If you're in your 20's, you probably feel like you're going to be in your 20's forever. Can you picture yourself in your 30's? What about your 50's? Probably not. I get the same feeling from time to time, but have learned to develop a certain sense of urgency that allows me to focus on the stuff that matters, and avoid focusing on things that won't be beneficial for me long term.
Now don't get me wrong. I still party on the weekends, and plan to do it for a long time. But I still align partying on the weekends with my goals. How? When I go out, I'm constantly challenging myself and doing stuff that would scare the shit out of most people (Like approaching girls that are surrounded by 5 guys or whatever). But I don't drink, and I don't do drugs. I'm completely sober. And believe me, I'm having more fun than anybody else in the room.
What I mean is that you don't have to stop doing the things that you're supposed to do in your 20's, like going out, to live out your dreams. But you do have to focus on what matters most for you. Because what I have realized is that, in your 20's, most people will try to press you to become what they want you to be. And if your goals aren't clear enough, that's what probably will end up happening.
But maybe you don't know what you want yet or maybe you do know what you want but you don't really know how to get there. Fine, nothing to worry about. But that's not an excuse to play videogames 4 hours a day and get wasted on weekends. Here's what you should do instead:
- Read, read and read. It's your personal responsibility to make the commitment to educate yourself and understand that no one will do it for you. Are you having trouble with a certain area of your life? Get a book on that subject. When people write books, they put all their life experience and ideals in there for you to absorb and learn. That's why books are so valuable. Read one hour a day, every day.
- Don't listen to everybody. You should only listen to those people who are at a point in life that you would like to be in. If your friends are not in that category, you don't listen to them. If your parents are not in that category, you don't listen to them. People will give you advice based on their own views about the world. Their views about the world happen to be conditioned by their own experiences in life, and paradoxically enough, a great portion of their experiences is shaped by their views. When your mind accepts a belief, you're likely to find evidence to support it rather easily. That means that if you follow a beggar's advice, then you're more likely to see the world like a beggar, and therefore become a beggar. In the same way, if you follow a millionaire's advice and see the world like a millionaire, then you're more likely to become a millionaire.
- Get a job. Building your financial freedom is an important part of your life. Don't waste your time in college if you really don't know what you're doing there (Use your common sense. You shouldn't drop if you want to become a lawyer or a doctor. You also shouldn't drop if you don't want to work). Instead, get a job and start earning some valuable money that you can later invest in yourself and your ideal lifestyle. Some people will tell you not to get a real job, but IMHO you need a safe and fast way of getting some money when you're starting. Plus some work experience won't hurt anyone. If things go well, you won't have to work your ass on a 9-5 job for more than 1 or 2 years.
- Learn to manage your money. Now, the second part to achieving financial freedom is to actually learn how to manage the money you earn. Take a course on accounting, learn about double entry bookkeeping and read "Secrets of the millionaire mind" by T Harv Eker.
- Eat healthy and go to the gym. The impact this will have on you is amazing. Your energy levels will go up, your mind will be clearer and sharper than ever. MarksDailyApple and BodyBuilding are my main sources of information on fitness and nutrition. I would also advice you to meditate every day for at least 5-10 minutes. Here's a practical in-depth video on how to meditate from a guy that has done meditation 20 minutes a day for 7 years now.
- Become an achiever. It's also important that you learn how to become more productive and create habits that empower your life. Take a look at my post on how I achieve more in less time. You might also want to read "The 7 habits of highly effective people" by Stephen Covey and "Unleash the power within" by Tony Robbins.
- Start a business. Find a problem and solve it. Look for ways to offer value back to society. Create useful stuff that you can sell. Write the book you'd like to read, create the product you'd like to use, run the business you wish existed.