"10 things every 20 something year old should do, 20 behaviors of successful people," blah blah blah. I'm sure I'm not the only person whose news feed has been bombarded by these redundant and quite obvious list of things you should be doing. Well this is a list of things you should NOT be doing in your twenties and are more insightful than "put some money aside for your future."
1) Looking To Others for Happiness
This is such a simple concept that many fail to grasp. Emotions, for the most part, can be controlled and are usually voluntary at this point in your life. Getting angry is due to your voluntary allowance. I am still amazed when my friends or family complain and get worked up about someone at work, or some girl/guy they're talking to. The only two reasons you should get angry or worked up because of someone is if that person is family or yourself. Expectation is the root of all disappointment and if you keep putting expectations in people other than family or yourself, be prepared to be disappointed multiple times. Believe in yourself. Have the highest expectations for yourself and your family. Place yourself in situations that will make you the happiest and if you don't, realize staying in that situation is a decision.
Having a dream is great when you're in high school and maybe your Freshman year of college. But after that, your dreams should become expectations, goals, milestones. Some people get lost in their dreams and wake up when they're in their 30s or 40s and are in situations that make it difficult to pursue those dreams. Your dreams are their freshest during this period and you will most likely be in an environment that will allow you to make connections and network with fresh minds that could help you realize your dream. And if you don't have the connections or are not heading in a direction that will enable you to achieve this dream, you can readily make changes as needed. This is a buffer period that will allow you to take risks and make some mistakes, unless if you have kids or other dependents, with little repercussions. Take advantage of this fact and work towards your goals.
3) Waiting for A Big Break
Sometimes a big break is the result of a series of minor events that lead up to that moment. Whether it's through the addition of small ventures that eventually sum up to that moment, or small moves that lead you to an opportunity to make a big move. Life is a process that takes time and each second of the process is valuable. Don't be blinded by your destination failing to appreciate and learn along the journey. A house is not dumped on a piece of land. Its foundation must first be built followed by progressive layers.
4) Looking Up to Others
Lets start with the obvious fact that you are now an adult and are most likely midway through college and above. At this point in your life, you should be developing YOUR own ideas, not duplicating someone else's ideas. It is good to look up to people when you're young. They influence you and help mold your persona while young. As you get older these idols should become your peers. You should be striving to produce the best material in your field and be on the frontier. Strive to rival and overtake the works of your idols, not just gaze overwhelmed by their works.
This point is not to devalue the work of our predecessors or to promote arrogance. We never stop learning as human beings and there is always something to learn from others, but let us not be crippled by the works of our idols. Make your own lane and give future generations someone else to idolize.
5) Blaming Others
You're no longer a child. You're an adult. With adulthood comes sovereignty. Meaning you are the sole proprietor of your actions and ultimately your future. Your actions will determine who you become and what you become. Do not let outside influences be pivotal in your decision making, especially major ones. Be grounded in who YOU are and the GOALS you have set. Following these two factors will always lead you to your desired destination leaving no room for regrets. There are obviously things we can't control and just have to work around, but at the end of the day, we still remain the architect of our future. No one can defer us from our goals without our consent.
I do realize the nature of this list is quite selfish, but isn't that what your twenties are all about. The period you progressively become independent. The period most of us leave the nest physically, mentally, or both. This is the period most of us experience loss of loved ones, grow apart from friends, fall in and out of love, or move to new places. So many events occur during this period, both good and bad, that will demand some degree of selfishness to be successful. Above all, keep loved ones close and never forget the true value of relationships, because no man is an island. Be tough on yourself and don't put aside your aspirations. Give yourself breaks and take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life like family, friends, laughter, traveling, experiencing the world, and my favorite, sky gazing.
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