Your 20s are probably the best period of your life, because you get to enjoy all the perks of being an adult, without any (or most) responsibilities and difficulties that come with it. It’s the right time to enjoy yourself and experiment, and while that is certainly a part of growing up, many young men in their 20s don’t think about how their actions will influence their future. Getting a job may be enough for all the pieces to fall in place, but for most, success is a more complex animal, which needs to be cultivated early on, so that it can pay dividends later.
With that in mind, here are 15 things all young adult men should have in mind in order to become successful and happy adults.
See the Big Picture
While it’s important to live in the now, you should also think about the bigger picture, such as your goals for the future. Try to envision your successful life in 5, 10, or more years from now, and according to that, create a map for it and set goals. If you’re unsure then doing stress out! These don’t have to be exact, but by keeping them in mind, they will start to steer you in the direction that you would like to go in.
Create a Vision for Yourself
Try to imagine yourself in the future. What you will look like, what you will do, which skills you will possess and what kind of person you will be. Focus on which skills and personality traits you need to work on in order to get there, and figure out which ones you need to keep.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Aside from being a source of envy for many people, comparing yourself to others, no matter how successful they are, is not going to help you, because the things that have worked for them might not work for you. It may be due to a different set of circumstances, pure luck, or good timing. In the end, you are your own person, and you have your own unique path. This may be a difficult thing to resist, especially in this culture, but be aware of when you are doing it and, instead of judging yourself, just take a breath and relax. (This may not do much for you initially but over time it will become second nature!)
Allocate Your Time and Energy Where Its Most Needed
Your time and your energy are not infinite, so don’t waste them on things that are only holding you back on your road to success. This can be a bad relationship, a business project that is going nowhere, or wasting time on social media. Get rid of time-wasting habits and focus on something that is going to benefit you personally and/or professionally.
Focus on What Matters
We live in an age where distractions are dime a dozen, which makes it harder for you to stay on track. But, all that technology, information, and temporary expectations will be obsolete in a few years, or even sooner, so don’t waste your time on them. Focus on what matters to you, or gives you pleasure, and do the things that you need to do in order to reach your goals. Even though goal setting is pretty much mandatory for what most people would consider ‘success’, any time you spent enjoying yourself is not wasted time.
Learn to Accept Uncertainty
According to Peter Nelson, who is a co-founder of Essaysontime, our best-laid plans provide us with a sense of hope and comfort, especially when we are young:
“In life, though, not everything will go according to plan, and you need to be OK with that uncertainty, because it can turn out to be an opportunity in disguise, as well as a way for you to anticipate potential outcomes.”
Step Away from Your Goals if You Have to
When you are in your 20s, you have the energy, the ambition, and the possibility to do anything you set your mind to, and that’s not just a phrase. Now is the right time to figure out what’s right for you, so go out and try working different jobs, follow your passions, and pursue those goals, no matter how impossible they might seem. Make the most out of your potential, energy and your skills.
Seize the Opportunity
At your age, you are probably not worrying about a missed opportunity, but you should know that once it’s gone, it’s not going to appear again, at least not in its original form. This is why you should learn to study each chance carefully, and then decide whether or not it’s worth turning down. If it’s good, grab it like your life depends on it.
Grow Your Network of Contacts
When you’re an adult, who you know is just as important as what you do, and that is what most people in their 20s don’t realize. Having a big network of contacts means you will always have plenty of opportunities at your disposal when it comes to work, professional growth, and finding even more contacts. This can also be applied to your personal life.
Learn How to Handle Money
Regardless of how hard you have worked to earn it, money will disappear easily if you don’t learn how to save it or make sound investments. While it’s normal to spend money on partying, you should also start thinking about a financial plan for yourself which will serve you in the future. But, even when you start making big money, you will be much better off treating as a tool to achieve some things in life, and not as a goal in itself. Starting off with this habit can be as simple as saving 10% of your income, and sticking to a monthly budget. This is simple but not always easy. But even just by doing these two things you are already miles ahead of the majority of people!
Find an Additional Source of Income
This tip gets shares a lot by successful people. Instead of solely focusing on your full-time job, come up with a side project which can become profitable with time. It can be anything, from freelancing to running your startup. That way, you will always have an alternative career to fall back on, not to mention more money in your savings account.
Invest in Your (Self)Knowledge
Learning new things, even when you are not required to, will do you a world of good later in life. You never know when a particular skill might come in handy, or turn into a career opportunity. Consume knowledge on any subject you are interested in, because the more you know, the more you are worth.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Embrace Criticism instead of Just Praise
Praise feels good, but in the long run, it is the criticism that will help you become a better adult. Constructive criticism from someone who means well should be fully embraced, provided that you don’t let your ego get in the way. If the criticism comes from envy, it is just a confirmation that your work has worth.
Failure Is a Part of the Growing Process
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill
Just because you have failed at something doesn’t mean you should give up or that you are not cut out for it. To Repeat: It DOES NOT mean that you should give up or that you are not cut out for it. Each failure is step toward success, and a valuable learning experience which can point you in the right direction. Even if they suck in the moment, failures help you grow and develop and in the long run, you will learn to embrace them.
Take Care of Your Health
You probably think you are invincible at this point, and you have every reason to think so, because your body will hardly suffer any consequences, regardless of your lifestyle. However, if you don’t start taking care of your physical health now, it will catch up to you as soon as you reach your 30s. Exercise regularly, watch what you eat, and do everything in moderation. It will pay off in the future.
It’s never too early to start preparing for success. Of course, you should enjoy life and get as much as you can out of it, but not at expense of your future. Follow the advice shared in this article, and you will be on your way toward success and mindfulness.