I’ve been in a funk lately. The kind of funk where I lay in bed at night unable to sleep because I’m too busy thinking about everything I should’ve, would’ve, could’ve done that day.

When morning comes I end up not doing anything to get me closer to those should’ve, would’ve, could’ves (is that even a word? No, oh well) and the vicious cycle continues.

So the past couple of days I’ve done some soul searching (JK. It wasn’t as serious as that but you get what I mean) and I’ve realized that time is passing by rather quickly and I’m at that stage where it’s time to figure out what exactly I want to do, and who exactly I want to be.

Hold up. Spoiler alert – turns out you’ll probably never fully figure that one out.

Anyway. Motivation has been at an all time low and all it takes are a few quick swipes through Instagram, a couple of YouTube blogs, and one article on Forbes to feel like I’m the most unsuccessful 22-year-old alive.

How in the world are you 18, traveling the world in your private jet and somehow manage to have the planet’s fittest body? Are you even human? What am I doing wrong?

 *Hyperventilate* Cry* *Google search: rich by 20*

Alright, that may be a slight exaggeration, but I know you’ve felt this way too! It’s like the most successful people these days seemed to have stumbled upon their niche at such a young age.

  • Mark Zuckerberg: 20. Sophomore in college when he invented Facebook.
  • Tracy Chou: 26. One of the most sought-after software engineers in the world.
  • Katy Hearn: 23. Ridiculously famous in the fitness/social media world (for being hot, but still, props to you Katy.)

You get the picture – people in all different avenues of life are becoming ridiculously rich and successful at ages most people are still trying to figure out how to properly separate their laundry (thanks mom for the tips!) So it’s understandable that a lot college and post-college aged adults are freaking out about what their futures will look like.

Unfortunately this isn’t a guide on how to replicate Zuckerberg’s success and find yourself swimming in billions. If that type of guide existed you wouldn’t be reading this, you’d be at Barnes and Noble buying every single copy. What I can do is provide you with a list of tips that helped me get out of my funk and start feeling not only motivated, but also productive.

Step One: Figure out what it is you’re spending your precious free time on. If you’re like the majority of people this probably includes: Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, partying, etc. Think about it, how can you honestly be upset about feeling un-motivated and un-successful if you’re spending your time on things that merely entertain you for a moment, instead of propel you toward your goals?

Step Two: Spend a lot less time doing those things. As in, stop doing those things. Yes, you can still enjoy a mindless scroll through your feed while lying in bed once in awhile, but highly successful people simply don’t have time to waste living vicariously through other people’s lives.

Step Three: Write out your personal brand. What skills do you have to offer? What sets you apart? What do you want to work on and perfect in the future? What are your goals? This is the golden question: who are you, what are you good at, and how do you want to market yourself?

Step Four: Find motivation. Read about people who came before you and found success in whatever avenue you want to go down. Subscribe to magazines, blogs, and podcasts. Don’t start from a blank slate. Learn from the mistakes made before you.

Step Five: Make moves. This step looks different for everyone depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Basically, start inching closer to your end goal. Network. Apply. Intern.

Step Six: Write everything down. Names. Contact info. Future business ideas. Places you want to live. Tips. Motivational quotations. Write it all down – mistakes you’ve made, roadblocks you’ve overcome, milestones, etc. Having a concrete log of everything important to your mission makes it easier to look back and appreciate how far you’ve come.

Step Seven: Breathe and realize that you’re not actually “behind.” The sheer fact that you’re even setting goals and focusing on bettering yourself means you’re much further ahead than the majority.

I think a lot of people have forgotten the value of hard work, drive, and perseverance. We’ve lost sight of sacrifice and suffering in order to reach an ultimate end goal.

We are given endless opportunities every day. Our minds are capable of processing massive amounts of information. New inventions and creative business ideas are just waiting to be found. So what are you waiting for? Get off your butt and start making moves.

And remember, you’re your biggest critic and your most avid supporter. Your thoughts are powerful: make sure they’re positive. Believe in yourself and in your mission, because if you don’t, why should anyone else?

So, what’s your next move?

Positive Vibes,

Kaili

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