Dear Dr. Archer,
Please excuse my English. I'm Italian, and I'll do my best to write so you can understand. I'm a 36 year old male, and I feel lost in society, although I have many good friends. I feel lost because of the economy situation in Italy, Europe and even the US, too. I studied so much and have a degree in Science of Communication and a Master's in Internationalization of Companies and e-commerce.
Despite everything, I'm not able to find a job! Companies are closing and many people are getting fired daily. I am now in Switzerland where I have yet another problem, the German language. I tried to learn the basics to find a job in my field, but that's not good enough. I have to be on a higher level, so I'm frustrated and unable to do what I truly want to do.
I lost my dad in 1999 and have just my mom left who lives on a pension. I am so worried, when she dies, I will lose everything. I have two brothers, one is a married financial advisor and the other has a computer shop, so they'll go on even with the bad economy. But, I'm not able to live a normal life.
I also have a girlfriend who is still in college. I'd like to create a family in the near future, but it's impossible to make a family with so much uncertainty. What is the best thing to do in this situation? What do you recommend I do? I feel so alone! I live in a family's house where I rent a room.
I'm so tired of sacrificing without any light at the end of the tunnel. Could you please help me with some psychological advice? I need words from someone who understands the human soul. This is not just about money, but also about how to be happy in our life, because right now I'm not.
Please answer me when you have a minute. I used to be so happy in the past. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.
First, realize that many are feeling exactly the same way as you. Times are very tough, and not just in Italy or Europe. No one is completely safe -- not your brothers, not the family you live with, not your neighbors -- no one. Life is never certain and circumstances can shift quickly, just as they did for you.
Let’s analyze your particular situation in terms of what you DO have instead of what you don’t:
You have good friends, a girlfriend, 2 brothers, a mother still living, clean water, food and a roof over your head. Think about that, Andrea. Those things alone make you better off than so many others. Never take what you have for granted. Appreciate it, because you can lose it in an instant. Check out my blog The Power Of Hope. It will help you change both your attitude and life for the better.
You need to get your priorities in order and start focusing on one thing at a time. First, decide where you want to live. Then, find a job there -- any job. Then, while doing your best at that job, put your effort into finding a job that you really want in a field which interests you. Sometimes we have to be flexible and adapt, and that is what you are facing. Stop worrying about the future, because half the things we worry about never come to pass. Focus on the here and now, one baby step at a time.
More advice: DO NOT compare yourself to your brothers, or anyone else. This is about you. Also, realize that everyone has their own problems. If you make the most of every situation that comes your way with a positive attitude, Andrea, you will see improvements within your day to day life. Concentrating on the negative will only make you negative, and that will not propel you forward.
Again, be aware of what you already have and appreciate all of it, while doing what it takes to get you to where you want to go. Keep things in perspective, be flexible, have a positive attitude and you'll be okay. Buona fortuna, Andrea, e vi auguro tanto successo.