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How do you deal mentally with "lost years"?

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Classmate

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Hello beautiful people of this forum,

I will be very direct. I am founding myself comparing with other people sometimes - sometimes I don't even know if they are "ahead" of me, even for "my standards" of what ahead means. I just wonder if they are better, or will be better. Basically this has been happening more and more since I have been thinking on the fact that my last 1-2 years were basically a loss of a valuable resource called oxygen (in terms of personal development).

I know that all of these thoughts are wrong and I'm trying to change them. Certainly, you've already had shitty times of your life. How do you see them in terms of "time lost"? Maybe if I hear other people saying to me that is wrong, and what they did to stop thinking about them, I will think less about this.
 

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sparechange

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You cant do anything about it, and soon you will be dead anyways within the next few decades or less

Also, comparison is a great thing, sure the other person might have a Lamborghini and a big house.. But guess what? Somewhere on the otherside of the world someones house is getting blown up by a military team whilst struggling to get clean water and having death around them constantly.. So in that case, our lives are much better than those people. Be happy and grateful you are not born somewhere in a third world country.
 

Bigguns50

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Hello beautiful people of this forum,

I will be very direct. I am founding myself comparing with other people sometimes - sometimes I don't even know if they are "ahead" of me, even for "my standards" of what ahead means. I just wonder if they are better, or will be better. Basically this has been happening more and more since I have been thinking on the fact that my last 1-2 years were basically a loss of a valuable resource called oxygen (in terms of personal development).

I know that all of these thoughts are wrong and I'm trying to change them. Certainly, you've already had shitty times of your life. How do you see them in terms of "time lost"? Maybe if I hear other people saying to me that is wrong, and what they did to stop thinking about them, I will think less about this.
Your thoughts are not "wrong" or "right", they just "are".
What can you do right now to change the past ? Do you have a way to go back in time and change something ? Anything ? No, of course not. Think about this. Take what you've learned, and you did learn, and use it. You have "now". You don't even have the future...not really. So put what you've learned to use now. Think about What and Why you want. Then Do.
 

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Your past defines who you currently are. It is what has brought you to this point in the present. Don't dwell on the past with regret, instead thank it for the lessons learnt and look to the future with hope. With desire for achievement. You now have the wisdom and maturity that you have gained over those 'lost' years and so the knowledge that you would be foolish to waste any more.

You have found an incredible resource here. You don't seem old so you have discovered it at the perfect time in your life to make the most of the opportunity.

So study, decide what you really want from your life. Set your sights on a destination. Chart a course to get you there then set your sail and don't look back.

What's gone is gone. We only really have the present and a hope for the future.

33383
 
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futures97

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You cant do anything about it, and soon you will be dead anyways within the next few decades or less

Also, comparison is a great thing, sure the other person might have a Lamborghini and a big house.. But guess what? Somewhere on the otherside of the world someones house is getting blown up by a military team whilst struggling to get clean water and having death around them constantly.. So in that case, our lives are much better than those people. Be happy and grateful you are not born somewhere in a third world country.
That's so true.

We don't realize that we've already been born with a silver spoon in our mouth by living in North America.

But then again, when you've never faced poverty or had to face life and death situations on a constant basis, it's hard to be grateful for what you have.
 

mon_fi

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Hey buddy,

I'm in the exact same situation. I lost three years studying a useless degree at university and all of my friends and siblings are, by societal standards, much more "successful" than i am. Add to that an impostor syndrome where i don't think i deserve what i have and that is a perfect recipe for shooting yourself in the foot.

I have found that struggling and getting out of my comfort zone could to a certain extent decrease this feeling. The harder something is to do, the less i compare myself because the fact that i achieved something difficult reinforces my sense of confidence and self-worth. So in a way, comparing myself to others show me where i could be, and the impostor syndrome stresses me to work so i can feel i deserve what i have. That is really the only thing i can tell you: take the most difficult path and work, struggle, hustle, until your self-satisfaction does no longer require any comparison.

Best of luck,

M.
 

Odysseus M Jones

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Damn! I was going to do Kung Fu Panda.
Now I've gotta run with Fred Savage & The Wonder Years.

All I'll say is, I know how to pick winners & I picked you for my portfolio of acorns. For your age you're streets ahead of the other youngsters, Daftywho? The Prohissy?

