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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 May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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