Updated: Nov 5, 2020
I am 33 at the time of writing this and to anyone younger reading something from someone in their 30's, especially those in their 20's, your natural response will be to shut off to it.
We have a systematic way of processing if we can relate or if we cannot relate at face value which probably goes back to your days in school when we were all divided by age regardless of intellect.
It sets the groundwork for the path we all tend to walk, laid out in front of us, school, college, university, get a job, struggle financially, mistreat our bodies from all the crazy nights out drinking, eating badly, get an apartment, maybe date a lot of people trying to find acceptance, perhaps mirroring a lot of people that come into your life to force-fit into community, you get the picture.
So how can you possibly relate to someone who has it all together (or so you think)? What do they know about your generation?
I frequently bring up the point that nobody ever tells you about real life until you are experiencing it, your 20's is the decade of your life that you are thrown into the flood without armbands, a novice swimmer with no other strategy other than a reactive one to whatever is thrown your way.
The truth is, you can always learn from anyone regardless of their age or occupation, they have been on a journey and also had to make decisions along the way to define how their life would look.
There is a rich source of advice available to you, if your dads age is just too far off the radar in your own humble opinion, then there is something golden and fresh out of the oven you would be mad not to tap into.
Those men in their 30's will tell you your 20's is gone in a flash and as cliché as it sounds you need to realize you aren't exempt, it happens to you too so learn from the mistakes and insights of those who already are 1step around the corner from you.
I truly believe we shouldn't regret but learn from those moments we would in hindsight cancel out. If I was to repeat my 20's here are the things I would hope someone would care enough to tell me beforehand:
1)Adults In Your Life Are Not The Oracle: respect and take guidance but don't let it be a shock when you find out later Doctors are human and don't know everything, Parents just may be bias when they say you are the next David Gandy, Teachers aren't robots and actually make mistakes too, they have various personalities because.. they are human.
2)Responsibility Isn't Bad, See It As An Honor: Relying on other people wont help you as you go out into the world, your parents always provided a safety net but that wont be around everywhere you go. Taking responsibility seems like a burden early in life but switching your perspective of it early will do wonders for your ability to cope with increasing responsibility (rent, relationships, career, fatherhood)
3)Don't Take Offence Easily, Its A Choice: A lot of people will disappoint and offend you which will instill the wrong type of emotions and feelings like paranoia, bitterness and anger. They affect you more than you think they will and with repeat behavior overtime can form negative dimensions to your personality. Just breath and forgive.
4) Your Emotions Are Not Your Personality & Identity, follow your values: If you feel anger or jealousy or something along those lines a lot, you are not an angry person, you are a person fighting a battle. What is the battle, what made you angry, address it, peel the onion and speak with someone. In your 20's people can be swayed by emotions so much, step out of the situation and look in at what's happening.
If time is short in your day, try the Blinkist App, it has many books on topics like Emotional Intelligence and gives you the quick overview and key points from it.
5) Health Is Affected By Your Behavior, You Are Not Invincible: As you are a spring chicken in the "prime of life" many make decisions on impulse and thrill with little care for the consequence. Drinking too much or experimenting with steroids to look good for example, those behaviors catch up with you and the habit can become an addiction, your body can experience problems and it can also accelerate ageing.
6)You Will Make A Lot Of So Called Friends Who Are In Fact Not: Not everyone is your friend and not everyone will like you, there are billions of people in the world with many differences. At this point in life you may want everyone to like you which is tied to wanting to feel accepted but the truth is making friends is like dating, you have to have similar things in common and not everyone does.
7) Recognize The Things You Like In People Then Seek It Out: I struggled with this one and my Wife gave this great piece of advice as something she had implemented her whole life.
Instead of going through the frustration and lost time of trying to force a friendship, recognize why you like something and you will be more aware and proactive with inviting the right people for you into your life. If you like humble people, chances are you wont get along with the proud guy at the office who boasts of his riches.
8) Everything Has A Pattern: If you keep losing your job there is a reason, take action on the reason, Example being you are always late. You cant get away with this for long so place importance on fixing the problem and you will change the pattern and outcome.
If you drink heavily when you feel stressed, recognize what makes you feel stressed and fix it. It could be that you relate pressure with fear so you then act out of fear. Fear you may lose your job or fear you may be a failure, its not the end, these are all things you can change, don't follow the destructive cycles, they always create the same result.
'Great leaders know that under the turmoil of chaos and change, there is a beauty of patterns and designs.' -Amit Ray
9) See Your Mind Like A Garden: The things you think will produce good or bad things in your life. Guard your mind and see your thought life as the door to realities you want to experience. Remove negative thoughts and you will be in control, accept negative thoughts and they will control you.
10)Have A Growth Mindset Not A Fixed Mindset: In those years ego's can be in the accelerated state of creation, you dont know it all, how can you when you havent experienced everything outside your own routine or cycle. There are people at the end of their lives who are still learning.
‘It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning.’ –Claude Bernard
11)Life Is Not Linear: You can have a vision and plan but it will surely take many diverse paths to get to it, embrace this because nobody can predict an entire lifetime. Doors close you didn't see closing, doors open you didn't see opening.
