5 essential things you need to learn in your 20s

This is a two-part series. To read the first part, click here.

Last week I wrote a post about what to stop doing in your 20s: waste time and pretend these years “don’t really count”.

Here’s the truth: everything counts. Every single second of every day counts. What counts most is the present moment. NOW.

It doesn’t matter what plans you’ve made for the future, or what happened to you in the past. Sure, you can prepare yourself for a better future, and you can learn from the lessons of the past. But the most important thing in this journey called life is to enjoy every single step of it. Basically, you need to make the most out of your now, every day of your life.

Now that you know what not to do in your 20s (throw them out the window), let’s talk about what you must do in your 20s. More specifically, let’s talk about what you really need to learn during this fateful decade. The sooner you learn these things, the better your life will be, and the more you’ll be able to make the most out of everything you’ve got.

Ready? Click on the video below to learn the 5 essential things you simply must learn in your 20s (and remember, the sooner, the better!)

 

 

Before you leave, I want to hear from you!

What is the most important lessons you have learned in your 20s or that you think young people should learn in their 20s?

For the fellow gen Y-ers out there: What are you going to make your “theme” this decade? What lesson are you going to absolutely make sure you learn?

This is a two-part series. To read the first part, click here.

Are you failing? Get back on track with these 6 steps!

So you put down your guard. You slipped into old patterns.

You religiously stuck to the exercise program… until you were just too tired. Then you conveniently “forgot” about it for a week.

You were done gossiping. But then that one really good bit came up… it was really just too good to pass up.

Falling off the bandwagon can easily make you feel like you’re a failure. That is a stinky feeling. When you feel like a failure it’s tempting to just stop pursuing your resolution altogether. What’s the point? You’re just going to fail again anyway…

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without the loss of enthusiasmYep, you are. You are just going to fail again. You are going to fail a million times throughout your life. And you are not alone.

No one, and by that I mean no one, reaches their resolutions without setbacks. Everyone fails.

The bigger the change, the bigger the struggle to achieve it, and the bigger and more frequent the slips and falls along the way.

You’re doing something radical. You’re tossing mediocrity and conventionality to the side. You’re following your intuition and reaching for goals you’ve never before allowed yourself to go after.

You’re putting aside your mask, and following your true potential. When you’re this vulnerable, it’s easy to let fear, stress, doubt, naysayers, and other everyday dangers push you back.

When you take a tumble, it’s tempting to throw in the towel.

It’s time for a reality check.

Change takes effort, time, and a serious fight against resistance. It’s not easy, and doesn’t come easily to anyone. Everyone falls down.

That moment when things get tough is when you’re at your most vulnerable, but also when you’re growing the most. That’s when it becomes truly essential to not give up. That’s when you can have a breakthrough moment, if you just allow yourself to push through the fears and doubts and trust your intuition and your path.

So check your disappointment at the door, put your heavy bag of fears and doubts down, and let’s get to work dealing with this mess that’s called change.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Face your setback

The first thing you need to do is accept your setback. Embrace it, even.

I know, I know. That doesn’t sound right. Hear me out anyway.

So you had a setback.

It happens to literally every single successful person. Sir James Dyson, inventor and founder of the Dyson company, says  that “You never learn from success, but you do learn from failure.” (click here to read his interview with Entrepreneur magazine)

Here’s the thing to remember:

Failure is an event, not a character trait. So stop letting it define you.

You choose how to respond to your setbacks. But before responding, you have to just come to terms with the fact that shit happens.

Sometimes you fail. Sometimes you succeed.

But the important thing is that you’re heading in the right direction.

If I set course to San Francisco from New York, I can be walking two steps forward and one step back, tumbling, stepping and hopping along the way, but as long as I stay on course I will eventually reach my destination.

2. Get back up

Get back up. Right away.

Don’t be tempted to quit just because you had one bad spell.

If you pigged out (Ms. Oink here knows), commit to following your resolution of healthy eating for the rest of the day.

If you’ve slipped back into a bad habit, stop. Get back on the bandwagon, right now.

Nip it in the bud.

It’s not going to be easy. I never said it would.

