Author Topic: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?  (Read 7938 times)

tj

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How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« on: January 18, 2016, 06:16:28 PM »
I've noticed that the more mustachian that my lifestyle becomes, the harder it is to find people who can relate to me and share an interest in the lifestyle.  I know that my parents think I'm completely nuts for saving as much as I do.

I've definitely become more of a homebody during this process and I'm not sure that I really like that. I've gained a little bit of weight too. The mustachian philosophy is inspiring - it is very easy for me to get into it because it offers a very clear and defined goal that can be determined and worked towards using basic mathematics and probability - financial independence. All emotions are taken out. It's all completely logic. I love that. But, at the same time, I sometimes feel like I'm just putting off making decisions about what I really want to do with my life. The larger my stache gets, the harder I find it to be content with the status quo. I could probably quit tomorrow and be fine embarking on some new career, but I have immense struggle in considering what that might look like and even where it would be. I already have plenty of free time with nights and weekends, but I don't do anything of much value besides post on forums and catch up on TV. I am sedentary all day at work, I don't like being sedentary all night at home, but it is what my life has become. I used to do a lot of social sports such as kickball and dodgeball, but the social aspect was a very much alcohol-intensive and that cost $ plus the toll roads and gas to get there, not to mention the registration fees. Now that I've cut off my primary link to humanity, I am that much more bored and lonely. Not that I was any less lonely when I was socializing...but at least I was distracted from thinking about it.

I see a lot of people will invite folks over for dinner parties in lieu of going out, but I don't really know anyone that I would feel comfortable inviting over for dinner like that. I'm not sure how I would meet them either.

I guess for the most part, I've been okay with "well, I'll figure out what I want to do post-FIRE, after I reach that point", but the longer life goes on, and especially as I meet women to date and they ask me what I plan to do with my life, that answer becomes less satisfactory even just internally for myself.

Has anyone else struggled with this and successfully overcome it? Any opinions are welcome...

Thinkum

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2016, 06:30:43 PM »
I know what you're going through and can relate. Seems you are searching for direction and perhaps meaning in life. There are tons of tools to help you figure that out. Try reading some books about this, there are whole fields devoted to it.

Personally, I volunteer from time to time, walk/hike in local nature preserves and my neighborhood, ride my bicycle, read books, cook, etc. You are in SoCa, what part? I used to live in Pasadena, and the mountains were a favorite haunt. Exploring the city via the Metro is an easy weekend thing to do. I have also used MeetUp.com to socialize. It's really cool when you find a good bunch of people. I have not really made any friends, but easily could have if I was so inclined. Lastly, why not go to the SoCa MMM meetups?

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2016, 06:46:21 PM »
I know what you're going through and can relate. Seems you are searching for direction and perhaps meaning in life. There are tons of tools to help you figure that out. Try reading some books about this, there are whole fields devoted to it.

Personally, I volunteer from time to time, walk/hike in local nature preserves and my neighborhood, ride my bicycle, read books, cook, etc. You are in SoCa, what part? I used to live in Pasadena, and the mountains were a favorite haunt. Exploring the city via the Metro is an easy weekend thing to do. I have also used MeetUp.com to socialize. It's really cool when you find a good bunch of people. I have not really made any friends, but easily could have if I was so inclined. Lastly, why not go to the SoCa MMM meetups?

Well, I'm probably about an hour out of Pasadena. I'm fairly close to the city of Riverside. Mostly young families around here. I feel like I have to drive to the coast or up to the mountains to see most of nature. You can only do Mt. Rubidoux so many times. It is not at all strenuous of a walk. I do plan on checking out some local trails that I haven't done before, but that will eventually get old too. I think that's also my problem with my career. I get very bored very quickly. Any job would be fun for say 6 months, but after 6 months, I become so efficient at it that it's second nature and repetitive and becomes boring. It's not challenging. But at the same time, I hate being stressed out, and I feel like I'll take bored over stressed any day. And I see it from the potential employers perspective, why would they invest in someone who wants to dabble in all these different areas? I just see these archived correspondence where my boss was sending the same templated emails 20 years ago that she sends today...I don't know how people are content doing the same thing for years and years.

I think I have for the most part been okay with "not having meaning" in life, as I haven't been religious for quite a few years, but it tends to happen when women challenge me with deep probing questions, it hits home and makes me reconsider if simply existing is not adequate enough.  I'm not sure that I like being challenged in that way, but the fact that I let it get to me suggests there's some validity there.

