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How to enjoy life without living up to society's expectations? Watch

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    Since around the time I started uni back in 2014 my happiness and satisfaction with life has slowly deteriorated. I find this strange because, academically, I am doing very well and am considered a 'successful person'. Despite this I am still not happy. I thought that securing a placement at a respected firm would change this. It did, for about one day.

    I don't seek pity, that's the last thing I want. I seek answers though. Everyday I feel pressure to work hard and achieve highly. I'm constantly comparing myself to others on my course in terms of ability and prospects and it either causes stress or envy. I have realised that I am indeed on a course that I do not enjoy. I thought I would enjoy it but I actually hate it, but I still try hard because I have this idea that success will bring me happiness.

    I try to open my mind and look at the bigger picture. I try to convince myself that there is more to life than just getting good grades, getting a good job, good salary etc. I try to meditate and I try to force myself to enjoy all of the 'little things in life'. I have a great girlfriend and a great family.

    I just want to know why it is so damn hard for me to be happy despite all of this. Does anyone else go through this. It's like I don't live for myself. I consistently do things I don't enjoy because that just WHAT I SHOULD DO. Maybe that's just what I'm made to believe. I hardly ever do the things I want to do. If I do pick up a new hobby I end up taking it too seriously because I want to be the best at it and want it to go further than a hobby. I can't simply enjoy it. I spend all day (on most days) just worrying, stressing, sad and miserable and I don't know why.

    Sorry if this post is all over the place but I hope you get the gist. Does anyone else go through this. How did you get over it. I'm about to start counselling but I just don't think it will work. I really want to feel like there is more to life than just education, work and die but every time I try and I just can't help but be held down by my responsibilities (to do well, to get a good job etc etc). Some advice and wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Maybe this thread can help some others too.

    edit: Will reply when I get time
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    The first thing to find is what you really want to do in life.

    This might not be something you can answer off the top of your head. But you need to do some serious thinking in to it.

    Start thinking, and resist the temptation to write ideas off like "well thats not realistic because....". Deal with the practicalities later, at first you need to brainstorm.
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    (Original post by eagleclawsan)
    Since around the time I started uni back in 2014 my happiness and satisfaction with life has slowly deteriorated. I find this strange because, academically, I am doing very well and am considered a 'successful person'. Despite this I am still not happy. I thought that securing a placement at a respected firm would change this. It did, for about one day.
    Academic success is very important but it isnt everything. Are you exercising, finding art passions/music/dance if you like, are you socialising, flirting etc?

    (Original post by eagleclawsan)
    I don't seek pity, that's the last thing I want. I seek answers though. Everyday I feel pressure to work hard and achieve highly. I'm constantly comparing myself to others on my course in terms of ability and prospects and it either causes stress or envy. I have realised that I am indeed on a course that I do not enjoy. I thought I would enjoy it but I actually hate it, but I still try hard because I have this idea that success will bring me happiness.
    Cliche coming in but DONT compare yourself to others. Its natural to but try to MUCH LESS. They dont determine your worth and its not their intention to either. Its up to YOU to realise you compare yourself yo yourself. As long as youre a BETTER KINDER eagleclawsan than yesterday EVERYDAY I think you should BE VERY HAPPY



    (Original post by eagleclawsan)
    I try to open my mind and look at the bigger picture. I try to convince myself that there is more to life than just getting good grades, getting a good job, good salary etc. I try to meditate and I try to force myself to enjoy all of the 'little things in life'. I have a great girlfriend and a great family.
    It seems like you have a very good life actually so have you asked them for support? You may not want to burden them but they may feel subconciouslessly sad anyway cos they feel your different moods, they are there to help you ok? So talk to em, youd want to knwo and help them out if there were in a problematic state wouldnt you?



    (Original post by eagleclawsan)
    I just want to know why it is so damn hard for me to be happy despite all of this. Does anyone else go through this. It's like I don't live for myself. I consistently do things I don't enjoy because that just WHAT I SHOULD DO. Maybe that's just what I'm made to believe. I hardly ever do the things I want to do. If I do pick up a new hobby I end up taking it too seriously because I want to be the best at it and want it to go further than a hobby. I can't simply enjoy it. I spend all day (on most days) just worrying, stressing, sad and miserable and I don't know why.
    This is interesting, are your hobby choices varied?Have you tried a team then an individual sport?a performance art then a expressive one?music and then mind games eg sudoku, chesswhat about non competitive hobbies like drawing, dancing??

