What was the point of all that? I’m not going anywhere. My life is nothing like I had expected. Throughout our interviews, we’ve found quarter-life sufferers rife with exactly such sentiments. In this situation your thoughts are like black flies that swarm around you blurring your vision, biting at your heart to entice despair. But despair not! We’ve been there, it sucks, but you can and will get through it. In your darkest moments, when you feel disappointed with life and yourself, try to shift your thoughts from the emotional to the objective. Ask yourself coldly, how can I be at my most productive at this moment? There are so many things you can’t control in the gaping hole that is your quarter-life: Ask yourself, what can I control in my life right now? Think of yourself as a productive machine put on earth to make your dreams a reality. You were given a finite amount of energy to do this, so why waste it on something that will not bear the fruits of your dreams? Think about the things that make you happy, consider your goals. Then consider where you’re investing your precious energy. Are you in a relationship with a partner that keeps hurting you, but you hold on hoping s/he will change? Are you weighed down with guilt and regret over something you did in the past? Are you spending all your time trying to get into law school when you know deep down you want to be a teacher? The point is not to waste your energy on thoughts and actions that, in the end, won’t help you create something concrete and positive. In everything you do ask yourself, “How will this bring me closer to my life goal?” and “How will this make me a happier person?” If the answer comes in the form of a dark cloud over your head, it’s not worth pursuing. In life there are many difficult choices we simply didn’t have to make as children. Nothing comes easily, especially not ultimate happiness. But if you are in a relationship, or on a path that is not making you happy at this very moment, and in the immediate future, just stop. Move on. It may hurt you now, but within weeks you’ll find the dark clouds have lifted.