World Mental Health Day 2016

Bonus post today! Today is WMHD and the theme this year is psychological first aid and support that people can provide to those in distress. I of course, am no expert on psychological first aid so I’m not even going to attempt to advise on that.

If you do know someone who requires help, you can find information or someone to talk to at these places.

For me, I’m going to talk about that feeling you get when you feel like you aren’t doing enough. I’ve spoken to a few people about it over the last few weeks and it’s been playing on my mind.

A lot of the most ambitious people I know are doing a whole shit load of things. Setting up businesses, creating amazing things for people, looking after their families and friends and challenging stereotypes and making the world a better place.

Lots of people however, not just my friends, feel like they’re not achieving enough. They don’t fit into the normal boxes that society has created for us. They might not be getting the “stable” job or going a traditional route through education. What they are doing though, is carving a new path for themselves.

One thing that a lot of people from generations past just don’t understand is that it’s a lot harder for people these days to find one job, one career and stick to it. The days of long term contracts is gone and we have to live life a little bit different. This is exemplified in the place that I work. It’s a great job but due to funding, our contracts don’t go for more than a year. Our roles no longer consist of one singular task. We have to be photographers and videographers, youth workers, video editors, social media experts, tech gurus, social action moguls, event planners, workshop deliverers and more. It makes for a much less secure role, but it allows us to learn and develop skills that will surely help us to find other employment and/or start our own projects or businesses. You can’t just do one thing anymore so don’t have a go at us for splitting our attention. It was previous generations that have led us to this point in society where we’re forced to chase dreams differently.

There’s a lot of pressure put on young people to find a job that we’ll have forever and to have kids and a nice house in the suburbs. Lots of people these days are unlikely to ever own a house. Lots of people don’t want kids. Lots of people don’t want to do a 9-5. If any of those are you, then that’s fine. You don’t have to do what society tells you to do. You can be the creator of a whole new way of working and living. We’re the future of this planet and so we need to implement the changes we want.

It’s really easy to compare ourselves to each other, to successful people you know and admire and feel like you’re not doing enough. You are, though. Everyone has a different path to get to where they’re happy and healthy and successful and some are straight and simple, while others are meandering and complex. Either is fine. If anyone tells you otherwise, smile, nod and then go achieve what you want to achieve and show them how wrong they are.

Don’t beat yourselves up. You’re doing fine. I still don’t know if the career I’m in is what I want to do forever. I don’t think I’ll ever know. You don’t have to either. I just make sure that I’m doing something. Make sure you’re doing SOMETHING and you’ll be learning and growing.

To finish, I’ll leave you with a video. It’s a TED talk about having more than one passion. It’s one of my favourite talks and I watch it regularly to remind myself that being passionate about everything is a good thing. 🙂


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