Nowadays a lot of us scroll through our social media accounts and try to compare our lives with someone else. We look at their profile and get carried away by what we see. Sometimes we even believe the things we see are a reflection of reality. We purposely ignore the possibility that there is so much more that we don’t know behind some glossy images online.
When our friends take several vacations in a year, we easily assume they have good paying jobs. When someone gets engaged after a few months of being in a relationship, we think they’re really great at managing their romantic partnership. When a random stranger online seems like they have the answer to almost everything, we’re convinced they have it all together.
But I genuinely believe that a lot of us in our twenties are just trying to get by while figuring things out along the way. Chances are, your friends are just as confused as you are. They share the same fears that you do. They get lonely. They fall for the wrong person. They get heartbroken.
We are all working towards becoming the best versions of ourselves. And in the process of doing so, sometimes we make stupid decisions. Sometimes we fail miserably because we have big egos. We get trapped in this cycle of pleasing other people. We hold on to toxic relationships because we’re uncomfortable at being alone. But in the end, we all learn from all of our mistakes.
To me, being successful in your twenties is not about how much money you are able to make. It’s not about the number of people you’ve slept with. It’s not about how many plane tickets you’ve bought, the parties you’ve crashed, the hearts you’ve held in your hands.
The truth about defining your success and happiness in your twenties isn’t glamorous at all. Sometimes winning can be as simple as surviving the day despite going through a painful season in your life. It can also be learning to love yourself, being okay on your own, and striving to be better at your job. You create your own definition of success and happiness. And it’s perfectly okay if it doesn’t conform to old standards.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to do all these big, flashy moves in hopes that we can keep up with other people. Subconsciously, they are only encouraging us to make decisions and actions solely for the purpose of achieving society’s approval.
Success and happiness in our twenties ultimately derives from us feeling good about ourselves and working on our goals towards self-improvement.
This is not the decade in which we can sit at our front porch on a Sunday morning and tell ourselves that we have reached our peaks. Because the truth is, there is so much more work to do. There is still a lot to achieve in this lifetime and we’re only just starting out.
Beginnings are not comfortable and romantic like in the movies. Working on your life from the ground up is scary and messy and lonely and not fun all the time. But all these good, bad, and mediocre experiences you have in your twenties help shape who you will become.
Someone’s life online shouldn’t influence the way you run your life. You and your friends are trekking on completely different journeys. Their views of success and happiness aren’t going to be the same as yours. Constantly comparing yourself to them is only going to simultaneously confuse you and slow you down.
It’s possible to still be satisfied in your life even if you aren’t a millionaire by 30. There is no rush in finding the right person. You don’t have to follow all the rules you are told to do in order to be successful.
Your job in your twenties is to build a strong moral foundation, to get to know yourself thoroughly, to be comfortable on your own and clearly define what success and happiness looks like to you.
These early years of your life aren’t going to be a walk in the park, but if you have patience with yourself, and if you are willing to trust the process, you can gain clarity in navigating this uncertain world in your twenties.