12)Comparing Is A Fools Game: Everything you see nowadays is the tip of the iceberg, social media has created this unnatural exposure to everyone else that never existed before that the common thing is to measure yourself vs the other subject.
Behind that perfect picture is a person fighting a battle. At the same time, everything is subjective, you can be on very different journeys with contrasting values so why would you compare, it will produce inaccurate information, perception and feelings.
13)You Don't Need To Join The System: As you head into starting your career everything steers you towards finding a company to work for and to climb the ladder. Times have changed and you can cherish time itself by creating your own online business or freelancing for example.
14)Your Past Will Be Full Of Mistakes And Possibly Hurts, It Will Try To Follow You: Nobody gets it perfect and so it will be normal to make the wrong decisions at some points of your life. The important thing is recognizing the mistake and trying not to do it again, take action. Emotions will arise from the mistakes you make as well as bad experiences you encounter but you do not need to pile them all up like luggage and take them into your future. Forgive yourself and forgive others and that guilt or pain will not snowball, growing in stature and affecting you badly into your 30's and 40's.
15) There Will Be Huge Peer Pressure But Make Decisions For Yourself And Not Others: Everyone else is on a journey too, you don't need to follow them into the wrong arena if you don't want to just to be accepted. Chances are they will respect and accept you more if you stay true to yourself and if they don't, there is no real loss in that so called friendship.
16)You Are Not Too Young To Love: Society and stereotypes will tell you to settle down at 30 but what if the perfect woman for you steps into your life at 21? This happened to me and it was the most blessed decision I ever made committing to that relationship.
17)Learn Humility Over Pride: You do fall hard with pride and it doesn't build great character, being humble is you realizing that you have gratitude in all situations and things can change but they wont change you. Pride can form offence too, they work hand in hand and neither are good workers.
18)Enjoy the Ride/Process: Eyes will be on the finish line so much that you can forget to enjoy the present, the present is your day to day life. The dream is a moment at the end and achieving it brings joy but then changes into another vision anyhow and takes you right back to the same process! Enjoy or you will regret all the time wasted that could have been used wiser and healthily.
"Life is a journey, not a destination" Ralph Waldo Emerson
19)Have Patience For Children: Remember you were one, not so long ago, be kind to them because before you even know it you may have some too and there will be a paradigm shift in your thinking. I had my daughter at 28 and my eyes were opened to how people treated her in public, people can be so consumed with their own lives that they remove empathy and their hearts harden
20)Whatever You are Going Through, There are Others Who Are Too: Overwhelming emotions, feelings or experiences can make you feel alone but you are not. Speak up and you will appreciate the support
21) There's Nothing Wrong With You, Know Your Worth: God made you exactly as you are and there is nobody else in the earth who is you or can bring to the world what you have to offer.
22) Your Weaknesses Are Not You, Nor Permanent: I used to always say "I'm not creative" as if I was created with that limitation, the only limitation was that I was not trying. YouTube is free, you can search for anything and there will be a How to Tutorial. There are workshops in your City or even Training courses online to improve skills or learn new ones.
23)Form Your Own Opinion, Don't Adopt Others: Gives yourself credibility and research a matter before putting a belief out there. People can be wrong with wrong information, the source can be wrong like the Media who can have particular agenda's.
24)Acceptance Comes From Yourself, Not Others: People can spend a lifetime trying to be accepted and feeling low when they are not. The only way to be permanently in a state of content is to anchor your identity in the unchangeable, God, or if you cant quite accept this, anchor it on accepting yourself, be at peace.
25)Your Universe Doesn't Implode At a Point Of Chaos: When you feel the heat you might think its a fire that will give you 1st degree burns, in reality it is just a passing gust of wind.
26)The Secular World Programme's You to Doubt Everything, Don't, Logic Isn't Everything: Whether you believe it or not there is a physical realm and a Spirit Realm. You are a Spirit with a Soul and a Body. Discern with your spirit, your conscience will tell you right and wrong, go with it and believe.
27) You Are Capable Of the Unimaginable: Don't approach an obstacle by the looking at the size of the mountain, keep your eyes on the steps up it and before long you will be at the top. This can be anything from gaining wealth, studying a Masters for a career as a Surgeon for example or creating a major impact in the world through innovation.
28)Anticipate Transformation: You will change, develop and achieve so much if you want to, so much so you wouldn't believe it if someone told you in advance.... If you don't see yourself as a Husband or Father, that's because your focus is on the current cycle, there are many more to come.
29) When You Meet The Right Woman They Will Accelerate Your Potential: Going back to transformation, having someone believe in you fully, encouraging you will build you and inspire you in ways you never thought possible
30)You Will Wish You Spent More TIME With Those You Love: Don't wait until you are less busy to appreciate the people you love deeply. Time does not wait, your grandparents will be entering the last part of their lives and you will regret it deeply if you could have done more to show your love and feel theirs. The same for any family like parents, siblings or childhood friends, there is no time like the present to share with them.
The last point I would add is something that I wish I had known before I first started earning money, read Rich Dad Poor Dad and it will totally transform your ability to earn and save money before you spend years wasting it!
This list could continue forever, the genuine intention of this article is to help you Live life proactively rather than survive life reactively.
What would you add to the list?
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