I read two articles this week about topics I had never heard of before. One article spoke about the increase in what is being referred to as “The Quarter-life Crisis”. The other, covered the Stockdale Paradox. Both very interesting, and both very relevant to my generation.
A Quarter-life crisis is exactly what it sounds like; its a mid-life crisis only it happens to those in their 20’s. It has the same symptoms of a mid-life crisis and it is becoming readily acknowledged by mental health professionals as a source of anxiety and depression in our generation. We, as young adults, are struggling in a tough job market, we feel slighted when we don’t get to use the education we paid and studied for, our desire for marriage and children, and an overall insecurity about our future. Basically we want meaning in our lives, we want something we can become passionate about and that uses our skills and knowledge, and we want to feel comfortable.
I know I can’t speak for everyone my age but I do see this happening. In fact, I was talking to a friend this week who was experiencing this exact thing. My friend is a college graduate who is currently working two part-time jobs while he waits for a job in the federal government. There are few openings with many applicants and he’s been passed over several times for a position. He knows that he doesn’t want to work his whole life at the jobs he has now but he doesn’t see a way to do that.
So what’s there to do about this?
That’s were the second article I read comes into play. It doesn’t work as a cure all but it does provide some good advice on how to push ahead until this season of life passes.
The Stockdale paradox is named after a retired Navy admiral who spent nine years in the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam as a prisoner of war. Since then he’s been to source of countless interviews all asking how he could survive the imprisonment and torture and not go crazy in the process. Here’s what he had to say about it,
“This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end, which you can never afford to lose, with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
As Admiral Stockdale did, we must acknowledge that yeah life sucks right now. It’s hard and we can’t seem to catch a break. But you know what…in the end I’m going to make it. I’m going to put in my time and it will pay off. I’m going to be relentless. And I’m going to have faith that God in his sovereignty has given me these experiences for a reason.
So while that doesn’t answer all my questions I think it’s a good way to view life’s ups and downs. And hey…this will also make us better prepared second time around when mid-life hits.
- 1 year ago
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