In about a months’ time I will turn twenty eight. I’ve always fancied my birthdays. The feeling never quite gets old. In contemplation about my life so far, I have thought through how my twenties have been. If I’d use one word to describe my twenties, it would be this; chaotic!
Nobody really prepares you for life in your twenties. You have to roll with the punches and hope to God you make the most of it. Well, though mine have had their many downs and ups, I sure enough wish to end my twenties in style as I enter the third floor.
But first, some lessons. One thing I know for a fact is the dire need to cultivate good habits in your twenties. Some of these habits I’m fortunate to have started, some, I still wish to grasp them.
Here are habits one should create in their twenties, as they are bound to stay with you for a very long time. The mastery or lack of in them will influence your life positively or negatively.
Reading. More like seeking knowledge. Beyond having to read for exams, you should be able to pick up a book and voluntarily seek knowledge for the betterment of your life. Some people are not great readers and that’s fine. Just like any discipline, reading is something you have to master through effort and sacrifice. Take time to read books, find your genre and always be on the lookout for gaining knowledge. You know what they say, ‘knowledge is power.’
Exercise. There’s no better time to take charge of nurturing your health than in your twenties. One such way is through exercise. Whereas not everyone will make a good runner, swimmer or gym freak, it’s important that one becomes deliberate about exercising their body even if it means joining a physical sport that keeps you fit and working out your body. Beyond exercise, building healthy lifestyle habits is advised. Like checking your diet and eating healthy.
Save. It’s probably the hardest thing to do especially in your early twenties but it’s the most rewarding thing you can train yourself to do. Creating a saving discipline will prove helpful during rainy days, it will help you experience more by paying for your travel trips and put you in a position where you can start off projects without much of a strain. This important lifelong money management discipline needs to be mastered early as soon as one starts earning.
Who am I? Get in the daily business of thinking critically about this soul searching question. In your twenties, you are on the path of finding yourself. Trying so hard to figure out what you’re all about, why you exist and for what purpose. Spend more time answering this question because you can’t figure out where you’re headed if at all you don’t know the goal.
Build your interpersonal skills. With time you will realize that one of the most important skills in life is knowing how to relate with people. You will either learn this the hard way or the easy way. Train yourself to network, to relate and love people. This will mean finding your tribe and ditching any other tribe that isn’t your fit. But bear in mind, that even relating with people who are not your cup of tea will prove valuable somehow.
Taking charge of your sex life / sexuality. The one thing that has the greatest potential to make or break your life is this. Take charge of your sex life and be very responsible about it. A mistake here may cost you lost time, for instance, having to become a parent when you are not ready and rearranging your life around it. But please note, whereas there is nothing wrong with early parenthood, one can pick themselves up after a ‘fall.’
Stay off drugs. This might fall on deaf ears because at the core of it is curiosity to find out for yourself what’s the hype around booze, smoking and other drugs. This is a space you will need to tread extra careful and if possible, avoid the temptation to ‘try out’ in the first place. Many people have lost their tempo from playing around with drugs. You just need to look around and you’ll see sufficient proof to that.
Time management. In your twenties, time is the most valuable thing you have in plenty of supply. How you spend it determines a lot of your future success. Be wise about spending every hour in your day. Look at it as an investment and not merely as a lot of time to kill doing stuff that doesn’t add much value to your life.
Travel and experience the world. However best you can do this, get down to doing it. Travelling opens your eyes to the many possibilities life offers and you get to experience a lot from interacting with different people from different walks of life. Make the most of your time learning from the world around and beyond you.
Learn new skills. Maybe you want to become a painter. A part time drummer. Possibly you want to become a speaker and teach people certain topics. Maybe you want to learn about space and the planets. Or bake. Or tap into your singing talent. Maybe you want to learn a new sport. Write books. Start a YouTube channel. Become a champion for environment conservation. Or simply influence people on social media. What’s stopping you?
Make your mistakes in peace. Learn to take risks in your twenties. As the saying goes, ‘the higher the risk, the higher the return.’ Make calculated risks and take them by the horn. And when (not if) you flop, make peace with the outcome. Twenties are for trying until you figure it out. Have no fear.
Stay hopeful about life. Sometimes things may seem to not work out and they may stay as such for a very long time, but eventually, things always work out. Learn to always have a positive outlook on life, this attitude will save you much stress and keep you going.