I turned 29 last week.
This will be my last year in the 20’s age bracket. So what does this mean for me?
Checking a new box in marketing surveys/questionnaires?
Become a new statistic?
Looking back, my 20’s has felt more like a “warm-up” exercise: you know, the 10 reps of jumping jacks you do before going into a light 1-minute jog that then segues into a combination of other high impact interval activities to get your heart rate up. My heart rate is gradually increasing, but has yet to reach its target. I am breaking a sweat, but not enough to walk away with a drenched shirt. And in between I’ve paused for my water break, getting drops of wisdom here and there from my family, friends and mentors.
Like water, the words of wisdom that I’ve collected are essential to my personal enrichment and career development.
Like water, the advice is neutral, not too basic, and not too acidic in its current state.
Like water, there are multiple ways to use the your wisdom bestowed upon you.
I’ve been extremely blessed to have acquired a plethora of guidance from my peers and mentors.
In celebration of my birthday, I’d like to share some of the deepest lessons I’ve learned thus far in my 20s.
An anthology of my 20-something lessons (in no particular order):
- What made me successful, was also what made me fail
2. I am not for everyone and this is okay
3. Don’t buy into the love and don’t buy into the hate
4. Don’t forget the power of authenticity – be yourself
5. Don’t just put your head down and work, look up once in a while
6. Perception can overshadow true intentions
7. You don’t always get brownie points for speed
8. You don’t get credit for having an answer – only the accurate answer
9. Sometimes it is not what you say, but how you say it
10. Trust is so hard to build and can easily be lost
11. Not everything needs to be in an email – try the telephone
12. Never chase the money – it’s a vicious and endless game
13. Never compare yourself to others because you’ll never be satisfied – you are your own competition
14. Smile. It is really contagious.
15. Always be open to new opportunities and challenges because you just never know
16. When you want to apologize just say “I’m sorry.” [pause]
17. Work hard, but work smart
18. Take some risk, it is okay if you fail because it is all in the recovery
19. When you’ve hit a low point in your life, don’t feel too depressed about it. When you’ve hit a high point in your life, don’t be too overly zealous about it. Take things in moderation.
20. Never say you manage a group of people. Strive to lead a group of people. It is much more rewarding and fulfilling.
21. It’s not enough to be a “culture carrier”. Be a “culture creator” and set the cadence for others to hear
22. Having good judgement takes time, patience, and observation
23. It never hurts to ask, so don’t be afraid to make the ask
24. Don’t say to someone, “I’ll be honest with you.” because now they’ll think you may not have been honest with them before
25. We’re all here to make friends and be helpful.
26. Manage expectations
27. Always think about how you would like to be remembered when you are not in the room
28. Family and close friends are so important – never take them for granted
29. Pay it forward by mentoring and coaching others . . .
Life is a learning journey through a jungle gym: you’ll get up and fall down or entangled in a knot. And my 20s is just the beginning . . . the next 12 months will be a test of patience, persistence, and perseverance.
Ode to my 20s,