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25 Things You Must Do In Your Twenties

25 Things You Must Do In Your Twenties

Hello, all of you beautiful twenty-somethings and welcome to the prime-time of your life! Want to make the most of it? If so, start with these 25 things you must do in your twenties.

1. Do something scary.

Jump out of a plane. Dive in a shark tank. Zip-line through a rainforest.

2. Learn to cook.

Being at the mercy of take-out is expensive for your wallet (and waistline)You might be blessed with a fast metabolism now, but trust me, it won’t last. Also, you will be able to wow future dates with delicious home-cooked meals.

3. Travel alone.

The world is meant to be explored. Taking an adventure by yourself will help you grow your perspective (plus you’ll get to do all the stuff you want to do without complaint).

4. Ride a plane.

Those trees and buildings that seem so big when you’re at ground level? They will look like specks of dust while you’re in the clouds. Don’t get caught up in the inconveniences of flying. Enjoy the view, because it’s beautiful (and really puts things in perspective)

5. Party all night.

A consistent sleep schedule is your best bet for energy to carry you through the day, but who’s to say you can’t break the rules on occasion? Go to a club, concert, or bar with your friends. Have a blast until the place shuts down and then go to an all-night diner for coffee and conversation. Memories are made up of things like late nights with the people you care about most.

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6. Take a risk.

Aiming to achieve an audacious goal does carry a risk, but inaction guarantees regret. What’s it gonna be?

7. Enlighten yourself.

While other people are buried in their smartphones, you should bury yourself in books that will educate and inspire you. Seek enlightenment and you’ll be light-years ahead of the competition.

8. Play a sport.

What was your favorite sport when you were a kid? Invite some friends out to a park for a game of basketball, dodgeball, four square, hopscotch, or ultimate frisbee. If it’s a hit, make it a weekly event. If you’re feeling brave, spread word in your community and build a league or tournament.

9. Change the script.

If you still live in your home town, odds are you’ve been around the same people for a very long time now. Your actions are in part determined by the people you surround yourself with. Take an extended vacation to a new town (or country!) where you don’t know anybody. Expect to discover a lot about yourself when you’re out of your stomping grounds.

10. Reunite with an old friend.

Think about the school days. Are there any best friends who you haven’t seen in many years? Call them up and plan a trip together because you have a lot of catching up to do.

11. Drop the “I’m busy” farce.

Just because you’re “busy” doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing anything. Take an honest look at how you spend your day and eliminate anything beyond the essentials (and no, obsessively checking your inbox or Facebook feed isn’t essential). 

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12. Pay off your debt.

Frugal living might not be sexy, but there is nothing fun about drowning in debt. Begin by reducing your debts that carry the lowest balances or highest interest rates. Reduce frequent and unneeded costs like restaurant meals (learn to cook!) and drinks at the bar (take it home!) There is nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but financial freedom requires making sacrifices (and is so worth it).

13. Get to know your family.

It is amazing how little we can know about a person despite how long we have known them. Find out how your parents and grandparents met. Ask older family members to explain what life was like when they were your age. Explore your family history and make an honest effort to really understand what makes them tick.

14. Re-read the classics.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t fully grasp how wonderful classic books like The Grapes of Wrath really were in high school. Pick a few titles that come to mind and be amazed at all the things you missed.

15. Go overseas.

It’s a big world out there. Get out of the bubble of your home culture and grow your perspective.

16. Volunteer for a cause.

Complaining about the world’s problems will not make them go away. Choose a cause that connects with you and be a part of the solution.

17. Cut the clutter.

Our responsibilities tend to grow as we age, so you need to cut out some things so you have more time for what makes you really happy. The toxic people you can’t stand to hang out with, time-wasting distractions, and stuff you never use all need to go.

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18. Fall in love.

Love does hurt sometimes, but so does loneliness. You’ve learned a lot about what you desire in a partner by now, so don’t be afraid to open yourself up to another person. Look at it like a roller coaster: yes, it is scary, but you are going to ride it anyway, right?

19. Write a letter.

Ask an old friend for their address, don’t tell them why you need it, and send them a thoughtful, handwritten letter. It will be a welcome surprise among the usual bills and junk (and maybe you’ll end up with a new pen pal!)

20. See your favorite band live.

I know it sounds amazing on your car stereo or vinyl record, but there is something magical about hearing your favorite song performed live and in person. Now I’m curious: you should comment with your favorite concert ever after you read this.

21. Sleep under the stars.

Have a partner? Grab a bottle of wine, snuggle up under a cozy blanket, and enjoy the beauty. If you want to get frisky before you turn in for the night, I won’t stop you.

No partner? Who needs a stinking partner? Lay down and think about how insignificant you are in the Grand Scheme of things. Wonder how many other people are staring at the very same constellations you are.

22. Perform for a crowd.

Find a local community theater and audition to become a cast member. Take a few shots of liquid encouragement and perform your favorite song at your favorite bar’s karaoke hours. Visit an open mic night at a coffeehouse and perform stand-up comedy or poetry. Join a Toastmasters club and work on your speaking skills. You’ll develop swagger and confidence like no other (and it’ll be fun, promise!)

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23. Take a road trip with your best friend or partner.

Get outside of the comfort zone of your home town and go exploring. Going on an adventure with the person you care about most will help you grow closer together. Experiencing new things together will cause you to learn new things about each other, developing positive memories that will last a lifetime.

24. Start a garden.

Whether you want to grow tasty veggies or colorful flowers is up to you. Unleash your inner green thumb and let it take you where it will.

25. Find your passion.

The teenage years (and even the early twenties) are a confusing time when most of us don’t have much figured out. But as the years go by, you should grow a sense of purpose. Figure out what you want to be remembered for and make it happen.

Are you in your twenties? If so, please drop your Bucket List items in the comments. Have you already lived through your twenties? If so, feel free to offer your insight below.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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