Which means I’m officially in my “late twenties” and no longer ambiguously in my “mid-twenties.” I mused about getting older last year, so I will not repeat it here.
On paper, my life continues to be better than I deserve.
And I am thankful that somehow — despite my best efforts — I continue to maintain my place in the cosmic preference stack of opportunities. Again, I’m not the sole author of my victories and I am grateful for being part of a community that is committed to me becoming all that I should.
I don’t feel any urgency or desire to go “live it up” before 30. Truth be told, I think it’s because I feel like I’ve already won most of the games a twenty-something could win starting with the most fundamental: I defined my life’s purpose, found a craft that lets the best of me shine through and planted myself in a field rich with creativity, impact and favorable labor economics. The rest of my #winning (if there is any to claim) has been a catalytic byproduct of living at this intersection.
I feel very fortunate that I’m even able to write the paragraph above. Many people, regardless of their age ever find those answers — much less consider the questions.. or even know they exist. I think about this a lot and can’t help but feel compelled to not squander it by living unintentionally.
So here are some things I want to take to heart as I enter the home stretch of my twenties:
- Getting old is easy, getting better is hard — Youth has the propensity to make one lazy because it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’ll be a 20-something forever. That regardless of what the number says on the cake, your body, your energy-levels, your looks, your give-no-fucks swagger will continue as they are without much effort on your part. Of course, this is not the case. I’m working to develop the good habits now before I need them.
- Choose work that creates a better you — Keep swinging out of your weight class. It feels like hell, but it sure beats the alternative.
- Being different only matters if generates something better — Being different for the sake of being different is the adult-sized version of passive-aggressively throwing a subtle, long-form tantrum. Put up or shut up.
- Done is the engine of more — Sometimes you just need to hit send.
- Avoid Tiny High-Visibility Games — Being famous on Instagram is like being rich in monopoly. Remember that this principle carries forward into every stage of life — except the games get more expensive.
- Alignment > Good v. Bad — Learn to make the hard choices when things are good, but not aligned. Especially when those hard choices will likely generate hurt and confusion for people you care deeply about.
- Indecision has its consequences too — There is a subtle difference between careful consideration and indecision. Fear is the contrasting factor.
- Learn to love the struggle — Resistance is, by definition, a good sign because Resistance never appears except when the work you are doing is requires you to operate from your core being.
- Travel — There’s a big world out there waiting to awaken parts of you that lay dormant at home.
- Let’s start this shit up — There’s no need to sharpen your pencils anymore, they are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark.
And remember to enjoy the ride — life isn’t just a sequence of waiting for things to be done.