Everyone has those bad days when they feel disillusioned with … everything.
They decide that, actually, they don’t enjoy their job much and the prospects it offers for the future aren’t that attractive either. They start to notice that the area they live in isn’t all that attractive, they don’t feel included in the community. They realise that they’re not enjoying the things that they do in their spare time.
They feel a bit lost in their own life.
For most people, that attitude wears off after a little while. They have a couple of bad days and then just haul themselves out of it. They start to remember all the things they appreciate and learn again to take more notice of them.
Some people, though, don’t find it so easy to drag themselves out of that cloud of negativity. It follows them around, soaking through all the fun and leaving its stain there. It taints life. Those bad days stretch on and on and, eventually, you realise that they don’t seem likely ever to end.
Then, you have to stop, take stock of what you’re doing with your life and figure out how you’re going to change things.
PICTURE YOUR IDEAL LIFE
Think about the most perfect life you can imagine having. Be ambitious but be realistic. You’re not going to get a pet unicorn. But think about the kind of career you want to have. Think about the kind of people you want around you. Think about the kind of family you want. Think about the kind of difference you want to make in the world. Think about all the things you want to get done before you die – the things you want to do for yourself, for those around you, for people in general. Write it down.
IDENTIFY WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE TO GET THERE
Parallel that picture with the life you’re living right now. What is different about it? What do you need to do to get from where you are now from where you want to be? Don’t generalise and don’t be vague. Don’t assume that by fixing one thing all the others will fall into place. Be specific when you think about all the things – however small – that you wish were different.
DECIDE WHAT YOUR IMMEDIATE PRIORITIES ARE
What can you start work on right away? What do you have to do first before you have a shot at the other things? Are you broke, are you in debt? Are you in the right industry, do you have the right qualifications? Do you wish you had more time to spend with your friends? Do you spend too much time messing around with your mates and not enough focusing on your own progress? Decide what you want to change first. Identify the simpler changes that you can get to work on right away.
BREAK THOSE DOWN INTO THE SMALLEST STEPS YOU CAN
Having a step-by-step list that starts with the very simplest things you can do is, for most people, the easiest way to approach this. The small things are going to be the easiest. Work your way through them one at a time. Eventually you’ll find yourself well on your way to making the bigger changes.
ACCEPT THAT IT IS GOING TO BE A LONG JOURNEY
It’s not going to be easy. You might not ever get to that fantasy life you have in your mind. But you’ll get far closer to it by forcing yourself to change than you will by carrying on doing nothing.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.