Your 20s are full of uncertainty.
This uncertainty makes them difficult. I wish someone had given me a handbook to deal with my 20s, because mine almost ruined me.
As a 36 year old, here are a few solid lessons that can rescue your 20s.
Don’t fall for the corporate promises
Entering the workforce in your 20s make you a prime candidate for brainwashing. Corporations get off on this. Why?
It’s how they make profit using your youth.
Don’t fall for it. Most businesses couldn’t give a fudge about you. If you got hit by a car tomorrow they’d have another 20-something in your seat within 2 weeks. Also, the career growth they promise is a nothingburger.
No one can promise you a promotion or a raise.
That comes down to how good you are at making friends with people in the right places. That’s right, the best career paths don’t come from working hard or the skills you have. They come from who you know.
I got a job in banking doing a dream job most people would trade their mother-in-law for to get. Not because I know jack about banking. But because I ran into a farmer in a lift and said “Gday mate, how’s your day?”
Corporations tell pretty fairytales that are bullsh*t.
Use a job to learn. Then quit so you can go earn the real big bucks.
Better to marry right than marry a monster
Bigfoot was nearly my wife.
She showed no emotion towards me. I have no idea how we ever dated for so long. I guess I was desperate and dealing with mental health issues. Any hole seemed like a goal at the time.
Then I nearly married her out of fear. No one wants to be alone forever, no matter how many singles books we read telling us “you’re better off.”
We crave company.
Be diligent with who you marry. A great test is to take multiple overseas holidays in busy countries. If you can make it through without ripping each other’s hair out, then it’s a good sign.
Just don’t rush into it. Marriage is best left to when you’re ready. 30s are often a better time. That way you’ve collected more data on your potential partner. It’s not a decision you want to screw up.
50% of everything you’ve ever earned walks out the door if it ends in divorce.
Slow and steady. And if you’re being rushed it’s a huge, red, blinking siren.
“The most interesting people are paradoxes”
Millionaires who own nothing
Fighters who are philosophers
Writers with millions of followers who are introverts
Entrepreneurs who built empires, but have freedom
Interesting people are everywhere. Spark up random conversations. Get to know people without ever talking too much about yourself. Look for the people who make the trends look ridiculous.
When you find a few good ones, keep in contact with them. Call them every now and then and have them as your mentors.
But never use the label “mentor.” People hate that. It feels like an unpaid job.
Stop measuring where you are compared to others
I spent my 20s scrolling LinkedIn and looking at people’s career progressions.
If my job title was “associate” and they were the same age or younger and had the title “manager,” I got pissed.
You’re falling behind in life I’d say to myself in between sips of Carlton Draught beer.
Don’t worry about how far people have come. Most of our googleable successes are a lie anyway. People have a habit of exaggerating their accomplishments to look good.
Remember: what comes up when people google your name is a resume. Smart people know that so they write everything as if their future employer is reading.
What looks like the dream life is a mirage.
A big fancy job on Wall Street looks like a dream. The cars, the sexy dates, the money, the houses. Yet talk to people who have what you think you want.
You’ll find most of them are miserable deep inside. They’ve got all the material results but they’re dead inside because of the absence of meaning. Your results are right where they should be.
Slow down to speed up.
Practice deep focus
The work that makes you come alive happens when you’re not distracted.
We’re drowning in technology. In your 20s it’s cool to be plugged into all the latest apps and have your phone everywhere you go with wireless headphones connected to drown out the boomers.
Without focus though, you’ll never achieve your ambitious goals. Focus amplifies input so your output looks effortless. If you really want to master focus then google “flow states.”
They turn your focus into a superpower so time is better used. That’s how you get more time to do what you love doing.
Shut the hell up and do the work
There’s a lot of “I don’t know” in your 20s. Good. You’re not supposed to know too much. We’re all just making stuff up as we go anyway.
Quit complaining. Quit blaming. Quit trying to plan everything.
Just do the work. Ryan Holiday says when he writes a book he has no clue how it’s going to work out. All he does is follow his process of creating notecards, and the book somehow ends up finished.
The process creates the progress.
Nothing is easy. But what you look back and love in your 30s are the things you busted your ass for in your 20s.
Invest like a mofo
If you buy stocks/crypto in your 20s they can grow to become enormous in your 30s. Learn how money works. Learn investing. Set up auto-transfers from every paycheck you earn to flow into investments.
Automated investing makes your 30s a dream.
Make bad travel decisions on purpose
Jack Raines is a 20-something weirdo. Yet he can teach us a lot.
He makes bad travel decisions on purpose. He’ll interrupt a great career to leave the country and backpack. He’ll interrupt his investments to fund his travel and go to Vegas.
Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are supposed to be wild and unpredictable. Otherwise, what stories are you going to tell the next generation when you’re old and grey?
Travel is a great way to learn faster. Different cultures teach you different life lessons you can apply when you return home.
The worst thing you can do is live in the same place forever. When your surroundings change you see things you didn’t see before. Suddenly a water fountain looks cool when back home you’d walk past it and not even notice.
Let your brain jump on planes.
Don’t think too hard about kids
I hated the thought of having kids as a 20-something punk.
A few friends had kids in their 20s and I deleted their phone numbers. The thought of spending every day with a spoilt brat that pisses, sh*ts, and vomits all over your favorite bright green shirt feels terrible.
In your 30s things look different.
You think about your legacy. You have this bizarre desire to teach what you’ve learned. Kids often become an outlet for this inner sharing of wisdom. Plus their forced to pay attention because you pay for their food and shelter…muhahaha.
Now I’m 36 kids don’t feel so dumb. I’m looking forward to meeting my unborn daughter in six months (but who’s counting?).
The most important thing with having kids is to make sure you want them.
So guys … wear a rubber.
That’s the final lesson that’ll definitely save your 20s 🙂
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.