Away from the sound of the partying bass, the tipsiness from the booze, and the good side of the typical college rollercoaster ride comes the inevitable hangover. Suddenly, after living it up while chanting YOLO one realizes that yes, we all live once, but a lifetime is a one long period to live. This realization creeps in a metaphorical hangover that leads asking basic, but hard questions to answer.
What am I to do with my life? What is my niche in this society, or this world even? How will my love life be in the future? Will I continue to depend on my family for me to live? Will I get my dream job or dream career? Welcome to the quarter-life crisis.
Most people, when hearing the word crisis, think how it seems to be a big, scary word that no rational person would want to take part of. Contrary to intuition, a quarter-life crisis at the soonest possible time is one of the greatest blessings in disguise we can have. Here are gifts we can personally receive as we tackle our personal crises.
The gift of clarity and vision
It can make us continuously re-question where we want to be decades from now, and consider our desires to leave legacies. In my case, I envisioned a world where business persons and entrepreneurs become stewards not just of economic prosperity, but creating social value through innovation. However, to get there, I decided that ditching the traditional corporate track and aspiring career involvements in education, research, and eventually social entrepreneurship is the fit for my personal agendas.
The gift of defining priorities
I do not want to give up precious time with family, friends, and loved ones. Yes, I definitely want to be rich, but not at the expense of society and my family. This gift forces us to stay true to what prices we are willing to pay for the visions we want to achieve. We should never give up the greatest yet priceless commodities we have – values.
The gift of mission, purpose, and advocacies
We all want money, fame, glory and power. I do not see anything wrong about that as long it doesn’t harm anyone. What makes life worth living is doing something for a personal mission. Nothing beats doing concrete things to make the world a better place.
The gift of “innovative idealism” with the guts to take a leap of faith
The greatest disservice one can do to one’s self is to forsake realizing dreams for financial security. However, forsaking financial security for the pursuit of dreams is just as unfair. Tackling a quarter-life crisis forces one to stay true to ideals and personal missions, while recognizing the need for money and material things. It takes guts to innovate, take a leap of faith, and pursue both material wealth and creating good for society. This is hard, but not impossible. The sweet spot between being practical and ideal is being innovative.
I firmly believe that those who will embrace this crisis will find the freedom to fulfill one’s biggest dreams and goals. Because running away just leads to settling and leading a life filled with regret; while resolving personal crises lead to the path of guts and eventually, glory.
Embrace your personal quarter-life crisis and receive its gifts worth treasuring forever. The fulfillment of dreams is only reserved for those who have the guts to pursue them.