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1000Knives
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25 Sep 2012, 1:45 am

I'm asking this in the adult discussion forum, as I feel this is more of a question of perspective. I kinda want some older folks perspectives on this question.

In my life, I wasn't "gifted" but people thought/think of me as smart, with much talk of college, a good career, etc, even in elementary school. However, a bunch of circumstances happened, and I'm about as far from the Ivy League kinda path as possible. I'm 21, don't have a job, have a GED, was formerly in a lot of legal trouble, and my life is significantly "off course" and now my life is more off course for a variety of reasons and I seem to continually fail at everything I attempt, either fail or run out of resources to continue, usually a combo.

This continual failure is what irks me most in life, failing thousands and thousands of times, and having a plan and a vision, goal for the future, and not being able to meet it. To be honest, I think the only thing I can claim success to in life is cooking better than the average person.

As adults, we all have broken dreams and stuff, things we never accomplished. But besides a "normal" level of that, what I'm more talking about is like, if you were promised/forecasted a mansion, and you're living in... Detroit. How do you live with that? What if you once owned a mansion, and currently live in Detroit?

I don't know what exactly I'm asking, but how do you deal with, basically... failing at life?



redrobin62
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25 Sep 2012, 1:57 am

<--- Drinks like a fish. (Back in the day his habits were even worse!)



again_with_this
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25 Sep 2012, 2:42 am

I'm 29. Not particularity old, as there are people here much older than me. But, having 8 years on you, your post resonates highly with me. I think a lot of casual acquaintances just assumed that I was bright enough to make something of myself, to be successful on some level, or at least have a "normal" life.

Even at 21, I assumed things would magically pan out. It wasn't until a few years ago I started really questioning why things are the way they are. Although this may not be super helpful, and I wouldn't want to use AS as an excuse, when you realize you're not in the same league as them, then you shouldn't feel as bad about your circumstances.

I debate whether I should try to improve myself, or accept that it's all futile. I don't want to look back in 10 years time and have regrets. But if it's really hopeless, then why bother?

For instance, I wouldn't want to just stay in Detroit if I knew I had the means to attain that mansion. But what if, no matter what I do, I'm bound to remain in Detroit forever? If it's the latter, I'd resign myself to make the best of it and not beat myself up. But of course, I don't know whether it's futile or not.

EDIT: I'm also drunk right now. There's something to the alcohol thing. Or maybe you should take that as advice not to touch the stuff. I dunno. A few minutes ago I actually broke a plate I'm that tipsy.



PTSmorrow
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25 Sep 2012, 3:00 am

Stop looking at your life from such a broad perspective. How can you say that everything was a failure, and who promised you that mansion?

Quote:
This continual failure is what irks me most in life, failing thousands and thousands of times, and having a plan and a vision, goal for the future, and not being able to meet it.


Visions are generally overestimated nowadays, so is motivation, but let's talk about goals. First and foremost, check carefully whether they are at all feasible, i.e., realistic goals. Second, break it down into single steps and set up a time frame with reasonable room for unexpected things like getting a flu or similar obstacles. Third, carry it out one step at a time. Fourth, forget about your ultimate goal since you should be busy with step three.

This approach is surprisingly simple, but extremely effective. Since you mentioned you're a great cook, take cooking as an example.



again_with_this
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25 Sep 2012, 3:13 am

PTSmorrow wrote:
Stop looking at your life from such a broad perspective. How can you say that everything was a failure, and who promised you that mansion?


I didn't interpret the the mansion example as self-entitlement. It was more of a way for the OP to explain that he was expected and/or believed by others to turn out a certain way, but didn't. While there's no guarantee in life, it's as if people are truly shocked and baffled why his life turned out the way it did...and he is too.

And the question becomes: should he accept his fate? It it worth trying to improve? Is improvement futile and he'll just exhaust himself trying to fight the inevitable, so he should just enjoy his life the best he can?



PTSmorrow
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25 Sep 2012, 4:11 am

again_with_this wrote:

... And the question becomes: should he accept his fate? It it worth trying to improve? Is improvement futile and he'll just exhaust himself trying to fight the inevitable, so he should just enjoy his life the best he can?


Nobody is doomed to fail all the time and for his entire life; trying to improve is never futile, but i think it's also a matter of perspective and discernment because not everybody can be a star or famous athlete, but there are realistic goals one can go for although i am well aware how difficult it is to find a good job right now. However, a bad or part time job is still better than no job at all ... says someone who has been cleaning trains and buses for a while, truly yucky, and other stuff i didn't like at all.

