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  • Asad Ali

Our 20s are to make mistakes and learn

It’s never too late to be whoever we want. We should have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone but simply try to be better than the person we were yesterday. I turned 28 last month. It only seemed like yesterday when I was 18, about to graduate from The Lyceum and start my first year of university at UBC. In short, the last decade has been a roller coaster.

Sleepwalking through our 20s is a dangerous game. If we aren’t able to set our foundations, we may suffer under the yoke of that wasted decade. Our 20s are the hardest part of life because we’re expected to #adult, earn our own living and be successful while still being in a weird limbo of feeling like a kid.

Our 20s matter and here are a few tips that can guide us in defining how we set our future.

Understand the value of saving

Money can’t buy happiness on its own but it can buy freedom.

With this mindset, we should set ourselves up from a financial standpoint to make the most of what we earn in our 20s through saving and investing. It will be fundamental for our thirties and beyond and as a result, we will have much more flexibility and room to design our life.

Set aside a percentage of what you earn, even if it’s just $100 to start, and put it into a TFSA or RRSP account. Look at WealthSimple, it is one of the best tools for millennials to manage their investments without being too hands-on.

Cultivate curiosity, set goals, and be humble

One of the many drawbacks to getting older is that we tend to become more certain about the world and more set in our ways. Our 20’s are a time to take advantage of our curiosity and take risks. Live your life to the fullest and have all the adventures you want. May it be traveling, learning a new language, or even just starting your own business.

Where do you want to be in five to ten years? How about twenty? Write down your goals!

Check out a blog I wrote on goal setting, it will give you a clear idea of how to set the right goals.

Don’t get caught up continuously working

Over the years I’ve realized I’ve become the sort of individual that wants to feel productive all the time, but it’s easy to get productivity confused with continuously working.

How much do we think our “work” becomes our life and how often do we forget to give ourselves the break we deserve.

I’ve had moments where I have worked 15-18 hours a day and barely functioned on 4 hours of sleep for months.

It’s okay for our work not to be perfect, we are only human but need to focus on meaningful output. We need to accept that it’s OK not to be working all the time and let things go. Do we want to just keep working in our 20s or have a bit of adventure at the same time?

Of course, it takes practice and with that practice we make progress.

I’ve made it a habit to put a hard stop at 5:00 pm when I’m at my full-time job. Here is a quick piece on how you can schedule your workday better.

Live in the moment and make memories

Being present is SO hard! We often find ourselves planning way too much for the future. That, or we’re scrolling aimlessly through Instagram (it’s a horrible habit). One simple way we try to be more present is to not live our lives through our smartphones. Memories don’t need to be filmed to be worthwhile and we savor them MUCH more if we’re not watching our own life through a tiny screen. Look at your smartphone analytics and see how much time we spend on your phone on average.

Surround yourself with quality of friends over quantity of friends

Younger me always had a lot of friends - slowly as the years went by they kept decreasing. I’ve definitely grown to appreciate this. We need to accept the fact that only a select few are the ones that will stay with us for the many years to come. Always remember real friends are those who motivate you and are genuinely happy for you.

Let go of the negativity around you.

So what's next?

Remember it is all part of the process. The messiness, uncertainty, confusion, and stumbling around that I’ve talked about in this blog are all part of making the most of our 20s. This isn’t something I’m trying to avoid, but to embrace because this is what life is all about.

I am here, I am learning, I am living, I am loving.

What are you doing to make the most of your 20s?



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