Love this question! I recently turned 30 and have had a lot of thoughts about this in regards to what I would tell my 20 year old self. Here's three initial thoughts:
1. Life Begins When You Want It To
Something I struggled with in my early 20s revolved a round the idea of how to be creatively & professionally successful. was frequently hoping that my talents would be discovered by an individual, company, or organization with money - and - that I'd be offered a job or opportunity.
This never happened.
What took my way too long to realize is that a lot of successful people actually build their own networks. Whether their field is Music, Poetry, Video Game Design, etc. - most successful people start creating their content within their current financial constraints, publish it on their own (even on a free platform like here on Steemit or YouTube,) and then start to build a small audience. Eventually, after persistence and creating quality content, they are then recognized by these other bodies.
I worked on my YouTube channel for years until someone at VICE contacted me for an interview: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/d7yz5q/your-friendly-guide-to-nootropics-steve-cronin
2. Your Definition of Success is Always Changing, Even When You Don't Realize It
It's probably natural to unconsciously keep wanting/striving for more. When I was in college, I was thinking I'd be perfectly happy and fulfilled if only I made $X a year, had a career in a specific industry, and had X number of friends.
Once I achieved those goals, I didn't stop to realize and appreciate them, instead I fairly automatically created new goals and pushed off my feelings of happiness & fulfillment.
Taking time to journal and appreciate my successes, while still creating new goals for myself, has helped me with this issue :)
3. Trying to Make the Present look like the Past is probably a Waste of Time
I often struggle with realizing the vast number of known & unknown factors involved in making a past experience or a past lifestyle feel good. For example, I move around a lot and have lived in many different cities across the U.S. Probably the happiest I've been has been living in a specific apartment about 5 years ago in Houston, TX - and probably the most unhappy I've been was living in Brooklyn, NY.
A couple years ago, I moved back to the same area in Houston, trying to regain that feeling of security and happiness that I remembered, but nothing happened. I've spent way too much energy trying to understand my past, when maybe (probably) I should spend a little less energy on that and also consider understanding my present.
If You Want to Know More...
Earlier this year, I recorded a YouTube video entitled "7 Life Lessons I've Learned Turning 30" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-r7Lukrrtg which you can check out if you're interested :)
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy this part of life. While you still can.
Assuming that “young man or lady in their 20s” means not yet committed, free of children and debts/loans/mortgage.
This is the time to take risks and do crazy. Once the elements mentioned in my assumption become part of your life, the degree of accountability and responsibilities will go up and you will have much less freedom to experiment with life or try things though wanted to do.
If ever you want to start a company, or a tech startup, that’s when you should do it because you can “afford” to fail and it won’t necessarily impact your livelihood - or that of your family. But, just like with Mark Zuckerberg it could become a success story.
Grab a backpack, find a volunteer jobs in exchange for boarding platform and go travel the world. If you have the funds to do it without job, by all means. Although I think working in different cultural environments is an awesome experience because it will broaden your understanding and perspective. You will learn many new ways to look at things and ,of course, it makes traveling much more affordable too.
In your early 20s it is possible to gather a multiple of life experience by leaving the beaten career path and instead opting for some years of international experience or even (digital) nomadism. Most people never get that opportunity later in life and when will already have other things to consider, other elements which may have “biased” their own perspective too much for them to truly enjoy and also absorb the cultural difference.
Why do I recommend this?
I’m 43, I’ve lived in and worked from 7 countries, I’ve travelled/visited more than 40 countries. Except for few years in my career I’ve never really had an office job, but at times I’ve been a co-owner in a coffee shop, had an own cocktail bar, been a promoter of one of the most popular tech parties in that cities, worked at the biggest Millennium rave in Amsterdam, made a living exclusively online for more than 10 years and quite often replied to mails from team members from the beach. And I even was lucky enough to launch a startup, get funded, and fail. My digital nomadism was even once interrupted by a stint as Entrepreneur in Residence for a worldwide Top 10 advertising agency.
Often, life has been difficult. That especially because cultural differences are not as easy as they may seem to be, but I am the richer person and definitely spirit for it. Oh... I’m only 43 I still have places to visit and my life isn’t over yet.
I also still have time to think about a family life/career too. Maybe, it’s the right time for that now actually. So when children leave the home for college... I can pick up traveling again at what would for most be retirement age. Dilemmas, dilemmas.
But no matter what you do... stay hungry for discovery and exploration. Hungry for knowledge and wisdom. Never cease to learn.
Live as if today were your last day, but learn as if you were to live forever.
Now is the time to take control of your life and build your future! In the next 20 years you will make the money that will determine what kind of life you will live when you retire. Do good, earn as much as you can, strive to improve every day and you will have a happy and stressless retirement. On the other hand, if you slack now, the rest of your life and most importantly when you retire will be a struggle.
Basically do as much as you can now, so that you can live happier and more relaxed when you retire!
Live by these rules as much as you can:
Loving yourself is the basis for not needing other people (I don’t mean not wanting other people around you, I mean NEEDING). So when you love yourself, you don’t mind being without other people, because you have yourself.
Accept yourself, your past and your current situation. Nothing can change the past, but the future is yours.How to start loving yourself? Try these steps: http://coachesinthecity.com/en/21-different-things-to-do-to-love-yourself-more
Crave for knowledge. This is the best time to accumulate knowledge from the world and make our minds ready for the upcoming opportunities. As a person who belongs to this category, I am in the process of learning a lot of things before indulging in to the industry world. Getting yourself ready is the key of success.
Read books, watch inspirational videos and tutorials, engage in fun learning activities. Attend orientations and seminars. Join platforms (like Steemit) and read more about cryptocurrencies. Be well equipped first before the battle.
I'm happy I got my degree now and have explored a lot of things. As I wander in the online world, I learned that Crytpocurrencies will change and will pave a new and exciting world were the people has the power of everything.