14 Things To Give Up In Your 20’s

Image Credit: Nicolas Barrot

My 20’s were a blast for me. I made more mistakes than I’d like to admit. What I learned in my 20’s through seven failed startups, multiple horrific breakups, money challenges and losing people close to me shaped who I am.

It wasn’t so much what I learned but the ideas I gave up on which had the greatest impact on the rest of my life and allowed me to reach success online through social media.

What you’re about to read is a big part of my legacy and it’s not something I take lightly. I put a lot of thought into what I’d want 20-something-year-olds to learn from me and the things I gave up.

Here are 14 things you should give up in your 20’s:


1. The “Normal” Life.

Save that for your 30’s and beyond. Your 20’s are about finding out who you are and what you love to do.

Fuck working a 9–5 and following what your parents want you to do.

You only get to do your 20’s once. It’s a time to be single, experiment and be reckless with your career decisions.

Change jobs every week if it feels good. Be the founder of fifteen failed startups and wear it as a badge of honor (my record is seven).


2. Staying home.

Get the hell out there and travel the world. Experience new cultures and see how people live in the poorer parts of the world.

“Seeing the world will help you take that giant wedge out of your ass that makes you think your first world problems matter”

Through travel, you’ll find your true home and meet people that you could very well know for the rest of your life. You’ll have mishaps and foreign languages to deal with.

You’ll have to be quick on your feet and think for yourself. There will be no parents or relatives that can save you from your mistakes — that’s a good thing.


3. Motivational picture quotes.

We all know that you just read the picture quote and never take action. A picture quote is not going to get you the life you want.

What’s useful for you in your 20’s is to give up picture quotes and focus on acquiring skills and experience in areas that you’re obsessed with.

That will give you the inner motivation and drive that you can never get from a picture quote.


4. Stock photos of hands in the air.

They’re not creative at all. Your 20’s are about finding your creative side and injecting it into everything you do. Creativity is where you’ll find yourself and carve at your unique identity.

Image Credit: Jooin (oh please not another stock photo)

Creativity allows you to discover your own version of art and share it with the world when you’re ready. Sharing is the easy part; creating it is what you’ll have to learn.


5. Mediocre coffee.

You’ll soon discover in your 20’s that you have options. You don’t have to settle for burnt coffee from down at the local shop.

Everywhere sells coffee and you can select any store you want. You can also make any decision you want. That decision-making power is where your freedom lies.

Knowing that you’re in control and you’re also responsible will serve you well in your 30's.

Learn while you’re still in your 20’s to take ownership. Don’t choose horrible coffee any longer. Choose coffee you like.


6. Working without a holiday.

In my 20’s I went many years without a holiday. I thought relaxing was for wimps.

I ended up becoming burned out and had a mini health meltdown. 
You have to take breaks. It’s during your time off that some of your best ideas will be born and your toughest decision can be made with ease.

Your mind needs time to process all the stimulus that you’re constantly surrounded by. ‘Hustle till you die’ is a fantastic way to become chronically tired which won’t help you do any cool shit.
Image Credit: Pexels

7. Toxic friendships.

They may have been acceptable in school. You’re now a grown up and it’s time to find real friends who you can learn from and share your life with.

Toxic friends typically do the following:
• Bring you down
• Surround you with negativity
• Complain about everything
• Feel sorry for themselves

“You don’t need this drama in your life. You need hope and optimism to make it in this negative world”

Life is tough and you don’t need it to be harder by carrying a 50,000-tone dead weight on your shoulder named Bradley who only wants attention and won’t help himself.


8. Drinking.

Your idol Zuck’s used his brain to make a highly successful company and legacy. You can’t do intelligent work if you’re brain dead and dehydrated from too much alcohol.

The hangover is not funny — you deserve to treat yourself better. The energy you have in your 20’s is unstoppable and you probably won’t get that same feeling in your 30’s — things will slow down a bit.

Trade in the brain fog and vomiting for water and clean eating. Use the extra energy to make a massive dent in this world and inspire us with your creations.


9. Trying to be a gym model.

The opposite sex doesn’t give a shit about your gym body. It’s only useful for the first impression and is quickly forgotten. Spending hours at the gym (unless you’re a professional athlete) doesn’t make sense.

You don’t need “Leg day BRO.”
You don’t need to be ripped. 
You don’t need huge arms or a six-pack.

What you really need is to work on your inner beauty. Learn how to treat people with respect and make them feel valued.

Learn people skills such as rapport. Study human psychology and learn how to think. That’s what beauty looks like. Don’t be a gym rat.


10. Owning a car you can’t afford.

No one that matters cares about what car you drive. We know you’re up to your eyeballs in debt to pay for the loan — you’re not fooling anyone except yourself.

The quicker you realize that material objects like cars won’t make you happy, the quicker you can get to living the good life.

Take the money you had put aside for a car and use it to do the following:
• Travel the world
• Invest in a USA Index Fund
• Put a deposit down on an investment property (offset your tax bill)

These things will set you up to worry less about money later in life.


11. Beliefs from your parents that suck.

Your parents were born a long time and the world has changed a lot since then. A lot of what they know is out of date.

They came from a time where a degree mattered and people worked for the same company their entire life.

We’re moving into a world of artificial intelligence, contract work, virtual currencies, extreme globalization, 24/7 connectedness and technology everywhere we look.

“Following the old rules won’t work. Work out the new rules by exploring the real world for yourself”

12. Cranky people who’ve achieved nothing.

Everyone in your 20’s wants to give you advice — even cranky people who haven’t achieved anything.

We’ve all got an opinion, but that doesn’t make us all experts.

Take the advice that’s useful to you (including this article) and feel free to metaphorically put the rest in the trash where it belongs.


13. Being only focused on yourself.

Most people figure this one out much later in life. You’re reading this article, so I’m going to assume you are a step ahead of the rest.

Find at least one way in your 20’s to give back.

This very concept will become much more important in life as you battle the realization of your mortality and the legacy you’ll leave behind. Even though you’re only in your 20’s, time goes way quicker than you think.

Before you know it, you’ll be at the end of your life and looking back on everything you’ve done. You don’t want to have regrets when this time comes.

Find a way to go beyond you and your selfish desires. Find a way to create something that serves us all. It will take some time to figure out what this genius idea is. Be patient. It will come to you.


14. Doing one thing.

Many of the people you know who are older have built their entire lives on one hack, one arbitrage, one piece of knowledge or one strategy. When things change, they’re screwed.

In your 20’s, as I said before, try everything. Don’t stick to one thing because that will make your learning curve limited. You have the luxury of time so use it to see what’s possible for your life.

You’ll be surprised by the number of things you can achieve.


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