I personally majored in performing arts music, which is not remotely marketable in terms of a degree, but I am somewhat passionate about music, but after spending five years studying it, I learned that I'd rather have more financial stability and support the arts than participate in the arts as a hopeful source of income. I don't mind having the structure of a 9-5, and I probably even prefer that structure, I just wish I could have the 9-5 somewhere that is maybe a bit more outdoorsy with more young people. For a year, I lived by the beach and it was fantastic. I could just walk down to the harbor and rent a kayak for a couple hours, but the work commute wore me out...it was more financially expensive, but it was the non-financial aspects of the commute which frustrated me.

I hope it doesn't come off as a rant, just hoping to offer more context to potential readers.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 06:48:49 PM by tj »

ender

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2016, 06:55:26 PM »
If you are hoarding your money so much that you are depriving yourself of life, perhaps consider hoarding less money.

A few thousand a year in extra expenses (whatever your sports cost) for a considerably enhanced quality of life? Maybe it drops your savings rate from 40% to 37%...


MonkeyJenga

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2016, 07:02:37 PM »
The mustachian philosophy is inspiring - it is very easy for me to get into it because it offers a very clear and defined goal that can be determined and worked towards using basic mathematics and probability - financial independence. All emotions are taken out. It's all completely logic. I love that.

I think you're missing the other pieces of MMM's purpose, summed up in this post:

Quote
In writing this blog for you, Mr. Money Mustache actually has three major goals:

To make you rich so you can retire early.
To make you happy so you can properly enjoy your early retirement.
To save the whole Human Race from destroying itself through overconsumption of its over habitat.

I bolded the second item for reasons that should be obvious. I suggest (re-)reading the whole article. It's a good one.

If you want some specific ideas, there was a discussion about it on my old journal. A lot of people have similar struggles finding low-cost options. The only guarantee is that staying at home, alone and sedentary, won't help you. If participating in a few paid sports leagues is what it takes, then do it. Just don't drink after.

I don't mind having the structure of a 9-5, and I probably even prefer that structure, I just wish I could have the 9-5 somewhere that is maybe a bit more outdoorsy with more young people. For a year, I lived by the beach and it was fantastic. I could just walk down to the harbor and rent a kayak for a couple hours, but the work commute wore me out...it was more financially expensive, but it was the non-financial aspects of the commute which frustrated me.

Can you move back? If you don't mind working anyway, meaning your primary goal isn't to hit FIRE as early as possible, try to find both an apartment and a job that are near a beach. See above MMM quote. It's not just about the money. If you're not happy, what's the point?

Edit: This quote makes it seem like one focus should be finding some friends that you really connect with, as opposed to finding the perfect place to live or the perfect low-cost activity:

Quote
Now that I've cut off my primary link to humanity, I am that much more bored and lonely. Not that I was any less lonely when I was socializing...but at least I was distracted from thinking about it.

There must be options to meet people where you live. At work, group hikes, musical events. Think of a few options tonight and make a plan to try one a week.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 07:09:33 PM by MonkeyJenga »

pbkmaine

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2016, 07:09:20 PM »
If you love music, what about joining a band or a choral group? It would get you out, meeting other people with similar interests, and does not have to cost a lot of money.

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2016, 07:17:10 PM »
If you love music, what about joining a band or a choral group? It would get you out, meeting other people with similar interests, and does not have to cost a lot of money.

Music is something that I enjoy significantly more as a consumption item (listening to it, attending concerts, etc) rather than producing it myself. As I have focused on trying to be more productive, music has definitely been less of a focus in life.

Quote
Edit: This quote makes it seem like one focus should be finding some friends that you really connect with, as opposed to finding the perfect place to live or the perfect low-cost activity:

I admittedly haven't put as much focus as I could on meeting people here, I think because I don't want to stay. It's very likely that "somewhere else" isn't the solution to whatever problem I may have here, but when you've lived in relatively the same place your whole life, you are curious about what else might be out there. I almost subconsciously don't want to meet people here to prevent tempting myself to stick around.

I wouldn't say that I don't mind working, I'd love for work to be optional, but I feel like the quickest path to that is to be unhappy, and I'm not sure that is healthy or desirable.

