I turn 21 years old next week, so thought it was fitting to write a little piece on how I’m going to spend my 20s.
To sum it in one sentence, my focus of my 20s is going to be: skill acquisition and life experimentation.
I’m going to take the pressure off on myself to be a success story. Such pressures have entrapped me in my last few years of life, and all it did was stifle my creativity and led to short-term thinking.
You see, I had a chip on my shoulder, and I still fucking do. But when you have this fantasy of yourself, and how you should be succeeding. Or what you should be doing. Just to prove to other people that you’re not a loser, then you end up compromising on your natural intuitions. You end up trying to force things to happen, and usually, it just blows up in your face.
The Trap of Success
I think the best thing that can happen to someone is losing everything, and then starting all over. Because when you lose everything, you are free to build up from scratch. You no longer have to impress the external, because they don’t care about you.
When you have that ego of “I’m this person, and I need to stay this reinforced identity to get validation” you are trapped by a mask. That mask might be the mask of success, where now you have to succeed to sustain that ego identity.
The problem with this is that you are now playing not to lose, rather than playing to win.
What I mean by playing not lose, is that you’re trying to defend this mask of yours. This means you are less likely to take risks that could pay off very well or could lead to new lessons and new perspectives. Risks are necessary to learn lessons and can pay off and lead to big success.
You are scared to fail – and therefore, you fail the bigger game of life.
There is often real value in being reckless!
So I’m going to expose myself to as many situations as possible, and try things out. And not be afraid to make fuck ups. And most importantly – play to win and be creative.
Steve Jobs spoke about when he got fired from Apple in 1985 and said that “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life.”
Before he got fired, you could say he had his mask on. He was 30 years old and had the pressures of being successful. All of a sudden, he felt this burden which stifled his creativity. He eventually got fired and lost everything.
But after this, he arose out of the ashes like the Phoenix and revolutionised our society with the iPod and the iPhone.
So if you feel like a fuck up, then good. You’re now freed to take your own path and tailor your life to yourself. You can no longer rely on the external narrative of being a good boy. You have to go your own authentic way and pioneer your own life.
Funnily enough, often times it’s the people who go off onto their own path, who end up pioneering the world.
Skill Acquisition Over Obtaining Money
My twenties will not be focused on making money. It will be focused on acquiring skill sets and experiences that will make me indispensable in my 30s and beyond. And when you’re indispensable, you’re extremely valuable and thus – make shit tons of money. ;).
The pursuit of my natural interests will be my main focus. Whether that be writing, music, art, software development, design, fashion – who the fuck knows. It doesn’t matter. It’s about learning as much as possible.
Ultimately, all I need is food in my belly and a roof over my head. As long as I can afford those two things, and keep on learning and mastering skillsets, then I’m happy.
Also, continuous learning keeps you young. If you’re always following your curiosity and learning new stuff, you’re constantly expanding your levels of consciousness.
You’re also creating new neural pathways in your brain, and that keeps your brain sharp, rather than stagnating.
Developing an Amazing Work Ethic
The more you work, the more your capacity to focus grows, and therefore, the more work you can do in the future. Therefore, I’m going to focus on developing an amazing work ethic.
Your 20s are the time where you have no external obligations really. You don’t have any financial obligations (hopefully) like a mortgage or children dependant on you. Therefore, you can just work as much as possible because as you build your industriousness, you create the habit of working hard for long stretches of time.
This is one of the key habits that is going to help you achieve your dreams later in your life because hard work is just a pre-requisite to success.
And really, what better other things could you be doing than working your fucking arse off to make your dreams come true?
Not Chasing Girls
I think women are amazing. I love them a lot, and honestly, they make life worth living in many ways.
Imagine if it was just men in this world? It would be fucking shit, man. Women are a gift.
At the same time, you can spend inordinate amounts of time chasing/worrying/focusing on girls – and mostly it is a waste of time. The pleasure you can get from them is amazing, but it is fleeting.
Unless you know that a girl is special and can add something amazing to your life – like intimacy, love, support, inspiration, growth – then you are kind of wasting your time.
I’m all for relationships, but quite frankly my higher self could give a fuck about chasing women just for sex, because once the moment has finished, then what?
If you want to leave the room immediately after having sex with a girl, then I’m sorry bro – she’s the wrong one for you! Get out of there immediately.
Not only this, but the time you spend chasing girls could be put into yourself – in becoming a great man (or a great woman – this could be flipped on its head).
And when you’re a great man or woman, then you’re going to naturally attract a great partner. Because we don’t attract what we want, we attract what we are.
And if a girl wants to be in your life and brings something real, then that’s amazing and definitely take that opportunity. There is something real to be gained from a loving relationship.
But I’m not talking about love here. I’m talking about lust. Lust is like that mirage in the desert which promises water and hydration but leaves you exhausted and with a dry mouth. You can never get enough of lust, it is a bottomless pit, and will leave you feeling empty.
So focus on yourself. I’m going to focus on myself. And focus on becoming the best version of myself.
And that’s it, I’m out.