I recently called a friend of mine to ask her how she was doing. When she picked up the phone, she didn’t sound like her bubbly self and even though she answered that she was doing OK, her answers were lack-lustre.
“Are you sure you’re good? you don’t sound like your usual self,” I commented, attempting to dig deeper, and hoping that she would open up on what was wrong.
“I’m just tired Moji, I’m so jaded with work. I feel unhappy and don’t know what to do.”
So that was it I thought, remembering that I had recently experience what she was feeling, empathising with her. I then went on to proffer some advise that worked for me when I found myself in the same funk.
Being jaded is something most people experience from time to time, and it usually comes hand in glove with dissatisfaction with one’s job or quality of life. It also comes as a result of diffidence, which can creep on a person unsuspectingly. I know this because I have been there not once or twice. But every time it happened, I was able to get through it. Here’s how:
When feeling unsatisfied with life, jaded or sad one of the things that helps is to remember that everyone has their own time. That you’re stuck with a job you can’t stand and wish you were doing something else doesn’t mean that times won’t change. Remember, even the Bible says that there’s time for everything under the sun. Just a year, even 6 months from now you could be somewhere completely different, doing something you never imagined, making a tons load of money. So borrow a leaf from the stoic’s believe that you are where you ought to be right now. So relive the moment, you will never get it back.
I hate to break this to you, but feeling jaded and dissatisfied with life is a subconscious emotion of ingratitude. I say subconscious because I’m aware that people who feel this way can’t help it most times. While it’s ok to be ambitious and want more from life, acknowledging that there are people (your age) who have way less and are praying for what you have, will make you (more) thankful. In World Poverty Clock report created by Vienna-based World Data Lab, 91.16 million –46.5 of Nigerians were reported to be living below a dollar a day as of February 13, 2019. Using the World Bank’s poverty line, if you live below $1.90 (N693.5) a day, you will be classified as living in extreme poverty. If you’re reading this, higher chances are that you are far from this poverty level. You’re not better than those who are, so you ought to be thankful!
Also, the gift of life and good health is another reason to cultivate the attitude of gratitude. Someone told me this story while trying to encourage me to remain thankful always. He said he was tat he cemetery for a burial when something urged him to look down where he was standing. On looking down, he saw the tombstone of a man, born on the same day, same year as he was but who died a few years back. It brought tears to his eyes, because he realised in that very moment that life was a gift and privilege, one we often times take for granted.
So when next you’re feeling down, be thankful for life and what you have presently, knowing that things could be worse.
Comparison is one of the biggest banes of human existence. It has robbed many of their peace, led many to depression, suicide and often results in gross discontentment and unhappiness. In today’s social media conscious world, unhealthy comparison is at its all time high. Many people are constantly unhappy because rather than being content with the present and dedicating more time to ensuring a better future, they spend valuable time stressing over other who show off what appears to be the live of their dreams on social media.
If you’re the person I described above, the time to take control of your life is NOW. Begin to make conscious effort to stay away from social media as much as possible or your mental health and happiness. The time wasted stalking others can also be channeled into more productivity e g reading good books and learning new skills. Also remind yourself of the concept of timing above when you see people who are your age group, or younger doing seemingly better than you. I say seemingly because more often than not things are usually not what they seem and people only show you what they want you to know, and believe. Perception is usually not reality.
So quit the unhealthy comparison game and focus on improving the quality of your life. Oh, and one last thing- unhealthy comparison can lead to envy and jealousy, and this is not a feeling any good person should have or harbour towards others. Being genuinely happy for the achievement of others is you emitting positive energy that will in turn attract good things to you. So be mindful of your feelings and fight off unhealthy comparison with all your will!