Although i don't know what his goals and visions are about, i think sometimes one needs to compromise and find alternatives to his original goal.



helles
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25 Sep 2012, 4:16 am

PTSmorrow wrote:
Stop looking at your life from such a broad perspective. How can you say that everything was a failure, and who promised you that mansion?

Quote:
This continual failure is what irks me most in life, failing thousands and thousands of times, and having a plan and a vision, goal for the future, and not being able to meet it.


Visions are generally overestimated nowadays, so is motivation, but let's talk about goals. First and foremost, check carefully whether they are at all feasible, i.e., realistic goals. Second, break it down into single steps and set up a time frame with reasonable room for unexpected things like getting a flu or similar obstacles. Third, carry it out one step at a time. Fourth, forget about your ultimate goal since you should be busy with step three.

This approach is surprisingly simple, but extremely effective. Since you mentioned you're a great cook, take cooking as an example.


Visions can be overestimated. I have seen a lot of college children wanting to be "stars" but not bothering to pratice, wanting a highpaying job but not bothering to do their homework and learn new stuff. Visions without motivation is not good enough. Motivation is also not enough if there are to many logistic constraints. I agree, set reallistic goals, they migth lead to better things in the long run. I do not agree on forgetting the ultimate goal, but you must probably accept that there are many other variations of the goal, some more obtainable than others.

I had the fairytale castle but everything is broken now, and I live, not in Detroit, but in a small village in the middle of nowhere. I had just reached my goals and was going to reap what I had worked so hard to get, and now have to give moste of it up. Blody hard time but also a time where I have to reset my goals (to a much lower level). From a very meaningful job with great perspetives to seeking a standard parttime low paying job. I intend to enjoy my garden and aim at being partly self sufficient in the vegetables department - that is also a goal :)


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NewDawn
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25 Sep 2012, 6:07 am

1000Knives wrote:
I'm about as far from the Ivy League kinda path as possible.



No you're not, depending what you want to get out of that Ivy League college. A good education or a degree? I can understand that the degree is an unattainable goal (gosh, those universities are insanely expensive!), but the education isn't. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Berkeley, all of them offer free online undergraduate courses with or without interaction. You won't get credits for it, but you do get the knowledge and skills. All it takes is a computer and your time and effort.

Check out Coursera to see what's possible



PK212
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25 Sep 2012, 9:21 am

PTSmorrow wrote:
Stop looking at your life from such a broad perspective. How can you say that everything was a failure, and who promised you that mansion?

Quote:
This continual failure is what irks me most in life, failing thousands and thousands of times, and having a plan and a vision, goal for the future, and not being able to meet it.


Visions are generally overestimated nowadays, so is motivation, but let's talk about goals. First and foremost, check carefully whether they are at all feasible, i.e., realistic goals. Second, break it down into single steps and set up a time frame with reasonable room for unexpected things like getting a flu or similar obstacles. Third, carry it out one step at a time. Fourth, forget about your ultimate goal since you should be busy with step three.

This approach is surprisingly simple, but extremely effective. Since you mentioned you're a great cook, take cooking as an example.


Excellent advice!



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26 Sep 2012, 11:22 am

At 21 you don't have to think about these things. You have to be thinking how on Earth you can get some more studies on you, and focus on what you do well naturally. That which you're good at without putting in too much effort. Then develop from that seed. Eg cooking.

But to answer your question anyway:

I have to constantly remind myself that I got to what the best of my potential allowed for, considering my family (socioeconomic and psychological) background and my AS. From that point of view, I'm happy and proud of myself.

If I compare myself to the NTs I knew decades ago, of course it's totally defeating and depressing. My roommate from college, having never studied anything more than a BA in Sociology (which here is the same as nothing) and not having even good grades or the capability to make any efforts in life, not even being bright or unusually pretty, is the VP HR of the National Stock Exchange. How? She's a master artist at social relations / social politics and an expert in how to look only after her own interests and squeeze what he needs to advance by sycophancy.


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Samian
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26 Sep 2012, 11:29 pm

I can relate to the OP. When I was 21 I had no clue about life - couldn't even buy a clue!

People asked me what I wanted to do with myself I said "nothing - I want to be a bum"

At that age ( I'm much older ) I would suggest you study - get a diploma for something you love doing.

Invest some time in things that interest you. develop a passion for something and do it a lot. People will associate you with that passion and will bring more of it to your life.

