20 Things I Learned In My 20’s

Today is my 30th birthday. Crazy how fast time flies. Today was normal as usual. I woke up, went to an appointment, came home, watched some Champions League Footy and then went to the gym after a hearty meal. During today’s workout I was able to have some time for reflection: Here are 20 things I learned in my 20’s.

Things I learned in my 20's. Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2019.
Chiang Mai, Thailand (2019)

1. Instant Gratification Is A Killer

There have been plenty of times where I’ve spent money on something I thought I really “needed” at the moment. Looking back at some ridiculous purchases––spent $350 on a pair of sunglasses I never wore––I’d recommend not spending money on silly items. Which brings me to my next lesson..

2. Save 20-25% of Everything You Ever Make

The point isn’t the amount of money you’ll accumulate or have by the time you turn 30-years young. The point is to develop the money habits that will work for you down the line. I definitely did not develop those money habits until a few months ago but I’m sure glad I have now.

3. You Will Break and Get Your Heart Broken

There were times where I truly, undeniably, wholeheartedly believed I was in love––I was not. I was simply in love with an idea I’d crated of the women I was with. You’ll probably create your own idea of who a person is in your head to and that’s okay, just don’t mistake crazy emotions for love. Looking back now, love is letting a person bloom as they may and admiring their journey, not trying to make them into the idea you created them to be.

4. Soulmates Don’t Exist

There is no “only-one.” Anytime I’ve tried to force some relationship or some connection, it never ever worked out. The relationships I have been in that have been great typically flourished organically when I didn’t have expectations. Expectations will always leave you disappointed. Go with the flow instead.

5. Music Festivals Are Great

You can meet awesome people, have a fun time and have lasting memories you’ll never forget. When the music is just right and the vibe is on par with your surroundings, it’s always a win-win. Go to as many as you can before responsibilities catch up with you.

6. Blaze Your Own Trail

It’s easy to get caught up in the main-stream of what’s “in.” You know, going to college, getting a degree, accumulating loads of debt, buying a house, starting a family early. Find something to make you money and pursue your passions. School will always be there, the right partner is out there and opportunities are endless. Stay in alignment with who you are and pour into you. You’ll meet many great people along the way and will find bits of self-discovery along the way.

7. Move Out of Your Hometown

Some of the best friendships I’ve made happened when I left my comfort zone and move to Portland, Oregon and San Jose, California. When you leave your comfort zone you not only give yourself the opportunity to experience new perspectives and make new friends, but you’re able to really see what you’re made of. Can you really make it happen without your parents help? Are you really ready for the world? Move out of town and see for yourself.

8. Make Time For Your Loved Ones

Make time for the people you love in your life. Send those text messages, get on those FaceTime’s and check in every once in a while with those you love. You never know when you or them will be gone. Cherish your family and close friends, you never know when it’ll all be over.

9. Social Media is A Highlight Reel

Everyone only shows what they want you to see. Everything you see is merely a facade of what people want you to see for their own personal reasons. Not everyone is driving a lambo, constantly traveling, making tons of money and or with the love of their lives.

10. Don’t Judge Other People

You never know what someone is going through. That seemingly perfect person you see online who looks like they have their life together may possibly be dealing with their own issues. The guy that’s out of shape and is always posting meme’s just lost his mom. The homeless person you just drove by is going through a rough patch in life. Judging others says more about you than it does about the person you’re judging. Never assume and never judge.

11. Learn To Laugh At Yourself

Laughing brings immense joy and happiness and is your super power. When you can laugh at yourself it creates a space for others to laugh with you instead of at you haha. More importantly, it shows that you’re light-hearted and don’t take life too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself and embrace the moments. Infect others with your joy.

12. Travel As Much As Possible (And Go Solo!)

Want to know how to get to know the world? Go experience it. Everything you see on the TV and through social media is only a snippet of what the world is actually like. In fact, the Pyramids of Giza don’t have an Instagram filter and they aren’t in the middle of the desert (spoiler alert) it’s right next to the city. Traveling in my 20’s was hands down one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given to myself. You’ll be filled with immense gratitude and in some cases will be humbled beyond belief. And while resort style traveling is cool, try living among the locals to really experience the culture. You’re going to taste amazing food and make international friends. Go now!

13. Work Harder On Yourself Than You Do At Your Job

When I didn’t have a car I would take the bus to Borders Bookstore, pick out a book and read it front to back. Then I’d catch the bus back home. If I didn’t finish it, I’d hide it in the store and go back the next day to finish it. I did this until I read about 5-10 books before I could actually afford to start buying them. This has been one of the greatest investments I’ve ever made in myself. Read the books, listen to audio books, watch educational videos on personal development. Learn why you do what you do, how to master your mind and how to raise your belief levels. Life is 110% you vs. you. Go to work on yourself.

14. Take Care of Your Health

When I was 24-years young I was partying in Santa Barbara, California. Long story short, I fell out of a car and fractured my skull which then lead to a hematoma in my brain (blood clot/swelling). I was given a 50/50 chance of living with the possibility of me being a vegetable if I did live. Thankfully I’m still sharp as a tack. Make smart decisions with your life and don’t be foolish like I was. Exercise, stretch, eat food for fuel not for comfort and get plenty of sleep. The body you have is the only one you’ll ever get, take care of it.

15. Be Kind To Others

There’s is absolutely nothing cool about thinking you’re better or superior to anyone else. If anything, it makes you come off as a dick or a bitch. Be cool to other people. Say hello, say thank you and excuse me. Use your manners not because someone else deserves it but because it’s a reflection of who you are as a person. Everyone’s got their own battles they’re dealing with. The world can use more kindness. Be that fucking light.

16. Hold Yourself To A Higher Standard

If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, be there 10-15 minutes before. If you say you’re going to go to the gym, go to the gym. If you say you’re going to complete a project, complete it. Have a higher standard for yourself than you do of others. Those with lower standards than you will rise to meet you at yours or will weed themselves out of your life in the form of critics and haters––love them anyways. It’s okay to want to lift others up but not if it comes at the detriment of your own happiness and personal growth. And don’t impose your standards or expectations onto others, you’ll lose friends or people will grow to resent you. Just do you.

17. Learn Evergreen Skills

Some things in the world will continue to be around: healthcare, sales, food, energy, recycling, technology, etc. Learn skillsets that make you invaluable to the marketplace and become irreplaceable. Remember: if anyone can do it, it’ll eventually be outsourced for less money or will be automated by artificial intelligence.

18. Take Everything As Feedback

Everything anyone ever tells you is feedback as to how you’re showing up. You giving it a negative or positive emotion is what makes it negative or positive. Keep it neutral and always ask yourself, “what is this trying to teach me?” and “How is this helping me grow?” Always be learning and getting better. And remember, weak people think they know it all. Strong people ask for help. Be adaptable and always be open to learning something new. The fool knows it all.

19. Dance A Lot

Have fun! Dance your ass off even if you look goofy. What matters is that you’re having fun! I’m certainly not the greatest dancer in the world but when I dance, I have fun and that’s a huge part of what life is all about. Enjoy yourself!

20. Go For It

Whatever you want to do in your life, go for it. Don’t think you’re qualified? Apply anyways. Scared they may not be into you? Ask them out anyways. Unsure about your body? Hit the gym and work on yourself! You miss 100% of the shots you never take, so take the shot and go for it.

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