Today, we begin a four-part series focusing on what to do in four specific decades: 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. (No offense to those 60 and beyond. I just haven’t gotten there yet!)
Before you discard the decades you’re not currently in, think of someone who is and forward this email to them.
One of our goals in the FOR community is to show people, at least one a day, that we’re FOR them. If, for example, you know someone in their 20s, forwarding today’s email could be a way to do just that.
This isn’t a Top Ten list nor is it complete. This kind of advice is endless, but I do believe the ones provided are actionable and helpful. This week, we’re starting with those in their 20s.
What to do in your 20s
- Release yourself from the pressure of trying to discover the plan for the rest of your life. Much of life is out of your control. However, what IS in your control is to figure out what to do next. The next bullet point provides a pathway:
- Show up on time. Do your very best where you are. Honor and serve people well. These three simple strategies will help guide you toward your future.
- Move in the direction of your strengths. As I write in What to do Next, “God’s thumbprints on you are clues about His plans for you.” If I were to ask you what your Top Five Strengths are, would you know?
- Don’t place too much value on what a College Admissions Board thinks of you. I’m all for college but whether you get into the “right one”or not won’t determine your fate or future. Honestly, in my humble opinion, college is currently over-priced and over-valued. Rarely, if ever, is someone hired based on where they went to college. Sure, this decision was probably made when you were 18 or 19. But there are people who carry this around with them as a stigma. Don’t do that.
- Don’t just say thank you. Write it. Write the people who help you a handwritten thank you note. Don’t limit this to your career either.
- Abhor financial debt. You might not be able to avoid debt (student loans, a mortgage) but abhor it. The definition of abhor is “to regard with disgust and hatred.” Most people walk into their 30s with a financial limp. Your 20s is an opportunity to set up your 30s and your future with financial strength. There’s nothing quite like debt to undermine your financial strength and future. A way to do this is to read one financial book a year.
- Do life with iron-sharpeners. “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17. Do life with people who elevate your thinking and give you an example to follow.
- Develop a consistent exercise routine. Bad news — your body will give a rude awakening when you hit your 30s. It’s better to develop that discipline now.
- Build your personal network. Who you know is often more important than what you know. Your personal network is tied to your personal net worth. Start building your personal network. There’s a simple plan to do this in What to do Next.
- Meet quarterly with an older, wiser mentor.
- Practice humility. As a friend of mine says, “God resists the proud, and so do we.” Take the low place. Think of others first. Humility is something to practice, daily.
- Look up and around more than down. This is a reference to your technology use. So much of our lives is spent looking down at our phones. Unlike those of us in our 40s and beyond, you don’t know life without a phone and the Internet. That’s not a criticism, just a reality. Since you were born into this reality you don’t know life without it. There is one. It’s worth spending more time there, looking up and around more than down.
Next week, we’ll discuss “What to do in your 30s.” In the meantime, each of the items above are discussed in greater length in my book, “What to do Next: Taking Your Best Step When Life is Uncertain.” Click the link below to order through Maxwell Leadership, or on Audible.