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We all know the big 2 0 is an accomplishment in itself. Or so it seems… 20 is when you are supposed to have all of your 'ish' together. You are supposed to know and already be doing something with your life; whether it be finishing up college, getting into a serious relationship, or starting an exciting new career. I want to say to all of the 20-somethings and the just now adults:
1.) You don’t have to have it all figured out!
Seriously though, you don’t. Trying to decide what to do with your life can be extremely daunting. It can be stressful. It can be scary. But don’t let anyone pressure you into making a decision that's not right for you. At the same time though, don’t put off making a decision just so you can lay around watching Netflix on your parents' couch.
2.) Pursue your interests/skills.
This, my dear, is where your niche is. This is the place you belong. These are the things you do that make you feel alive. Don’t sell yourself short. We are led to believe that if we undercut ourselves or play down our abilities, then it's considered humble. If we play ourselves up and say that we are the best; well that’s just prideful. And we all know "pride comes before the fall." Guess what? That mindset is CRAP! Certainly, do not come off as cocky or arrogant, but be confident in your skills! If you know you can do it and do it well; then don’t be afraid to say so.
3.) Invest in yourself!
In order to pursue our dreams, we must invest in knowledge. No, I am not about to rant to you about going to college. (I’m sure you get enough of that from your parents.) But think about what you love. Then ask yourself the question: ‘What kind of life would I live if money were no object?’ ‘What dreams would I pursue if I knew it was all paid for?’ I’m not talking about driving custom job Lamborghinis or living in a huge mansion on one of the clifftops in Greece. I’m talking about what would you do to learn. For example: If you have a passion for the stock market (random I know, but roll with it), and you want to become the biggest, baddest stockbroker in the business, you have to know how it works. Where can you acquire all of this information? YouTube?... I don’t think so. College and internships would be your best bet. Another example would be an artist. How do you become a more skilled artist? College?... Maybe, but I don’t think Picasso went to college. He repetitively practiced. In this day and age, there are many resources to help inspire and motivate you. Whether it's an art class at a local Joann's or a summer spent studying the greats with other fellow creators. The point is, refined skills and being knowledgeable about your field will serve you well in the pursuit of your dream career.
4.) Be kind to yourself.
This is a big one! Give yourself a break! Don’t beat yourself up about not making the right decisions, or not yet knowing what to do. YOU HAVE TIME! In fact, this should be the time you set aside in your life for self-improvement, exploration, and adventure. I’m not talking about going wild and breaking all the rules and standards your parents set for you. I’m talking about having fun by doing the activities you love. Reading a book. Going on a hike. Spending time with friends and developing deeper connections. Taking time off to go on a wild African safari. Whatever it is, make sure you have fun!
5.) Romantic relationships don’t define you…
This may be a tough pill to swallow for some people. But it's straight up truth. Having a significant other does not define who you are. You should know who you are with or without them. Two whole people in a relationship rather than two broken and needy people in a relationship are much more likely to succeed. When you know who you are, the world is your oyster. You are a force to be reckoned with. Don’t let your need for being in a relationship hold you back from pursuing your dreams. Because at the end of the day, that special person should run alongside you and champion you in going after your passions. They should fit so well into the life you have created for yourself that there should be no question or doubt that they are ‘the one.’
So, live your best life! Go on an adventure! Don't stress so much about things that are not going to matter five years from now! Take time for you. Your 20s should be the best time of your life. A time of self-discovery and love.