Ahh, your twenties. A glorious time between teen life and your thirties. Most people expect to have it together miraculously by the time they turn thirty, but it’s always a work in progress. Always.
The landscape of your twenties is a bundle of nerves, emotions, and anxiety. Life will teach you cruel lessons, not just in your twenties but throughout your life. But its the years between your teens and thirties that you learn how to handle yourself in different situations, how to be graceful and motivated, dedicated, and deal with anything that life throws at you. Anything you learn in your twenties, you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life, so whether you’re looking back on what you learned or just need a reminder to take note of the lessons life’s giving you – here are some important lessons you’ll learn in your 20s.
1. Your mind has no power over your actions
Throughout your twenties, you’ll start to learn about responsibility in your career. This almost always leads to anxiety. When you have a looming inbox or an emergency tray at work, you can feel as though you can’t cope with it. Work anxiety is totally normal, it might keep you up at night in your early twenties. Eventually, you’ll learn that nothing your brain can come up with and torture you with can actually impact you.
You might spend your time worrying about it, wondering how you’re going to get it all done – only to sit down and work on it and realize you’ve smashed it. You might start thinking of all the things that could go wrong (when you take a flight or go for a job interview) only to realize that your brain has no power. Action is the cure for anxiety. Showing your brain that you can do anything you put your mind to is important.
2. It’s never too late to take care of yourself
The sooner you can eat well, work out, and make time for self-care, the better. The Getting Stuff Done planner is your key to taking care of yourself, tracking your self-care while you work on your daily plan.
Marrying both your self-care and your daily plan is absolutely the key to living your best life, and if you get ahead of it, by the time you reach your thirties you’ll feel so much better about everything. Taking care of your self, your mind, and your body will also help you go for your own success.
3. Nothing in life comes for free
This is a good thing, don’t get us wrong. Hard work will be rewarded, as long as you’re willing to work hard for it. You need to make short term sacrifices to work towards that one big goal you have, and when you do, it’ll be all the more sweeter. Low effort = low reward, and nothing in life comes for free. You need to work at it and you will get what you want.
4. You need to stop caring what people think
Live your best life and don’t care what other’s think. In your twenties, you’ll notice that people make allegiances. It’s not at all in the league of high school dramas, but people will start to try and pull and push you in ways you don’t want to be pulled in. This is because, in your twenties, everyone is trying to find themselves and align their identity with people and causes that matter to them.
You’ll realize that you can still be friends with people who don’t gel with other friends, who don’t support causes you care about, and that judgment doesn’t get you far. So, you’ll start to care less when other people extend the judgment your way.
5. Success doesn’t just happen overnight
Success isn’t a winning lottery ticket, or a call in the middle of the night. Success takes days, weeks, years even. It’s an amazing realization because it means success is possible for everyone and anyone. Success is possible for you. It’s not as hard to come by as a lottery ticket at all. It’s simply the result of hard work and dedication. Small successes you reach in your twenties will teach you that bigger successes are entirely possible.
6. There’s no such thing as failure
Yep, that’s right. There’s no such thing. Every ‘failure’ you perceive is actually just a warning shot that helps guide you towards the right path. Look at successful people, Oprah and Anna Wintour were fired, some movie stars have acted in bad movies, some music legends have written terrible songs. Failure isn’t a full stop at the end of a sentence, it’s just a pause allowing you to gather and keep going.
7. An apology is better than an excuse
Here’s the thing, sometimes when an accusation lands unfairly, your gut response will be to defend yourself. To come with an excuse and explain why something happened a certain way. This won’t help you, even if it really wasn’t your fault, it’s always better to take responsibility and show that you’re a grown adult by apologizing.
Apologies cost nothing and solve everything. That’s the lesson you need to learn.
8. See the world
You’re in your twenties. You probably don’t have much tying you down, which means you should try to get as many experiences under your belt as you can. Although some experiences can scare the sh*t out of you, you still need to do them. It’s all about giving yourself experiences, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and learning (and accepting) that the world is bigger than your bubble.
9. Save money as soon as you can
Multiple income streams, pensions, investments, it’s all jargon when you’re in your twenties. But being smart with money is one of the best things you can do. Give yourself some time to spend on those experiences you want so badly, but then get serious about your money. Live frugally while you can. Cook, prepare meals, scrimp on new clothes. Don’t spend frivolously. You will never regret it.
10. Time is your most precious resource
When I look back on my childhood, I barely remember the games I played, the books I read, the movies I watched, I remember the people I spent time with and the things we did. Having enough time to give some to the people you care about is so important, not only will they appreciate it, it will give you something to look back on. Because at the end of the day, are you going to remember the entire season you binge-watched on Netflix or are you going to remember a day out with your friends?
Do you have any other life lessons you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments below…
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