I’m 28.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Choose work that creates a better you — Keep swinging out of your weight class. It feels like hell, but it sure beats the alternative.
  3. 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.
  4. Done is the engine of more — Sometimes you just need to hit send.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Indecision has its consequences too — There is a subtle difference between careful consideration and indecision. Fear is the contrasting factor.
  8. 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.
  9. Travel — There’s a big world out there waiting to awaken parts of you that lay dormant at home.
  10. 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.

-Travis (8/18/15)

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