About 5 years ago I went on Facebook and saw the dreaded RIP followed by a friend’s name. I called up another friend, Tony, who had moved away years ago to ask what had happened. Was not a pretty ending, overdosed at the age of 26 found in a hotel room by a maid. As the conversation went on, I asked Tony when he would come back to town and visit, it had been a few years since I last seen him. Half joking and half serious Tony said “Never. What’s left there for me”?

 I still have not seen Tony since that conversation, but I still think about what he said, “What’s left there for me”? In the past 10 years of life many things have happened to me that have brought me to where I am today. Sometimes looking around from where I stand, I cannot help but ask myself what is left here for me?  I know I am not alone. Have you ever felt something similar?

Seems like a lot of things can make you ask this question, friends, family, career, managers, divorces, exes, the list goes on and on. For me and I am sure many other people, career. After 10 years as a cubicle drone, I cannot help but reevaluate my entire life and ask myself “what is left here for me”? Where I live, where I work, what I am doing for a living, just everything. I know I am not alone in asking myself this, but why this feeling?

It is time for change, not a lose weight, new diet change but a complete life transformation that is going to benefit your entire future and leave a positive trail for generations. Have you been feeling like your life is on autopilot? You are just going through the motions at work waiting to get home to do the things you like?

It is because you are among the few people who have become aware. The generations that gave us life have also given us the greatest values, unfortunately though they accidentally taught us to go through life suppressing all emotion, go to work, respect your manager no matter what. Sell 30 years of your life to a corporation that may not align with your beliefs, climb the corporate ladder, then retire. During their time it was not bad advice, but it is outdated and does not work in today’s forecast.

Millennials come off as a generation that is lazy and does not want to work, false. Our generation is the most educated in history, but thanks to the outdated advice we followed, combined with circumstances beyond our control we are also the most anxious and depressed. Our jobs take up a good chunk of our lives and while work is not always fun, we want to be seen more than just an ‘employee’. We want jobs that are engaging both emotionally and behaviorally, something that is purposeful, and one that will provide financial stability beyond just spending on the things we need and rather on the things we want.

But these days many of us feel like we have been beaten down by life enough, why work so hard when we are just going to die anyway? With all the distractions available today it is easier to become comfortable, to come home from work and light up a joint and turn on Disney plus. I know you have big dreams, but how the hell to begin? You may want to apply to your dream job, pay off your credit cards and become debt-free, save money and buy a house, what ever it is that you want to do. You get excited make a list of goals, investigate it a bit, eventually your goals start seeming like a to-do list you tell yourself you will begin tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.

We give up on our goals and dreams for a lot of reasons, most of which are just scripted lies you tell yourself. A lot of us already have jobs that take up most of our time, we are getting a steady paycheck, so being comfortable and telling yourself you just do not have the time is a common reason. Sometimes you just cannot believe in yourself and you end up selling yourself short. Other times you piled too much on your plate and it all becomes overwhelming. All that will set you up for failure.

You should have goals that you should start working towards immediately but taking on too much is just setting the stage for failure. No matter who you are you have 24 hours in the day, which is plenty of time, but we overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can do with our lifetime. Some people love the idea of staying busy and piling onto their schedules a list of things that must be done. Admittedly some days are just busier than others due to circumstances beyond our control, but just think of your average day. After 8 hours sleep and about 9-hour workday (including commute) you have 7 hours in the day to work towards a goal and have a productive day that does not go to waste.

We overload our schedules because 7 hours seems plenty of time to tackle the day. But when it comes time to tackle said day, we find ourselves in front of the laptop watching something on HBO. What I am about to say may seem counterproductive but here me out, instead of compiling a list of to dos for the day just think of 1 or 2 of the most important tasks you need to take care of. Do not worry about the little things, like brushing your teeth, showering, you are going to do that anyway, focus on the things that will propel you forward. Things that will make you better than you were the day before.

This is where a planner will come in handy, and not a phone app or anything fancy, just a simple five-dollar planner you can pick up at Wal-Mart. When we have big dreams, we get excited, and you absolutely should, you are about to change your life. But working towards your goals sometimes seems like a bitch, especially when it seems like you have too much to do. The beginning of the journey is unclear at first so instead of trying to take over the world, just set aside 20 minutes a day to work towards your goals, just 20 minutes. On your planner find 20 minutes in the day and write “Work on (insert task here) for 20 min” and do it. Seems a little silly and counterproductive, what can you get done in 20 minutes? A lot more than you think.

As the days go on that 20 minutes will eventually grow as you accomplish your goals and take on bigger things. Having goals to progress towards, decluttering your schedule and narrowing it down to 1 or 2 of the most important tasks, and then setting aside 20 minutes a day. That is all. Does not matter how minor or major the task was, from cleaning up your house to starting a business, begin with setting aside just 20 minutes. See what happens.

Sumit Singh Randhawa

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