1. Sometimes the best advice you can take is none at all.
A stellar first point from someone trying to give you 23.5 pieces of advice. But…
Wisdom is knowing the difference between someone offering you wisdom, and someone offering you their own insecurities packaged as sound advice.
Taking advice from an insecure person is like taking driving lessons from a seven-year-old. Don’t let them get behind the wheel.
2. In a successful career, likeability and hard work trump talent any day. Yet, likeability and hard work plus talent is like a racehorse racing a racetrack. I’d bet on you.
Yet, the more talented you are and the harder you work, the harder those who don’t work hard will work hard against you. So a heads up on that.
3. When you find yourself opening the fridge after 8:23 pm, ask yourself these four questions:
– Am I thirsty?
– Am I tired?
– Am I bored?
– Am I anxious?
Maybe you’re not hungry after-all.
4. Leave graduation with a book in hand instead of a drink. Devour more books after college than tacos at Taco Tuesday. One of the smartest purchases I made out of college was a Kindle. Graduation makes it seem like your education has reached its pinnacle, when you have your whole life to make that climb.
Need some ideas on what to read? I’ve heard this book new book All Groan Up: Searching For Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! and 101 Secrets For Your Twenties are possibly the best one out there. Since books began. And that the author smells of exotic tulips and deep words. For other options here are the top 21 books for twentysomethings.
Stay a hungry, humble learner. The most important thing you can know when you leave college is how much you don’t. (click to tweet that)
5. In your twenties, you will fail. A lot. The key is when you fail, don’t begin calling yourself a failure. And as you fail, don’t check Facebook and compare yourself to all of those who are “succeeding”. Don’t let what I have termed as The New OCD – Obsessive Comparison Disorder take over.
6. Your friends don’t actually care what you do with your life. Sounds harsh. It is. But it’s also not. It’s incredibly freeing. Like sitting in a cage that’s not one. Kill Obsessive Comparison Disorder before it starts. Live for you. Not them. Unless they have some killer ideas. Then maybe you should look into it.
7. Ross (or any glorified thrift shop equivalent) is now your best friend. Because you can’t really afford business clothes and at Ross you really can dress for less.
8. Our success will hinge on our ability to DOA.
No, not be Dead On Arrival.
Define Our Anxiety.
When I’m feeling anxious. Which happens slightly more than always. I can’t tell you how important it is for me to stop, think, and define my anxiety. Anxiety is like a lion. You don’t see it until it’s all up on you.
If you can enter into your anxiety, you can then find the way out. Don’t let ambiguous anxiety define you. Define it.
9. After college you have, by overflowing buckets, the most important resource you’ll ever have or need to be successful. Time. Use it strategically. Wasted free time is very expensive.
10. Become fail-proof. How? It’s simple. Fail over and over without ever calling yourself a failure. Like Chinese food purchased at a strip mall, the longer you keep re-living your failures, the more it’s going to make you sick.
11. You don’t become legendary chasing after a sure-thing. (tweet that?)
12. Watch out for Reality Checkers. Who are they? The pleasant people who love giving you reality checks like they’re a hockey player whose job is to slam you up against the wall.
“Reality Checkers want you to believe that your plans will fail. And you know what, they’re probably right. But the point of life is NOT to not fail.” – 101 Secrets For Your Twenties
13. Taking yourself too seriously is a seriously un-fun way to live. So lighten up a little, dammit!
14. Don’t chase your dreams.
Seriously. Don’t chase your dreams, grow them.
“You don’t chase your dream; you grow one. It’s just like a farmer whose whole existence relies on one simple belief: If we plant something in good soil and consistently water it, God will spark life underground.”
Let your dream grow roots. Pursuing your dreams isn’t mythical, it’s methodic. (tweet that?)
15. If you give someone one specific, meaningful compliment before asking them to do you a favor, you’re doing yourself a huge favor.
16. You are unique and gifted and full of purpose. There’s this fun little trend going on to bash the uniqueness out of you. Some will treat you like you should be put under fluorescent lights, in a tiny cubicle, on an assembly line, putting together fluorescent lights for tiny cubicles.
Sure some of us haven’t applied our uniqueness in very humble, intelligent, or unique ways. And yes, crappy jobs are a twentysomething rite of passage. Yet, do not be sorry for not being apologetic that you want your life to mean something. Optimism is not a character flaw. Hope is not naïve.
You are unique. Find me another you. I dare you.
17. If you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, stop looking.
“Stop looking for the right person and focus on becoming the right person. Sure that doesn’t mean you close your eyes while walking around the grocery store or that you’ll ever be a completely healthy person ready for a relationship. However, right attracts right. And the more right you are, the more right your relationship will be.”
– 101 Secrets For Your Twenties
18. Live like you owe the world, not like the world owes you. (tweet that)
19. Commit. To something. And a new TV show doesn’t count. Commit to a job, a dream, a relationship, a cause, a place. Pick one thing that gets you excited and commit to build it. Promise me you’ll commit to commit to something.
20. Success in your twenties is about showing up, doing good work, consistency, perseverance, humility, and many other unsexy words that won’t make it in the Twentysomething Hallmark Collection. Being successful in your 20s is about being purposeful in the process.
21. You made a mistake? Say you’re sorry. Own it. Wear it. Apologize for it. Learn from it. Move forward. Being vulnerable enough to admit you screwed up takes courage. And people will like and respect you all the more for it. People forgive mistakes. They struggle to forgive people who continually make mistakes and then act like they’ve never made one.
22. Sing loudly. Dance full-throttle. Go on an adventure. And live un-apologetically big.
23. If you want to do something big in this life, surround yourself with some B.A.D people (Bad-Ass-Dreamers). (tweet that one at your own risk)
If the people you surround yourself with don’t bring you life, how are you going to really live?
23 and 1/2 – Calling in really early for a phone interview does not make you punctual. It makes you annoying.