Just a general question to everyone out there, I seem to be stuck in a bit of pickle myself...
How is it that one can be the best man he can be and follow maybe not so "contemporary" footsteps? As a college kid I find myself striving to do things that almost all of my other college buddies do not find necessary. I want to be able to live a "normal" live and be cool with my buddies, but I feel as though I am never able to follow through with the internal and external things I set out to do because nobody else is doing them. It's almost similar to Brett's article on willpower; by the end of the day, I feel almost wiped out and have no motivation to do anything more, no matter how important it is.
A lot of people poke fun for me acting older than I am, which I could care less about. But how do I continue to go about striving for excellence when it seems as nobody else around me is striving for the same things? Is this just a time for me to grow a pair and deal with it or am I missing something else here?
realness is dead.and its getting to me to brother, everything is so clouded as to what is "cool" but what some dont know is if everyone is "cool" then they'll be at the bottom of the cliff together. you ever hear the term sheeple? not to sound like a nut case..so saying that, do your own thing. ignore the unnecessary, you might even loose friends in the process, but know that individuality goes a long way nowdays
What type of things are you trying to do that your buddies aren't?
I guess you can say it's just more of dressing well and giving myself a better appearance. I mean, my buddies dress like regular 19/20 year olds and everyone always says I dress like I'm about 40. I just try holding myself to a bit more of a "professional" standard (if that's the right word to use here?) But that's what I'm conflicted about; I do this, but I want to be able to do 20 year old stuff too. I feel as though if I try to hold myself to this level too much, I will have much regret when I get older.
There is nothing that says you can not look well and do 20 year old stuff.
The only level you should be holding yourself to is looking good. You do not need to look 40, just good.
I really do not see bowing to the common cult of casual as a gain.
Have you set goals for yourself? That's where I would start. Figure out what you want to accomplish for the summer and the next school year. When you do your goals make sure you have a reason for each of them. Right now you sound conflicted, you want excellence but you want a "normal" life with your friends. Normal is not excellence.
That's not to say you can't have some of each though. You can go to parties on the weekends or play videogames, or whatever you and your friends do. In fact I would make that one of your goals, to spend a certain number of nights during the week just hanging out with your friends doing whatever. Work hard, play hard.
Get around people doing the things you want to do, or are the type of people you want to be. If you want to be in shape find someone to work out with, or play a sport. They will help hold you accountable and you'll actually show up to work out. If you want to be more religious, join something at church. Find a group of people who read personal improvement type books or start one. That sort of thing.
Good enough is not good enough. Always seek to improve yourself.
It's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we all absolutely should be striving for excellence at all times. But on the other hand, when nobody in the company has had a pay raise in 5 years, regardless of performance, what the hell is the point of trying harder?
Do yourself a favor and figure out where the potential gains are. If you stand to gain by giving your utmost, do so. If it will gain you nothing more than what the turd who merely does what is required can gain, don't bother. You'll just catch all the s**t details while those who can kiss ass the best are treated like God's gift to the facility.
Excellence is irrelevant if management is not objective.
Be better and be noticed by those who appreciate superiority, be better and go ignored due to workplace politics, or be better at eliminating anyone and anything that stands in your way.
You should always do your best even if you aren't rewarded directly for it. If your company is bad and doesn't reward it maybe you should find a different job. It's hard to turn performance off and on. If you've screwed around at work all day because you think no one cares it's hard to come home and be excellent.
You don't want to fall into bad habits either or they'll follow you to your next job. I had a problem with that. My old job was painfully slow so I screwed around on the computer for a good part of my day. When I got the chance to switch departments and actually had some work to do it was hard to break out of the habit of checking facebook and the various blogs I checked all the time. It'd hard to break habits.
Here's one answer.
"...strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses
"Because it's there."
- George Mallory
"Grow a pair and deal with it" is pretty good advice in most any situation.
On the burn out. I think you need to think long term and set out your goals as such.
Take little steps daily that will sum over time. It can be as simple as a dollar a day saved or taking the 15 minutes to relax and shave. Note those events as accomplishments toward the end goals.
I don't think you are missing anything, in regard to your buddies. Your world view is simply different then others. I struggled with being more mature then my peers for a long time. I also struggled with excepting that what I find joy in does not mesh completely with my peers. There is a certain irony in feeling like you should feel guilty for what brings you joy. I enjoy dressing, eating, reading and speaking well. I enjoy science and rather expensive drink. I am in a college town where casual and sports are the commonly accepted thing.
Here is the thing, your peers are NOT your friends. You will have a few friends, ones that are like family that matter, the rest are people who are doing their own thing.
Don't worry about being cool with your buddies, if they are really your friends they will accept who you are. If they are just acquaintances that you hang out with, know that and don't worry about it.
I'm right there with you. Granted, I totally get where they are coming from, but the fact that I golf almost once a week get's constant remarks from some of my friends saying how I'm an "old man". Group that with the fact that I don't often go out to parties as much as they do, and they really cement the "old man" thing in hard. It's all in good fun, and I know they aren't being serious, but damn, it sure does get old and tiring after awhile.
It's weird being in college, because everyone (friends, faculty, staff, parents, etc) is telling you to grow up, mature, and be a man, and at the same time, almost all of your friends are still calling you every friday to ask if you want to get "blackout" with them. I like remembering what I do on the weekends, and catch slack for it. I simply take pride in the fact that 5 years from now, I'll be the one telling them what they did while not hating myself while they're sitting across the table from me, face covered with their heads, saying, "God I was an idiot."