Most people will say things like…
- Hard drugs
- Marrying the wrong person
- Not working hard enough
- Getting in trouble with the law
And the list goes on.
But the simple truth is that none of these things necessarily “guarantee” they will have a hard life.
I partied hard, did more drugs than I should have, ran from the police, spent a few years “lazing” around and dated (although luckily didn’t marry) the wrong person…several times.
Those things can lead to an unnecessarily hard life, but they don’t have to.
However, there are a few mistakes that, if made in your 20’s will set you up for an unnecessarily hard life in the future.
1. Closing Your Mind
I know way too many people who still operate with the same beliefs, patterns, and styles of thinking that they did when they were 18.
They blindly listened to authority, accepted whatever beliefs their family, friends, and society instilled in them…and never bothered to challenge any of it as they grew up.
The simple truth is that life is complicated. Infinitely so.
And no matter how fervently you believe something, there is someone else somewhere in the world with an antithetical viewpoint that is often just as valid as your own.
When you operate with a closed mind in your 20s, you never have the opportunity to formulate your own ideas. To create your own code for living and find your own answers to life’s hard questions.
And, if you create this habit in your 20s, it is MUCH harder to break later on.
Your 20s should be a time to question everything…religion, politics, life advice, your own goals, your own beliefs about the world, your own identity as a man or woman…EVERYTHING.
If you were told that “success” is getting married, having a 9–5 job with a good pension, raising a few kids and then retiring and you chose to believe that (even if, subconsciously this sounds like hell), you are setting yourself up for a life of misery.
Question everything and don’t accept anything you were told simply because mommy, daddy, a teacher, or the government told it to you.
2. Fearing Failure
Let’s just get this out of the way.
You’re going to fail. A lot. Way more than you can even imagine.
This is true of everyone.
Failure is an inevitable part of life. But most people fear it as if it’s the end of life. And, as a result, they play it safe and refuse to take bold risks or chart their own path.
The way you live in your 20s will, for better or worse, determine how you live later in life.
While it’s true that people can and do change, the chains of habit tighten with time, making it harder for you to break out of your old patterns, behaviors, and beliefs.
In your 20s you shouldn’t fear failure…you should seek it out.
The time to fail is now.
Start your business. Travel the world. Write your book. Backpack around the country.
Do whatever you truly want to do and trust that if you do fail (and you probably will) you can recover.
If I’d allowed my fear of failure to paralyze me in my 20s, I would be in a miserable marriage, working a job I don’t like, and stuck in my own personal hell.
Because I was willing to stare failure in the face, I have the dating life of my dreams, built a 7-figure business, and enjoy a life I honestly never thought was possible.
3. Refusing to Work on Yourself
If you don’t work on yourself in your 20s…if you don’t address childhood trauma, forge your own identity, look at your strengths and weaknesses objectively, and attempt to improve who you are and how you live…you will create a pattern of tolerance.
You will tolerate a shitty life because it’s all you’ve ever known.
You’ll tolerate shitty relationships, jobs, friends, and health because you weren’t willing to do the hard work when you were younger.
And it is MUCH harder to build a business, get in great shape, or create an abundant dating and social life when you’re in your 30s and 40s than it is in your 20s.
Take this decade to work on yourself.
Build a bulletproof body that allows you to do the things you want to do and that you feel confident in.
Master social dynamics and learn how to make friends, find great partners, and experience authentic love and connection (and how to keep it around).
Learn about finances and your respective career so that you can compound your skills and accumulate real wealth.
PUT IN THE WORK to become the person you want to be and everything will fall into place later.
4. Abusing Your Health
It’s normal to party in your 20s, experiment with drugs, drink a little (ok a lot) too much on the weekends, and order late-night pizzas to cure your hangover.
But sooner or later, you need to start taking your health seriously.
Again, if you become overweight or injure yourself in your 20s, it’s a LOT harder to recover from this in your 30s.
Have fun, but don’t abuse your health.
Prioritize sleep (7 hours minimum every night). Eat clean foods (ideally things that grew in the ground or had a face). Make a habit of going to the gym. Take supplements that are proven to improve performance.
Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
Abuse your body and life will abuse you.
5. Allowing Other People to Determine Your Identity
The MOST detrimental thing you can do in your 20s is to allow other people to determine who you should be.
To let society, your parents, your friends, and the media dictate your goals, actions, and ambitions.
I know too many guys who got into a job or relationship because it was what everyone else thought they should do…who now hate their lives and want nothing more than to turn back the clock and make a different decision (but of course, they can’t…because they have 2 kids, a mortgage, and an unhappy marriage they can’t end).
Don’t be like most people.
You and only you are responsible for your life and future.
And you and only you know what will make you happy, fulfilled, and alive.
You only have one shot at life.
And it’s up to you to make it count.
Just because your family wants what is best for you doesn’t mean they know what’s best for you.
And just because society says you should be a rich, handsome billionaire with 6-pack abs doesn’t mean that’s what you should actually do.
Figure out who you really are and who you really want to be and then put in the work to make your goals a reality.
Everything else is bullshit.
Andrew Ferebee – Knowledge For Men