    (Original post by eagleclawsan)
    Sorry if this post is all over the place but I hope you get the gist. Does anyone else go through this. How did you get over it. I'm about to start counselling but I just don't think it will work. I really want to feel like there is more to life than just education, work and die but every time I try and I just can't help but be held down by my responsibilities (to do well, to get a good job etc etc). Some advice and wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Maybe this thread can help some others too.
    That mindset is already bad, sry to say but it is. YOU NEED TO BE OPTIMISTIC. Maybe do some volunteering or visit the less fortunate if you have the time HELPING OTHERS HELPS YOU also HAVE YOU TRIED WORKING OUT>>>>???????

    main takeaways


    1) be optimistic=its hard but laugh, watch vines or comedy
    2) helps less fortunate, itll make you feel good
    3) GET SUPPORT FROM YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

    4) you also dont mention fellow male friends, are you getting 'guy time'????




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    Just don't give a fxck.
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    Start to realise that life is inherently meaningless, and thus things like social obligations or societal expectations are also meaningless. There is no need to aspire toward such things and you should rebel against them with joy.
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    (Original post by eagleclawsan)
    Since around the time I started uni back in 2014 my happiness and satisfaction with life has slowly deteriorated. I find this strange because, academically, I am doing very well and am considered a 'successful person'. Despite this I am still not happy. I thought that securing a placement at a respected firm would change this. It did, for about one day.

    I don't seek pity, that's the last thing I want. I seek answers though. Everyday I feel pressure to work hard and achieve highly. I'm constantly comparing myself to others on my course in terms of ability and prospects and it either causes stress or envy. I have realised that I am indeed on a course that I do not enjoy. I thought I would enjoy it but I actually hate it, but I still try hard because I have this idea that success will bring me happiness.

    I try to open my mind and look at the bigger picture. I try to convince myself that there is more to life than just getting good grades, getting a good job, good salary etc. I try to meditate and I try to force myself to enjoy all of the 'little things in life'. I have a great girlfriend and a great family.

    I just want to know why it is so damn hard for me to be happy despite all of this. Does anyone else go through this. It's like I don't live for myself. I consistently do things I don't enjoy because that just WHAT I SHOULD DO. Maybe that's just what I'm made to believe. I hardly ever do the things I want to do. If I do pick up a new hobby I end up taking it too seriously because I want to be the best at it and want it to go further than a hobby. I can't simply enjoy it. I spend all day (on most days) just worrying, stressing, sad and miserable and I don't know why.

    Sorry if this post is all over the place but I hope you get the gist. Does anyone else go through this. How did you get over it. I'm about to start counselling but I just don't think it will work. I really want to feel like there is more to life than just education, work and die but every time I try and I just can't help but be held down by my responsibilities (to do well, to get a good job etc etc). Some advice and wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Maybe this thread can help some others too.
    I found doing something humbling eased my sense of failure and lowered my focus on trying to be "the best", which is understandable we live in a nation, a world geared with "success" maybe take a year out and do some charity work abroad, volunteer at a hospice for terminal cancer victims etc. you soon learn not to take the artificial things in life too seriously, you learn to laugh at failure and to realise the true successes in life (these things have helped me). Hope this helps; sorry to hear you feel the way you do. I hope things get better (i'm sure they will)!
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    Simple, you picture your society wearing monkey suits. Now you can feel normal.
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    I've battled with this my whole life.
    Even with my previous definition of success; I let others define that for me like many of us do. Many see success as going to an ivy league university, getting a first in a traditional subject such as medicine/engineering/law then proceeding onto intensive training or having an awesome paying, starter job within 6 months to a year of graduating uni.
    This is all great and I'm not trying to belittle people with this route to life- I sincerely respect them however I disagree with the common idea that this is the only route to success. What is it that you want from life? You really do need to reflect. You realising that you're on the wrong uni course is a major step forward and if it's really bothering you, what are you going to do about it? You have many options but please make your happiness a priority. Not to sound rude but the people your living for are living their own lives, soon we will all pass away... Find out what success means to you.

