The 3 things I wanted to cover on this blog are books, music and all things, 20-Something. So, this is my first post explicitly related to 20-Something stuff. Even though I’m almost halfway through my twenties, I often still feel like I’m just getting into the twenties. I have the privilege of working with people a few decades ahead of me and have benefited greatly from their mentoring. I didn’t realize how much what I was learning was impacting my life, until I started getting asked to mentor high school girls.
Asked to give younger girls advice, here are 5 things I’d share:
1. People will say you are what they see you do
I was actually surprised at how true this actually is. The statement “We behave differently around different people.” would not be shocking to anyone. However, we often don’t realize how much people build a holistic view of us based on a partial analysis of us. You could be the messiest person at home, but if your cubicle and project folders are always neat and tidy, your performance review will read “organized”. You could have great ideas, but if you don’t follow through well, people who have interacted with you in cases where this has happened will label you “unreliable”…even if you are reliable in all other areas of your life. In short, your image is malleable. The good news is,you can re-start anytime.
2. You will never be less busier than you are now
For the longest time, I’ve put off things for when I’m less busy. No more. As I realized that as we get older, we get more responsibilities and more responsibilities mean being busier, I’m procrastinating less and less and being in the moment more and more.
3. You will never have it all figured it out…once and for all
You will always be learning, discovering and reshaping your path. There will always be new challenges. The good news? You can apply principles you learned while figuring out one part of your life to another part.
4. There’s no such thing as “having made it”
I’m starting to believe that there is NO peak. No one ever just makes it. You just get to a higher level. In short, I think of life stages more as platforms or levels, not peaks. So, stop the “when I…, then I’ll happy” game.
5. Fear and Insecurity never disappear
This was a tough one to learn. As I started to talk to people 2 or 3 decades older, I started to realize that they also have fears. With new situations, comes Insecurity. The only thing to do is to act, despite it. As one of my favorite quotes says, “Walk through fear”.
Bonus: 6. Everything that you don’t know now, you can learn
I’m convinced that the thing we most underestimate is our ability to adapt.
That’s it. Those are my 5 (+1) lessons to share with younger people. I’m still learning and re-learning these, everyday.
What have your twenties taught you, so far? If you’re no longer in your twenties, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then?