30 years ago, young people didn’t worry about the concept of the ‘right path’ as much as we do now. A dangerous combination of the narcissistic revolution, the growth of the middle class, work-life balance, Joseph Gordon-Levitt films and a better quality of living has cornered young people into an obsession about their futures.
Millennials have the privilege of work anxiety and while I’m not dismissing or making light of any internal struggles young people face today, we have to first acknowledge our position before dissecting why we feel the way we do about our uncertain futures.
However, the question “Am I on the right path?” doesn’t just affect graduate job holders, this uncertainty can strike anyone, regardless of how superior they are in a company. Caught in the vortex of a daily grind, your mind’s eye is often too entangled with other problems to give a truthful answer.
Writing for The Muse, Erin Greenawald breaks down how to answer the ‘right path’ dilemma across daily, weekly and yearly exercises.
1. Daily: Keep track of purposeful days
Not every minute of your day will be filled with profound meaning and exciting work – even if you had your dream job. The trick is getting a balance of passion projects and automatic work. To keep an eye on whether your days are more meaningful than not, make a note in your calendar about whether you thought the day had purpose. It’s a binary solution but gives a visual representation of how you truly feel about your life.
2,Weekly: The funeral hypothetical
A bit morbid but effective. Spend some time once a week thinking about your funeral. Make a list of all the people who would attend and then list what you want these people to say about you. Match those affirmations to how you feel about yourself and try your best to fill in the gaps in the future.
3. Yearly: Step to the cliff’s edge
At the end of the year hypothetically quit your job. Pretend that you didn’t have to pay bills and run yourself through a scenario wherein you resign. Evaluate your life determining whether you would lose or gain purpose having quit. If you feel as if your life would only improve if this hypothetical became actual, it’s time to move onto the right path.