave in a way you will feel good about later. You don't have to like your current situation. Learn what you can from it and be ready to move forward when the next opportunity arises. Whether life is fabulous or completely bites, you can be certain of one thing: it will change.
|12-21-2010, 11:44 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
I'll have to respectfully disagree with all the advice given here so far, at least where some of you say "The only way to..." -- please, there is no "only way", everyone has their own solution to every challenge and issue imaginable. Can we finally, at least in the forums here, agree on that? (No offence, I know we basically agree on that )
Here's my 2 cents, Wanad:
The way you describe your situation I feel like what I've been through was very similar. At first I was stuck doing what "society" "told me" to do, first and foremost represented by my parents and other family members, of course. Then I started to break out of that, did some stuff that I thought I wanted to do, but that didn't really work out so well, and then I also fell into this massive black whole of just emptiness and darkness - or so it seemed - which is exerting quite the gravitational pull to keep you there for a looooong time.
First of all, and as stupid as it will sound to you -- enjoy the time. Yes, you won't *really* enjoy it while it lasts, but even if right now it's not possible to really wrap your mind around this: the emptiness, the darkness, the feeling of lack of purpose and all that is there to show you something, to teach you something that you will appreciate very very much in the time to come. And yes, this phase will not be the last one in your life, it is temporary like everything else in our experience. Of course you can choose to make it the last one, but you don't have to. And it's so funny to know how you are probably going to feel reading these words -- in my own experience I've also read words somewhat similar to these, and even though they made sense... the meaning they are trying to convey just seems to be so removed from the current reality that they are almost not applicable. Except they do water the seed of hope and growth and that's all that you need to find your way out.
So now, practically, how to get away from that dark place and back to purpose and meaning and fulfilment?
As devoid of meaning, as stupid and hopeless and everything your situation may seem -- there's always periods of time when you will feel attracted to something. It could be people (girls being a good example of those ), it could be places or ideas or thoughts or activities.... Whatever it may be, just follow it. I know, sometimes we'll feel attracted to really weird things, and then we'll be questioning "but how does that make sense? this doesn't seem to have any more purpose to it than anything else I could choose to do!?" etc, but after we're done making sure that we won't do something we will most certainly truly regret, something that goes against our grain, we should really just stop thinking about how it could or could not make sense and just follow whatever feeling or thought pulls us there... And once we stop resisting we notice how from a place where there was no meaning or whatever we were looking for, just that will emerge.
I'll give you a quick example from the last 6 months of my life. I haven't told many people, even my family doesn't know this, but I was also in a place where suicide seemed like a very very viable option (and of course there's nothing wrong with death, though in most cases there are much more interesting solutions).
I had given up all of my ambitions (creating a better world and stuff, you know, I tried really hard, but it didn't really seem to work), had pulled back from all social stuff etc... I felt really bad about myself and I had pretty much no hope left I could ever live with my shortcomings or transform them into something positive.
So naturally I was also very low on energy, didn't have motivation for anything.... or so I thought! Because even though I didn't feel motivated to do anything "reasonable" (anything society would regard as useful or similar), I did feel a certain pull towards computer gaming, at least from time to time.
At first I felt super guilty about spending a lot of time with gaming -- I mean, seriously, they have no real purpose anyway, do they? Sitting there in front of a dead thing we call monitor, moving my hands and eyes like an idiot to push a button here and there... for days on end, with no end in sight.
But you know, the urge to play was so strong that I couldn't really resist it, so over the period of a few weeks at first I was able to relax a bit and feel less guilty and as time went on I also discovered that this urge was actually leading me along a certain path where I learned some cool lessons I needed and wanted (!) to learn (like about focus, which is very important for competitive gaming, and of course also for high levels of achievement in any other area). And the urge was not trying to turn me into a mindless zombie addicted to computer gaming (yes, I also played tons of WoW, which is probably said to be the most addictive game there is!), but instead was slowly leading me along a path that was fun and enjoyable once I accepted it, and that also lead me from doing something relatively brainless or devoid of real purpose, towards showing me bits of more meaningful things I may want to consider doing instead -- but those also being things that I would really really enjoy doing, but at the beginning of that journey, in my dark and empty place, I just couldn't see them, and there was just no connection there that could have made me feel drawn towards them!
