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How to Find Clarity in Your Life If You Are Feeling Lost in Your 20s.

Start by avoiding these three things.

Photo by Jonathan Rados on Unsplash

“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” ― Erol Ozan

The problem 20’s kids have is they want to have something fast and they want to have it now.

Our 20’s is the best time to waste anything you can think of in life. Time, money, energy, heart, brain, and body we all waste it in our 20’s and no one is an exception to this. We waste them in the hope that we can always get them back. And this is what brought about the saying fail fast and learn fast.

But there’s a problem with this? we hardly learn in our 20’s because we are short-sighted and this is why we make the same mistake over and over again.

The law of short-sightedness

It is in the animal part of your nature to be most impressed by what you can see and hear in the present — the latest news reports and trends, the opinions and actions of the people around you, whatever seems the most dramatic. This is what makes you fall for alluring schemes that promise quick results and easy money. This is also what makes you overreact to present circumstances — becoming overly exhilarated or panicky as events turn one direction or the other. Learn to measure people by the narrowness or breadth of their vision; avoid entangling yourself with those who cannot see the consequences of their actions, who are in a continual reactive mode. They will infect you with this energy. Your eyes must be on the larger trends that govern events, on that which is not immediately visible. Never lose sight of your long-term goals. With an elevated perspective, you will have the patience and clarity to reach almost any objective. Robert Greene.

The good thing is that the better you are able to understand your weakness, and become aware of the situation you find yourself, the better it is that you won’t fall into the trap of short-sightedness most people experience in their 20’s.

What to avoid

Chasing Money

“We spend all our youth chasing money, and when we attain it, we spend all our money chasing youth.” — Coleen Goh

It’s easy to see a 50 or a 60-year-old man driving a Lamborghini or Mercedes Benz and tell yourself you want to drive that in your 20’s. However, what you are not aware of is how long it took them to work to be able to afford those cars.

But because you are in your 20’s, and your perspective is short-sighted, you opt-in for chasing money here and there in the hope of getting an expensive car.

Making money is important given that we live a society in which it is needed for nearly every facet of life. But we must remember that money does not necessarily equal value.

If there’s anything your 20’s should be used for, it should be for learning and building skills. Or better still, stack different skills that you can use to provide value in the real world.

In our 20’s, we are always looking for the next best thing to do, call this the grass is always greener syndrome. We chase the next best thing in the hope that it would bring us the lasting happiness and freedom we deserve only to get it and find that it doesn’t bring us any fulfilment.

This One Syndrome Is What’s Affecting You From Attaining The True Freedom You Deserve.

Understand that the most pleasurable things in life occur as a result of something not directly intended or expected.

You need to live your 20s with a mantra of “work to learn and not work to earn.”

Our society teaches us the latter and not the former. Do well in your exams, have good grades, get a high paying job and you are free. But in the real sense, it doesn’t work like that.

Make no mistake: I am not arguing that you shouldn’t make money in your 20s — you should and you need to. The argument is that if your only goal is to make money, it’s likely that you’ll miss out on opportunities to make valuable experiences.

I studied chemistry in my undergraduate days only to finish school and couldn’t get a job. Not until I started learning different skills before I begin to see a slight change of direction in my life.

I started with writing, then online business. Later on, I started learning marketing and philosophy while learning a new language as well. All these might not fetch me money now, but they are skills I’m willing to learn for the long run because with them is how I can create something of value.

Skills, skills, skills and more skills learn a lot of them in your 20’s.

Excessive pleasure

“The best thing is to possess pleasures without being their slave; not to be devoid of pleasures.” — Aristippus,

This is the bane of all good looking human being in their 20’s.

We all partake in excessive pleasure in our 20s. Why? Because in our 20’s there’s always a point to prove to our peers.

I remember a time I drank to stupor one Sunday while I was to resume for an internship job on Monday. I drank so much to the point that I couldn’t do any work the next day and almost lost the internship job.

Party and have fun in your 20’s but when it’s excessive, it hinders your growth. We get addicted easily in our 20’s because of the cheap dopamine we get while doing stupid and crazy things.

The more you learn to cut down on your excessive pleasure, the better you find clarity with your life.

Live your life like its the only one you get, balance between grinding, building and chilling to live your best life. — Marq Jeffries.

Because our lives still lack meaning and a sense of purpose in our 20’s, we distract ourselves with pleasure. And Viktor Frankl put it best when he said:

“When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.”

As humans, we love pleasurable activities because of the dopamine effect it has on us. But what happens when we bask in excess of pleasurable activities? we get derailed from our goals.

Too Much Pleasure Is Why You Aren’t Achieving Your Goals.

It’s human nature to gravitate towards pleasure and seek to avoid pain. In other words, you will make most of your decisions based on acquiring pleasure in your 20’s while at the same time trying to avoid pain. This works well at times, however, at other times, it will actually work against the goals and objectives you are trying to achieve.

Understand that to have a deeper level of pleasure, we have to learn to limit ourselves writes Robert Greene.

Have fun but make sure it doesn’t derail you from your goals. Balance as Marq Jeffries said is key.

Excessive pleasure above all is a terrible teacher because the most significant lessons we learn in life are rarely received during times of pleasure. Instead, they are born out of pain. I am not contending that we should seek pain in our lives. But I am contending a life lived chiefly for the pursuit of pleasure, will usually seek it in all the wrong places writes Joshua Becker author of The More of Less.

The time you use to numb yourself with alcohol can be used for practice. The time you spend binge-watching Netflix all day can be used for improving an area of your life. The time spent on scrolling endless feeds on social media can be used for deep work.

How much pleasurable distraction you are willing to give up determines how far you can go in life.

Relationships

One of the mistakes we make in our 20’s is that we think we are ready for a relationship. But the truth is we aren’t ready at all.

To be fair, relationships will only complicate your life in your 20’s most especially when you don’t know what you are doing.

You think you are in love in your 20’s but what you are experiencing is definitely lust which is normal. The fact that you aren’t sincere with yourself is why you tell yourself you are in love with your partner.

“That’s one of the first things that come out of young people’s mouths when they’re in love. FOREVER. And that’s cool, it’s all good until you get old enough to realize what forever is.” ― Ice-T.

Our life probably has no meaning or sense of purpose in our 20s because we still lack direction. And yet, we somehow think relationship is the next thing on the list for us.

In your 20’s, focus on yourself, take care of yourself, learn a lot of skills as much as you can, cut down on excessive pleasure and build yourself up. And as you grow older, and find a sense of fulfilment in your life, then you can start building up a relationship.

Relationships that last long are relationships where both parties have a sense of purpose and fulfilment in their lives. By these, your partners’ problem won’t spill into your own life because both parties know what they want.

I had a friend back then in my university days, everything about him was always his girlfriend. Last time I saw him and asked after his girlfriend, his answer was we are no longer together.

Everything in life has its own time. There is time for learning, there is time for pleasure, there is time for relationships. Jumping a step in other to quickly get to the top will only bring you down to what you had thought you jumped or skipped.

Stop wasting your 20’s on a relationship when you haven’t figure out your own life. Work on yourself and as you grow older and become wiser, you can start building a relationship.

Success to every 20s kids looks linear. But in reality, it doesn’t happen like that. However, if you are able to overcome your short-sightedness and put long term thinking ahead of you, you will find clarity and achieve success in no time.


How to Find Clarity in Your Life If You Are Feeling Lost in Your 20s. was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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