Knowing where you are now and where you are heading.
If someone asks you now, in what point in life are you now? What would your answer be?
Many young professionals are enjoying different milestones in life. Some are in their prime, doing great in their careers. Some are into ‘hibernation’ when they decided to stop working for a while and find some solace in the midst of a busy life. Some are in the race to achieve their goals – setting up their own business, taking up a master’s degree, being active in charities to give back to the community. Some have totally surrendered their busy life in exchange for a peaceful life with their newly-built families.
Many would agree that this question is a “very millennial thing.” But this is a reality we all have to face. Does it really matter where we are at this point?
Yes, it matters to know about our status. For twenty-somethings, being aware of where we are can make us feel secure or ready to do more. For millennials, this point is all about adventure, fun, and all-out experience. There’s no issue with that, definitely. But the only challenge here is that millenials may be too focused on having fun that we forget to prepare ahead.
I’ll take my experience as an example. At 19, I already started working in a corporate setting. The career was so fulfilling and rewarding. At that point, I was earning enough. Part of my earnings were invested in a leche flan business where I really did great. I became stable financially and had this goal of having my first million at 25 years old (Whoa, what a goal!). I had the best years in my life where I was taking my master’s degree then and had opportunities for facilitating a corporate training in an IT company which paid me huge a check almost every month. I also networked with different universities as I became a career coach, helping graduating students succeed in their job search and interviews.
Two years later, I found myself enjoying the experience of traveling. I have traveled in five counties and visited more than 10 beautiful places in the Philippines in the span of three years. I also enjoyed shopping-spree and movie nights with family and friends. I really lived an awesome life then. For me, that was an achievement and the highlight of my younger self.
Well, based on the theory of gravity, whatever goes up, goes down. And the sad thing was, I climb the ladder slowly, but the fall was a bit hard and quick. I reached the age of 24 and found myself financially-broke. Wow, how did that happen? Well, as I look back, I enjoyed life so much that I forgot to keep something for my plans. In short, I reached 25 not as I would want it to be. I had nothing left. I felt so disappointed about myself for failing to secure my future. I felt afraid for being uncertain about the things ahead.
But at 25, I did something awesome. I built a group of very reliable volunteers, including my family and friends, and formed #MakeKidsHappy where we work towards providing for children who were abandoned, hungry, and abused. At this moment, we already had four charities formed helping children in different areas such as in Antipolo, Tondo, and Katutubo Village in Pampanga. I felt so much blessed and fulfilled.
From that point on, I decided to turn things around. I realized that I am responsible for my own destiny. And I am holding that precious piece called success. It only takes an honest mind to be aware of my current situation. I was in the point where all my plans are stagnant because of my own choices.
At this point in my life, I am so grateful to have bounced back and turned things around. I am earning well and part of my savings are invested in reliable instruments such as the stock market and mutual funds. I kept a portfolio of investments to secure my future and prepare for my dream – early retirement in order to enjoy the best things in life when I’m in my senior years. I also invested for a good life insurance with investment facility that makes me feel safer and more fulfilled.
Years back, the reason for my so called ‘failure’ was financial mismanagement. But now, I am an advocate of financial literacy and I invest my time and resources in sharing this learning and experiences with my fellow youth. My financial problem became my instrument of success and my own turning point.
The best lesson I have learned in my journey was there is nothing wrong with failing. Actually, it’s part of every story. That fall made me bounce back higher. Imagine a ball being dribbled in a couch, do you think it would bounce back at all? What if I drop it in a cement or marble floor, how do you think would it bounce? Same thing with life. The harder we fall, the higher we bounce from difficulties.
If you find yourself in a not-so-good point right now, don’t be anxious. There are three things I suggest you do:
- Acknowledge – Know where you are. Reflect on the point where you are now and be totally honest with yourself. If you feel depressed or disappointed, let it sink into your deepest emotions.
- Reconcile – After acknowledging, you need to make peace with yourself. Forgive and accept the fact that you have missed some things or have failed at some point. It is only then you can move forward.
- Turn things around – This is the most crucial point. There is no moving on without acting on it. Decide to turn things around. Bring back those old-forgotten dreams and unrealized goals. You need to bring back the fire in you.
Give yourself the gift of chances. There is nothing wrong with standing again and recovering your own self a hibernation. The next time you are asked, at what point are you now? You say, I’m at my turning point.