10 Secrets to Your Twenties

There are probably a lot of reasons my generation’s first few years out of college are so stressful. We are not sure where to go next. Where to live, what to do, who to be with. For the first time in life we don’t have a clear four-year plan (or five, or six).

What’s next is almost entirely up to us!

While there are plenty of reasons for our cluelessness, one of the most obvious (and most easily fixed) is the lack of clear, relatable advice from people who have successfully navigated their 20s. We need more people like Paul Angone!

These secrets are taken from his work on AllGroanUp.com. I am a big fan of his and found his book 101 Secrets to Your 20’s extremely funny and insightful.

I’ve picked out 10 of my favorites to share.

  1. The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to be great.
  2. Your 20’s are about having the courage to write a frightful first draft. I think most of us went into our 20’s expecting a box office smash, when instead our twentysomething story is not even going to make it to the theatres. At least not yet. You have to write a lot of really atrocious first drafts before you can find the story you need to tell.
  3.  Life will never feel like it’s supposed to. When am I going to experience the success I’m supposed to? Never. “Supposed to” is a lie. A fairy tale. It is the stealer of peace and productivity. You are right now, at this moment, exactly where you need to be. You’ll just only be able to see that five years and thirty-three days from now.
  4.  Sometimes the most proactive thing you can do is unplug. Sometimes the most radical thing you can do is nothing at all.
  5.  Complaining and creating have a direct correlation. The more you create, the less you complain. The more you complain, the less you create. It’s a pretty simple formula.
  6.  Do not confuse setbacks for settling. You can settle for a season without settling. You settle when you’ve completely given up, when you let your dreams be suffocated by your current reality.
  7.  The most dangerous job you can have in your 20s is a comfortable one. There is a stark cost for time wasted on comfortable. Complacency is a disease. Extremely contagious. Easily passed from one employee to another.
  8.  If you don’t define success, success will gladly define you. Success is the most subjective word in the history of subjective words. You can’t find something when you’re never actually decided what you’re looking for.
  9.  Refresh yourself before you wreck yourself. You’ve got big plans, dreams, and goals? Awesome. You can’t squeeze water from a dry sponge.
  10.  When will I feel like myself again? The answer is never. Because I was holding on to a me that I can no longer be.

My favorite? It happens to be one that flies in the face of my generation’s desire for instant gratification. As millennials, we believe we are entitled to a great job right out of college in a great location, making more money than our parents that is recognizably solving one of the world’s greatest problems. Not true, says Paul.

Success in your 20s is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast.

– Paul Angone