Take a Break

Election season is here and it seems to be a competition on who can say the most outlandish things to garner attention. I see the outrage machine in the media on both sides calling out bad behavior for their readers to get angry about. There seems to be controversy around every corner, people keep getting angrier and angrier. With more than a year until the presidential election, thing are already ugly and likely to get worse.

It’s tempting to get caught up in all the political drama, but if you just take a step back you’ll see it for what it really is. All the tension and hatred is being drummed up by people to sell stories, get followers on social media, or to get attention for their books or other aspirations. The sky isn’t falling, the world isn’t coming to an end. Americans are still living their lives as they always have.

I noticed the other day that I’m always reading articles, or watching videos on YouTube. My brain has been occupied with other people’s thoughts and opinions. Lately I’ve been making an effort to put the phone down and engage more with my family. To pursue my goals and passions more. Spending too much time engaged in other people’s thoughts and opinions, or just mindlessly scanning the internet for something entertaining just turns you into a mindless drone. Always looking for something interesting but not finding it while ignoring your own passions and the people you love in your life.

So my very simple advice is to take a break. Take a step back from the election and political drama. Put your phone down or step away from the computer. Engage with your family and friends, pursue your passion, travel, do something! You’ll be much happier for it.

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

Where do you see yourself in five years? In interviews, this is probably the question I hate the most. I know they’re probably looking for something where you display your ambition and interest in working for the company. But in general I struggle with questions like these because I want to speak honestly and questions like these force you to think of ridiculous and often unrealistic answers. Another I heard recently was, “What do you want your legacy to be in this company?” Um, to work and get paid? I don’t know, to me the people that answer these types of questions well are full of crap. Do you want someone working for you that can speak honestly or do you want the person that can smile and tell you what you want to hear?

But that’s interviews in general, with some rare exceptions. My best interviews were with companies that asked me straightforward questions where I could answer honestly. The worst interviews were these open ended, generalized questions that I doubt most people answer honestly.

What made me think of this was, surprise, an anime. I was watching Hunter X Hunter (for the second time) and towards the end they say the best things in life come in the pursuit of your goals and not from reaching your goal. I’ve often found this to be the case in my life. Various career goals I’ve had fell apart completely, but other opportunities that I didn’t expect came along and were usually far better than my original goal.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be writing novels, yet here I am with two published books. I also never imagined moving to the east coast, yet here I am. Life has a funny way of mercilessly shoving you out of a path you were on and pointing you in a new direction. For me, it took years of struggling before I was finally inspired to write. For anyone that’s really struggling right now, just know that you’re probably being pushed into a different direction in your life. Whether that’s a relationship, career, or a big move, I bet you’re meant to be doing something else.

So to answer that interview question. I have no idea where I’ll be in five years. Life is too unpredictable, about the only thing I do know is that there will be great events that I won’t see coming.