Tom Bri

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 07:28:08 PM »
Great question. From the way you write, and your comments about jobs quickly becoming routine and boring, I suspect you are too intelligent for the work you are doing. Any chance you can downsize your job so that you aren't sitting all day doing something that doesn't interest or challenge you?

As an exercise in changing your life, try grabbing a small laptop and heading up into the hills. Sit down in some out-of-the-way spot and begin writing down everything you see. Start with the largest objects, the sky, hills, trees, and work your way down to the tiniest objects in your field of view, bugs, tiny plants at your feet, pebbles.
Write a short story/article about your location, and post it somewhere online. Maybe include a few pics. Get yourself back into the full sensory world. Sight, smell, sound, touch, maybe even taste. Cubicle sensory deprivation can make you sad. Do this religiously, at least once a week.

After doing this a few times, then begin questioning your path in life.
As for socializing, get really alone, as in nobody in sight or hearing, out in the hills. Be alone. Then, go hunting congenial people.

Pigeon

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2016, 07:34:49 PM »
Life should be enjoyable. It is OK to spend a little money on recreation if you aren't hair on fire in debt. I would second the idea of joining a performing group. You could even turn it into a little side gig. My kid makes some money with a string quartet playing events and has fun with it.

As far as work goes what do you do now? In an ideal world what would your job look like?

lbmustache

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 07:37:44 PM »
1) Quickest way to FI/RE is not unhappiness. Let's say you have a crappy job but it pays decently. You can choose to keep the crappy job and hustle towards ER, but not at the expense of your personal relationships and having some fun. How far away is ER for you?
2) Yolo. (I know.) Read through some of the threads here - assuming you don't have mountains of debt or anything else crazy going on, no one here recommends behind a hermit and being unhappy.
3) You can pick and choose where to spend money. Again, part of MMM is spending money on stuff that improves your life/makes you happy, not mindlessly blowing it on consumer-y stuff. Do the social sports again. Just don't go out and drink, or if you do, have one drink. Plenty of people do it.

Out of curiosity, why are you living near Riverside, COL or something else? There are plenty of areas in Southern California that are a little less out of the way and have more reasonable COLs than Los Angeles, Newport Beach, etc.

I understand your position. It's hard to feel motivated especially if you don't have a life goal flashing in front of your eyes - and I think at our age it seems like some people have it all figured out. I have gotten lazy too and with laziness and mustachianism comes hermit behavior, ha. I like the suggestion of going out into the forest and taking everything in, and figuring out what you would like to do from there. Following for more.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2016, 07:41:09 PM »
I admittedly haven't put as much focus as I could on meeting people here, I think because I don't want to stay. It's very likely that "somewhere else" isn't the solution to whatever problem I may have here, but when you've lived in relatively the same place your whole life, you are curious about what else might be out there. I almost subconsciously don't want to meet people here to prevent tempting myself to stick around.

I wouldn't say that I don't mind working, I'd love for work to be optional, but I feel like the quickest path to that is to be unhappy, and I'm not sure that is healthy or desirable.

No offense, but that's dumb and you should hit yourself over the head until you stop thinking that way. ;)

(What? I said no offense!)

Seriously, though, your two immediate choices now are:

Stay where you are, be unhappy and alone.
Stay where you are, make an effort to be happy.

And you're choosing option #1.

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2016, 07:58:16 PM »
Quote
Great question. From the way you write, and your comments about jobs quickly becoming routine and boring, I suspect you are too intelligent for the work you are doing. Any chance you can downsize your job so that you aren't sitting all day doing something that doesn't interest or challenge you?

Quote
As far as work goes what do you do now? In an ideal world what would your job look like?

I'm not sure that my specific industry is particularly relevant, I've consolidated a few different positions which was part of the agreement I had with management to give me more responsibility/variety in exchange staying on a  certain amount of time to avoid them needing to incur the cost to hire/train the various positions that I've swallowed up. Obviously the intention is to put myself in a financial position where maybe I won't be 100% FI/RE, but it's not going to matter if the next job pays 30k or pays 60k, though it seems likely it'd be closer to the latter just because I'm bright and have various skills, but on the other hand, I'm terrible at interviews/selling myself, and don't have an obvious ladder on the resume

In regards to what my ideal job looks like, I think that's what I'm looking for some tips on resources that would help me determine this for myself.


Quote
How far away is ER for you?