Reflect and remind myself of how far you’ve come
When a person is jaded, or unhappy with the quality of life, one of the reasons is because they dwell only on their present feelings, forgetting how far they’ve come. But in truth, we cannot really appreciate the present if we don’t reflect and take stock of how far we’ve come. Agreed, you may not be where you want to be yet, and you aspirations may still seem far off, but you are definitely where you used to be. Reflecting on progress you have made no matter how little can give tremendous hope and remind you to be thankful. Also, the present situation you’re dissatisfied might be a set up for the next big thing; however reflection and constructive thinking is what can help with this realisation. Therefore it is very imperative that one makes conscious effort to analyse and reflect on situations when jaded or feeling hopeless.
This is perhaps the hardest thing to do when you find your self feeling down. But this is where mindfulness comes in. If you’re feeling unsatisfied with your life, you have to consciously make effort to tune your feelings back in line. The truth is you alone are responsible for your happiness, so filing his at the back of your mind is key. Friends may care, but they also have things they are dealing with, just like you. So how I do I fight off the feeling on my own, you may ask?
– First is to be careful what you consume. By consumption here, I mean what you feed your mind with. Stay away as much as possible from things and people that make you insecure, unhappy or unsatisfied with your life. Instead focus on doing better in all areas of your life, building your self esteem and finding your purpose.
– Reading life changing books, finding time to learn something, listening to mentors. Thanks to youtube almost everything can be learnt on the internet these days. So a way to get yourself out of a jaded funk is to try to learn something new you’ve always wanted to, that could become an extra source of income in the long run. Also watch and listen to people who have made it that reflect where you see yourself in future but didn’t have it easy at the beginning. When you do this, you will realise many people who have made it big faced similar, even tougher challenges than you, and this will help you feel better.
– Practise mindfulness. Be mindful of your thoughts, and try to understand why you feel how you feel by asking yourself deep, visceral questions that only you can answer. Realising the root cause or reason is the first step to overcoming that feeling. Interestingly many people don’t practise this deep reflecting thinking, but will rather go about feeling hopeless, gloomy, doing nothing to get out of it and waiting for someone or a miracle to save them. Sadly, this hardly happens, and they just end up sinking deeper into gloom.
– Positive Thoughts: There are many school of thoughts that when you think positive thoughts, good things happen, and when you think negative, bad things happen. According to this theory, many people are more prone to bad thoughts and self discrimination, but thankfully, good thoughts are stronger than negative thoughts, thus lower probability of the many bad thoughts becoming reality. It is thereby imperative to be conscious of your thoughts and re-channel them as soon as you see that they are gearing towards negativity. Renown author James Allen talks about this in detail in his book ‘As A Man Thinketh’ influenced by a verse in the Bible from Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7 which says:
For as (A Man) he thinketh in his heart, so is he…
Steward well on what you have presently
While discussing reflecting, I mentioned that your present situation could be a setup for your big break through. What this means is that as uncomfortable as your present situation is, you are in it because there are things you need to learn that you will need when you get to where you’re destined to. Thus, against this backdrop, it is very important to steward well on what you have now, especially if it puts food on your table regardless of how you feel about it. When you work hard and steward well on what you have:
– People notice, even if they don’t say it and can in a good word for you when the opportunity arises;
– You could meet someone, get an opportunity that could pave way for something better;
– You garner experience that could come in handy in future;
– It shows responsibility, maturity because no matter how passionate you are about anything, there might; be days that you don’t feel up to it, but you still need to show up and work;
– It build your character, and toughens your resilience.
Even in the Bible, Jesus Christ talks about stewarding on what you have using the parable of the 10 talents in Matthew 25:14–30. It is therefore key to do your best with what you have, be it a job, a business etc even if it’s not working out as well as you hope. If you keep at it things will certainly improve or a better door will open as a result.
I’ll leave you with the last thing I told my friend: life is full of ups and downs, unexpected curves and turns. It is however our responsibility to control how we react to our circumstances through mindfulness and all that is listed above.
One thing is sure, we cannot control what life throws at us at any point in time, but we can control how we react to it, choosing always to make lemonades out of life’s lemons.