Your 20s can be a decade-long stint in the waiting room of life. However it is important to point out that your 20s isn't a throwaway decade. What you do matters a lot. Here are 9 ways to make the most of these exciting but unsettled years:
1. Consider money to be an outcome, not an objective. It's understandable that you want to achieve a comfortable lifestyle. The emphasis should not be on money alone. What should you set your sights on instead? Identify what you enjoy doing and become an absolute expert at it. Without many obligations in your twenties, you can afford to take risks. Follow your passion without becoming distracted by short-term rewards.
2. Deliver value. Achieving wealth and success are common objectives, but many people will fail to reach these lofty goals. While being wealthy and successful can make your life easier, you should focus on delivering something of value to the world. The people who make the biggest changes in the world didn't take that route just to achieve fame or fortune. They wanted to make changes in the way we do things. Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook was designed as an internal networking website for Harvard students, and now it serves 1.4 billion people worldwide. Money comes naturally after you've followed your passion and provided value.
3. Be curious. Foster your curiosity, and it will lead you to amazing places, ideas and concepts. Your level of curiosity is what could ultimately define you and separate you from the rest.
4. Read widely. Read self-help, how-to, personal achievement, communications, leadership and biography books. You will make mistakes in your twenties, but you won't find reading these books to be a time waster. Good sources of reading lists range from respected journals and blogs to Amazon (look for books with high ratings in categories of your choice).
5. Learn from adversity. The challenges you will encounter are unimaginable here and now. Choose to learn and grow from these situations. Seeing obstacles as learning opportunities will help you acquire new insights. Obstacles can ultimately make you a more capable person.
6. Break out of your comfort zone. This cliché is actually true. Remaining within familiar territory means that you don't explore what you could become. Dare to test the limits of yourself.
7. You are who you associate with. This is an old saying that can be generally applied in many social and professional scenarios. You are the average of the five people you associate with the most. Whether you are joining a sporting team, choosing investors, or choosing the people you're going to have dinner with. Keep this in mind and use it as a guiding principle when you choose who you surround yourself with.
8. Create your own opportunity. Hard work, strategy, stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, and perseverance are all needed to create your own opportunity. Opportunity rarely finds you. You need to find it.
9. Take action. There are usually no guarantees in life. However there is one that can be guaranteed. That is if you don't take action, there will be no outcome at all. The only outcome will be that you didn't achieve it. What you do in your 20s will have an impact on the rest of your life. What are you going to do with this time? What are you going to do today? Don't leave it for tomorrow.