Currently, I am in my mid-20s and there is a lot that I have learnt, which I feel can benefit anybody reading this; whether you’re in your 20s or not. Funny enough when I was in my teens I always pictured 20s would be such a breeze and could not wait to get older. As I got older, age came with more challenges and the need for more growth. So far at only 24 years old, there are a few things that I have learnt for myself that will impact on my future positively and these are;
- That it is okay to not know what to do in life
It is not the end of the world if you do not know exactly what you want to do with your life but maybe you have some ideas. I talked about this in a previous blog post regarding life after university. The same thing applies here. Not knowing what you want with your life can be daunting when you’re looking around, and it seems as though other people in their 20s are doing a lot more than you or appear more successful. Some may appear more focused and happier than you are. It may look as though they’re progressing further in life than you are. Newsflash for you, all of that is false. As hard as it is to believe, it is okay to have no clue, it truly is, but here is the trick. Don’t just sit on your ass moaning and complaining that you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Don’t let that stop you from elevating and trying new things. Slow progress is still progress. Want to be 24 and be in the same situation and position you were in at 21? Of course, you don’t! So, use this opportunity to try things. See yourself as the little kid in a toy store just picking and choosing different things to play with, without any care in the world. Depending on your attitude, your 20s can be something like that.
- It is okay to do a lot of trial and error
This is basically a follow up from my first point. Whilst you are still young and in your adventurous years, and possibly have little to no real tough responsibilities, it is okay to do a lot of trial and error. Start that business, and if it fails do something else. Take that job and leave after 6 months if you’re not fulfilled, to maybe travel or make music. You can do a lot, and even if it may not go as far as you planned a wise woman once said that when it comes to finding yourself, there is no such thing as wasting time. All these experiences, good or bad, are leading to something greater or at least something that will erase some or all your misery.
- Gaining knowledge in money and financial management is important
I am no financial advisor or expert when it comes to money or money management. However, once you reach your 20s chances are, you are going to think about or start to make investments or financial commitments that require some knowledge to handle responsibly. First thing I would advise is to get a grip of your finances based on your earnings and be real with yourself, based on what you want to do, to enjoy your income and make the most of it. It is also vital to understand what you need and don’t need to spend or invest in at a certain time. Personally, the older I’m getting and the more I want certain things, especially the freedom and access money provides, the more I want to be financially literate and know how to manage money effectively. This is a benefit for your future self and as you grow and maybe settle or have a family one day, not being financially responsible could cripple you and those connected to you. Not just your bank account. I started my 20s not knowing much about managing my money probably because I didn’t get my first ‘real job’ till I was 22. During which, I was still irresponsible with my money, despite lectures and talks from my parents. As I’m getting older, I’m beginning to see the importance of being smarter with money and doing things like; budgeting monthly or weekly, cutting back on activities and certain habits, and putting money aside for a rainy day or savings towards future endeavours; like getting a mortgage, car or a business endeavour etc. From my experience, I would advise you to also be patient with yourself and not be pressured by your peers, friends or family with how you manage your money. After all, you earned it so you can somewhat do what you like, but the responsibility is important too.
- Nothing is holding you back besides yourself
When you hit your 20s, you’re an adult and if you don’t believe so, feel free to commit a petty crime and see how you get treated……..Nah for real go ahead. Of course, I would not encourage such, but I hope you get the emphasis I am trying to make. You are responsible for your own life and the choices that you make. I understand and respect that we all come from different circumstances, which affects how we can execute and live life. Things like family dynamics and personal situations, cultures (family or race etc), our environment, religion and such. With all those in play, the keyword here is to adapt based on how it works for you since it is your life. This isn’t the season to blame mum and dad for your current life’s situation and what could have been. This is your life; nothing is holding you back besides yourself. If any of the things I mentioned above does hold you back to some extent, as an adult you must accept your reality and deal with it as best as you can. Yes, it is challenging but ultimately nothing is stopping you.
- Don’t let the views of other, distract you from your process to progress
This is probably the one that you’ll learn immediately when you hit your 20s. Almost every choice you make someone will always have something to say be it positive or negative. 8/10 chances are that these voices are negative. Yes, it is hard, but you must ignore those that have every little thing to say about what you’re doing. Please don’t mistake this as a right to be disrespectful towards those that may critique or comment out of love. For example, your parents, siblings or friends. It is one thing to respect their views and opinions but how you let that affect you and whatever journey or process of life that you are on, it’s up to you. Block it out slowly. Another thing that I have learnt in my 20s is to not let the success of others distract me from my own goals, dreams and desires. It is easy to get distracted from your plans while watching others. In my experience, I watched in inspiration and the occasional envy (I’m a human being with feelings, it happens). As I got older, I realised that I don’t want to be the person that’s always watching what they are doing, no matter how inspirational or motivational they might be. I need to exercise the will to not watch them and start watching myself and doing things to progress too.
- It is okay to grow apart from people and outgrow certain habits and environments
As you grow older don’t be surprised how much your heart and mind crave a change. Naturally, things are meant to change and as humans, we are meant to evolve, it’s the laws of life. Whether we like it or not, things change in our environment that affects our lives, thereby causing us to change with it. With that change, you might outgrow certain habits and routines you were used to in your late teens. You may outgrow certain environments or even friends, or the people you’re used to seeing and spending time with most. That is perfectly okay to outgrow people, just don’t be a mean about it. You can outgrow people and environments in peace.
I hope reading about my lessons and experience has been helpful and has given you some insight into what early adulthood could be like. This might not be how it is for you now. You may have a different perspective. Feel free to feedback in the comments as I am also open to learning. Share this with a friend who might be in their 20s or your mum, aunty, work colleague or grandad.
Thanks for reading, Stay Phenomenal.