Being a twenty something in today’s world is full of challenges and setbacks. We pretend we know what we are doing – or at least we try to pretend because honestly we all look pretty lost – but the truth is, none of us really knows where to go and what to do.
I am close to turning 25 and I have no idea where I want to be when I am 30. That’s 5 years away! It seems like such a long time until then, but I can remember being 20 like it was yesterday.
We stumble and fall and get up and fall again, without even taking the time to look at what made us fall in the first place.
No one offers a hand; everyone is running towards a finish line, not even giving a second thought to being of service to us. And if they do offer an advice, it’s always too old to count today.
But I came to the realization that no one is supposed to give us any advice. Or better said – there should be no advice that would help us or turn our lives around. The interesting part of our life is that it’s unique for each individual. My life is different from yours and yours is different from mine.
Where would the fun be if we would have a book of rules somewhere, ready to be read by every person the second they turn a certain age? Where would the adventure be? Who would see the beauty in the cracks without trying to fill them in? Because that’s what I am noticing in my peers, that we let ourselves be broken, not fixing ourselves. Improving but not fixing.
Being a twenty something in today’s world is meant to be challenging. It’s meant to drag us down and make us tougher. It’s supposed to play with us and make us run for the gold.
It’s called evolution. Only the fittest survive.
Think about all the human species who evolved to become us today. They all had to go through obstacles that toughened them up and helped them survive. It’s the reason we are here today.
The reason why being a twenty something in today’s world is the way it is is because we would not survive without it.
- Climate change.
- Social media.
We have to deal with people leaving their homeland due to wars and environmental changes, we are in the middle of a mass extinction, we are bombarded with new tech toys every week, social media is controlling us, and A.I. is about to become a part of our lives (matter of fact, it really has).
If we would be softer, we would have to die.
Our children are the future and will be living in a world that we create, so in order to make this planet as good as we can for future generations, we must be challenged and thrown on our backs.
We must learn how to survive in a group and how to survive alone. How to navigate through obstacles that are put in front of us by our parents, peers, people in power and the environment.
Let’s look at four things that are in my opinion crucial for navigating through our twenties successfully and with the least amount of stress.
- Learning how to make money on your own. Instead of planning on being slaves to corporations, we must learn how to put our talents and abilities to work and earn basic income by doing what we know best. Stepping away from working for other people and learning how to work for ourselves. Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to do that or that everyone wants to, but everyone must be able to identify what are their strengths and how they can use them in the worst case scenario (being fired, incapable of leaving home for work). I am doing that with this website; I am working towards one day being able to do what I love as my job.
- Investing 5-10% of our monthly income for our future or emergency. We never know when the crisis will hit and we won’t be able to use our body or mind for work. We can get hit by a car and break our neck, lose the ability of speech, lose our arm, or become completely dependent on others. Having enough money for the first 6 months is crucial in today’s world, and since we are not thought about how to start saving or why that is important, we need to learn that for ourselves.
- Being able to control our thoughts. With that, I mean that we must learn how to step back and let the nastiness in our minds run alone, without our help. That just might be the most important advice I have because I know very well how hard life becomes when the simplest things become the toughest. The ability to think for ourselves and distance ourselves from the thoughts that are in our head is the most powerful tool we can have in our possession when we are 20-something (and every other age).
- Mastering a new language. Everything is global nowadays and even though we will soon be able to purchase headphones that will translate everything for us in a matter of seconds, having advanced knowledge of another language is crucial. If you live in The United States, speaking Spanish should be on your to-do list like yesterday, but if you are from Europe, I suggest picking up English – which I assume you speak since you are reading this – and an extra language while you’re at it. My father always repeated that knowing languages is one of the most important things one can have and that I should take the advantage of being good at learning them, so I did.
One thing that I want to point out as very important, is that no matter where you are, what your circumstances are and how privileged you might be (or not), there is one thing we can all do, and that is being in charge of how we feel and how we think.
Yes, there are strange forces that we cannot control, such as lack of free will, other people and natural disasters – but we do hold a certain amount of power in our hands. Let us not waste it.
p.s. – If you happen to be interested in being more eco-friendly today, check out this post that I wrote.