Eat your Wonderbread, get out there & kick some butt.
 

pumpking

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Great replies here. My only input is that the past can control you... if you choose to let it.

An old Zen story:
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his 
journey.

The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”
By the way, I'm not immune to the same thoughts and feelings you have. I'm 40, I could have started this journey when I was 30 (before that, honestly I was proabably too immature). But, at the same time I'm thankful to be 40. I'm not dead yet.
 

blestd

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Hi @Classmate, just chiming in here. You can also look for a way as to how your past can help with your present. For example, having many "lost years" means that you have accumulated a lot of experience as well. Leverage that experience to power your present.
 

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OP
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Classmate

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Thanks a lot for all the answers/advice/love, etc.

I found some really good perspective here. Now it's time to do my very best to apply what I think will best suit for me, according to my personality. Let's do it, then!

Thank you all one more time.
 

advantagecp

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Never compare yourself to others. You will always lose. There is always someone who is richer, taller, better looking, stronger. The only comparison that you need to make is to compare yourself today to yesterday's self. Are you stronger today? Are you more efficient today? Did you improve today?

For someone who wants to fully get into this mindset I recommend that you start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Most will never understand this, but the guys here who train will understand. BJJ will give you a combination of ability and humility that you can't fathom from the outside. Everyone should train BJJ.


View: https://youtu.be/rX23PKDGcXk
 

Ing

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Comparing to others nearly allways brings the result, that everybody has to wear his package. Even if you only see the Lambo or the big house.

I tend to compare, too. But I shouldn t do so much. Don t compare as a lifestyle; only to learn!

And help people!
 

maverick

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You will be back in a year to read this post again. What will have you have done then?
 

Jiersk

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Hey man,

I understand how you feel.

Sometimes I get the exact same sensation: "Did I throw away four of my best years working on a degree I may not even use? Why didn't I take some of the opportunities that life presented me with?". Hindsight is such a powerful tool, but also such a big burden at times.

But we should ask ourselves: Why do we feel bad about these 'wasted years'?

I would argue that we feel bad about them because we believe that they did not contribute to our strive towards our goals, whatever these goals may be. Money, freedom, finding a partner or growing a chicken farm.

However, mourning lost years does not move us towards our goals either. It brings us to a standstill where we only look back. And, the longer we stand still contemplating lost time, the less time remains.

Instead of stopping in our tracks to feel sad about the past, we should learn and let the past's lessons be part of the tools that drive us forward.

You have certainly learned important lessons in these 'wasted/lost years', even if it is just the lesson of what future you wish to avoid. And I believe that knowing what to avoid is a very powerful guiding tool.

So,

Learn and look ahead.

Edited for spelling
 

Bobby_italy

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You have too much free time if you can think about such useless stuff in my opinion.
Maybe think about ways that will make you progress faster instead.
 

AceVentures

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Relax. Breathe. Look within.

Consider that life maybe isn't a journey. A journey assumes some destination. Always seeking. Searching. Wanting to reach something.

I choose to think that life is not about going somewhere, not a journey, not some race, some ultimate heaven at the end of some struggle. Life is a dance. And it's happening right now.

Don't think of lost time. Don't think of some journey ahead. Don't wait for anything. Every day you wake up, you're given LIFE. Despite the odds, you get to experience this magical thing called consciousness. And every moment you're alive, you get to choose.

Choose how you think. Choose how you feel. Choose how you move. And you get to manifest. Unlike anything else we know and understand about the universe. Me and you, matter and energy, somehow manifest in this shape. And we are conscious.

For me... that thought alone is enough. On your death bed, your great grandson looks at you and asks: "What do you think life is all about?" What advice do you bestow upon him? Me, I would like to tell him something along the lines of:

"Life is just a dance. Don't dwell on things you can't control. Relax what you expect of the universe. There is no right or wrong way. Nobody knows what they're doing either. Do not rest in a state of fear, instead marvel at the beauty that is life. Just dance..."
 

WillHurtDontCare

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Here's Nietzsche's take on Golden Laughter - the Olympian Vice.

"An inability to take seriously for any length of time their enemies, their disasters, their misdeeds—that is the sign of the full strong natures who possess a superfluity of moulding plastic force, that heals completely and produces forgetfulness."

People who mope about the past just want to mope and use it as an excuse. Stop think about what you failed to do and focus only on getting what you want.
 

