9 Important Life Lessons For All 20 Somethings
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This is it. I’m 30. Yep goodbye juvenile twenties and hello awesome thirties.
Well, that’s what everybody tells me.
“Julie, don’t worry, thirty is the new twenty.”
Friends, I do not worry. In my mind, I am still 25 😉
Surprisingly, I am excited about turning 30. I feel that now that I am confident and know who I am and what I like to do, my life is going to rock!
So during my twenties, I had many amazing experiences that made me the person I am today!
This is why I want to thank all the people who crossed my path, either for years at a time or for just a simple discussion; people I met face to face and people I met online; on Facebook or from leaving a comment on my blog.
Every single one of you, every interaction I had with you, made me the person I am today and I am thankful for that!
My twenties were full of amazing experiences:
- I met awesome people in college and while living in England, Mexico and The United States (where I live now). For those who didn’t know, I’m originally from France.
- I married an amazing man who pushes me to become a better person every day.
- I’m currently in my third job since I graduated from college, and have met so many friends along the way.
- I’ve discovered new talents and passions in photography and writing.
- And last but not least: I’ve constantly been learning, not only for my career but also for myself!
So today I will share with you the most important life lessons I’ve learned in my twenties.
1. It’s good to fail
Failure is a scary word and we often try to hide it from our friends, but you shouldn’t because failure is good!
When you fail at a personal or professional project, take a break and clear your mind with a fun activity. Then, when you feel ready to look at it again, analyze it. Find out what worked and what didn’t, that way you will be more likely to succeed the next time!
For example, if you end a relationship think about what made you happy and what didn’t, so you have a better idea of what you need in a relationship.
See failure as a learning experience!
2. It doesn’t matter what other people think
This one has been a hard lesson to learn.
I have always had many dreams and projects in mind. For example: writing a book, starting a photography business, starting a blog, traveling full time in an RV, etc. And when I talk about them I often receive negative answers.
My first tip is to get rid of people that are bringing you down (more on this later).
Then just let them talk, don’t take it personally most of the time the negative and snarky comments reflect their own insecurities.
Just do what you want, follow your dreams, and ignore them!
3. Hard work always pays off
Either for your career or your personal projects, know that if you work hard, you can make anything happen.
But here is the catch.
You need to work smart. Meaning that you first need to learn the steps to make it happen.
If you want to lose weight you need to learn about food and exercise.
If you want to advance in your career, you need to gain new skills.
There are so many ways to learn:
- Watch YouTube videos
- Read articles
- Listen to podcasts
- Take classes
Once you have acquired the knowledge you need, make a plan with deadlines to push you to stick to it!
And remember if it doesn’t work, it’s okay because you acquired new knowledge and experiences that will make you more likely to succeed the next time!
4. You need to learn how to say no
When was the last time you felt overwhelmed?
It was probably because you had too much on your plate. This is why you need to learn how to say no.
You don’t have to go to happy hour with your coworkers or friends every week.
You don’t have to bake a cake for school or work.
You don’t have to drink alcohol every time you go out.
You don’t have to go to 5 Christmas parties in 2 weeks.
You don’t have to go to 2 Halloween parties in one night or 3 weddings in one weekend.
You don’t have to wear pink every Wednesdays
You don’t have to please everybody.
You have the permission to say no when you feel like it.
5. More money doesn’t make you happier
The more I grew in my career and my salary increased, the more I realized that I was stressing out.
Here’s the thing: For one, with money comes responsibilities. Also, when you make more money, you will adapt your lifestyle to it. Meaning that you will spend more money.
For example, you will buy a house adding more to your bills, you will buy the newest iPhone while the old one still works, you will go out to more expensive restaurants and become more picky about food.
So the more you make money, the more you spend.
But in today’s economy, there’s no job security. Especially when you work in the tech industry like me. So not only are you scared about keeping your job, but also about finding a job that will allow you to maintain your new, more expensive, lifestyle.
