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20 things I wish I knew when I was 20

1) Don’t settle down with someone so early. Because 20 is actually a really young age. And even though you feel like you really like that certain someone while courting them, that feeling doesn’t last. The thrill, excitement, romance and love will dwindle down significantly. You will also meet others, and you will be tempted.

2) The friends you have then may not be your friends forever. I’ve personally fallen out with about maybe 5 friends since I was 20. We were actually close, really close, but shit happened along the way. People change, and that change could be in you. Be willing to let go of friendships that are toxic.

3) Read as much as you can. Because reading books is a real art. Reading can not only better your language, but also boost your confidence in society. Read at least one book a week. Also, create a catalogue of blogs to follow and read them like it’s an empowering activity. That beats random social media surfing.

4) Learn things systematically by being patient. Whatever you want to learn and achieve, do it with small steps. Don’t rush and hope for an overnight transformation. They don’t happen. Plus, you’d wish you did it in small steps as you wonder why you still haven’t achieved what you wanted years later.

5) Don’t waste time and energy caring about what others think. Because they aren’t real and you’ll laughing at yourself later when you let such bullshit hold you back.

6) Get over your breakups as quickly as you can. Because life is too short to feel pain from the past and over a single person.

7) You only feel your age according to the people you surround yourself with. It’s easy to think you’re getting older just because your age goes up. But whether you feel young or old is largely dependant on who you’re with. Hang out with cool people who want to explore life, and you’d feel young everyday. Hangout with people who try to force feed society’s ideals of acting your age, and you’d feel like you should be on a wheelchair any time soon.

8) Lose your virginity. A friend told me once, “Demystify sex”. And I agree. Let it go once and all. That way, you won’t spend your time wondering how it’s like and trust me on this, you’re going to realize that superficial looks alone don’t make for a good experience in bed. Real connection with an astounding personality does. This will also really help you stop allowing people you think are attractive to have power over you.

If you took my words seriously, you’d realize this isn’t about “fucking around”.

9) Learn to appreciate being alone. Because it’s awesome.  Take up meditation. And you’ll never feel like you’re really alone.

10) Exercise real control over credit cards. Go ahead. Apply for them for the benefits can be awesome. But be firm in how and what you spend on. Expenses can come in like a torrent otherwise.

11) College, institutions and even religion can never beat experience, your best teacher. Hold on to them and don’t let others’ ideas or beliefs overwrite them.

12) Let your friends make their own mistakes. It’s essential for them to grow as a person. You can’t fix anyone.

13) Start your business today. You don’t need an amazing product or whatever. See how you can add value and help others. Get fucking good at it. Eventually you can find that convergence of helping others and making money from it. It’ll be a lot easier since you’re good at it by then.

14) Get abs. It’s easier when young. Stay fit yo.

15) People still fuck up the simplest of things. Some people, for whatever reason, can never be on time or even own up to the mistakes they obviously made. Don’t be too surprised when your friends or even family let you down over shit you think could be avoided.

16) Learn body language and touch up on proper EQ. They matter. You can have a heart of gold or the best of intentions, but no one is going to know if you don’t look or act the part. They may even judge you harshly. Don’t let misjudgement destroy opportunities. I must have unknowingly pushed away like 5 girls who were interested in me because I didn’t know even what I was doing right or wrong.

17) There’s a difference between being nice and being weak. More often than not, nice people allow themselves to be weak because they want to show that they’re nice i.e. not bad people. You can be nice and strong. You just have to stand up for yourself. Being nice doesn’t mean you have to say yes to everything.

18) Get over being pissed and frustrated. You won’t be pissed about the same things in the future. It’s called mellowing out.

19) You can fun in your weekends without alcohol or partying. They get old pretty fast. Might as well save some money.

20) Shit never stops happening. My dad died. My friend died. My aunt has cancer today. But be happy. It’s your choice. Being too alert or paranoid isn’t a life at all. Help others when you can. Be in the know life’s like that, but at the end of the day, be happy.

Shit may never stop happening, but you can easily give yourself the edge by blocking out the bullshit in life. Check out the Happy as Fuck Membership Club right here.

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17 comments

  1. Kevin Cole - December 16, 2013 5:31 pm

    As a 20-year old on the journey…this cuts deep.

    Life is a process. Every. Single. Day.

    Good shit.

    Reply
    • alden - December 20, 2013 1:38 am

      Glad it cut you deep. Learn from it. Live it up too!

      Reply
  2. Caleb - December 18, 2013 12:27 pm

    Along with #10 I would say, SAVE MONEY. Had I started saving when I was 20 and not been a frivolous spender I would be in MUCH better financial shape today. Thankfully I have always been good with credit cards though and don’t have any debt on them.

