In Your Twenties? Trust the Process

#99: Success in your 20s is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast -- 101 Secrets for your Twenties by Paul Angone


Being a twentysomething can feel like death by unmet expectations.

Yet, I believe it’s twentysomething’s belief in a bright, big future that is one of our most important characteristics.

So if I don’t think our big dreams are the problem, then what is?

Well as I write in Secret #19 in my book 101 Secrets for your Twenties

“I don’t think our big plans and outrageous dreams are the problem. Our krizaaaazzzy timeline of how quickly we want those plans and dreams to be sitting on our doorstep with a big Christmas bow is the problem.”

I wish I would’ve learned much earlier that truly being successful in your twenties (and life thereafter) is about trusting, and being purposeful, in the process.

Let me explain.

We Need to Set the Table First

#99: Success in your 20s is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast -- 101 Secrets for your Twenties by Paul Angone

It took me years of frustration and barrels full of bitterness to realize Secret #99 –

Success in your twenties is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast.

If you don’t take the time to prepare, then you’ll try to throw success on the table without any structure there to hold it, like serving soup straight on a nice dining table–you won’t have a great meal, you’ll just have a royal mess.

Being a “successful” twentysomething is about being diligent in acquiring the right tools for the right job.

Twentysomething success 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 a successful twentysomething is about being purposeful in the process.

But what if your “process” is anything but glamorous right now, how the heck do you trust it’s leading you somewhere good?

Cling Tight to the Hope of Your Future

You can’t the trust the importance of the process if you don’t cling tight to the hope of your future.

In what became Secret #83 in 101 Secrets for your Twenties –

“The most underrated tool you have to rocking your 20s is Hope.”

When I felt like my 20s were smothering my face with a pillow and I couldn’t breathe, I’d break away to Griffith Park—a magical land of green, trees, and hills, encased by LA.

I’d climb high above the Hollywood sign, and there, looking across vast LA-ness, I’d audibly encourage myself (quite loudly) that I had hope. That there were bigger and better plans. That this
was just a short season. I would thank God that He’d already given me a way out, even when visibly there wasn’t one.

Sometimes you have to climb hills and declare the truth of your bright future instead of the reality of your lackluster present.

Sometimes you have to war for hope.

You have a purpose worth pursuing and you have to keep talking about it so you don’t forget.

In your Twenties? Trust the Process

Trust that the questions are leading to answers.

Trust that if you consistently show up and do good work, that you are headed in the right direction.

Trust in becoming lost on purpose, with purpose. You can’t explore if you don’t lose sight of the familiar.

Believe and declare the hope of your future.

Twentysomethings – trust the process.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below:

What’s one hope-filled declaration you can make right now about something that’s bringing you life?


  1. Rebecca Fraser-Thill at Working Self

    I love the line “Trust that the questions are leading to answers.” I find too many twentysomethings I work with shutting down on the questions because it’s all too much to handle. The thing is, if you can learn to embrace ambiguity, you’re not only ready to tackle the twenties, but to tackle all of life.

    My hope-filled declaration: One day I’ll see my name on the cover of a published book. When the time is truly right.

  2. jim

    Excellent article. Just passed it on to our 20-something son who is undertaking things right now – beyond his wildest dreams. Thanks much.


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