So instead of focusing on money, you should focus on your happiness.
6. Communication is key for a successful relationship
My husband and I are really happy. I feel very close and connected to him. But I’m going to be honest and let you know that it wasn’t always the case.
About a year ago we were fighting all the time for very small things and our relationship became toxic. It was like we couldn’t stand each other anymore.
But one day we talked and realized that a lot of our issues came from the way we communicated with each other.
We worked on that and are now much happier. We joke around all the time, which rarely happened a year ago.
Here are a few tips:
- Listen to your spouse.
- When you are getting upset get away from the situation before saying stupid things.
- If something is bothering you, say it, but not when you are mad. Start a discussion when you are both in a good mood so you can solve the problem.
- Don’t talk down to your spouse, you are equal partners.
- Don’t point the finger but express your feelings.
7. You need to be flexible
If you know me, you are aware that I always make plans!
Once I reach a goal, I need a new one or I feel lost. But life will often steer you into new directions that you never expected.
So making plans is good, and you should have plans, but don’t be scared of changing them!
8. Stay away from toxic people
This is a new rule that I implemented in my life after listening to the podcast the minimalism, you can find it on this list of awesome podcasts.
The idea is simple: if someone is bringing you more drama than laughter and happiness, then just stop seeing them.
It may seem to be mean, but why waste time with someone that you know will upset you?
Don’t you have other more important things to do than worry about gossip and drama?
Since I made this decision, I am happier and have no more drama in my life!
This rule also works for Facebook and other social media platforms. If you see toxic people in a group or on your feed, just block them!
9. Giving will make you happier
I always love giving! I love giving my time to meet new people, I love giving my knowledge, I love giving a smile to strangers, I love giving gifts for Christmas …
You should give what you can whenever you can. Not only will people appreciate you more, but it will also make you happier!
In the article, Why You Should Give to be Happy, I explain the science of why giving makes us feel good.
- The One Thing That Motivated Me To Change My Life And Be Happy
- The Best Audiobooks That Will Change Your Life
- Learn How to Live a Healthy Life and Love Your Body
- The Best Tools To Improve Your Life And Be Happier
- Everything You Need To Know To Stop Stress
Over to you
What have you learned in the past decade?
Share your tips in the comments!
Hayley RichardsonJanuary 13, 2017 at 8:56 am
Happy birthday Julie – and great article! What kind of photography do you do? I think I’ve seen you mention it elsewhere before too. Photography has been one of my recent ’20’s discoveries’ too – I love having a creative outlet!
JulieMarch 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm
Thank you Hayley I do portrait and boudoir photography. I love boudoir photography because it’s empowering women to accept their bodies. It’s so rewarding when they see their pictures! You can see my work at laparisienneboudoir.com!
Jennifer BiglerJanuary 13, 2017 at 4:19 pm
Excellent article! I agree with all of this things! 30’s are awesome because you put all of that learning into full gear and make things happen. Happy Birthday!
ShainaJanuary 13, 2017 at 6:58 pm
Great post! I’m in my twenties I can definitely relate to a lot of these. I’ve quickly learned that toxic people hold you down and as nicely as possible you need to remove them from your life. I hope to travel a lot in my twenties as well!
JulieMarch 23, 2017 at 1:50 pm
Thank you Shaina! Where would you like to travel?
Dory SmithMarch 21, 2017 at 11:31 am
This is a wonderful reminder. I turn 50 this weekend, and I still struggle with some of these issues. Especially saying, “No.” There is peace and power in no.
JulieMarch 23, 2017 at 1:49 pm
Happy birthday Dory!! How are you going to celebrate it??
It was hard to say no at the beginning but then i got more and more comfortable
You need to think about yourself sometimes!
John PrinceSeptember 5, 2017 at 2:03 am
Yery interesting topics keep up the unique work. John
MirandaMarch 14, 2018 at 9:24 pm
Julie, This is a geat & wonderful article.Thanks to remind me don’t give up my dream & get rid of negative people.