Author Topic: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?  (Read 5937 times)

moustacheverte

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Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« on: July 10, 2016, 07:14:25 PM »
I always have this dark feeling that I'm not doing enough, that I could run my own business and make a lot more $$$ while being the boss, or that I could get a more interesting/challenging/better paying job. It makes me feel bad, and I don't even know where to start.

I can't say we have a bad situation though. We have a combined income more than double the average national household income, our jobs are fairly low stress, flex time etc. And yet I feel like I could be achieving more.

Has anyone ever struggled with a similar feeling? How did you fix it?

KMMK

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2016, 08:22:38 PM »
Yes, absolutely. I fixed it by quitting my job, leaving my marriage. Then quitting another job. I'm planning to just work on my business this fall. I'll give it a good try for at least a couple years. Then if I really have to I'll get another job but I'll try to get one that aligns with my values more.
Also, a better social life, more hobbies, taking courses, more exercise. I like to keep my brain active.

pbkmaine

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2016, 08:33:12 PM »
I fixed it by not comparing myself with anyone else, but instead looking to what made me and DH happy.

Emg03063

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2016, 08:45:38 PM »
I struggle with it; haven't fixed it, but figure that when I reach fi, all will be magically solved (jk); I just figure I'll have more flexibility in my approach to the problem.

abhe8

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2016, 08:47:52 PM »
Contentment is not to be underestimated. Have you considered therapy, to help you sort out some of your conflicting feelings?

Choices

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2016, 09:43:30 PM »
I fixed it by not comparing myself with anyone else, but instead looking to what made me and DH happy.
+1
When we started dating, I asked my DH about his career aspirations and I was thrilled that he was happy with his current job. Promotions would have meant management, travel, nights and weekends, and being on call by phone all the time. He stuck to his guns and keeps turning them down, which means that we have a much better quality of life and I'm so grateful.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2016, 10:02:03 PM »
You could ALWAYS be doing better.

The trick is to know when you're doing ENOUGH (which is personal - your enough may not be the same as your neighbour's) and foster a sense of satisfaction and contentment with life.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2016, 02:32:56 AM »
All the fucking time, and I don't think I would get over it if I were the richest person in the world who also won the Nobel Peace Prize and saved puppies while simultaneously being President of the Universe.

It's funny, though, because my husband recently commented on how contented I am with life. It's true that I work hard to cultivate this mentality: http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/2013/11/03 I think it's good to be easily pleased when it comes to 'things' and recreation, because it means you're pleased a lot. I'm delighted with a book from the library and a chocolate biscuit. Of course I covet things from time to time (OMG 800 sewing machine, totes better than the 100% functional one I already have!) but by and large I really actively TRY to want what I already have. I've been trying for years, maybe a decade, so it doesn't come easy but it's still worth it.

But somehow I cannot extend the same easy satisfaction to myself and my own efforts. I always seem to fall short on something. Maybe if I practice for another decade...?

PFHC

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2016, 03:07:24 AM »
I always have this dark feeling that I'm not doing enough, that I could run my own business and make a lot more $$$ while being the boss, or that I could get a more interesting/challenging/better paying job. It makes me feel bad, and I don't even know where to start.

I can't say we have a bad situation though. We have a combined income more than double the average national household income, our jobs are fairly low stress, flex time etc. And yet I feel like I could be achieving more.

Has anyone ever struggled with a similar feeling? How did you fix it?
I just finished struggling with this for 8 years. Same story. Great job, high income, no stress, amazing schedule, nothing to complain about other than leaving a bunch of unused skill on the table.

I fixed it by starting a business two months ago. I have been chomping at the bit to do it for years, but I kept having the feeling the timing wasn't right. Also, I wasn't sure exactly what  to. I was a rocket ready to take off, I just needed an aim. Over the years, things fell in line until one day, over coffee with a wicked smart buddy, I found my aim. It has been awesome since. Every new contact I make responds very positively. The business development, financing, networking, insurance -- really everything -- has been going swimmingly.

