A lot of people say that I am an old person because of my strategic approach to my life and career. I take deliberate and calculated steps to reach my goals and “having fun” or “being young” are secondary. I am often looking for what my next step is, refuse to settle for situations I don’t like and think that time is too precious to waste on things and people that don’t make us greater. Unfortunately, not many of my peers feel this way.
You can imagine how excited I was when I came across a TED Talk titled: 20 is not the new 30, supporting my theory that our twenties is the time to change our lives. The speaker, clinical psychologist Meg Jay, gave us 20-something millennials a reality check: our 20s are not a decade to be wasted. It is the decade where most of our growth will happen as our brain begins to rewire itself for adulthood. Meg says that now is the time to start planning for the things that are happening later in life. Below are her 3 pieces of advice on how we can optimize the defining decade of our lives.
Get identity capital.
Do something that is an investment into who you are and who you want to be next. We must begin by letting go of the notion that the things we do right now “don’t count.” That these empty relationships and dead end jobs are not excusable because we are exploring and figuring out who we are. As she says, “that’s not exploration; that’s procrastination.” We must make bold decisions that will move us forward.
The urban tribe is overrated.
Drake recently started a foolish movement glorifying loyalty to your “day 1 n*ggas.” Spare me. You will realize that we naturally outgrow relationships as we grow into our adult selves. I am still friends with people I know from middle school and high school, but I certainly welcome new friends into my circle. Forget “no new friends.” That mentality will limit who you know and how you think ,speak, and work. Look outside of your inner circle and find weak ties (friends of friends) that can help get you where you want to be.
The time to start picking your family is now.
“You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends.” False, you can pick your family. It is important to be as intentional with love as you are with work. The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one. There are countless examples supporting that picking the right partner will have deep effects on the success you experience in all areas of life. Be mindful about who you are dating and make sure that you are consciously choosing who or what you want instead of killing time with whoever chose you.
The moral of the story is: You’re deciding your life right now. Don’t waste it away.
Watch the TED Talk and let me know what you think.