20 Lessons I Learned in my 20’s & Teens
I’m sometimes asked to speak to youth in their 20’s or teens; recently I thought to share 20 lessons I learned in those years. Here goes:
1- Seek God first. Desire Him first above all else and seek His way and not the way of popular culture. Seek His praise and not the praise of others.
2- Have the courage to say no to what is not right. Have the humility to accept when what you thought is right is actually wrong.
3- Be Kind. Think not only of yourself, but others too. And when you think of kindness don’t only think of giving alms, think of little ways to support those around you, maybe being a better listener, helping out a colleague with some work, or just being more kind in how you talk to your family. Kindness is the solution to a lot of life’s problems.
4- Stay humble, no matter how much you have, or how high you climb. Never forget how you started (your days of little beginnings), or who helped you up and that there are others who worked harder than you but aren’t where you are. Exchange pride for gratitude to God for His grace that’s got you this far.
5- Be merciful to yourself, and others; you’ll mess up atimes, and that’s okay. What matters is you learn from failure and try again. Show the same mercy you show yourself to others; treat the failings of others with empathy and mercy.
6- Decide early what you want, and go for it. Never give up in your pursuit to be all God has called you to be. But while you chase your dreams, don’t become a jerk in the process. Being a good human being is more important than being successful
7- Dream Big, but often you may need to start small. Start where you are, with what you have. Don’t wait till you have it all figured out before you make that critical first step.
8- Be Patient & Consistent: You will get a lot of things if only you can be consistent at putting in the effort and you are willing to wait until you see results. Water is so soft, but yet it can wither a rock. How? Because it keeps hitting at it, wave after wave, every single day.
9- Don’t do life alone: One of the biggest mistakes you’ll make is to think you can achieve all you want by yourself. Often, you’ll need other quality people to join you. Remember what T-E-A-M means: Together, everyone achieves more. Two good heads are always better than one.
10- Communication is critical. you can get a lot of things in life if you know how to talk properly. I got my second graduate job, not because of my grades (I had a 2nd Class Lower) but because I learned how to write a good CV, and I got paid higher than my senior on the job because I knew how to negotiate. I also got promoted on the job because I knew how to speak to clients professionally.
Communication is critical, you can get a lot of things if you learn to communicate well. It has opened doors for me. Invest in communication skills; it pays a huge ROI
Invest in building your communication skills, in writing, speaking and non verbal communication; it’s well worth the effort.
As an Interpersonal Skills Coach, I can teach you to communicate clearly, confidently and persuasively here: https://bit.ly/3Qb4sds
Also, if you’ll like to get a CV & Cover Letter Checklist, DM & send me an email here: email@example.com saying CV & Cover Letter Checklist.)
11- Jealousy is cancer: A big cause of sorrow in life is jealousy. Steer clear jealousy, like cancer it will grow, until it destroys you or takes your humanity (sense of compassion and kindness).
True, sometimes the strengths or blessings of others remind us of our weaknesses and we feel insecure and hate them for it. Immediately you feel the ugly head of jealousy rise in you, bless the one you’re jealous of, and ask God to help you be happy for the good they have instead of envious.
Don’t compare yourself to others in a way that makes you despise your own strengths or blessings, and envious of what they have that you don’t, rather make it challenge you to be better and aspire for more while still being grateful for what you already have.
12- Soft-skills are critical: Soft (or Human) Skills like emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, persuasion, negotiation, teamwork, effective communication, leadership skills etc are critical life skills you need to succeed at almost anything in life.
As far as what you do involves other people, you need these skills. Invest in them.
I teach 7 soft-skills everyone needs. If you’ll like to learn them, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a DM saying, I want to learn the 7 Critical Life-Skills)
13- Don’t waste time: Frances Bridges says, "Time is your most precious resource: It’s the only thing you can never get back. Do not waste it (in the long term) on work you don’t want to do and people you don’t want to be around. Do not aimlessly read the internet and social media for hours and hours, that’s so much time that’s slipping through your fingers".
Life is short, and it’s moments are shorter. Live with urgency, everyday, do what matters most
14- Prioritize your family and those you love.
Treasure the moments you have with them. Figure out those you really care about, make time for them and let them know you love them, by your words and actions.
I lost a dear friend to cancer in my late teens, and another just around when I turned 30. And on both occasions I didn’t realize how much I cared about them till they died, so I didn’t reciprocate the love they showed me, don’t let that happen to you, it hurts like crazy.
15- Prioritize your health. Sleep 7-8 hours daily. Exercise often. Eat healthy.
You never know how important your health is, until it fails you, suddenly it becomes the most important thing.
Don’t wait till then. and don’t do hard drugs, porn or abuse on addictive substances like alcohol. You’re smarter than that. (When I was in my late twenties I was once diagnosed with high blood pressure because I wasn’t eating or sleeping well. Yep, you can have dire health issues, even in your twenties, and it gets worse as you age if you don’t make changes)
16. Start early. Wake up early. Start preparing for things early— exams, events, presentations etc. Often, the reason we underperform isn’t because we aren’t good enough, but we don’t prepare well enough.
Live prepared. Some opportunities come only once. You will wake up one day and have no idea something big is coming your way that day, and if you're unprepared when it comes, it may be gone forever.
Find out what it takes to get the things you want, and begin early to prepare yourself in those things, till they become hardwired into you, and you can deliver them even in your sleep.
Good fortune happens when opportunity comes to a thoroughly prepared person. And don't wait for opportunity to come to you, look for opportunity.
17- Use the right metrics: Don’t measure the impact of your life by how much you have or your achievements, but by how much of a more considerate and kind human being you’ve become and the positive impact you’ve made in others.
Love for God and love for others, that’s what life’s about.
18. Read your Bible and pray, everyday. It’s a simple habit that produces astounding results in your life and circumstances.
19. Be grateful. No matter how difficult your circumstances may seem, you have SO MUCH to be thankful. Be very deliberate about counting your blessings, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Gratitude is the remedy to a lot of mental health issues.
20. Trash can become treasure in God’s hands. There’s a scripture I love so much, it has comforted me in times where negative things happened, it says...
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV.”
Even when we make mistakes or when terrible things happen due to no fault of ours, God is able to take the mess and cause it to work for our good; He can bring great treasure from the trash in our lives.
He did it with Jesus crucified on the cross, how much more with us? And this gives us confidence to be grateful even in seeming bad times, because we know God will turn it around for good (For more on this, read Trash to Treasure: https://link.medium.com/Yk8DaUPQHqb, and Treasures in the darkness: https://link.medium.com/pC4nUpARHqb
What are those things you wish you knew or learned when you were in your twenties or teens. If you had a chance to advise your younger self, what will you say? Please share in the comments and tag someone in their twenties or teenage years.
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Hi. I’m Dipo. I write, speak and train on softskills, teenagers, emotional healing, and overcoming fear, failure, shame, rejection, and other self-limiting obstacles to your progress.
Generally, I share content on personal development. I love to see people grow and become better. You can get free access to my articles here: https://bit.ly/3MB3CUu
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