So, my advice, keep your eyes and ears open and pay attention. If you feel this way, you will likely find something that will allow you to act on it. When you find it, don't be afraid, just take your passion and apply it.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 03:10:09 AM by PFHC »

little_brown_dog

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2016, 08:43:06 AM »
The concept of more/better is innately human. To “fix” it you first need to understand that everyone, everywhere regardless of circumstances feels that they are not doing certain things they “should” or could be doing. Even multimillionaire self employed people who jet set across the globe. Even the happily married couple who are madly in love and expecting their first beloved baby. Even monks who have almost mastered inner peace. Everyone. Sure some of us feel more fulfilled than others based on who we are, where we came from, and where we are going, but this general feeling of "is this it? should I do X differently?" is normal, especially in regards to careers. This means that wanting more/better, isn’t necessarily indicative of anything lacking in your life, but just a natural urge many of us feel even if we are doing awesome things. It can be a sign that you should make drastic changes, but many times if you are already in a good place, it is more indicative of the hedonic treadmill (we adapt to what we have, and then we want something different).

I try to fill this urge by setting goals...financial goals, travel goals, age based goals, daily goals, health goals. Some are very formal and specific, others not so much. But goal setting keeps me working toward something, keeps me motivated, and makes me feel great when I achieve them. The beauty of it is there are always more things to aspire to that do not necessarily involve massive life changes.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 08:45:36 AM by little_brown_dog »

DavidinNOLA

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2016, 10:05:47 AM »
I too feel this pretty regularly about my career, but then I remind myself that, for me at least, my main goals are spending time with friends and family and enjoying the kinds of adventure and leisure that FIRE and the path to it enable.  Then I say to myself, okay, I could be doing more professionally , sure, but the status quo is still pretty good.

forummm

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2016, 12:47:57 PM »
Sure. I have decided that it's not worth my extra time and effort to make that extra money. I don't really need the money. I need the time and quality of life.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2016, 01:15:46 PM »
I could make more money, but I would be sacrificing my happiness and that of my family. Maybe when kids are in school.

Dicey

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2016, 01:35:55 PM »
I used to, until I FIRE'd in 2012. Now, I have so much more than I ever thought possible that those thoughts are but a distant memory. Keep saving and investing, while managing to live for the day just a bit and you will get there. You do not have to be a major earner to make it happen.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2016, 01:36:25 PM »
I feel it every day.  I think it stems from being bored out of my mind for 90% of the workday.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2016, 02:03:49 PM »
I felt that way for awhile.  Then I sat down to define 'better'.  Turned out it wasn't more money, so I went back to doing what I was doing.  Been great ever since, and getting 'better' every day!

mustachianteacher

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2016, 02:11:44 PM »
Yup, I feel think that way a lot, but much less than I used to. It used to be a feeling -- like a guilty "I'm not living up to my potential," or "I've disappointed someone" feeling. When I really thought about what would happen if I did ALL the things I could or should, though, I realized I am happy and doing those things would not increase my happiness. This was something I need to think through thoroughly when I considered whether or not I should pursue advancement opportunities at work because I didn't want to second-guess my decisions after I made them. I had several opportunities to move up and make more money, but when it comes right down to it, I love what I do and I don't think I would love the higher-up positions, so I let them go, and I don't regret it. I've also thought about whether or not I should be pursuing side-gigs, but again, I simply don't want to. We make enough to be comfortable and to save, and I don't think the side-gigs would make me any happier, so why bother?


PFHC

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2016, 06:34:48 PM »
For me, I have indeed felt "happier" since starting the business. I say "happier" because I am like all of you, more interested in a comfortable happy personal life. My personal life is amazing. Total satisfaction, happiness, and interesting enough to keep us all engaged completely.

But, something was lacking. That's when I remembered Maslow's hierarchy of needs. My personal pyramid was good to the top... my professional pyramid was lacking self-actualization. As a merchant mariner, I have skills I am not using, and that made me feel frustrated. Plus, as a mariner, I am largely surrounded by people who have no interest in self-improvement. It is a sea of complacency.

So, I started the business and suddenly, I am surrounded by interested, interesting, excited, smart people who want to do things to make their world around them better. That is cool as shit. Very rewarding. The business I am building will eventually replace my work as a merchant mariner (which provides us with an amazing life) and, if things go as planned, provide us with an equally awesome quality of life. In fact, it may provide us with an even better life as I will be home many more nights of the year and the financials could prove more lucrative.


marty998

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2016, 02:11:00 AM »
Quote
Anybody ever feel like they could be doing more?

Not right now. I'm exhausted from work. Used to be able to handle long days without blinking. Now I feel like shit lol.

Another month and a half and the busy season will start coming to an end.

