Last Updated on May 2, 2022 by Chin Yi Xuan

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs

3 months. It was the month of June in 2018. It had been 3 months since I left my first full-time job that pays me comfortably above the market rate.

“So…what do I do now?”

At 24, I found myself lost in a pool of uncertainties. Here’s what happened:

Upon leaving my job, I went on to pursue a career in trading while building No Money Lah (this blog) on the side. The idea was to sustain myself by trading the market full-time while pursuing my passion for writing.

There was just one problem:

Nothing was going according to plan.

3 months into trading, I was making a loss on my capital. I underestimated the learning curve involved in a full-time trading career. Adding salt to the wound, the progress in designing No Money Lah was stagnant. As far as I enjoy writing, website designing was (and still is) not my forte.

As a result, not only I was not earning money from trading, I was losing my capital from it. Moreover, I have a semi-baked website that was not ready by any standard.

I was stressed out mentally. In the face of uncertainties, a side of me would blame myself for quitting my previous job with the urge to give up and get another 9-5 job.

However, the gritty side of myself (my friends would call it stubborn) refused to give in.

What followed was months of being drown in self-doubt and self-blame.

And that, was how I got lost into the miserable spiral of a quarter-life crisis.

While later life crises may be distinguished by the realization that we have failed to achieve our goals, quarter-life crises are rooted in the epiphany that we don’t have any goals, or that our goals are wildly unrealistic.

Caroline Beaton, Psychology Today

As much as this article is about me, it is also very much about you.

If you are in your 20s, currently lost in direction and miserable about what’s to come next in your adulting journey, you are not alone.

Just like me, you may feel miserable with your current (or future) career path and goals. In addition, other life aspects such as personal relationships, money, family and societal expectations may also get you confused and overwhelmed.

Some call this experience part of growing up. I think the term ‘quarter-life crisis’ sums it up the best.

Either way, going through quarter-life crisis is, without doubt, a challenging experience. In your 20s, you may find yourself in a career that you do not find fulfilling. You may also be in a relationship that is breaking down. Perhaps, you are also split between pursuing money or passion.

It is during these time that self-defeating thoughts like “I am not good enough”, “I cannot do this”, “I have no experience in this” started to crawl in and overshadow our self-confidence.

Then again, despite all these life disruptions during our 20s, experiencing quarter-life crisis does provide us with a valuable opportunity.

A change in perspective will lead to opportunities that will surprise yourself.

The Upside of a Quarter-Life Crisis

The fact that we are affected emotionally during our quarter-life crisis means that there is something within us that is unwilling to settle with our current situation.

In other words, being lost during our 20s present a great opportunity for us to reevaluate our values and purpose in life. Simply put:

“Is this it? Is this how I am going to live for the rest of my life?”

Knowing this, the crisis serves as a wake-up call for us to strive and change our miserable situation. Some may strive faster, some will struggle along the way.

But the point remains the same: Being in the 20s offers a precious window of opportunity to change for the better without carrying the similar burden of those in the 30s and 40s.

It is All About a Change in Perspective

I like to relate quarter-life crisis as an exploration sailor going through a rough sea storm.

The sailor could give up, turn around and go back to the peaceful land and be content with a mediocre life. Also, the sailor could brace the storm, screw up once in a while and become the founder of a whole new land of opportunity.

One thing for sure: No storm will last forever. Likewise, tough times will also bound to come to an end.

Trust Your Intuition to Guide You

Today, I shared about how I stumbled into my quarter-life crisis in my 20s. Since then, a transitional change in perspective has helped me brace through many storms and realign my focus in my trading and blogging adventure.

However, just like you, I do not have the full answer to every existing adulting challenge. As such, I still face my equal share of self-doubt and anxiety strikes on a daily basis. I guess we just have to pick up and learn along the journey in our 20s.

With that in mind, know that no matter your current situation, you are not alone in this journey.

It is okay to feel a little lost in our 20s. No one has everything figured out from the start. It’s all about the willingness to change our perspective towards problems in life and the courage to change for the better.

Take your time, have faith and patience in your intuition, and most importantly, never settle.

Share your #MyQuarterLifeCrisis story with No Money Lah!

If you are currently going through this phase in life and would like to share your experience and story with more people, I encourage you to write about your story! Then, I will share your story on No Money Lah to empower and support more people that are going through a similar experience like yourself.

Spread the love, send your story today to [email protected]! You can also reach out to me via the Contact Form below (Ideas & Feedbacks). 

I cannot wait to hear from you!


Chin Yi Xuan

Hi there! I am Yi Xuan. I am a writer, personal finance & REIT enthusiast, and a developing trader with the goal to become a full-time funded trader. Every week, I write about my personal learnings & discovery about life, money, and the market.

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