Seniorpreneur

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Hello beautiful people of this forum,

I will be very direct. I am founding myself comparing with other people sometimes - sometimes I don't even know if they are "ahead" of me, even for "my standards" of what ahead means. I just wonder if they are better, or will be better. Basically this has been happening more and more since I have been thinking on the fact that my last 1-2 years were basically a loss of a valuable resource called oxygen (in terms of personal development).

I know that all of these thoughts are wrong and I'm trying to change them. Certainly, you've already had shitty times of your life. How do you see them in terms of "time lost"? Maybe if I hear other people saying to me that is wrong, and what they did to stop thinking about them, I will think less about this.
Unfortunately, you will probably have "time lost" in the future too assuming you live to a ripe old age. These new events or non-events will probably make you forget about the "time lost" in the past. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? A lot of people think that they have countless years to live. Don't fool yourself. An example is this unpredictable COVID-19 pandemic where many people died before their time on this earth. Count "time lost" as a miserable failure then go on to the next success or failure until you achieve your goals. I am based in Canada (failed many times) and finally I'm blessed to work on the Seniorpreneur Project at the age of 75. Cheers! Joe
 

Harry61

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Hi,

Hello beautiful people of this forum,

I will be very direct. I am founding myself comparing with other people sometimes - sometimes I don't even know if they are "ahead" of me, even for "my standards" of what ahead means. I just wonder if they are better, or will be better. Basically this has been happening more and more since I have been thinking on the fact that my last 1-2 years were basically a loss of a valuable resource called oxygen (in terms of personal development).

I know that all of these thoughts are wrong and I'm trying to change them. Certainly, you've already had shitty times of your life. How do you see them in terms of "time lost"? Maybe if I hear other people saying to me that is wrong, and what they did to stop thinking about them, I will think less about this.
I don't know what's your background (in terms of past experience), but one thing i can add to all of great voices above is that maybe comparing with others is coming from having bad patterns from your family, or complicated relationships with other people and it's remains inflicts your present being (you don't think you're good enough and search for confirmation in others). So, consider seeing a therapist (although taking pills seems to be bad idea, friend of mine is on
pharmacotherapy and despite he doesn't care anymore, he treats people as garbage like he used to). I have always thought that it will never apply to me, but attended to see one before COVID (my wife drag me to meet one) and found it very helpful.
Over past 3 moths I also discovered different factors, that have the biggest influence at state of mood. In my case these are:
- dropping all alcohol and it's similarities - i mean totally, including wine or even 0% fake-lager. One evening on past month I took a few drinks. For a while, i felt liberated, but next day was like someone cut off part of my brain. I lost 2-3 week of mental progress, needed 5 days to restore balance and another week to deal with my demons again;
- many topics on this forum are about physical exercising, but if you have great anger or sorrow inside you, it is really possible to turn it into your strength - Freeletics is fantastic to start (hard, but satisfying). Now i'm preparing for marathon in August (after 5 years of doing nothing). I know it may sound "couchy", but take a challenge which is bigger than you are right now.
- fix sleeping routine - open your window for the night (if surroundings won't disturb you too much + i am taking L-Tryptofan, 1000 mg before bed);
- meet other people and focus on them;
- if acceptable, start working with energy. There are so many approaches, but easiest to practice are Tantric techniques (i don't mean Western, "sexual tantra") or Huna (these are strong and easy to feel), but also being grateful for your life (not to God, but to the world in general) is good way to start.
 

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wouldntitbenice

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Just 1 or 2 lost years? I wish that was the extent of mine. I guess I'm just trying to say it's all perspective.

I lost almost a decade to health problems, but that loss was mostly entrepreneurial, because I saved up money, I met some great people, like my spouse, I had countless laughs, I saw some crazy stuff (the Great Recession, presidential elections, a Pandemic), and I got a lot of wisdom. I bet your lost years weren't a complete loss either.
 

amp0193

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Action cures all pity parties.

Get to work on your business, find some traction, you won’t have time to think about the past.
 

