People define success in many different ways. Some think it is a certain amount of money, while others define it as your level of freedom. However, going back to my friends and colleagues who are currently in their 30s, there are a few common lamentations when asked what they should have done more in their 20s.
Here are the things you should start doing in your 20s to guarantee you will be successful — no matter what. The sooner you get started, the better.
1. Start Working on Your Emotional Life!
Life only gets busier as your get older. Marriage, kids, your career will continue to fill your schedule. Take five or ten minutes every morning and meditate. Get enough sleep to maintain energy and increase productivity. Find a good friend to talk to on a day-to-day business for emotional support. Too often, people either ignore this ore push it off. But this is a dangerous cycle.
Building emotional equanimity is key to success in your 30s.
2. Spend Time With People in Their 30s, 40s, and 50s
You do not learn as much spending time around people who are exactly like you. You learn by surrounding yourself with people who are older and who have have moved to the next level. If you are 25, then you want to spend time with people in their late 30s, 40s, and 50s. They are the ones with the answers — not your colleague who is 27 and still trying to figure things out him or herself.
Learning from other people’s mistakes is a great way to save yourself a whole lot of time, money, and pain. The only way you are going to do that is to spend time with people who are older than you.
3. Save and Invest as Much Money as You Can
Investments benefit most from time.
The sooner you start saving and investing, the higher your gains will be over the long term. If you run the numbers and assume 10% compounded returns, your net worth will be double if you started saving in your mid 20s compared to your mid 30s.
Financial freedom does not come from buying new sneakers or mimosas during lunch. It starts when money becomes a tool for you to make more money. The sooner you start practicing this skill, the faster you increase your net worth and get to a place that is financially secure.
4. Get Rid of Loser Friends
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
This might sound harsh, but it is true. At a certain point, it is important to realize where certain people are headed in life and how much time you want to continue investing in those relationships. You should not be spending three nights a week getting beers with a buddy who is unemployed.
Time is the most important resource. Invest it wisely.
5. Keep Learning (Even If You Are Out of School)
So many people stop reading and learning in their 20s. We live in an age of Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube where binge-watching Game of Thrones for the third time can consume twenty hours of your life. Spend that time reading. The smartest people read — and you should too.
6. Make Workouts a Routine Habit
Use your exercise regime to stay in shape and supplement your goals in life.
If you want to meet more women, think about taking up yoga. If you want to learn how to defend yourself, think about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or boxing. When we are young, we only associate physical health with sports. When are are older, exercise becomes a way that we can maintain a relationship with ourselves and others.
When you become 40 or 50 years old, almost everyone has accumulated wealth. What really differentiates people from one another in the older age bracket is health. Start thinking about this in your 20s and 30s.
7. Take On A New Hobby, And Be Interesting!
We have things that we do purely for fun. Unfortunately, they tend to fall by the wayside as you age into your 30s. Our careers take over. Add in a girl or boyfriend and kids, it will have been a decade since you picked up your guitar or painted.
Our hobbies are what keep us grounded and connect us to other people. They help us remember to make time to enjoy the day-to-day and have a well-rounded existence.
Groupon is a great way to try out new hobbies for free!
8. Find a Mentor
More often than not, finding success in your professional and private lives are not just dumb luck. It takes tenacity, grit, and most importantly know which steps to take.
This is where a mentor comes in. Having a familiar face in your corner celebrating your wins and counseling your losses makes life a bit easier to chew. A mentor has made mistakes so that you do not have to. Therefore, the most important thing is to seek advice from that mentor!
9. Find the “Right” Significant Other
I have come to learn that having someone to share the journey with is not going to hold you back. If anything, a life partner will make you better.
However, find a partner that be complementary to your life.