Personal Growth

How To: Make Your 20’s Count

Written by: Zanita Whittington

Next month I’m turning 29… which means I’m one short year off being 30. A great milestone! I’m so excited to become 30 because of the lessons I’ve taken from my 20’s – I’m heading confidently into my future.  I’ve also had some very hard lessons to learn over the last 9 years – but it’s those lessons that have shaped the person I’ve become. If only I could have gone back to my 20 year old self and handed some life advice over… but I can guarantee my 20 year old self wouldn’t have listened to any of it, I had to figure it out for myself and make my own mistakes. Either way – here’s a few important points I’ve picked up.

No regrets!!

Outfit-111aLove your friends.  As you get older, it’s more and more difficult to hang out with a whole group of your friends at once. People move away, start families, get really involved careers – it’s suddenly not so simple to gather a decent posse to go to a concert with – or even come for your birthday! It’s also for this reason – you need to be able to let go of a few people who aren’t willing to go the extra mile for you. Have a select number of friends you’d do anything for and not two dozen buddies you’d consider close acquaintances. When shit hits the fan – and trust me, no one is immune to this – then you want to have people  in your life who would fly across the country if you need them.

Take your time – but eventually make a decision about where you want to be. Not making a choice about your life trajectory is making a choice to do nothing. This doesn’t have to be about your career either – it’s simply about being dedicated to something that fulfils you. For example – getting a job at wherever is good for cash – but being totally dedicated to competitive triathlon. You can be happier when you’re driven to improve about something, ambition is important. This was a tough lesson for me, I was left feeling lost and unhappy for some time because I couldn’t find the passion to achieve anything in my future. Thankfully I turned that around!

 Stop complaining. Especially about things or people you can’t help or change. No one else is responsible for your happiness except yourself – so if a situation is bad, it’s up to you to rectify it for yourself. Sometimes that can mean accepting responsibility for a conflict that isn’t your fault – simply to resolve a problem and move forward. Stewing on an issue is only bad for your mental health – let it go! Consistently voicing your problems without ever taking action to turn them around is counter productive to your happiness.

Outfit-111bJump at new opportunities. The world belongs to those who take risks. It’s a trap to subscribe to the belief your life has to fit into some kind of mould, that there’s a some consecutive way your life should role out – or that you can’t change your mind once you’ve set upon a particular path. Every person who has ever started their own business can tell you all about risk! Your risk could be the one that pays off – and if it doesn’t, there’s a valuable lesson learned somewhere in there. Just do it!

Love yourself exactly as your are. There’s nothing more futile than wanting to look or be like someone else. You need to learn your own strengths and focus on how tho
se are the things that make you beautiful and unique. Once you accept yourself for who you are, you can go forward a stronger and more confident person – now that’s true beauty right there!

Get educated. This doesn’t necessarily mean going to university – I’m personally a Uni dropout – but take the chance to challenge your mind and learn about the world. Knowledge is power – so read challenging books, go travelling, study, learn from older people. Join the fight against ignorance!

There’s a whole load more I could include here  but I think it’s best left for future posts. I’d love to also hear about some of the lessons you might up picked up going into or out of your 20’s! It’s a pretty intense time as an adult – when you’re learning who you’re coming to become and where you want to be.

 

Pics by Sara

Editing by me (using methods the I share in my Photoshop Basics Course!)

jean shorts, Nobody Denim

sweater, Sportmax