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Your 20s are your pressure years. You’re sorting out the good men from the bad ones; you’re trying to give your career your all; and you’re trying to invest in yourself as a person. You’re constantly aspiring to be and do more, fearing that if you don’t, you will amount to nothing and eventually, fade into oblivion. We’ve all been there.
It’s about proving a point - that you can do it all by yourself. It becomes a battle of ego. And in the midst of it all, you forget to live a little. So, before you know it, your 20s are lost on you; just like all the wasted days and nights spent on bad relationships and good escapes. And you’re left feeling tricked by your own schemes and plots. Whom do you blame? No one, but yourself. But, maybe you’re chasing the wrong things; the temporary things; when really you should be setting the ground for a happier and more stable life. Believe when I say, no one will ever tell you any of this.
Here’s 12 life goals, you should actually aspire to while in your 20s, without losing your mind, your perspective and your good years.
Many of us go through the years of our lives not having truly known ourselves. We want to be like another person - celebrity or fictional. We forget to just be real and whoever the hell we are. Take time out to figure out who you are when you’re alone, or in a crowd. Take time out to figure what is it exactly that you want - not out of people; not from yourself; but, from your life.
In the wake of being a self-proclaimed workaholic, it’s become a norm now, to neglect one’s own health. The sad part is you won’t realise this until you’re struck by a wake-up call that has raised all the biological and anatomical alarms in your body. Don’t wait for something to go wrong; it’s like they say - prevention really is better than cure.
What is it that you really stand for? What is it that you stand against? By the time you hit your 20s, you should know what can and cannot stick with you. It could be honesty, integrity, hard work, or kindness - we’re all known to people because we imbibe some core values that define who we really are. In your 20s, you should at least have an idea of things that hold considerable value to you. You should stand for something, even if it means standing alone.
When it comes to our emotions, for some reason, we’re either always in denial or perpetually hesitant to admit to them. As a human being you were meant to feel all kinds of emotions, at all kinds of times. From love to hate; from anger to sadness and from happiness to aggression - the list is endless, just like your emotions. Owning up to your emotions is the first step towards being honest and loving yourself.
If you love someone, tell them. If you have something to say, just say it. If you feel like something is wrong point it out. If you want to care about something, do so. If you want to give someone your all, give. Give till you have nothing left. In just one moment, you may feel the way you have never felt in forever. If that happens to you, say it. People fail to appreciate how beautiful it is to just be and bare your soul to someone you can be yourself with. If someone makes you smile, let them know. If you’re hurt, cry. If you want to kiss someone, don’t think about what people will say. Just kiss them.
None of us is perfect. If that were the case, we wouldn’t constantly be jealous of others and trying to be better versions of ourselves. No one would ever have a problem with us. That doesn’t make you wrong; it just makes you, you. But, trying to defend yourself; not accepting your faults and flaws is where you make a mistake. Your imperfections are a large part of you - when you embrace them, you take away any power from someone else to show you down.
One of your bigger mistakes in life won’t be having invested in the wrong funds, or having not taken a particular vacation. It will be not having valued and cherished the people who were truly important to you in life. We often take people for granted; especially the ones who make themselves inherently available to us. And so we believe that they’ll stay no matter what, or how we treat or fail to treat them. Wrong. You needn’t have hundreds of friends in your circle. Just a handful of those you cherished enough to hold on to.
It’s now or never; believe it or not. I don’t mean to sound ageist or anything; but, your 20s are the time when you figure your shit out. It’s your years to mess up, fall and pick yourself back up again; do it over and over till your feet are firmly grounded to where you belong. Once you’re older, you but naturally, want to focus on other things - like establishing yourself, making more out of life and so on. It’s your 20s that mark the foundation of your subsequent years to come.
When I was about to graduate, my mentor sat me down and said one simple thing to me. He never asked me what I wanted to be, or do. He just told me what I’m about to tell you: “Increase your circle of influence.” Don’t confuse this with how people perceive you. It’s about the kind of impression you make on people and it doesn’t come by simply following the herd. Form your own opinions. Speak your mind. Tell people why you believe in something and then stand by that belief even when the whole world stands against you. You establish a network when you stand for something. And it’s your network of people - influencers - who really enhance your development along the way. Again, these people are not necessarily your friends. There’s a fair amount of difference.
We all have good and bad days; even the best and most privileged of us. How we deal with those days adds to our own personal character building. It pays - quite literally - to have a backup plan for when things begin to go down south. And it’s never too early to start working on that plan. This could be financial, medical or even personal.
Your 20s are for learning ownership and responsibility. If you make a mistake, accept that you fumbled. Rectify it. If you screwed something up, make it right. And this doesn’t just pertain to your work or finances It holds true for the people in your life too. No one likes a person who’s quick to lay blame on circumstances and others. Sometimes, apologising and owning up to a mistake is the most graceful thing you can do. It makes you a bigger human being.
The best kind of love; the everlasting one, takes years to build. It may start with a spark. But, in order to keep every fire going, you need to fan it, kindle it - over and over. That’s how some of the warmest fires stay alight. Sure, you’re still young and you have your whole life ahead of you. And love knows no age, or boundary, period. But, love knows time. Love knows patience. And love knows devotion and dedication. So, if you fall in love - even if it’s for a moment - choose that love and let it become you. Love makes us all better people. And that’s precisely what your quarter life is for - becoming a better human being. Don’t you think so?