Updated: May 14, 2023
The word “optimism” comes from the Latin word optimus which means the best. However, we all know that our best expectations don’t always happen.
Sometimes, things can go from bad to worse, and everything in our life may seem to be going all wrong. Has this happened to you? It has to me, a few years ago.
What is Quarter-Life Crisis?
You may be familiar with the term quarter-life crisis. If not, it’s what they call the stage in life when one realizes that life is unfair, cruel, hard, and living in this world seems to be meaningless.
Wikipedia further explains quarter-life crisis as this:
After entering adult life and coming to terms with its responsibilities, some individuals find themselves experiencing career stagnation or extreme insecurity.
The individual often realizes the real world is tougher, more competitive, and less forgiving than they imagined.
Furthermore, the qualifications they have spent so much time and money earning are not likely to prepare them for this disillusionment.
Are you experiencing a quarter-life crisis? Do you feel that your life is just a daily routine and you seem to be going nowhere? Is the rat race wearing you down?
If so, how do you overcome these feelings of anxiety, depression, insecurity, and frustration?
How I coped with Quarter-Life Crisis
What worked for me was to change my perspective of life. I changed into a realistically optimistic person.
I started by believing that I can, and will eventually overcome life’s problems.
And if I can be kind and compassionate to myself, then I’ll learn how to achieve my dreams and have the capacity to live life to its fullest.
A pessimist will say that’s BS, but really it isn’t.
However, it’s also important to realize that even though “miracles can happen”. I also believe that one cannot live on optimism alone. One also needs a good dose of reality with it.
Be careful of unfounded optimism
Unfounded optimism can result in unrealistic expectations, which can disappoint and frustrate us.
That’s why I advocate realistic optimism, which means knowing what is possible and having hoping the best will happen. But also being prepared and accepting if unfavorable circumstances happen.
What do I exactly mean by this?
Let’s say that you just lost your job, and you’re currently facing a great amount of debt. Worse, you’re also the breadwinner of your family. How can realistic optimism help in this situation?
Well, you can start by taking stock of what you have: your skills and talents, your friends and social network, the moral support of your family… everything. And then realize that the ONLY thing you lost was your job, and NOT yourself.
Believe that you will find new work in time. Rally your family to do their part in getting cash flow for the household, and believe that they can help.
Don’t queue in lottery lines expecting you will win, that’s highly improbable and unrealistic. Don’t expect that money will come miraculously to your doorstep when you need it, but be optimistic that you will find income if you act and look for it.
What realistic optimism means
Being realistically optimistic means seeing the best possible solution to every problem, acting on it, and believing it will work; and just in case it doesn’t – it’s okay because you have a backup plan.
There’s a fine line between being highly optimistic and being realistically grounded. And it takes practice to live exactly along the border.
Always remember that life is a mental game.
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