    Imagine a world where people didn't give into the expectations society has now of people and didn't care what people thought of them? We'd see more geniuses such as Albert Einstein, witnessing more innovation and creativity such as Steve Jobs and his work or music entertainers with extreme talent such as Michael Jackson and the Beatles. Then most importantly, we'd have a happier society.
    Try not to be 'perfect' and just live. I know this may be challenging, especially if you're a perfectionist but 'risks', mistakes, not always being number one is ok. These are more pressures. Prioritise what means a lot to YOU not to others.Wish you the best <3
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    You need "thick skin"
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    The first thing to find is what you really want to do in life.

    This might not be something you can answer off the top of your head. But you need to do some serious thinking in to it.

    Start thinking, and resist the temptation to write ideas off like "well thats not realistic because....". Deal with the practicalities later, at first you need to brainstorm.

    Thanks for your advice . The problem I see with everything I would like to do is that nowadays it all requires some kind of formal education if you wanted to do it for a living for example. Maybe that is me being negative again

    (Original post by ForestShadow)
    Academic success is very important but it isnt everything. Are you exercising, finding art passions/music/dance if you like, are you socialising, flirting etc?

    Cliche coming in but DONT compare yourself to others. Its natural to but try to MUCH LESS. They dont determine your worth and its not their intention to either. Its up to YOU to realise you compare yourself yo yourself. As long as youre a BETTER KINDER eagleclawsan than yesterday EVERYDAY I think you should BE VERY HAPPY



    It seems like you have a very good life actually so have you asked them for support? You may not want to burden them but they may feel subconciouslessly sad anyway cos they feel your different moods, they are there to help you ok? So talk to em, youd want to knwo and help them out if there were in a problematic state wouldnt you?



    This is interesting, are your hobby choices varied?Have you tried a team then an individual sport?a performance art then a expressive one?music and then mind games eg sudoku, chesswhat about non competitive hobbies like drawing, dancing??



    That mindset is already bad, sry to say but it is. YOU NEED TO BE OPTIMISTIC. Maybe do some volunteering or visit the less fortunate if you have the time HELPING OTHERS HELPS YOU also HAVE YOU TRIED WORKING OUT>>>>???????

    main takeaways


    1) be optimistic=its hard but laugh, watch vines or comedy
    2) helps less fortunate, itll make you feel good
    3) GET SUPPORT FROM YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

    4) you also dont mention fellow male friends, are you getting 'guy time'????




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    Thank you very much for your kind and extensive post. A lot of your advice helped a lot. It has reminded me that I have stopped exercising and that was something that helped me a lot! I do a computer science degree so, naturally, pretty much all of my friends are male. They just weren't mentioned. I think I've just been putting too much pressure on myself lately, causing me to lose my mind and think irrationally. Your post helped put things into perspective.

    (Original post by Inexorably)
    Start to realise that life is inherently meaningless, and thus things like social obligations or societal expectations are also meaningless. There is no need to aspire toward such things and you should rebel against them with joy.

    Right, because we certainly can't take any of our 'success' to the grave!

    (Original post by honestly)
    I found doing something humbling eased my sense of failure and lowered my focus on trying to be "the best", which is understandable we live in a nation, a world geared with "success" maybe take a year out and do some charity work abroad, volunteer at a hospice for terminal cancer victims etc. you soon learn not to take the artificial things in life too seriously, you learn to laugh at failure and to realise the true successes in life (these things have helped me). Hope this helps; sorry to hear you feel the way you do. I hope things get better (i'm sure they will)!
    I was thinking of going to a country that doesn't have these kinds of expectations. Thought India or somewhere else in Asia might be a good place. Not to stay, but just to chill out for a while . Any recommendations?


    (Original post by Cherry82)
    I've battled with this my whole life.
    Even with my previous definition of success; I let others define that for me like many of us do. Many see success as going to an ivy league university, getting a first in a traditional subject such as medicine/engineering/law then proceeding onto intensive training or having an awesome paying, starter job within 6 months to a year of graduating uni.
    This is all great and I'm not trying to belittle people with this route to life- I sincerely respect them however I disagree with the common idea that this is the only route to success. What is it that you want from life? You really do need to reflect. You realising that you're on the wrong uni course is a major step forward and if it's really bothering you, what are you going to do about it? You have many options but please make your happiness a priority. Not to sound rude but the people your living for are living their own lives, soon we will all pass away... Find out what success means to you.