Stepping outside the current mental mindset... yes I could be doing more. Younger people than me have changed the world for the better. My life achievement is...what exactly?

ender

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2016, 07:24:31 AM »
I always have this dark feeling that I'm not doing enough, that I could run my own business and make a lot more $$$ while being the boss, or that I could get a more interesting/challenging/better paying job. It makes me feel bad, and I don't even know where to start.

I can't say we have a bad situation though. We have a combined income more than double the average national household income, our jobs are fairly low stress, flex time etc. And yet I feel like I could be achieving more.

Has anyone ever struggled with a similar feeling? How did you fix it?

These forums don't really help generally. We make a lot of money for our area but it's easy to get discouraged when you read where other people are at or doing. Someone is making more, spending less, and going to retire earlier.

That's motivating to a certain degree, but also can feed the feeling you are not doing enough because you are constantly exposed to people who are doing more/better/etc.

Justin1911

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2016, 03:48:32 PM »
I used to feel that way a lot. I still feel it a little now, but to a much lesser degree. I am an army officer and I really don't enjoy very much about this career. I always caught myself feeling like I chose the easy, lazy route to FI (reasonably high pay and a stellar pension after 20 years). What got me past these feelings was to finding a way to feel more fulfilled with my career choice, like I am where I'm meant to be. I found that sense of fulfillment by coaching many of my peers and subordinates on personal finance. I absolutely love helping people make budgets and start investing (TSP/IRA). The military is full of people who live paycheck to paycheck and eventually leave the service with nothing but a certificate and a pile of debt. I get so much joy out of helping people break that cycle.

BlueHouse

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2016, 06:04:14 PM »
I always have this dark feeling that I'm not doing enough, that I could run my own business and make a lot more $$$ while being the boss, or that I could get a more interesting/challenging/better paying job. It makes me feel bad, and I don't even know where to start.

I can't say we have a bad situation though. We have a combined income more than double the average national household income, our jobs are fairly low stress, flex time etc. And yet I feel like I could be achieving more.

Has anyone ever struggled with a similar feeling? How did you fix it?
I think many people have this feeling.  It's that big dark hole inside of us that people try to fill different ways.  Some people go shopping and buy crap to fill the void.  Others drink or do drugs.  Some exercise to excess and others cut themselves.  Some gamble and some cheat on their loved ones to feel better about themselves. 

It sounds like you have enough "stuff", so like others have said, figure out what makes you feel good about yourself and focus some of your time on it instead of what you feel is "missing".

meghan88

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2016, 07:11:32 PM »
All the fucking time, and I don't think I would get over it if I were the richest person in the world who also won the Nobel Peace Prize and saved puppies while simultaneously being President of the Universe.

It's funny, though, because my husband recently commented on how contented I am with life. It's true that I work hard to cultivate this mentality: http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/2013/11/03 I think it's good to be easily pleased when it comes to 'things' and recreation, because it means you're pleased a lot. I'm delighted with a book from the library and a chocolate biscuit. Of course I covet things from time to time (OMG 800 sewing machine, totes better than the 100% functional one I already have!) but by and large I really actively TRY to want what I already have. I've been trying for years, maybe a decade, so it doesn't come easy but it's still worth it.

But somehow I cannot extend the same easy satisfaction to myself and my own efforts. I always seem to fall short on something. Maybe if I practice for another decade...?
+1000.  Couldn't have stated it any better.  All of my dissatisfaction is aimed squarely at myself.  And I love and appreciate the small stuff but sometimes covet certain things I can't have, e.g. European citizenship.

We humans are an exercise in natural selection that's completely run amok.  I think it's our nature to want more, and it's a double-edged sword.  On one hand we create wonderful things and on the other hand the things we create will threaten to destroy us in one way or another. 

However, this forum has helped me to change a critical viewpoint, which is:  biking or walking to wherever I need to go in -20 C weather is not self-denial, it's badassity.

PFHC

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2016, 09:13:23 PM »
I think many people have this feeling.  It's that big dark hole inside of us that people try to fill different ways.  Some people go shopping and buy crap to fill the void.  Others drink or do drugs.  Some exercise to excess and others cut themselves.  Some gamble and some cheat on their loved ones to feel better about themselves.
The "hole" doesn't have to be dark, nor do you have to fill it with horrid vices. It could be just a gap that needs filling with some good old positivity and hard work.

Redstone5

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Re: Anybody ever felt like they could be doing more?
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2016, 04:27:59 PM »
Yes, all the time. I'm also solving it by leaving my marriage and working towards a better career.