After embarking on a year-long spiritual journey, reflecting on my life, and reading the works of some of the world’s most influential thought leaders, I have compiled a list of twelve ideas that will make life a lot easier and more fulfilling if practiced in your 20’s and beyond. During my time as a hotel desk clerk, I had the opportunity to interview dozens of strangers (some over age 65) about their biggest lessons in life. Some were truck drivers. Some were war veterans. Some were cancer patients. These are their life lessons.
These are the 12 things you should know (but probably won’t do) in your 20’s.
12 Life Lessons For Those Living In Their 20’s
Slow down. Take a deep breath. Don’t worry about the future, prepare for it. Life is lived in the present.
If you keep going at this pace, one day you’ll wake up and be 30!
2. Learn to love yourself now
You’ll never be younger, more attractive, more energetic, or more carefree than you are today.
Don’t waste your time being self-conscious. You’re hot! Enjoy it.
3. Take care of your body
You’re going to regret all of your smoking, drinking, and unhealthy eating habits when you’re older. I know what you’re thinking: “You’ve got to die from something, right?”, Wrong! I know that you secretly think you are going to die suddenly at around age 45 before you have to deal with your mistakes. I know you don’t really believe that you are going to live until age 60, and you may not, but what if you do?
The average person who reaches age 60 lives to be age 82. Don’t spend the last 20 years of your life in misery!
4. Stop caring about what other people think
Ninety percent of them, you’ll never see again. Ninety-nine percent of the remaining ten percent won’t even cry at your funeral! If everyone lived their truth, no one would have to pretend.
5. Follow your instincts
Gain the courage to always do what you truly desire versus what everyone else expects of you.
Trust your inner voice, it’s always right.
6. Vulnerability is not weakness: it is strength
Tell your friends how much you love them. Give a speech in front of a large audience. Have an intimate conversation with your significant other. Allow yourself to be seen.
Being vulnerable is the only way to truly connect with others, and that is truly what we all want.
7. Happiness comes from within
Regardless of your circumstances, e.g., homelessness, death of a loved one, loss of a job, etc., you can always choose happiness. It is not dependent upon external factors. Embrace the uncertainty of life. The way to overcome fear of change is to eliminate your desire for things to remain the same.
Life would be boring if you always knew what to expect.
8. Funerals are pointless
Appreciate your loved ones while they are alive. You don’t have to say “goodbye” when they’re gone if you’ve said “hi” while they were here.
9. Invest your money
Invest in yourself. Invest in your knowledge, your skills, your experiences, and your personal relationships. Purchase assets that will produce even more money for you in the future. Save for retirement. All of those designer clothes, frappé mochas, and movie tickets won’t help you when you’re old and broke.
The time value of money is your best friend. Don’t ruin the relationship.
10. Have a solid plan
Figure out what you really, really want and don’t give up until you get it.
11. You have nothing to lose
You don’t have a mortgage. Odds are, you don’t have any children, if you are in your early 20’s. You’re already broke! Stop pretending like you really own anything in this life. You are free! And your time is running out.
Don’t spend it frivolously.
12. You will ignore everything on this list
Like most 20-somethings, you’ll just ignore the elders advice, make the same mistakes, and wish someone had told you earlier. Prove me wrong.
I dare you!
If you enjoyed these life lessons, please share this article with your friends. They probably won’t listen, but hey, at least you tried!
If you have any standout life lessons that you have come across, please share them in the comments below.