Out of curiosity, why are you living near Riverside, COL or something else? There are plenty of areas in Southern California that are a little less out of the way and have more reasonable COLs than Los Angeles, Newport Beach, etc.

I live here because I did not like commuting and my job is near Riverside. I live about 10 miles from my job. I love that aspect of it. When I was living by the beach, I had an hour commute each way. In addition to higher rent, I was paying double to triple on gas and probably an equivalent amount on toll roads. I was only working 4 days a week for reduced salary, but I wanted to reduce the commute. I'm not sure what I would o with the extra day off living in this location, so as mentioned i took on more responsibility, got a raise, and ma back to 5 days a week. The combination of moving back to Riverside area and more responsibility at work has enhanced the savings rate quite a bit.

In regards to how how far I am away...I'm currently 30 and based on consulting with an hourly financial planner, to retire at 40, I basically need to contribute $5k per year to a taxable account fort he next 10 years to fund the first 20 years, which is when IRA becomes normally accessible - this ignores the early access with equivalent required payments etc. I would also need to contribute $2k annual for the next 30 years to my retirement accounts. In other words, after 40, I could have an extremely low paying job and make it works, or front load the contributions and run another analysis (which is what I'm doing to some extent). I contribute far more than these suggestions to both accounts, so I think that it should be before 40 even if my income drops. The expenses used on that model were higher than my current actual expenses, so I feel pretty good about it.

To summarize,, I don't feel like I necessarily need to stay here for the next 10 years to reach FI/RE goals, but I still have a couple more years to honor my agreement of staying on-board in exchange for more responsibility. I haven't done the real analysis to see how long I need to stay in this specific job just because I feel like it would be tough to be fulfilled and do that, but I should, just so that i have a better idea looking at the data of how many years it might shave off....but that doesn't help me decide what comes next.

Quote
I understand your position. It's hard to feel motivated especially if you don't have a life goal flashing in front of your eyes - and I think at our age it seems like some people have it all figured out. I have gotten lazy too and with laziness and mustachianism comes hermit behavior, ha. I like the suggestion of going out into the forest and taking everything in, and figuring out what you would like to do from there. Following for more.

It's one of those things where I really have no problem spending money on having fun in life. If X person invites me to Y activity, I'll probably do it in most cases unless I see at unnecessarily expensive - but if it is just me occupying myself, I justify to myself that I'll have just as much fun at home. and because I don't put an effort to meet people, I end up staying home a lot. I also like the idea of just going into the hills and taking it all in.


Quote
Seriously, though, your two immediate choices now are:

Stay where you are, be unhappy and alone.
Stay where you are, make an effort to be happy.

And you're choosing option #1

You make a good point here. I guess at least when it comes to the personal life, I don't want to lead people on. When I am not sure where I'll be X years from now, and somebody has already decided that they are going to stay here forever, I would feel like I am leading them on because I have different potential goals than they have, so I don't want to waste their time (or mine).
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 08:13:52 PM by tj »

MonkeyJenga

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2016, 08:13:08 PM »
Quote
Seriously, though, your two immediate choices now are:

Stay where you are, be unhappy and alone.
Stay where you are, make an effort to be happy.

And you're choosing option #1

You make a good point here. I guess at least when it comes to the personal life, I don't want to lead people on. When I am not sure where I'll be X years from now, and somebody has already decided that they are going to stay here forever, I would feel like I am leading them on because I have different potential goals than they have, so I don't want to waste their time (or mine).

Are you talking about dating or friendships? Nobody expects a new friend to be there for the rest of their lives, and with dating, all you have to do is be upfront about not knowing where you might move to in a few years. They may not know either. Or they may change their minds once you're in a relationship.

Plenty of people are looking for relationships (both platonic and romantic) that aren't going to require a life-long commitment. They want to meet new people and enjoy their company for however long it lasts. That's not wasting time.

Try new things! Meet new people! New things and people are fun!

If you want a more goal-oriented reason to do this, consider that many jobs are found through social connections. Having friends could very well net you a good job in the future. They can also help you with interviewing techniques. (That's how I met one of my friends - a coworker recommended that she help me with an upcoming interview.)

You seem like a very smart, serious person. Maybe you don't think having fun for its own sake is important?

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2016, 08:15:58 PM »
Quote
Seriously, though, your two immediate choices now are:

Stay where you are, be unhappy and alone.
Stay where you are, make an effort to be happy.

