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Feeling bad for people not using their potential

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Topics relating to managing people and relationships


New Contributor
Nov 9, 2018
Hello there,

I have been dealing with a mindset problems for quite some while now and would love to get your thoughts on the topic. I am 25 y/o and quite "successful" in most parts of my life. My finances are pretty good, I hit the gym 5 times a week and in general I´m quite mindful about what I do with my time.

So here´s the catch: Few years ago I move from my small town in northern Germany to Copenhagen and later to Berlin to study economics. Right now I am trying to visit family and old friends as often as possible but I somehow have problems accepting their lifestyle choices even though I obviously love those guys the way they are. I´m not talking about the monetary aspect but I kinda feel bad when friends are playing video games for 4-5 hours every day , neglecting their degree, eating junk food all day and have no Idea what to with their life in general.

Same feeling when I turn on the TV. Literally 90% of German tv programme is absolute bullshit. I love watching good movies but watching reality shows, soaps etc. for hours every day? Well there have to be millions of people to do so, otherwise it would not get aired.

OK, enough of the rant haha. I know everybody should do what he thinks is right and is fulfilling for himself but I´m still bothered by people not even using 50% of their potential. Anybody some insights how to just care less and move on?

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Silver Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Dec 3, 2015
Belo Horizonte, Brasil
I identify a little bit with this, my advice is focus on your own progress rather than worrying about other people´s lifestyle choices. Every person/community has a story and a why behind their actions, and probably you were not smart and focused your entire life so you also went through that.

Just relax and enjoy the journey! :)


Bronze Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Oct 22, 2018
London, UK
Hi, welcome! Interesting first post.

I have a similar story to this. One of my good friends from school was one of the smartest people I know. I don't mean academically, I mean if he wanted to do something he would be able to find a way to do it and do it successfully, no matter what it was. I don't know what it was about him but he just had this knack of excelling at whatever he put his mind to. Unfortunately he ended up putting his mind to was crime and by all accounts has been doing very well for himself! But I worry about where his life will be when he's 40, where he will be when he's 40. If he had used his potential on the right things I have no doubt he would be a millionaire by now.

The way I look at it is that it isn't my responsibility to hold people's hand through life and guide them in the 'right' direction. Nobody done that for me and I bet nobody done it for you either. People have mentors who help but at the end of the day it is up to them to make the decision on where they will take their life. Don't worry about it, focus on yourself, don't lose sight of your destination by looking in the rear view mirror at which direction others are taking.


Bronze Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Sep 29, 2018
I had a friend who is a genius , I asked him on the bus :
“ what are you going to do after uni ?”
He looked at me confused and said
“Idk work for 50 years then retire”

If you feel bad for them you simply have to work hard so that they can believe that escape is possible.
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