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25 Things You Must Know To Get Through Your 20s

25 Things You Must Know To Get Through Your 20s

Your 20s. For some, it’s the best time of your life (or at least that’s what you’ll remember when you look back in your 40s). For others, it can be a decade of heartache and hard times. No matter the experience, your 20s are always a time of adventure and change. Here are 25 things you must know to get through your 20s.

1. Friends should make you better.

Friends are supposed to make you feel good about yourself. If the people you’re hanging out with don’t, they aren’t your friends. Find people who make you a better person and spend time with them.

2. Now is the time to travel.

Money may be tight, but your 20s are the perfect time to explore the world. Don’t wait. You never know where life will take you, so do the thing you want as soon as you can.

3. You have time to plan. Enjoy now.

You don’t have to plan every aspect of your life. Live in the moment and enjoy the ride.

4. You are who you are, not what you want.

Never let anything or anyone confuse you for what you want. Don’t let your job, career, or ambition define who you become.

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5. Relationships should make you a better person.

Most people will find love and experience heartbreak. Don’t settle for someone that doesn’t make you a better person.

6. Reading is actually fun.

When there’s not a book report attached, reading is actually fun. Don’t forget to re-read those classics; age can bring quite a bit of perspective.

7. If work sucks, you’re doing it wrong.

You don’t have to hate your job. Plenty of people love what they do. Don’t settle for a job you hate.

8. Your opinion of yourself is the only one that counts.

You will change and that will make people mad. Don’t worry about what others think of you.

9. Keeping a journal isn’t just for teens.

Keeping a journal of your adventures can help you grow as a person, and help you ensure you don’t make the same mistakes in the future.

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10. You should be your number one priority.

Your 20s are a time for discovery. Let go of anything or anyone that has no purpose or positive placement in your life.

11. People change. You will too.

You will find that you may not have that same connection to your childhood friends and that you’ve outgrown many of your old habits. Embrace the change and continue to evolve.

12. Reconnect.

While you may outgrow some friends, don’t hesitate to reconnect with old friends who you miss and reconnect with family that you’ve grown apart. You may find that the petty issues that fractured a relationship heal with time.

13. You won’t party forever.

Have fun, but just know that your priorities will change. Don’t do anything stupid that hurts your future!

14. Your parents aren’t as uncool as they seem.

The teenage years can be brutal on the parent/child relationship. Take time to get to know your parents again. You may just find that they are a lot more fun than you remember.

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15. Don’t fall too fast.

Whether it’s love, career, or even a hobby, the 20s are a very passionate time of your life. Don’t fall too fast and hurt your chances for happiness in the future.

16. Work hard & grow a network.

Work hard. Get to know your co-workers. Spend time with other people who do your job. One day you, or they, will be the boss. Make sure you laid strong groundwork and don’t burn bridges.

17. Friends aren’t always forever.

Know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

18. You’re only young once.

Have fun.

19. Babies are hard work.

Make sure you’re ready.

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20. Owning a house is expensive.

The costs don’t stop at a mortgage. Homeownership is a great option, just know what you’re getting into.

21. Retirement will be more fun if you’re prepared.

It’s easy to spend the money you should be saving, but learn about compounding interest and save as much as you can

22. Responsibility is like fine wine.

The older you get, the more expensive the cost.

23. Marriage is forever.

Even if it doesn’t work out. Don’t go into it lightly.

24. A pet solves lots of issues.

Sometimes you just want something to love. A dog is much less expensive than a baby.

25. Love.

Put love in everything you do. You’re only young once, so enjoy it!

Featured photo credit: Chassepierre 2013 – looking at a performance/Alexandre Dulaunoy via flickr.com

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Kyle Robbins

Founder, BrandingBeard.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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