Feeling Pressured

...like a rice cooker.


When I was in high school, I thought all my problems would be over when I attend a college.

In college, I thought my remaining problems would finally come to an end once I get a job.

I was stupid. Now, it feels like the competition has finally started and it is the beginning of all the problems, except with one key difference - there's no fixed next steps, and I have to figure things out by myself.

These days, I've been feeling pressured by the standards I set, and these are some high standards. I thought about why this is happening to me and I think this is because I've been comparing myself to other people (which I know I shouldn't be, but it is so much easier said than done).

We hear lots of stories of young people achieving great things at an early age. Sadly, a lot of hot artists in the music industry is younger than me (yeah, that era has finally come). I'm not 100% sure, but I believe more than half of soccer players in premiere league would be younger than me or maybe a few years older, but not by much. And I do know that there's no point of comparing myself to these people, because they've pretty much spent their entire life, doing one thing very seriously. 

Okay fine, then let's look at other people that I think are doing better than me. In some older post, I wrote that I envision myself breaking into the Finance world, in particular Venture Capital or Hedge Fund. And from reading many different articles, I know that the most typical way to break into these industries is to attend an ivy league college, go to Investment Banking (one of 9 Bulge Bracket firms - think of Bank of America or Goldman), spend 2 years as an analyst/slave then get recruited to VC/HF as an associate. Now, if that's true, I'm very very far away from the direction I want to go.

But I know the life doesn't only have a few set paths and there would be other directions as well. But since it'll be a slight detour, I need to work harder to make it there. I have some big plans in my mind but right now, my execution hasn't been up to what I've been imagining. And I think that's why I'm feeling so pressured, feeling I'm so behind. This sometimes is helpful because it motivates me to work harder (though I hate the term motivation - will write about this later). But at the same time, it seems like a bar that's placed very highly that I must jump over, which sometimes is discouraging.

So what do I have to do? I don't know the full answer as always, but I guess here are some starters:

  • Stop comparing myself to other more "successful" people or other friends
  • Put more time in the projects I want to accomplish and kick it off. I need to get the ball rolling
  • The second bullet has to be accompanied by more focused energy/more quality concentration
  • Don't feel pressured for not doing anything productive on weekends
  • But at the same time, stop wasting my time!
  • Finally, I need to learn how to celebrate small achievements

I'm nearly done with building a website for Centreville Buddies, a volunteering program aimed at helping 1.5th and 2nd generation Korean high school students. I want to finish the website by Saturday so that I can show it to potential mentors (friends born in 1992) and get them on board. And once I do, I will make sure to celebrate this small win so that I can get a little boost!

Taeyang You