The Perfect Triangle: Career, Relationship, Home Ownership

What makes a person successful? Do we all define success in the same light? For years I was told while growing up that I should be accomplishing particular things at certain stages in my life.

I should get my license by 16.
High school diploma by 18.
Degree by 22.
Career by 23.
Married by 25.
House by 30.

Sounds simple enough, right guys? I mean, if you can’t manage all of those things before you’re 30 are you even a real adult? I know right now that half of you are scoffing, and the other half are having a quarter-life crisis because you haven’t accomplished half of the list, and you probably aren’t even close. But don’t worry – you shouldn’t be.

God knows I’m not.

About two years ago my friends and I started to get our lives together, whether it stayed that way or not, you can be the judge. And for some reason in my mind I had invented what I like to call “The Perfect Triangle”.


In this triangle are three points. And of those three points, if you are managing 3/3, you’re a complete boss, 2/3 you’re making strides, and 1/3 you needed serious help. From that point on, each and every one of us started to compare one another to the state of our “adulthood”. We began to put pressure on ourselves to ensure we would be 3 for 3 by a certain time, and that we would never have to fear being 0 for 3 in our entire lives.

About a year later, I realized that this was far out of reach for me, and also a few of my other friends. I was back in school and jobless at 24.

Now I’m sure you’ve read all of those “millennial” articles that state we need so much help from our parents because things are so expensive, and that we don’t get married and have kids anymore because we like to travel and are selfish? Me too.

And as much as I love a good excuse for why I’m failing at something, I didn’t need one this time. All I needed was a realization. To realize that expiration dates are only good for food, perfection is overrated, and money doesn’t fall from trees.

To be put more bluntly: jobs are hard to find, Tinder makes my friends lives hard, and homes are overpriced and money hungry.

Yes, times have changed and people don’t figure out everything by 30. And we shouldn’t have to. Inflation happens, economic downturn brings bumps, and relationships don’t always last. So why did people used to force these things?

It’s a question no one needs to answer, but instead change to a statement:

“Forcing happiness, love, and finance, is impossibly stupid.”

Therefore, I invented a new triangle.


I told my friends not to worry so much about what their other friends had done or hadn’t done. I told myself that it wasn’t realistic to have a career at 23 – because I didn’t even know what I liked at 23. And I started to make more moves than I ever had before. Because I had no pressure, just motivation. What a marvelous relief.

What are your three peaks? After all, my triangle doesn’t have to match your triangle. Let me know in the comments!


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