And you're choosing option #1

You make a good point here. I guess at least when it comes to the personal life, I don't want to lead people on. When I am not sure where I'll be X years from now, and somebody has already decided that they are going to stay here forever, I would feel like I am leading them on because I have different potential goals than they have, so I don't want to waste their time (or mine).

Are you talking about dating or friendships? Nobody expects a new friend to be there for the rest of their lives, and with dating, all you have to do is be upfront about not knowing where you might move to in a few years. They may not know either. Or they may change their minds once you're in a relationship.

Plenty of people are looking for relationships (both platonic and romantic) that aren't going to require a life-long commitment. They want to meet new people and enjoy their company for however long it lasts. That's not wasting time.

Try new things! Meet new people! New things and people are fun!

If you want a more goal-oriented reason to do this, consider that many jobs are found through social connections. Having friends could very well net you a good job in the future. They can also help you with interviewing techniques. (That's how I met one of my friends - a coworker recommended that she help me with an upcoming interview.)

You seem like a very smart, serious person. Maybe you don't think having fun for its own sake is important?

I was talking about dating in that specific statement. I agree that friendships come and go. I would hope that I haven't come to the conclusion that fun for fun's sake isn't important. That sounds kind of depressing! Though if I give off that vibe, especially with excitement about frugality, it would explain why there might be less people around than before.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 08:17:54 PM by tj »

MonkeyJenga

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2016, 09:02:47 PM »
Romantic relationships also come and go!

You do come across to me as somewhat... happiness-lethargic? You have a lot of reasons for why you're not having fun now, and why you may not want to start. Someone who placed a high value on enjoying life wouldn't care about those reasons. Wouldn't stop themselves before they really tried because of a fear of leading a hypothetical person on, or a fear that they may actually enjoy where they are.

You asked how to figure out what you want to do with your life. The only way to know what you want to do is go out and do it. Whatever it is. Different things. Lots of things. There's no one perfect life path to discover. (I'm not trying to be preachy. I don't know what my ultimate life goal is either. I may not have one, but I'm trying different things and seeing what happens.)

I went through a period of being somewhat hermit-y and being annoyed that nobody seemed to be inviting me to do things. I solved this problem by taking the initiative to invite them to do things. Voila, fun was had.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 09:21:21 PM by MonkeyJenga »

FIPurpose

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2016, 11:08:02 PM »
You are definitely not alone in this journey. And posts much like these are what inspired me to recently start my blog. I think people like you and me are prone to goal extremism. (Hmm sounds like a good topic for a near future post) I have so much drive and desire to hit FI that everything around me suffers and then one day I wake up bloated and burnt. That intensity is awesome because it drives our wealth building to FI so much faster. But suddenly our relationships suffer. Take a step back from thinking about FI. What is your goal and purpose to life? Don't think about money or time. What is something that you want to do? ...

Got it?

Ok now do that. And FI is simply one tool out of many. FI has allowed some people to live cool lives, but if home life in the Midwest isn't for you, then you'll need a different plan from MMM. Take what information you've learned from MMM and mold to your life and your goals.

Hopefully I didn't tangent too much in there :P

Exflyboy

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2016, 12:10:58 AM »
Yes you have become a little "savings focussed" it seems.

I did the same thing, I am renowned for being tight, now at 54 I really don't care what others think, its kind of a game. But I do recognise the same symptoms as you talk about from when I was younger.

I.e don't spend ANYthing and consequently don't have a life either... This was more out of fear in my case, as I was always (and still am) worried about not having enough money. I am fortunate to have a Wife who has helped me with this and I have learned to loosen up on the purse strings now that we are FI and then some.

I have however had major changes that i have endured.. I chenged jobs every few years and once I emigrated from the UK to the US and I'm still here.. That has beena heck of an adventure.

Maybe you should move, take evening classes, do your PhD etc?.. Theres a lot of life to live, even on the way to FI.

