You’re young, fit, and can achieve anything in the world, so why not get to it? Here are 20 things you should be doing while you’re 20 years old.
I recently came across a motivational article over at Elite Daily, supposedly encouraging people in their 20s to get their act together before it’s too late. There were a few good points, but I felt like the author mixed in some of his own personal problems, making the article seem sexist and contradicting.
With that in mind, here’s my list of tips that I hope should bring some more balance to the mix.
1. Find your dream job, don’t settle for less if you have the choice
Ten years ago, jobs such as online bloggers, web designers and wind turbine engineers didn’t exist, but now they do. As we progress into the future, even more differentiating titles will come about because of the need for new specialties or because of the evolution into a new age/era. Instead of sticking to more traditional jobs based on advice from your parents or teachers, do something that makes you happy in the long run. What’s the point working long hours as a financial consultant secretly knowing that you hate every bit of what you do? Instead, find something that makes you happy because doing something you love eventually converts to you not even realizing it’s just a job, but something to look forward to every day.
2. Take hints from the pros
We get it, you’re young and trying to make a statement by being different from your previous generation, but there are many tried and true pieces of advice that apply to every generation. Learn from those who’ve made mistakes in the past and are willing to pass on the knowledge to you. Most likely they’re looking out for your best interest, so don’t think you’re too good for a little bit of helpful information.
3. Speak up
Ever regret not saying something when a critical decision had to be made? It has happened to us at some point in our lives, some of them permanently haunting us for the rest of our lives. If you feel there is a need to speak up about something, do so. Obviously you’d have to formulate it in a way that is appropriate for the situation, but everyone is entitled to an opinion. If your peers or superiors try to stop you from expressing your view point, then most likely they have little to no respect for you. Move on to greener pastures where your opinion is accepted, even if it may not always make sense.
4. Build different types of connections and friendships
Don’t expect every newly made friend to be your best buddy for life. There are some people who you can share your most intimate secrets with, but there are others who are fine with maintaining a connection based on the ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’ policy. No man is an island and we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve needed help from the most unexpected person. Don’t be afraid to meet new people and get in touch with them. Know your limits as to how far the friendship may develop, but don’t let go of them either.
5. Get rid of negative forces
Sadly, there are people that always try to bring you down, whether it be constantly criticizing your actions, lying to you, or spreading false rumors about you in an effort to tarnish your name or hinder your progress. Negativity has a tendency of eating away at you at the subconsciously level, and it’s usually better to get rid of those negative influences rather than keep them around and pretend you can just block them out when necessary. Of course you also have to distinguish between those offering constructive criticism versus those who never have anything good to say.
6. Surround yourself by friends and partners who support and uplift you
Sometimes you come across challenges that can push you to the limit, but having a good support team can really help you out when you think you’ve hit rock bottom. For instance, if you’re looking for love, find someone who supports your dream rather than those who only want to be with you when you’re successful. As the old saying goes, your true friends are those who support you even when you are at your lowest.
7. Dream big, and follow up on it
We’ve all dreamt about driving Ferraris or Aston Martins, flying to Ibiza for the weekend, or living in luxurious mansions, but most of those dreams never become a reality because there’s never any follow up. I’m not saying that you should aim for something that may be out of reach, but set a stretch goal and create a road map to guide you to that goal. Once you’ve started your journey, always refer to your plan and compare actual progress to your planned objectives, adjusting to suit. You won’t be a success living life day by day, watching sitcoms and listening to music on YouTube, if you have no long term vision.
8. Put aside money for the future
You’ve got a good job that pays handsomely at the end of each month, but if you’re blowing your paycheck on bottles of scotch, clubs, and expensive gizmos that you don’t need, most likely you may be setting yourself up for disaster in the future. It’s ok to spend your money because you earned it! However, don’t forget to put aside something every month should hard times ever strike you (e.g. a life threatening health condition, expensive damage to a valuable asset, etc.). Putting aside every month also trains you to be thrifty in the future. If you’re 30 years old and still flat lining your bank account, then it’s more than likely that you would have money problems later on in life if left unchecked.
9. Get rid of the teenage drama
Maybe Josh’s break up with Amy was the most important bit of news back in high school or university, but now that you’ve transitions to your 20s, it’s time to put aside useless drama like that and worry about more important issues. The sad truth is that life will eat you raw and spit you out if you don’t get your act in order. Start planning ahead for the more important things instead of worrying about who got tickets to the Lakers game or who’s sleeping with whom. Focus on saving up to buy a car, or getting that mortgage for the home you dreamed about.
10. Get in shape
There’s really no excuse to sit around and get fat. You don’t have to be a gym rat, but at least go for a run or do a home routine of sit-ups, push-ups, and so on. Keeping yourself in shape means having more energy to get important stuff done, looking good, boosting your self-esteem, and most importantly, staying fit and healthy.
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