Some of the simplest advice I was ever given that couldn’t help more through your twenties.
1.) Keep everything in life in perspective. Don’t go overboard, and don’t underwhelm yourself. Set yourself up for success, but specifically – keep the order in your life maintained. Keep your goals in perspective – whether they’re short, or long term. Keep your priorities in order. And understand that evolving your priorities isn’t a bad thing, on occasion.
2.) Plans change, sometimes. Things happen. Things come up. Oftentimes, things come up when you least expect them to. Opportunities present themselves, you meet people, maybe you move. Whatever it is it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Going with the flow, as long as you’re not forgetting your priorities, and plans – isn’t always a bad thing.
3.) Keep an open mind. Maybe it won’t be a life changing opportunity. Maybe it will in the moment feel like its meaningless, or just another random event. After you have time to reflect though, you might find that you’ve experienced something that changed your perspective a little. It doesn’t have to be marked on your calendar, and shared on Facebook for it to matter, or have a positive impact on you as a person.
4.) Make logical decisions, not emotional decisions. Sometimes this one is hard. It’s not always easy, especially in the world we live in today, but a long time ago when I was told to never make a decision angry – I had no idea what he was talking about. Granted, I was probably 13 at the time, but the point stands. Making emotionally charged decisions is probably one of the biggest flaws of our generation. Twenty-something’s are very aware of the world around us, and our desire to “do for others” and see the human side of virtually every situation – can sometimes bite us where we don’t like it. No one is perfect, but making decisions based on reason – instead of emotion is probably one of the fairer goals one could set for themselves, no matter what the circumstances are.
5.) Have a backup plan. Twenty-something’s are hardwired for the here and now. It’s not to say that it’s a bad thing. But, our long term planning could definitely stand to be improved. A backup plan can be anything. It can be as small as a contingency plan for extenuating circumstances small, or big – or it could be a complete overhaul of life, and the direction it’s heading. It just depends on the person making it. One thing’s for certain it never hurts to be game-planning for the future.
6.) Nothing is promised. And, this isn’t to say “live every moment like it’s your last.” Simply put, it’s to remind us that quite literally nothing in life is promised. Make the most of every moment, and this doesn’t mean live your life with reckless abandon. It means, understand the parameters of every situation you put yourself in willingly.
7.) Think on big decisions. Never make any decision that impacts your life, not just in this moment, but in the moments 3-6 months from now – not with caution – but respect. As long as you give the decision thought, you are at least respecting it to the point of knowing the decision a little better than you did originally. Even if you’re no clearer on what you should do.
8.) Live YOUR life. Not the one someone else wants you to live. People will come and go throughout the process of you figuring out what that exactly is. But, that’s O-K. Life will go on. For everyone. Again, respect yourself and the decisions you want to make – and make them.
9.) OWN your life. Your past. Your present. Your future. The things you want. The things you don’t want. The things that confuse you. As well as the things that make you think. At the end of the day – doing what you want is beyond important. However, if you’re just going to hedge your bets – and not own your life as well, then you’re basically putting yourself in the same boat – as someone who is living the life others want them to. Good, bad, or ugly – it doesn’t matter nearly as much as people will try to make it seem.
10.) TRY to be a good human. None of us are perfect. There is an endless amount of “advice” out there, on how to live every part of your life – and do every single thing from the start to end of your day – from people who are both perfectly, and horribly qualified to speak on the subjects. Take it all with a grain of salt, and remember that being a good person – is far more important than anything you may at some point do in your life. But then again, no one will go through their life being a flawless human being. So, don’t let yourself be beat up over mistakes, or “selfish” thinking.
11.) Life is short. Seriously. If you’re 20+ years old, that means, in terms of averages – you’ve lived at least a quarter of your life. In another 15-20, you could potentially have lived HALF of your life. Think about that. Then, think about the fact that one rotation around the calendar is “a year.” Usually it isn’t until you’re in your mid-twenties that you realize how quickly time, and life really does go by. But, the sooner you can figure that out – the better. For some more than others, it can be a startling realization.