Literally translated as “the 45-degree life,” this term was coined by Chinese netizens to describe a dilemma some young people feel they are stuck in. Unlike those who strive hard to excel in life’s competitions, these people either lack the strong impetus to work hard or the capabilities to become a high-achiever. Unlike those who choose to “lie flat” by avoiding competition and leading a leisurely life, these people cannot really afford to do so, because they have to work and make a living. If 90 degrees represent going all out to achieve one’s goal, and 0 degrees represent doing the very minimal, 45 degrees symbolize a state of frustration and indecision.
Nǐ xiǎng hǎo jiēxiàlái yào zěnmebàn le ma？
Have you decided what to do next?
Hái méiyǒu，wǒ hái zài sìshíwǔdù rénshēng lǐ kùn zhe。
Not yet. I’m still stuck in a state of indecision and frustration.