You have an entire life to live for others. After a point of time, it becomes more of a responsibility than a choice. Meanwhile, your 20s are your selfish years. This is the time which is entirely for yourself. So, here are a few things you can do in your 20s to avoid regrets in your 30s and 40s.
1. Understand that you’re not running out of time
The “hustle culture” today will make you feel like you’re running out of time, but you’re not. Your 20s are for you to have experiences, make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Even if you’re not hustling in a way that is portrayed online, it’s alright. Everyone has their own pace, you do you, boo!
2. Stop self-rejecting
Not applying for that internship because you don’t think you’re qualified enough? Not calling that person back who took your interview two weeks back because chances are you weren’t that good? Not asking that person out because they are out of your league? You need to stop rejecting yourself.
A lot of times you miss out on opportunities because you didn’t think you deserve them. If you never try, you never know, just what you’re worth.
3. Understand taxes and how to file them
I still don’t understand why we are not taught taxes in school when this is the thing every single one of us HAS to do every single year of our adult life. Well, what you’re not taught, you learn yourself. So, read about taxes, talk to people who do taxes and understand how it all works. Even if you don’t learn the whole of it, you should know enough and understand the basics.
4. Understand the power of compounding
One thing all social media influencers are not wrong about is the power of compounding. The sooner you start investing, the better returns you will get. You might not have a lot of money to start with, so start with whatever little money you have and see it compound and grow.
5. Don’t do things just because they seem cool
When you are young, you have a tendency to pick on the bad habits of others just because those things seem cool or because that person looks cool to you. You don’t have to do the things they are doing just to fit in. People should be accepting of you, and you should be accepting of other people.
6. Inculcate discipline
Your ability to focus on your goals improves when you make discipline a part of your personality. By being disciplined, you can keep pushing yourself beyond your own limits. In contrast to self-motivation and willpower, self-discipline is a virtue. Being disciplined helps you keep your focus on your goals, regardless of the distractions and hassles around you.
7. Have hobbies and build skills
It’s important to build and nurture hobbies because if you don’t have hobbies, what will you even do with your free time? Yes, it can be fun to just take a nap, but a hobby helps you to enjoy your free time more productively. The same is with building skills. The job market is ever-changing, the only thing that will keep you ahead of the curve is the skill set you possess.
8. Build connections
Many people confuse connections with friends, but that’s not the case. It is imperative to make connections because they make you more diversified. You can count on your network of people to assist you in identifying solutions or providing support when you face difficult circumstances, be it professional or personal.
9. Have a mix of people around you from all age groups
You learn from the people around you. If you are amongst people who are at the same place, then chances are just like you, they are also trying to figure things out for themselves. Try to surround yourself with a mix of people from all age groups. The older ones will help you with their wisdom, the younger ones will teach you their zest.
10. Your relationships are important, don’t take them for granted
More often than not, people think they need to focus on just one thing and hustle to become successful in their lives. And more often than not, they start taking their relationships for granted in order to achieve success.
People close to you will try their best to stick by your side, but understand that they also have a threshold, after which they won’t be able to be there for you. So, along with building your career, build your relationships too, because they are the ones who stick with you when the goings get tough.
11. You don’t need to keep negative people in your life
There are two kinds of negative people we usually keep around us. The first ones are easily identifiable, as their actions and words make it blatantly clear that they are negative. It’s easy to identify them and cut them off.
The second ones however are a bit harder to identify, because they mask their negativity behind the veil of your betterment. A friend who keeps telling you that you cannot do something because they do not feel you’ll be good at it may sound like they are concerned, but in reality, they are only limiting you. Let them loose.
12. Make a routine that includes exercise
School life worked well for us because we had a set routine to follow. Your routine should include some time for your hobbies, learning new skills, and exercising. In your 20s, you are at your prime health, but if you don’t take care of it, it’ll only go downhills from there. You might think you don’t have time to exercise, but it is easier to inculcate this habit in your 20s than your 30s and 40s.
13. Just like your physical health, your mental and emotional health are important too
A lot of problems happen because we are not emotionally equipped to deal with them. We don’t understand how we are supposed to respond to a given situation. Because we never gave time to improve our emotional health. When you are in your 20s, you don’t have as many responsibilities as you will have in a few years. Utilize this time to work on your emotions and understand how you can deal with circumstances better.
Similarly, you have to make sure that your mind is in a positive state. Never hesitate to talk about your feelings. If you ever feel like your mind is sliding down a spiral, please don’t shy away from seeking professional help.
14. Understand that it’s okay if your 5 year plans don’t work out
Life isn’t all about success. You win some, you lose some. You must realize that your 20s are all about figuring out which direction you want to take your life in. It’s perfectly okay if your 5-year plans don’t pan out the way you hoped. Life doesn’t end in 5-years, so alter your goals, set new expectations, and try again. Take a pause, but never give up.
15. It’s okay to splurge sometimes
You’re young and you should spend your money on experiences, not things. That is true about 90% of the time. For the remaining 10%, it’s okay to spend your money on things. Is there an expensive watch on your wishlist that you are planning to buy one day? Go ahead, buy it now.
In case you can’t afford it right now, it’ll motivate you to either save or find more avenues of income. And when you finally get it, it gives you the zeal to work even harder and make a better life for yourself.