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20 Things You Need To Stop Doing In Your 20s

20 Things You Need To Stop Doing In Your 20s

Your 20s are a time when everything seems possible, but it also seems like everything is passing you by. It’s no secret that these days, adolescence is being stretched past our teen years, and many of us are suffering for it. Here are some of the habits and hang-ups we typically face during our 20s and what we need to do let them go.

1. Stop caring more about approval than earning it.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel validated for your hard work. The problem is when you spend more time searching for a pat on the back than going out and giving people a reason to recognize you.

2. Stop being thankless.

Being ungrateful, unappreciative, or however else you want to say it, is the same as being selfish. Sure, you’d never admit that you’re an overall selfish person, but you may be oblivious to all of the goodwill thrown your way. Take moments to recognize the people in your life that are responsible for your happiness.

3. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.

There are two sides to this. On the one hand, it’s essential for you to let yourself be motivated by the success of others. That is what will push and inspire you to accomplish more for your own life. The dark side to this is envy. Your 20’s are a time when you must learn how to be content with your limitations and accomplishments, putting aside the pettiness of envy.

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4. Stop being lazy.

If you really want to stop being lazy and start being more productive, remove the things from your life that are keeping you lazy. Our generation is unique. We have a wealth of technology and endless distractions at our fingertips, but we’re lazier than ever with gifts that should be making us happy, not inactive. It’s time to prioritize.

5. Stop being busy.

Sometimes, being lazy doesn’t look like laziness. It can look like you’re busy. Instead of working, creating, and contributing, you’re settling for an infinite array of tasks that will keep you distracted until you get from point A to point B. Start making time for the things that matter.

6. Stop being narcissistic.

Get over yourself. Let people get to know the real you, not a fake image you’ve put up for yourself through selfies and clever Tweets.

7. Stop blaming others.

The buck stops with you now. You’re not a kid anymore, so it’s time to own up to your own failings. Your lot in life may not be 100% your doing, but your attitude is.

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8. Stop putting things off.

Don’t let the prime of your life slip you by. Start taking advantage of the adventures life won’t give you a second chance on before settling down. Go for the dream job. Move somewhere you’ve never heard of. It won’t be long before you lose your chance.

9. Stop thinking you’re invincible.

I love taking stupid risks too, but it’s time to take care of yourself. Go to the doctor, avoid dangerous stunts and stop forcing everyone around you to worry constantly about you.

10. Stop relying on your parents so much.

This is easier said than done, but it’s time. You’ll make mistakes, feel trapped, and it won’t always be fun. But you’ll be amazed at how strong you really are.

11. Stop being disagreeable.

When someone offers a viewpoint different from yours, don’t do everything in your power to prove you’re perfect. Start understanding that there are people in this world who are smarter than you and will disagree with you. Embrace them as opportunities for growth, not ways for you to win an empty argument.

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12. Stop treating your job as a daycare.

I’ve come across a lot of 20 somethings who believe the point of their job is to collect a paycheck and move on. They’re then shocked when they get overlooked for promotions, raises, or keeping that job. Don’t let your work be average or “good enough.” Provide value for the people who employ you.

13. Stop letting fear and uncertainty stop you.

Fear isn’t really a choice. It’s a door that we can choose to either walk through or walk away from. In most cases, it’s never going to be easier to walk through later on, so let it go. Don’t let yourself become full of regret.

14. Stop being cheap.

There’s value to a minimal lifestyle, and frugality isn’t something to trend away from. But you should also let yourself spend money on the things you truly want, within reason. Buy the nicer clothes once in a while. Buy food that is good for you. Saving money is vital, but so is investing in the things that make you happy.

15. Stop daydreaming.

You should never stop having dreams and goals, but the time is up for you to spend all of your time planning ahead. Live in the moment more and focus on accomplishing what’s already before you. Save the dreaming for moments of meditation and reflection.

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16. Stop expecting life to be fair.

Bad things happen. People will wrong you. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t change, consider that you can’t expect the world or anything to be perfect when no one is more imperfect than you.

17. Stop resisting change.

Your 20’s are a volatile time. Let go of the past and adapt to the inevitable changes of life. Start appreciating the new and memorable things that come your way.

18. Stop allowing yourself to be too comfortable.

Your best is ahead of you.

19. Stop living your life for others.

You should take care of your responsibilities and those who rely on you, but you also need to start making your own decisions. If your career, lifestyle, and location have all been decided for you, then there’s less for you take ownership of.

20. Stop being a follower.

There’s nothing with having mentors and people to look up to, but it’s time for you to start leading. Do what it takes to formulate strong and respectable opinions on what you value. As you navigate through the many challenges of young adulthood, get used to exhibiting the leadership that is expected of you once your 20s are over.

You may also want to read: 7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life.

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Jon Negroni

An author and blogger who shares about lifestyle advice

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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