Oh yeah, all my family think I am nuts too.. But most of my In-laws etc are also broke.. all of them are between 45 and 60 and have no savings whatsoever.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 12:12:53 AM by Exflyboy »

grosvenor6

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2016, 04:42:33 AM »
I am 20 just starting out in a full time job and I am starting to feel the same way you do.  I love the feeling of being able to save 75-80% of my paycheck and I like just hanging out at the house instead of going out and spending money, but it does get boring some times.  I am getting my girlfriend to save like me so it makes me happy that we are both saving towards our future and ER.  What I do to make sure my life doesn't seem to dull is I joined a sports team,  I am renovating a house across the street that my grandparents own, and I work out at home to keep myself in shape.  I have a typical office job that I do not like but pays pretty well and has a good outlook in the future so I stick with it.  If I could find an opening for my dream job I would leave in a heartbeat but there aren't any jobs in my state, so I just stick with the job to help me reach ER.  Everyday I look at it as my way to retire early, and realize when I retire from here I will be able to do what I want and knew that all the years at the job I didn't like eventually paid off.

Fishindude

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2016, 05:14:42 AM »
Try doing something seriously physical.  Could be exercising or just good old fashioned physical labor.
A few days, weeks, months of coming home physically tired can really help to clear the mind and let you appreciate life's finer points.

Noodle

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2016, 06:33:55 AM »
Well, based on your postings, it sounds like what you need right now is more physical activity and more social contacts, plus some variety. So my advice would be to sit down and brainstorm say 20 different activities that would give you a workout plus some "people time." Don't worry about making them all super cheap for right now, just put down everything from "runner's meetup" to "surf camp in Australia." Then rank the list cheapest to most expensive, and start working your way down the list until you find something satisfying that you can stick with. At that point, you will know that you have eliminated the less expensive options, and can spend the money with a clear conscience. (Also, I recommend trying each thing for a month at least, unless you realize that there's something truly intolerable about the activity. I recently picked up performing again, and the first rehearsal I attended was awful--I committed to stick with it for a month and then decide, and sure enough, a month in I was comfortable enough to want to stay.)

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2016, 03:19:01 PM »
I appreciate all the responses. You've given me a lot to ponder on.

At the very least, I should be using my 120-ish hours of built up PTO! Just realized I didn't take a single vacation day in 2015 after doing 3 weeks in Europe in '14.....

ReluctantMillennial

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2016, 05:29:33 PM »
I know MMM is big on self-improvement and optimism and that's great, but from your posts it sound like you might have some depression happening.  No judgement at all; I've been there.  As somebody who is prone to getting quickly bored with new tasks and feeling like life might not always be worth it, who is also an introvert, I can relate to what you describe.  I would recommend maybe seeing a therapist.  They can help even if there's nothing acute going on (death, loss of job, breakup, whatever) and help you learn ways to monitor how you think.  I did this for a while after spending the first 28 years of my life swearing I didn't need any help, and you know what?  It helped!

Just my thoughts.  I hope you can find what you're seeking.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 05:47:36 PM by ReluctantMillennial »

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2016, 05:51:51 PM »
I know MMM is big on self-improvement and optimism and that's great, but from your posts it sound like you might have some depression happening.  No judgement at all; I've been there.  As somebody who is prone to getting quickly bored with new tasks and feeling like life might not always be worth it, who is also an introvert, I can relate to what you describe.  I would recommend maybe seeing a therapist.  They can help even if there's nothing acute going on (death, loss of job, breakup, whatever) and help you learn ways to monitor how you think.  I did this for a while after spending the first 28 years of my life swearing I didn't need any help, and you know what?  It helped!

Just my thoughts.  I hope you can find what you're seeking.

I've been depressed before and this is not that feeling. I'm not an unhappy person, I'm just bored. This is more a feeling of aimlessness in terms of career goals (or whatever you would do instead of a "career" in "retirement"). Very different from the depression days, IMO.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 05:55:07 PM by tj »

ReluctantMillennial

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2016, 05:55:04 PM »


I've been depressed before and this is not that feeling. I'm not an unhappy person, I'm just bored. It's a very different feeling.

Fair enough.  In that case, may I suggest a puppy?

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2016, 05:59:33 PM »


I've been depressed before and this is not that feeling. I'm not an unhappy person, I'm just bored. It's a very different feeling.

Fair enough.  In that case, may I suggest a puppy?

To distract myself from thoughts / boredom time? At this point in my life, I am not sure how pet ownership would add value, and it wouldn't exactly make sense because I don't have a yard. And it certainly would not be any less expensive than spending more on socializing, and I'd rather be around people than a pet, I think having a pet would cause more hermit behavior because I'd have an excuse to play with the pet instead of doing stuff.