    #20 is so so so so very true too. I’ve been in business for myself for around 3 years know and the amount of times I have had to deal with dishonest people is just ridiculous, and nothing ever goes exactly right. Can you imagine where the economy would be today if people gave up every time things to hard?

    Reply
  3. Ludvig Sunström - December 22, 2013 2:51 pm

    Yo Alden,

    I really agree with you on these two:

    3) Read as much as you can.

    4) Learn things systematically by being patient.

    Reply
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  5. Utsav - August 14, 2014 7:19 am

    This is amazing…Half my problems are solved here..!! 😀

    Reply
    • alden - September 3, 2014 6:39 am

      🙂

      Reply
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  7. Jane - October 22, 2014 2:22 am

    I am reading this as a a 53 year old and I would add one more: TRAVEL as much as possible and learn and embrace other cultures, you will grow and be enriched beyond anything you would experience if you remain in one spot.

    Reply
  8. Chase Cooksey - November 26, 2014 7:14 am

    Alden,

    This is a great post! What other blogs would you recommend to keep up with?

    Reply
  9. Jason N - May 2, 2015 3:44 am

    I’m 20 years old now and I feel like I am very peculiar. I have already severed ties with most people in my life and am not interested in any girls other than sex. I have ataraxia so I am pretty clearly in charge of my future. However, within the past 6 months I have been to rehab for a day and a half, then shortly after was diagnosed with bi polar and schizophrenia disease; since then I have not been taking my prescription meds but feel great!

    For some reason, those 20 things doesn’t make much sense to me and I simply feel they do not apply.

    Can anyone here help?

    Number 1) I have never wanted to settle down. I was with a girl for about 2 years but it ended badly. She cheated on me many times and we were never actually together. We just spent a lot of time in the first year then I got drunk and tried to fight the cops so her mom forbid me to see her. Ever since then we still fucked with each other heavy till she tried to get with other guys. I fought them all

    Number 2) I have no friends. Have had some in the past but just got over the idea.

    Number 3 and 4) I read, and my learning techniques are flawless. I am quick and have always been able to figure something out. Especially if it is in a competitive manner.

    Number 5) I have never been concerned with the opinions of others. this does not apply to me

    NUmber 6) n/a

    Number 7) I hang around with may ages but mostly stay to myself. People aggravate me and they do not understand me.

    Number 8) I lost my virginity when i was 12

    Number 9) I love being alone. People disgust me.

    Number 11) Already getting in college and plan on being there for the next 6 years.

    Number 12) what friends?

    Number 14) I am fit

    Number 15) I don’t rely on anyone. I learned a long time ago not to trust people I only one trust person and that’s myself.

    NUmber 16( I don’t even understand number 16 point if someone can explain it to me, that would be helpful.

    Number 17) I’m not a nice person. But I appear to be.

    Number 18) n/A

    NUmber 19) I do not drink alcohol or smoke weed. But if I were to, I would do it secretly in private and not let anyone know about it.

    Number 20) ((sort of seems like you’re stating the obvious again here…))

    If anyone could please answer my questions or jus let me kno what you think shoot me a reply at

    jasonburnell98@gmail.com

    thanks!!

    Reply
    • Memo E - May 6, 2015 7:23 pm

      Hey Alden,

      I agree with your list, especially #3, Reading or even watching interesting youtube videos is a better way of passing time rather than aimlessly roaming social media. I already have a list of blogs and you sir are going straight to it.

      I would like to add one pint to the list, although it might sound slightly generic… “Don’t take yourself too seriously”

      I was reading Jason N’s response and I couldn’t help but remember how when I was twenty I felt mostly that way, people didn’t disgust me but in general I thought they were stupid and I basically felt that I already had the best answers for everything.

      Then came time to move to a really demanding job overseas and I understood that I didn’t knew shit. Now I am 30, with a baby on the way and I still don’t have all the answers.

      Work on improving yourself, and the first step is acknowledging that you can improve, and there are always things you can do better.

      Keep up the good work and keep enjoying life.

      Peace!

      Reply
  10. Chris - November 16, 2015 5:24 pm

    I’ll try to solve my #4,#5 and #18 cause I really have a short temper and it drives everyone (girls especially) away from me… cause I’m 21 and I’m a virgin…

    Reply
  11. foxtrot - February 24, 2016 11:49 am

    3, 5, 8, 14, 17 were my best…
    thanks bro.
    I’ve gained another thing today

    Reply
  12. CHEERY - May 24, 2016 11:39 am

    thanks it’s so inspiring.i am blessed.

    Reply
  13. Frank T - May 24, 2016 2:34 pm

    20 pearls of wisdom in one post. I love it!

    Yes…

    Reply
  14. Frank T - May 24, 2016 2:35 pm

    20 pearls of wisdom in one post. I love it!

    Yes…I’m still alive. Hope you are well!

    Reply

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