A 22 year young research analyst , unable to deal with pressure, jumped to his death from a high rise building. Do not be surprised if more are waiting. Serious ailments which belonged to 40 and above age group are striking the 20-30 year olds. Heart attacks, insomnia, BP, diabetes, cancer, acidity, name it, they are all there catching them young. Spondilytis and back pain are getting hold of the behind of majority of cell phone and laptop users.
Between 20 to 30 years you are most energetic and most of us end up underperforming and the general thinking is
I want to be in the management, own a house, drive a car, Rs 50 lakhs salary by the age of 30.
What about marriage ?
No way, in the near future. I want to enjoy, be a free bird, be self sufficient.
By the way how do you plan to enjoy ?
Well err..come home whenever I want, do whatever I want, with no one to ask me, travel, movies, eat out, shop blah blah, paint the town red.
Why do you want to do all these things ?
To enjoy, to be happy, to be someone
Do you know, you are going to end up working, travel included, may be 12-14-16 hours a day, burn out with little energy left for anything else ?
Let me stop asking questions and tell you something.
There are three main areas in life you have to work on and for. Health, job/finance and relationship. any one gets hit, it affects the other two. When you work for someone or a company, time is not yours. Life gets controlled by circumstances. Since time is not yours, we cannot do time management. Everyone has 24 hours day and when it is not yours, how can you manage. That way time do not belong to any body. It is there and you are fitting your priorities into it. What you need to work is on your health and energy. Manage your energy. It is within your control.. Organisation performance level demands such working hours. When you look back, you will have more regrets than a sense of accomplishment. Change the job ( it may be difficult), when there is no option in the current situation. Do not fall for the pat on your back and make sure you are not the donkey with a carrot dangling in front.
A few tips for energy management by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy
- Enhance sleep by setting an earlier bedtime and reducing alcohol use.
- Reduce stress by engaging in cardiovascular activity at least 3 times a week and strength training at least once
- Eat small meals and light snacks every 3 hours.
- Take brief regular breaks away from your desk at 90- 120 minutes intervals through out the day.
- Defuse negative emotions-irritability, impatience, anxiety, insecurity-through deep abdominal breathing
- Fuel positive emotions in yourself and others by regularly expressing appreciation to others in detailed notes, e-mails, call or conversation
- Reduce interruptions by performing high-concentration tasks away from phones and e-mail
- Respond to voice mails and e-mails at designated times during the day.
- Every night , identify the most important challenge for the next day. Then make it your first priority when you start work for the day.
- Do things you like, delegate what you don’t like, someone else may like it
- Allocate time and energy to what you consider most important. For example spend the last 20 minutes of your evening commute relaxing, so you can connect with your family once you are home.
- Live your core values. For instance consideration is important to you but you are late for meetings, practice showing up 5 minutes early.
Every company will tell you about the career path, it is as good as time, belonging to none. Attitude, knowledge, skill and interpersonal relationship are the fuel to move forward .
When I asked someone what is your objective, she said, to be the Vice President. I told her that joy will be very short lived once you become one, like passing your school final or graduation. Make doing something worth while and performance excellence as your goal, it will give more lasting joy.
Life is not just job career. Along with career, finance and health we have to grow our relationships. Besides, friends , relatives, general human tendency is to desire for a partner and fulfilment of creation urge. In case you have a plan to have your own family, better not to operate in sequence, like higher studies, management title, salary, Villa, marriage in that order.
I recall a conversation with a senior executive, a lady during one of my travels.
She looks back and regrets her priorities of 20s. We think we will build a career by the age of 30, settle materialistically and financially. Nothing happens except some long working hours, exploitation and a few heartbreaks. I thought no marriage until my freedom. By the time you are thirty, your friends, settled with a family, still love you and have no time for you, their priorities have changed.
And I get married and have a child, things becomes harder at that age especially after thirty
Credit card, a new car, no savings, the desire to own what fancied me, I was flying for a head on crash, when someone came into my life and showed me where I was heading for. I managed to change direction. That is one advantage of the 20s, there is a recovery time.