ReluctantMillennial

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2016, 06:07:44 PM »
Since getting my dog I've socialized much more. They force you to take them out, and people love dogs. I've gotten to know so many more of my neighbors who come out to ask after the dog than I ever would have without her. But your points about it being an expense and perhaps not right for your situation are well taken.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 06:10:06 PM by ReluctantMillennial »

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2016, 06:14:00 PM »
Since getting my dog I've socialized much more. They force you to take the out, and people love dogs. I've gotten to know so many more of my neighbors who come out to ask after the dog than I ever would have without her. But your points about it being an expense and perhaps not right for your situation are well taken.

That's great, I can definitely see why that would be a conversation starter. I've had roommates with dogs and they just left them in their apartment room all day, I wouldn't want to be that type of dog owner.

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2016, 06:58:54 AM »
I appreciate all the responses. You've given me a lot to ponder on.

At the very least, I should be using my 120-ish hours of built up PTO! Just realized I didn't take a single vacation day in 2015 after doing 3 weeks in Europe in '14.....

Um...what do you mean that you "just realized" you didn't take a single day off last year? Was that because you didnt want to?

Side note..this is coming from someone who places a very high value on travel and leisure time. I proudly took every single day of vacation I had last year. 

EconDiva

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2016, 07:04:17 AM »
I know MMM is big on self-improvement and optimism and that's great, but from your posts it sound like you might have some depression happening.  No judgement at all; I've been there.  As somebody who is prone to getting quickly bored with new tasks and feeling like life might not always be worth it, who is also an introvert, I can relate to what you describe.  I would recommend maybe seeing a therapist.  They can help even if there's nothing acute going on (death, loss of job, breakup, whatever) and help you learn ways to monitor how you think.  I did this for a while after spending the first 28 years of my life swearing I didn't need any help, and you know what?  It helped!

Just my thoughts.  I hope you can find what you're seeking.

I agree with this post 100%  But I also suffer from depression. Its just that the OP sounds similar to how I feel sometimes. If you're not happy and dont see ways out of the unhappiness and arent doing things about it depression could be an underlying factor.

Just sayin...I'm fairly intelligent and I use reasoning with people in ways that tend to mask the underlying issue which is I tend not to be happy anywhere I go or with anything I do. And it took forever to understand that the reason for that for me is depression-the way I think, rationalize, act and see life for myself.

For me therapy helps but its a continuous struggle. Sorry if Im derailing the thread any.

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2016, 07:43:56 AM »
I appreciate all the responses. You've given me a lot to ponder on.

At the very least, I should be using my 120-ish hours of built up PTO! Just realized I didn't take a single vacation day in 2015 after doing 3 weeks in Europe in '14.....

Um...what do you mean that you "just realized" you didn't take a single day off last year? Was that because you didnt want to?

Side note..this is coming from someone who places a very high value on travel and leisure time. I proudly took every single day of vacation I had last year.

I prefer to build up the hours and take longer breaks so that I have more time to spend traveling somewhere. I usually also take a couple days off here and there though, but apparently not last year.

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2016, 08:03:31 AM »
I know MMM is big on self-improvement and optimism and that's great, but from your posts it sound like you might have some depression happening.  No judgement at all; I've been there.  As somebody who is prone to getting quickly bored with new tasks and feeling like life might not always be worth it, who is also an introvert, I can relate to what you describe.  I would recommend maybe seeing a therapist.  They can help even if there's nothing acute going on (death, loss of job, breakup, whatever) and help you learn ways to monitor how you think.  I did this for a while after spending the first 28 years of my life swearing I didn't need any help, and you know what?  It helped!

Just my thoughts.  I hope you can find what you're seeking.

I agree with this post 100%  But I also suffer from depression. Its just that the OP sounds similar to how I feel sometimes. If you're not happy and dont see ways out of the unhappiness and arent doing things about it depression could be an underlying factor.

Just sayin...I'm fairly intelligent and I use reasoning with people in ways that tend to mask the underlying issue which is I tend not to be happy anywhere I go or with anything I do. And it took forever to understand that the reason for that for me is depression-the way I think, rationalize, act and see life for myself.

For me therapy helps but its a continuous struggle. Sorry if Im derailing the thread any.

