I’ve been getting a lot of messages from other 20-somethings about their struggle to find meaning in their life.

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This is what I tell them.

As a 20-something we are still at the very early stage of our careers. We’ve recently graduated from college with ambitions and clear targets, yet it seems a significant portion of those recent graduates quickly struggle to find happiness and fulfillment in their current professions. It’s also only been a few years since we’ve studied abroad, made lifelong friendships with other 20-somethings from all over the world and traveled to places we never thought we would reach at such a young age.

A few of the messages I’ve received from friends include the following:

“I think I’m just having a hard time. Trying to figure out what makes me happy, trying to take more time for myself, trying to think about where I’m going and what I need to do to get me there.”

“I’m dying to do something dramatic and exciting.”

“I go to work every day and can’t stop this empty feeling I have in my stomach. I know something’s missing, I just don’t know what.”

A lot of us are still financially fragile and although the prospect of leaving everything behind and discovering new places, cultures and people seems very exciting, hanging on to our bi-weekly or monthly paycheck appears to be the safest and most logical option for the time being.

If this sounds like you, the following question might help you start off on the right foot:

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

1 — Start small, think big

Instead, look for things you truly value outside of work and feel passionate about, then start exploring those options. I know, it’s tough… So don’t spend too much time actively seeking them out — if you do and have a hard time figuring out what it is you’re passionate about, you’ll end up stressing over it and will find yourself in a worse state of mind.

Let them come to you. The following questions can help you get started:

Do you enjoy reading?

When I was still in New York I would often read during my daily commutes to and from work, while waiting in line at Trader Joe’s, at the park or in the kitchen while cooking.

Have you studied abroad?

Who have you met while studying abroad? How did you meet? What recommendations do you have about the cities you’ve visited? What did you learn about yourself while spending that much time away from home? How has this affected your personal and/or professional life?

You haven’t studied abroad? That’s cool

Everyone has at least one great story to tell. It’s time you share it with the world. Medium is user-friendly and a good place to start.

Do you enjoy meeting people?

It’s okay if you’re not good at networking. I’d bet 90% of those who attend networking events aren’t good at networking. You don’t just become good at it in one take. Give it time, but keep attending. You’ll soon feel the benefits.

2 — Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual and make breakfast

Waking up 30 minutes early isn’t going to kill you. Unless you’re working at a Management Consulting firm or as a Corporate Lawyer where you need to put up with 18-hour work days, chances are you do have time to cook. You just don’t want to admit it.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube channel is a really good place to start. He has a bunch of simple and delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that are easy to make and his videos are really well put together. His latest book “Everyday Superfood” is also a great read.

3 — Start daily, personal to-do lists to keep track of your achievements

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Keeping track of what you’re up to outside of work will make you feel more productive and give you a sense of fulfillment. It also holds you accountable for what you write on that piece of paper (If I write a task down, I can’t strike it otherwise I’ll feel guilty and lazy about it and I end up completing it).

(Disclaimer: boxes that aren’t checked on these two pages were eventually checked on the next page… I may have purposely delayed a few…).

4 — Talk about it

5 — Reconnect with old friends, make new ones and learn more about what they’re up to

Launching Creative Humans has allowed me to reconnect with friends I haven’t talked to in years and sourced even more inspiration than I could have hoped for. As it turns out, I share similar interests with many of those I hadn’t spoken with in several years and are now actively contributing to my blog.

Get off your phone, close your laptop and wander around. Strike up conversations with complete strangers. Attend networking events. Click yes to Facebook invites.

6 — Embrace everything you’re learning at work, from writing emails to sending calendar invites and preparing conference rooms before a client meeting

7 — Start branding yourself

To get started, ask yourself the following question:

If someone were to ask my closest friends to describe me in 3 words, what would they be?

For instance, my being French has become a brand of its own without my trying to make it one. The story of how I started teaching myself American English at age 10 and quickly became a native speaker by the time I entered High School has gradually defined who I am both as a person and a brand. My statement became “The least French person you have met and will ever meet. Guaranteed”. My social accounts are all under “frenchornot”. I am French, but not really.

If you’re having a hard time answering the above question on your own, start asking around. Your friends’ answers might provide you with just the right amount of motivation you need to gain full control of your life and find the confidence to reach your goals.

8— Read Benjamin Hardy’s piece on Medium

The first thing I do when I wake up is make my bed

I take cold showers

I make a bucket list

I fast from the internet 24 hours once a week

I hope you find this list useful and inspiring! If you feel stuck in life or have recently made radical changes and are now feeling much happier than you were before, please reach out. I’d be honored to share your story on Creative Humans.

Constantly experimenting with life.

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