The above conversation is her experience, every individual needs to live life their own way. In life test comes before learning.
Besides ups, you will have downs in life, it can be loss of a job or a loved one, health, love ditch, broken marriage and so on. When it happens (hope it doesn’t), go through the emotions, just see you don’t break into pieces. Everything has to pass, nothing is permanent, come out of it quick. Along with physical fitness, mental fitness is necessary.
A relevant advice by a young entrepreneur who founded her company in her early 20s was to use your 20s to learn, experiment and gain skills. Capitalize and monetize on those acquired skills in your 30s and 40s.
I can desire what I want, I get only what I deserve.
Life is a marathon, every one cannot come first, running well to your capability and enjoying is as good as winning the race.
9 thoughts on “In 20s going on 30”
Thats wonderful and hats off to you
I like your, “Make doing something worth while and performance excellence as your goal, it will give more lasting joy.” Yes, it is the secret behind lasting joy. I would like to give an example from my own life.
From class 7 to 9, I tried to understand the working of an electrical generator and motor along with another friend. Our text books, even today provide a sketch that does not show an iron core in the armature. It took more than 2 years, several visits to Public Libraries at Madurai and Thiagarajar Arts College to realize that the core is made of iron because the magnetic permeability is very high compared to air. With out knowing that fact, we made the armature of wooden core and tried to rotate in a permanent magnetic field using a Gandhi’s Charka. Finally, we could generate electricity to glow a small night lamp for a few seconds and the generator flew in to pieces at high speed. I understood the concept of magnetic field, its interaction with conductors while there is a relative movement and generation of electricity. We then made motors. We made many small motors. I took them to check the speed and found with a stroboscope that the speed is around 20,000 rpm. I was keeping a few motors for decades. I thoroughly enjoyed those days and even today continue to do so. When I show that piece and explain people do not enjoy. They feel a good motor is available for Rs 400 and why waste time on this!
I can list at least in tens such experiences immediately that had and are giving me lasting pleasure. But that is only mine. Unfortunately, others can not have those joy from my experience. It is like eating and only those who eat can relish. If others have similar joyous experiences, then they can appreciate!
I next like your, “In life test comes before learning.” True. That is why education was designed with more theory and less practicals. Because, reality is so complex it is difficult or very costly to simulate. The purpose of education is to provide knowledge and skills to face the real world problems and solve it. The required attributes of student is: (I am omitting the attributes of teacher and the institution here)
– repeated practice,
– solving real world problems,
Students should use the learning opportunities available in an protected environment like lab. There is not much time limit, amount of effort a student does, amenities availed etc in an educational institution. Education shall mean how to breath properly, what is air quality, how much one should drink water, what is desirable water quality, what to eat and what not, contaminants, toxicity, organic food, general hygiene, what is a house, where and how should it be, how to behave in public places, how to drive, traffic rules, how to interact with people, what are ethical and moral values, and so on. We also need to learn social skills like loving, courting, living with family, rearing children, wealth generation, wealth management, helping children to settle their life etc. Finally, one also needs some specific knowledge and skill sets to do some job for the living. It is the job of educators to foresee the life tests and design the curriculum. Many life tests end fatally if we have not learned before. Example: road accidents, liquor addiction, failed projects (collapsing bridges, buildings, etc).
Thanks for your thought provoking article.
Thanks Sakthi. You have added a wealth of information.
I like it.
Sir, Fantastic. “I can desire what I want” that’s setting the goal, as early as possible and to achieve “Use your 20s to learn, experiment and gain skills. Capitalize and monetize on those acquired skills in your 30s and 40s” by “running well to your capability and enjoy the run” and “You will get what you deserve”. Don’t lose hope because of failures “Everything has to pass, nothing is permanent, come out of it quick.” – Refreshing indeed. However, beyond 40 other challenges creep. Will wait for your next post on mid-life crisis management.
Thanks for putting many things into perspective Menon Sir. The point of desiring to reach a position (VP) being a short lived joy is very good. Everything is temporary. We need to enjoy the journey.