I appreciate the input. When I had diagnosed psychological issues in the past, that was probably the most hermit time of my life by far. I wasn't interested in ANYTHING or ANYBODY. Even digital communication was non-existent. I literally watched DVDs in all my free time. It's not something that I wish to go back to. Now could that have been on the wrong meds or the wrong therapist? Sure. And I am sure therapy helps a lot of people with lots of different things, and it's great if it's working out for you. I'm not saying I'd never go to therapy again or that therapy is a bad choice for certain situations - my sister goes to therapy multiple times for month. For me, I don't feel like I'm at that stage where I've lost all hope. What I need to do is convince myself that spending money is okay so long as it's not frivolously. I already have plans for Saturday and Sunday this week. I'm going to the US Women National Team soccer game on Saturday. Do I care about soccer? Not really, but my friend invited me and it's not all that expensive, so I'm going. I'm not a person who is unhappy when I go places or do things, I just subconsciously reached this point where I seem to think about how much something costs first instead of how much fun I am going to have, especially when analyzing solo activity options. The hope is that realizing this and being facepunched about it, I can take action to make difference choices. If nothing changes, then obviously I need a different strategy which might include therapy.

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2016, 09:34:36 AM »
I can relate to this post. Part of it is about money but part of it is about being less willing to "tolerate" the risk that an experience won't be worthwhile, so why not just stay home with a more certain expected value.

Some is how much I'd spend. Some of it is how many hours will I commit to some actvity? How far will I drive/take public transit? Some of the issue is hedonic adaptation (I've traveled and done x, y, and z, so I don't get as much out of experience 1/4x or even doing x again).

Part of this is life stage and age too. It's easier when you are younger and there is a group of friends around this, and you have more time in your schedule and accumulating experiences and stories (good and bad) feels more like part of life. Then you hit your late 20s and early 30s and friends are marrying and having kids and people are moving further apart and work is even busier than ever as you progress...and all of a sudden, why would I want to spend time and money and energy to have a "bad" or neutral experience.

You do have to "work harder" to find FUN & to figure out which things continuously make you feel good for having done them after. And I agree with you that when it is just you, it can be hard to justify the risk or cost.

I think you are on to something when you speak of reframing things mentally. For me, I stumbled into a solution that (mostly) works - I like connecting what I do to something that has meaning or value for someone else or produces another benefit to me beyond having fun. So most of my hobbies are things that are either healthy habits anyway (hiking, walking dogs, sports, etc.) or a form of volunteering. That way, I  can (and do) have fun but there is always a reason beyond fun that gets me to leave the house.

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2016, 09:54:18 AM »
Maybe throw out the TV and stop browsing the web and forums, to start.

tj

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Re: How do I determine what I want to do with my life?
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2016, 11:29:30 AM »
I can relate to this post. Part of it is about money but part of it is about being less willing to "tolerate" the risk that an experience won't be worthwhile, so why not just stay home with a more certain expected value.

Some is how much I'd spend. Some of it is how many hours will I commit to some actvity? How far will I drive/take public transit? Some of the issue is hedonic adaptation (I've traveled and done x, y, and z, so I don't get as much out of experience 1/4x or even doing x again).

Part of this is life stage and age too. It's easier when you are younger and there is a group of friends around this, and you have more time in your schedule and accumulating experiences and stories (good and bad) feels more like part of life. Then you hit your late 20s and early 30s and friends are marrying and having kids and people are moving further apart and work is even busier than ever as you progress...and all of a sudden, why would I want to spend time and money and energy to have a "bad" or neutral experience.

You do have to "work harder" to find FUN & to figure out which things continuously make you feel good for having done them after. And I agree with you that when it is just you, it can be hard to justify the risk or cost.

I think you are on to something when you speak of reframing things mentally. For me, I stumbled into a solution that (mostly) works - I like connecting what I do to something that has meaning or value for someone else or produces another benefit to me beyond having fun. So most of my hobbies are things that are either healthy habits anyway (hiking, walking dogs, sports, etc.) or a form of volunteering. That way, I  can (and do) have fun but there is always a reason beyond fun that gets me to leave the house.

Bingo! I think my sister and I have decided that we are going to cut off the TV subscription when our AT&T teaser rates are over at the end of February. It's not really so much of a financial decision, but rather to force us to not just default to the sedentary lifestyle. When we were growing up ,we had whatever channels showed up on the free antenna. Our free time was more spent with sports or music lessons. We don't need 100s' of channels to be entertained in life....
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 11:31:02 AM by tj »