But recovering today is less painful than doing it a year from now, when you have given your resistance time to grow.

Look, resistance is unavoidable, if you really want to make this change, you have to accept that.

So get up and get your butt back in the game! Time’s a-wastin’!

3. Take responsibility

One of my biggest guiding values is taking responsibility for my life.

Too often, we blame our actions, successes, and failures on outside circumstances.

You didn’t fail because you were too tired, stressed out, or because the stars just didn’t align right.

You fell off the bandwagon because of your inner resistance. You gave in to your doubts and fears. You’re human, and you just lost focus and let yourself get discouraged.

That’s OK.

Maybe you could have done something better. You probably could have said no. You could have been perfect.

But you’re not perfect, and you were not made to be perfect. And the more you embrace that and take responsibility for your life, the better you can jump over the hoops and follow your destiny.

So when you slip, call it what it is. Don’t blame it on other circumstances. Life, stress, and other people only have as much power over you as you give them. Recognize that the power lies within yourself, and stop giving it away. Claim it back.

How did you create this failure? What could you do better to prevent it from happening next time? What can you do to ensure your success?

4. Get perspective

When you slip and fall, your mind has a way of making a mountain out of a molehill.

Your emotions can get the better of you, and leave you susceptible to your inner resistance.

Don’t be tempted to take a seat on the poor-me-i-can-never-get-anything-done-EVER train.

I’m intimately familiar with every car of that train. It sucks, big time.

That only makes things worse. And the more time you spend on that train of doom, the harder it is to get back up and keep going.

To get some perspective, ask yourself, how much will this matter in 5 years? And what can you do now to make it not matter in 5 years, and ensure your success?

These questions will shift your focus from worrying to taking action – which is the only thing you should be doing.

5. Help someone out

When you fall down, go help someone else pick themselves back up. Motivate them, inspire them, listen to them. Be a friend to them.

It’s so much easier to see the worth in other people. By convincing them that they are worth it, and that they can do it, you are putting yourself in that motivational can-do mindset, and allowing yourself to perceive your own worth as well.

Helping others when you’re going through a tough time will also help you realize that you are not alone. They are going through tough struggles as well. We all have our own hoops to jump through.

When things are tough, give a hand. Hop on the love train. I’ll save you a seat.

6. Channel your inner child

Have you ever seen a baby learn to walk?

It is one of the most adorable things to watch. It’s also terribly inspirational.

We are born with an extraordinary capacity to be present right here, right now, and a fantastic desire to learn.

Anyone who’s watched a child take a tumble knows they cry for a little and then just get over it. If it’s a small slip and fall, and they really want to get to their goal (cupcakes, anyone?), they just get up and keep going. Sometimes it never even registers that their nose kissed the floor. By the time they have the cupcake, the fall is a distant memory.

Your goal is their cupcake, and your setback is their small slip and fall along the way.

When you feel like you are failing, bring out the child inside of you. Go for that cupcake (goal), and don’t stop till you have it!

 

I’d love to learn from your experience!

What do you do to pick yourself up when you feel like you’re starting to fail?

 

Can’t keep up with your resolutions? Here’s why

I’ll be honest, I haven’t always been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions.

I always start out all fired up and full of drive and motivation to do all the stuff that I’ve set out to do.

But, right around this time of year, I usually make best friends with a giant pint of ice cream, the feeling of being a failure, and 5 lbs (if I’m lucky).

It stinks.

Boost  your motivation with the power of habitThis year, I was tempted not to make a resolution in the first place. After all, failure seemed inevitable.

But then I realized there is a certain drive for change that comes along with a new beginning. A new year in particular can give us that fresh, lovely feeling of starting off with a clean slate.

Resolutions help us take that purely emotional drive and translate it into a goal and an action plan that has the possibility to create lasting change.

Instead of giving up on making resolutions, I decided to discover what causes us to fail at them.

It turns out that overreliance on motivation drives failure.

Whoa, wait, what? No way, motivation is a good thing!

Yes! Motivation is awesome… to get you started.

But once you start… it’s not motivation that should keep you going!

Motivation leaves you too susceptible to the resistance within you. [Read more…]