‘’I am not happy’’. A sentence that we hear now frequently from a lot of people around us, and even you or I said it ourselves in the past. People spend their lifetime searching and doing things only to feel happy. Some people succeed in becoming happy and others not. So, the question now is what do happy people do differently that makes them feel happier at least most of the time? And from my point of view, the answer to this question lies in the gap between the student life and the professional life, and how happy people closed the gap between their school and university time, and their real professional lifetime.
The gap between the student life and the professional life can be summarized in 4 points. Let me explain what I mean below:
1-No script to follow and no predicted sequence.
In school and university, we used to get the books and materials of the subjects that we will study. The material was ready and prepared for us and if we did what we are expected to do (a.k.a study) then most probably there will be no surprises, and we should move to the next grade. After graduation, there is no readymade script anymore. Each person should create his script to follow based on his knowledge, experience, background and what he/she wants to achieve.
Happy people can create a good script to follow in their lives.
2-The shock of making more decisions.
During school time, we rarely made any decisions. In fact, all decisions were pre-made for us by our parents and the system. The only time where you got the chance to make a major decision was after finishing high school and was choosing the university and what to study next. Only then we had the chance to choose……at least partially. Because even though we chose our universities and what to study by ourselves, our choices were hugely influenced by the opinions of our families and friends and what the job market needs, and not truly by our raw decision. This influenced our decision-making skills.
So, after we start working, we find ourselves bombarded with tons of topics and things that we need to decide. But unfortunately, we were not prepared or have the right skills to make such important decisions in our lives. That’s why a lot of people make bad decisions that leave them unhappy in the end.
Happy people understand that, and they understand that making lots of decisions after graduation and leaving University is normal. They accept that and start enhancing their knowledge and skills to improve their decision-making skills in the future and hence make better decisions.
3-What we learned about success and how to succeed, is totally different in our professional lives.
When we were at school and university, the law of success was clear ”study hard the material and books of the subjects, and you will succeed and pass to the next grade.”. When we start working, we think that the law of success is the same ”work hard and you will move up the career ladder and get appreciated”. Unfortunately, it is not. Succeeding in your professional life requires that you excel in other factors besides your performance.
When people do all that they can and do not feel progress, they feel unhappy and unfulfilled especially if they are not able to determine what can they do more to proceed in their business lives. They also feel stuck and locked in a trap that they are not able to get outside.
Happy people understand that the law of success is different. They are surprised by this sudden change in the rules at the beginning when they start working, but they can understand and adapt fast to this change.
4-We had a clear and decisive goal.
Since day one at school or the university, and we all had one definite goal and purpose in mind ‘’to succeed and move to the next grade until we graduate and find a decent job.’’. After we graduate and start working, only a few people set any new goals for themselves. The goal of most of the people become only to live and get a paycheck at the end of the month. And that’s not enough.
We are by nature goal-oriented creatures. We cannot live without setting goals and work on achieving them. Because goals require from us that we develop and stretch to reach them. And during this process of developing ourselves, we feel happy. That’s why the moment that we live without goals we feel unhappy and unfulfilled.
Happy people recognize that, and they set to themselves stretch goals that challenge them and make them each day better than the day before.
So here is my advice to you. Read again the points above. Understand them clearly and ask yourself ‘’What can I do today to close this gap?’’ And when you do, you will start feeling happier and fulfilled.
Let me know your opinion in the comments below.