And because I just used so many words to describe something so simple, I'll sum it up:
1. Know that there's hope even though you might not be able to know it right now.
2. Observe what you're drawn towards.
3. Make sure it's not totally out of alignment with who you are, go back to 2. if it is.
4. Follow that thing (person, place, activity, idea, ...).
5. However weird (meaningless, without purpose, not really improving the world, not really useful to anyone, including yourself, ...) it may seem -- do your best to accept it and judge yourself less and less about it and the place you are in right now. And follow it with as much heart and courage and passion you can. It may be "stupid", but to heck with it! You're doing this now and you don't care about what others think and you'll give it your best shot!
6. Observe and learn. Enjoy. Feel better and better. See where that curious path is taking you.
With this process you literally cannot not get to a much much better place and - over time - find everything you are looking for, be it purpose, meaning, fulfilment, or even just fun and pleasure with whatever you choose to do.
Just make the choice to know there is a unique path there, just for you, waiting for you to step on it. And make the choice to find and walk that path, using either the process outlined above or a similar one (observing and following what *you* feel is right for you, regardless of what has worked or not worked for other people).
In case some stuff resonates with you and you'd like to clarify some stuff or just any other form of helping you getting started on your path -- I'm also available for coaching (which is not an active business of mine, but hey, if I can put my gifts to good use... ).
Good luck on your path, mate, you definitely have my sympathy! You matter!
|12-22-2010, 05:31 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read an reply <3
I do agree with quite a lot of what you are saying. I'm aware I'm spoilt, I can act like a complete brat (complaining about having to eat WTF I know), and I do have a bit of a victim mentality.
When it comes to this approach along the lines of "get off your arse and choose to change things" I get really stuck because it's -for me anyway- an abstract notion. I need to be be proactive and basically an attitude adjustment. How do you start doing that? How do you flick that switch in your head? Do you think about it, do you write down something, talk it through with someone, make a promise, how exactly does the change start? I find it very hard to deal with invisible and intangible things like these.
I skimmed through your very first post in here and it was a bit like reading myself right now So the fact that you managed to come out of almost the exact same hole gives me hope.
I'm not suicidal though, just really fed up with floating without direction in this sea of nothingness. Well, no, there is something, loads of guilt. Anyways, you're right, I think I do have something to hold on to, there are things that I'm "attracted" to (even passionate) as you put it. And you're right, I've had enough of trying to fit into someone else's idea of success, so it can't hurt to try and do what feels right for me, for once
|12-23-2010, 04:48 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Develop a 5 or 10 point questionnaire that you are going to go out and ask arbitrary people on the street.
Unless you have a specific project in your mind - one that gets shoved aside all the time as too ________ (fill in the blank). Than you'd go to the target and ask them.
What kind of questions? Anything as long as it will tell you something about them and their life. Again, if you have a project in mind make it relevant.
The important part is: do NOT do this over the internet. Repeat, do not hide behind the screen. Go out and speak physically to real people. Get talking and find out what goes on in their lives and what they'd want.
Quota: at least 10 people.
Sit down at a coffee shop and watch out for people coming in there on their own. Ask them if they'd have 5 min of their time, you're doing a little project for somebody on the net and would like to ask them a few questions. Some will say F.O. others will say, yeah sure.
Then pull out your clipboard with the questions. Anything really, are you local? If not where are you from? How long in this part of the world? Do you come here regularly? What do you like best about this coffeeshop? Is there any particular reason why you're here on your own? If so what? On a level from 1 to 10 how much would you like company right now? What's your biggest challenge in life right now? What are your plans to overcome them?
I have done something similar to this and it worked wonders.
Go out and do it. Now. Don't worry too much about how and what etc. The whole point is about going out and connecting to other people.
Come back and report
|01-05-2011, 01:52 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tempe,AZ USA
Wow! Wonderful replies! I would like to add beating yourself up for not
doing what is expected isn't nessasary. You are a child of the universe and
have a right to exist the same as snails or movie stars.You will get around
to changing when you get around to it because change is inevitable.
You have the free time now to learn to appreciate and love yourself unconditionally.