    Imagine a world where people didn't give into the expectations society has now of people and didn't care what people thought of them? We'd see more geniuses such as Albert Einstein, witnessing more innovation and creativity such as Steve Jobs and his work or music entertainers with extreme talent such as Michael Jackson and the Beatles. Then most importantly, we'd have a happier society.
    Try not to be 'perfect' and just live. I know this may be challenging, especially if you're a perfectionist but 'risks', mistakes, not always being number one is ok. These are more pressures. Prioritise what means a lot to YOU not to others.Wish you the best <3
    Great post. I'm in my second year doing Computer Science and I really do not enjoy it. I do well at it but it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life or even for the next five years if I can avoid it. I don't really know what I love. I love reading history books, I love making music etc. It's glad that there are people out there who can relate though, sometimes it feels like I'm existing amongst people (in this country at least) who are fully contempt with their life whilst I'm still trying to find a purpose to mine (or trying to decide if life even has a purpose. I'm leaning to it not being so). You are right. It's sad that we're made to believe that we should spend our lives working and contributing to the success of other individuals rather than focusing on ourselves. I would love to travel the world but that would probably mean doing a job I hate for a while. Who knows I might even end up enjoying it. Thank you for your reply it was very helpful. How did you finally get rid of your old mindset?
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    (Original post by eagleclawsan)
    Great post. I'm in my second year doing Computer Science...
    My pleasure, you are welcome
    Don't worry. I just wanted to say, not knowing what you love yet is ok also. I don't want to sound like a crazy, delusional theorist but I really do despise how our system concerning education forces young people to try to find themselves so quickly in such short time.

    I remember when I had finished year 11 and was just about entering sixth form; my teachers had given us students a sheet where on the sheet we were asked questions such as 'where do you see yourself in 10 years'?, 'what career are interested in entering' then 'what are you're plans with higher education'? We hadn't even started our A level courses yet as this was the first day back to school after exams. I have no problem with these types of questions but it really does give students the wrong idea. Yes, we should have an idea of our desired career, our passion or passions, what we'd like from life overall but where schools are failing is not by informing students that it's ok for this to change or if you don't know. I remember when I had told my teachers I'm still searching, they replied it was fine but that I have a year to make a decision for applying to uni. I remember thinking a year and you mean 9 months? How in the hell would I find my self, my whole identity, passion and desired career without even any proper work experience or the real feel of the working world in a year (9 months) while still being in school.

    Honestly, this messed me up so bad. I remember crying because it seemed that everyone had everything together. But in fact, many of them were just as lost as me. The truth is, many young people feel the same way you do however some are good at hiding it. Unless you speak to them, you wouldn't know. I was under so much pressure and entered year 12 choosing traditional A levels in the hopes of becoming an engineer because engineering was respected with good job prospects. However I did know one thing, I love music. I love reading poetry, singing, dance, performance is something I am interested in. Unfortunately, I failed my first try at year 12 which has lead to me repeating the year. This however has made me a stronger person, challenging me to find myself and not to conform to what everyone else wants of me. I'm even planning on taking a gap year after this. People at school responded 'what, but you've already lost a year, why would you even dare want this'. I just told them, I don't want to go to university with the wrong mindset. I can't go because everyone else is going, I need to know what I would like to gain from this experience. Already to some people, I am failure in their eyes. However In my own eyes, this is an opportunity for me to correct things as I was on the wrong path.

    I believe that life really is a journey. You're young, there's still time. Please do not believe in this false idea that not knowing now means it's too late or that you'll never know forever. I would definitely encourage you to travel and read some books concerning this issue. Me and my friends are privately trying to plan a trip to Nigeria and Ghana in Africa, helping the poorer areas to build schools.
    Not to brag and sound pompous but we're very excited as we made this decision on our own and are organising it on our own without our parents. Hopefully if things go well, we could have a successful trip. How I got rid of my old mindset? Well after repeating my year and feeling so low, it forced me to change, let go and decide what makes me happy. I'm not saying you need to fail in your degree or repeat a year to let go of that mindset lol. However I suggest you speak to people with a life different to yours. One of my favourite Youtubers named funforlouis. You should check him out. He's a film maker and travelling is literally a regular activity in his lifestyle. He shows how life really is an adventure. Sorry for this extremely long post and if this was very fragmented- I've been up quite a bit. But just know, you're definitely not alone.
 
 
 
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