Get fit. Love yourself and be kind to your mother.

All the other life plan stuff can come later.



Levanah
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02 Oct 2012, 4:54 am

I can also relate to the OP. During college and the first half of med school, I got consistently good grades. In the first half of med school, I was getting praise from others as I was viewed as being one of the better students. Everything seemed to go downhill in the second half( I don't want to blame my family for everything, but I came home to a very dysfunctional family situation after finishing the first part of med school away from home, and also my family members kept trying to meddle and take over my life, insisting on making decisions for me even when it was clear that what they were doing was not helpful. I wasn't very good at standing up to them or taking back control of my life.)

There were a lot of things I wasn't able to cope with, and there have been too many times in the past couple of years where I looked back and thought, "What happened to me? I used to be a much happier, higher-functioning, more successful person in every way! How did my life turn out like this?"

Now I have completed my M.D. degree, but I just barely got through the last two years of it, so it's doubtful I'll get into a residency program. Still, things are better than they were six months ago, and one thing I realized is that life never turns out the way I expect it to, in big ways or small ways. Sometimes this is a positive thing, sometimes not.

For example, I was expecting today to be just another routine day, but I ran into a friend who had an unexpected day off. We talked, had a good time, and went out to eat. I wasn't even expecting to meet her today. I am currently looking for backup plans in case applying to medical residencies doesn't work out, and I have some options available, even if they're not ideal. I honestly can't predict where I'll be or what I'll be doing next year, but I think it's important to learn to be flexible and gain the ability to cope with rapidly changing circumstances.



Jabberwokky
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02 Oct 2012, 10:29 pm

I don't think aspies are (as a generalisation) good at being realistic about life goals. As a rule we tend to understand ourselves (and what we can or can't or shouldn't do) much later in life. I don't know any aspies personally (this wll change soon I believe) but I reckon many make numerous career changes as they learn the hard way that their intended career choice/s is/are a total dud. My first choice was teaching. I was a complete failure and dropped out.

I would recommend making it a goal to know and understand yourself and then proceed. It might seem like a lot of indecisive dithering but it might work. I reckon that cooking that might be worth looking into.

Also, the whole idea of making the best of opportunities that arise is very definitely a way to find out experimentally what you can and can't do. Its a messy process, but if an experiment doesn't work, be happy because you just ruled out an ption from the multitude of ideas. However, just have a good Plan for exiting whatever experiment you are engaged in i.e don't try anything that might have lifelong consequences such as crime.

I like to think of the experimentation process as Action-based Research. I love research.


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03 Oct 2012, 1:32 am

Things, for me, fell into life later. Didn't fit your general train of, if this then that and then this thingy. Wasn't easy, took a while, but... took a good while for the "damn it, I do deserve this and I can do it another way and still get there, even if I'm not 100% sure which way I'm going, but I love which way I'm going it...because it's what I like and I'm, getting really damned good at it... yikes ;p") Find something you can do and do well, while you go on lifes batter plans :)

What is the scale for, well find me a life scale and I want to see it. :)



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03 Oct 2012, 1:59 am

Can't you live in a mansion IN Detroit?

Joking aside, you're only 21, your life has just started. Do your best otherwise 20 years from now you'll be thinking "I wish I'd made more effort back then when I was so young and had so much time left".



ava777
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12 Dec 2012, 6:36 am

Moondust wrote:

I have to constantly remind myself that I got to what the best of my potential allowed for, considering my family (socioeconomic and psychological) background and my AS. From that point of view, I'm happy and proud of myself.
.


I can definately relate to that. I'm 27 I went to school for early childhood education but never finished. Between my abusive ex and minipulative "father" I have a hard time trusting people. Add AS to the picture...which I believe having AS contributed to being used, abused, and disadvantaged. Lately I feel like a failure despite paying off loans from my previous marriage. I feel like what kind of person would want me. I feel like a total loser. I'm so smart and driven I figured I would have figured it out by now. As said above, I have to constantly remind myself that considering my background I have actually made progress rather than delclining. I work, I'm staying out of debt, I live a healthy life style and I'm not self-defeating or insane like most of my family or people I know. With my birthday coming up, I'm doing a lot of reviewing and it's hard to swollow what could have been if the people I loved and were suppose to be there for me would have at least tried or even cared about how much they hurt me. I spent a decade of my life cleaning up abuse issues. Time I could have spent in school or working. I hope later I can be more postive and move forward; however,right now I'm doing a lot of grieving.