How love f*cked my career
Tiffany Sun

Dear Tiffany,

you are hilarious. You are in your 20s and you have already concluded that your career was ruined? Don’t you think this conclusion is a little bit premature?

No, your career was not ruined. You are young, healthy, well educated, you have the freedom to live where you want, you have the experience of living in multiple cultures and you are smart. In terms of the options you have you are among the top 1% on this planet. Nothing was ruined. As long as you are strong and motivated, as long as you are willing to invest some years into whatever you want to achieve, you can most likely achieve it.

But there is one question I want to ask you: Why do you want to do create “something” incredible? “Something”? Is your desire to to get acknowledged really much more strong than the clarity of your vision? I think your issue is neither your career nor love. I think your issue is happiness. Being happy with what you have. Not just with what you have now, but also with whatever you might achieve with your projects. And with what and who you are now or will be.

Yes, of course your external success will be determined by the feedback you will get from other people. But if you are just doing “something” because you crave for “some” kind of success you won’t be happy even if other people tell you that you succeeded. Because you will then ask yourself: “Is this really the best I could do?”

So let me suggest you turn this issue upside down: Instead of working towards an invisible goal, try building on what you have. You made some choices which appear random to you now. They might not be random. You were collecting information. You did not have the information on how you would like living a more traditional Chinese life. So you tried. Now you know. You did not know how certain decisions will impact your life. Now you know. Every decision you made has given you information about the world and about yourself. Don’t regard this information as something negative. Welcome it into your life and into your soul. Be happy about these experiences.

Now look at yourself and what your abilities are. Look at what you know and what you are able to do. Look at what makes you unique. What is the kind of contribution that you could make easily? What is the kind of gap you could fill in this world but other people cannot fill as easily as you can? It does not have to be something abstract. It could be something simple that other people simply don’t see. Because they don’t have your experiences. They don’t have your background. They are not you. Take the most simple and straightforward of these unique insights and expand on it. Don’t worry, this will not a trivial task. It will keep you busy for years. And if you “fail”, just learn from your experience again. If you “succeed”, you will be happy. Not because of the money you get. But because you have realized your own potential. Not the potential of somebody else. But you. And guess what? If you accept your experience as valuable information into your life, you might even be happy right away.