Ocean Man

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You cant do anything about it, and soon you will be dead anyways within the next few decades or less

Also, comparison is a great thing, sure the other person might have a Lamborghini and a big house.. But guess what? Somewhere on the otherside of the world someones house is getting blown up by a military team whilst struggling to get clean water and having death around them constantly.. So in that case, our lives are much better than those people. Be happy and grateful you are not born somewhere in a third world country.
This. I wanted to expand a little bit from my experience because I feel strongly about how much people in America (specifically Americans) don’t know how good they have it. To have clean, running water... a roof over their head, to complain about their first car... things like these are luxurious. I’ve been to several third world countries and even there, they’re so, so, so grateful for the things they have. Even though it may not be much.

Coming back from those trips, I would think wow... how lucky am I to be born into America and to have the problems that I have. My problems are meaningless compared to what others go through.

A little rant since your comment struck a cord with me.

Now to answer the op. You know you lost time, now do what @amp0193 said at the summit... be intentional with whatever you’re doing. You can’t go back in time and the more you think about how much time you’ve wasted before... you’ll realize how much time you lost just thinking about the time you lost.

Start being intentional with whatever you plan on doing and take steps forward.
 

KeepGoin

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Neo didn't sit around lambasting that he'd been stuck in a matrix forever. He immediately accepted it and got to work. Training, falling, failing until eventually, he found success in his fighting skill. There are plenty of people like that imo with huge potentials.. the NEOs of their domain, if they went for it.

But it's hard to break free.
 

Kevin88660

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For most decent people lost years are inevitable part of learning- working on a hated job for too long, getting study debt for a master degree that has no practical use, getting emotionally invested in someone not worthy of your time, Following passion in business, knowing what to do and have poor execution/procrastination until they feel a moment of crisis...
 

Thinh

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I was about to ask "How old are you?" but it's actually irrelevant.

1. You're not getting those years back anyway. So if you keep looking back at those years, you're just going to lose some more.
2. I don't know you, don't know what you did during these years, but no matter what, they aren't lost years. They're just years. And from what you wrote, I can sense that they were necessary. Those were years you needed to be able to realize what you want your life to be like.

I'm 34 at the time of writing this post, and will turn 35 next month.
I actually "wasted" a ton of time pursuing dead-end ventures, or quit actually good situations in pursuit of "success", for whatever that means. I only started playing entrepreneur—yes just playing—at 24, and still haven't achieved jack shit right now. So that's 10 years. I've only barely started acting like a real entrepreneur in 2018, at 32 (around the same time I discovered The Millionaire Fastlane).

Sometimes, I have this nagging thought, in the lines of "Damn, I wasted 8 years playing wantrepreneur, I lost so much time."
But it doesn't last long because I realize that was exactly what I needed.
Everything I did, launching failed startups, taking random people as cofounders, spending $$$ in useless marketing, reading tons of self-help yet unhelpful books or articles or podcasts or YouTube videos... I needed this to be where I am right now.

And it's the same for you. You couldn't be in any other place, any other situation right now, simply because you are you.

I could go on like this for hours, going into philosophical zen buddhist shit, but I believe you get the point.
 

Kevin88660

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I was about to ask "How old are you?" but it's actually irrelevant.

1. You're not getting those years back anyway. So if you keep looking back at those years, you're just going to lose some more.
2. I don't know you, don't know what you did during these years, but no matter what, they aren't lost years. They're just years. And from what you wrote, I can sense that they were necessary. Those were years you needed to be able to realize what you want your life to be like.

I'm 34 at the time of writing this post, and will turn 35 next month.
I actually "wasted" a ton of time pursuing dead-end ventures, or quit actually good situations in pursuit of "success", for whatever that means. I only started playing entrepreneur—yes just playing—at 24, and still haven't achieved jack shit right now. So that's 10 years. I've only barely started acting like a real entrepreneur in 2018, at 32 (around the same time I discovered The Millionaire Fastlane).

Sometimes, I have this nagging thought, in the lines of "Damn, I wasted 8 years playing wantrepreneur, I lost so much time."
But it doesn't last long because I realize that was exactly what I needed.
Everything I did, launching failed startups, taking random people as cofounders, spending $$$ in useless marketing, reading tons of self-help yet unhelpful books or articles or podcasts or YouTube videos... I needed this to be where I am right now.

And it's the same for you. You couldn't be in any other place, any other situation right now, simply because you are you.

I could go on like this for hours, going into philosophical zen buddhist shit, but I believe you get the point.
I agree.

Failure and wasted ventures are inevitable and When such experience hit A quantity threshold it Usually spurs quality change.
 

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