Dear Dr. Darcy:
For the past few months I’ve just been going through the motions w/ no real passion or drive. I’m beginning to question what's the point to it all? I’m only in my mid 20’s and I see myself becoming jaded, especially to friends who are all hyped up about their personal or professional goals. Is this just a part of growing up and becoming an adult?
The only thing worse than realizing that you’ve lost your excitement for life in your 20’s is to have that epiphany in your 30’s or 40’s and realize that you’ve lost a decade instead of just a few months.
Moments like these are blessings. They call our attention to an imbalance, usually involving a mismatch between our daily routine/habits and what our dreams are. When we turn our lives into a to-do list that doesn't reflect our inner goals, much of our life satisfaction goes out the door.
You need to identify what’s missing and then find ways to incorporate it into your life. We humans have an uncanny way of explaining and rationalizing things to avoid change. Resist the temptation to engage in this behavior as it will undermine any chance you have of uncovering useful information. Begin by asking yourself the following questions, allowing the answers to flow without judging them:
- How did you envision your adult life when you were a child?
- What are the discrepancies between that vision and the life you’re living today?
- What dream or aspirations have you give up on?
Your fear of change will be in direct proportion to the length of time it takes you to uncover your hidden aspirations. If you're staring at a blank piece of paper for 15+ minutes and can't identify a single answer, be advised that you are likely experiencing resistance to change, and consider consulting a therapist to help you through the process. If you are inclined to quit after 15 minutes having made zero progress, be advised that you are definitely experiencing resistance to change and make sure that the therapist who you contact is not me, as I don't do well with clients who are in the throws of deep resistance.
If, however, you manage to identify a handful of thoughts through this exercise, take it to the next level by committing to spend 10 minutes a day transitioning that vision into reality. It’s the only way to get your juice flowing again. It doesn’t require the immense overhaul that you’re afraid of, however, make no mistakes: You have to do something differently if you want to feel differently.