If now you learn to stop the mental chatter and just enjoy being in the moment
you may decide you have everything you need right now.
|01-05-2011, 06:20 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Don't turn making the decision into a life mission though, pick something fairly swiftly.
Become accountable. This means telling someone you trust and who knows you what your doing and have them hold you to account. Schedule time to check in with them on your progress. It's like having an authority in your life, their job is to hold you to your decision.
Achieve it. Steve P's resources should be helpful with this part
Being busy at something will keep you distracted from guilt and so on.
I understand how you feel with the guilt, I've been there too. You're probably suffering from the stresses of not enough to do - no matter what anyone says to the contrary this is a BIG problem, long term it destroys motivation.
I would suggest a really great way to work on gratitude and feelings of guilt is to use some of your ample time to volunteer. You'll be doing something for others, see all that you have to be grateful for and keeping busy. Also it'll fill in some of the gap in your resume and show you're self-motivated and community minded (assuming you are of course ).
... working on what you want to do can be added after you're feeling better. Plenty of good advice for that around here
|01-05-2011, 07:24 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego, CA
I think everyone questions the way they choose to spend their time, whether they appear to or not. So don't feel like it is unusual to be immobilized because of doubts. I'd rather feel like I'm holding still over feeling like I'm moving in the wrong direction.
|01-05-2011, 02:37 PM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: St. Louis, MO
Now is a perfect time for you to learn how to "Listen" to your Heart.
It seems to me that you are so full of questions, you're not able to hear the answers. And I promise you, the answers are there.
If I may humbly offer a small piece of advice, it is to stop trying so hard to find an answer, and simply allow it to be.
In the meantime, we still live in the world and must maintain our physical bodies. So do whatever you need to do to make that happen without attaching any particular meaning to it. It is a "job" to pay the bills, put food on the table, clothes on your back and a roof over your head.
If that's flipping burgers like a 16 year-old kid, so what?
|01-05-2011, 04:24 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2010
I feel that since so much advice has been said and it also applies to me I'd like to give P83 Wanad a hug.
Running the risk of being seen as a whiner (I am a bit), I share the same background as that member so I know exactly what she's talking about.
There is a reason why marketing strategies used in the USA, for example, don't usually apply to other countries where culture and consumer responses can be different (and often are).
When you move your skills and your values to another country you have to put an extra effort into finding a good job (I'm not talking about recession, I'm talking "normal" times). Now add "recession" to it and it becomes even more difficult.
In my country it is currently estimated that 70% of people get jobs because of nepotism (not skill).
Of course, if you're extremely good at something, I am sure you can find a job in any country, especially if it's a skill that is in shortage and in great demand.
I'm looking for solutions and every day I do a little bit on a project.
- I am writing a book;
- I am working part-time (the person hired me because they knew me from my business and not because I sent them my CV; responses to CV's are zero to jobs that are 100% within my capabilities);
Plus, I followed my dream job. Didn't work out.
It's not that people fail to look for solutions. I think of solutions daily (God knows thinking keeps me awake) but the results aren't fast enough. Bills are.
Last edited by Green Lady; 01-05-2011 at 04:29 PM.
|01-07-2011, 04:28 PM||#13 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Thanks everyone for your lovely replies <3
I think that's the issue in a nutshell, feeling stressed for not having enough to do. It sounds silly but in reality it's soul destroying. I definitely have a tendency to question the very point of it all, add to that the feeling of not being needed anywhere and you got a recipe for disaster.
A couple of days ago I read a book about e commerce, business stuff. I actually felt motivated because I thought "Great I know I can do all of this on my own, I don't even have to send CVs anywhere or hope to be noticed or approved by anyone". That was an awesome feeling. No self help book has ever made me feel that way and I guess it's because it doesn't feel concrete to me. Like, how do I tell if something shifted or mended inside my thoughts if I still feel like crap?
Dunno I am the sort of person who needs to see actual proof of things to actually carry on doing something. If I don't get some sort of tangible evidence I feel like I'm just fooling myself.
Regarding volunteering, I am doing a bit of work for charity. From home. They don't send me too much work but I guess it's something. But, maybe I need to physically get out more
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