Last night I met with my classmates of 20 years ago! We ate, we talked, we sing, we played and we drank until 2AM! I had fun and it is always nice to meet with old friends, but it left me worried.
Their life facts seem good. They are all my age, 30.
Mr. W is married to his childhood girlfriend. They have a beautiful 10 months daughter. He has a good job and a handful of close friends to be with.
Mr. Z is married to his second wife just a month ago. His first marriage last less than 6 months. He lost his father when he was 20 yrs old. He just finished a master in accounting in one of the best university in Shanghai. He also has a good job.
Ms. L broke up with her bf 2 months ago and is already engaged and plans to get married in september. She has a good job and travels once or twice a year.
I would say they belong to the middle class of the society. They have all the reasons to be happy and satisfied with their life. However,from our conversation I felt dissatisfaction about their current life mode.
Mr. W struggles between his family and his own life passions. He’d love to travel more and spend time with his friends, but he has a family to attend and they don’t support them to do that. He struggles.
Mr. Z and Ms. L are afraid of China’s future, they see the covered political nervousness and would like to buy an insurance by leaving China, specially for their children. But that involves losing everything they have now and start over again in a new country. They feel too old for that.
It made me think the cruel truth of the current young generation. I may say these 3 friends are good sample of the people born in the 80s. In China, they say they’re the lost generation. They seem to be the beneficiary of the China’s growth of the last 20 years. But the truth is they’re also the generation that has to face a harder life than their parents, not in term of goods because no one suffer hunger anymore, but mentally. Mental stress has increased exponentially. And why? To me, it’s because of the increasing income inequality in China. And this income inequality is mainly due to opportunity inequality. They have to fight hard to get a position in the society, however, the effort can never take them to the same level of some winner-picked kids. Therefore, they feel they’ve been treated unfairly, they lose hope. When someone loses hope, there’s nothing left.
I am lucky to not live in China. I’m lucky to be away from these stresses. My life is not perfect if I dig deep because I think all of us wish to have something that we don’t have and we can always find things that we’d love to improve, but overall I love my life mode. There are many reasons for that but the most important things is: Do what I love and love what I do. We all struggle, we all face trade offs and have to make tough choices. My motto is: do the analysis (am I satisfied with my life?), consider all the facts (what is missing? why are they missing? how can I add them?), rational and emotional ones and my own limits (can I really do it even though it sounds doable to others?). Take time to do so and make the tough choice. Once the choice is made, stick to it and never look back, no more “what ifs”. If I ever wonder “what if”, which is rare, I do the analysis again and would reach the same conclusion, so the “what if” reasoning is dismissed easily.
This is the way I keep my life mode healthy. It might not work for everyone nor forever because I might face tougher choices, but I’ll figure it out when I get that. 🙂 For now it has given me a peace mind and happiness. 🙂
Q: Do you like your current life mode? If you do, what’s your secret?