20 things I know now that I didn’t know in my twenties.

I was recently reading an article by the CEO of Docstoc on Forbes about “20 Things 20-year-olds Don’t Get” and it got me thinking about my experiences and wisdom. In experience, comes wisdom. So I asked myself, “What do I know now in my thirties that I didn’t know in my twenties?”

  1. The Sex & City idea of love is completely false. Love doesn’t have to be all-consuming to be real. That love is super intense, fizzles out fast and usually pretty dysfunctional. True love is unconditional, patient and stands the test of time.
  2. Brand yourself! This is something professionals outside of the advertising industry do way too little of. Create the impression you want hiring managers to have of you.
  3. “Fake it till you make it!” is the cheesiest line ever but oh so true. It sums up the power your mind possesses and the untapped potential awaiting you.
  4. Self-awareness, acceptance and courage are the keys to EVERYTHING. Self-awareness helps you to see yourself among others and relate to them. Acceptance gives you the power to move beyond your present moment and not get stuck by things out of your control. Courage gives you the strength to change when necessary, the tenacity to go after what you love and want and the humbleness to ask for help and be vulnerable to attain closeness.
  5. That ideal life you have for yourself? Scrap it. Life happens in the unscripted moments.
  6. Know, and stick to without compromise, your 5-must have’s and no-go deal breakers when it comes to dating and choosing a partner. This is also true as you get further along in your career.
  7. People can’t make you feel anyway you don’t want to feel. You decide 100% how you react, deal with and feel about things.
  8. A fight is not the end of the world. 99% of fights can be worked through if you have self-awareness, accept the current situation and come before that person with humbleness ready to work it out, regardless of whether you are the person of fault or not.
  9. Not all believers in God are hypocritical and judgmental people. Regardless, doesn’t He say to love everyone the same and treat them how you’d want to be treated? Use those people as a test of your conviction His lesson.
  10. What you choose as your major or your first job isn’t going to be the one you stay with. It’s just a stepping stone, so jump in, soak it all up, work hard and stop having “analysis paralysis” about your life direction.
  11. You are what you eat. Pay attention to the details: where it’s grown, assembled and packaged. You’ll be thankful later when you’re healthy.
  12. Money is NOT important. It ebbs and flows just like waves; waves always come back to shore. Focus on something else and the money truly will follow.
  13. Know your limits when it comes to alcohol. There’s nothing worse than looking like an a**hole at a work function or in front of people you care about.
  14. There’s periods of time for family, work and you time. Take the personal time while you have it, before you start settling down. It’s okay to focus on yourself and have some fun.
  15. Family is THE most important thing. Period. Who you define as family is almost as important and can include blood, sisters from another mister, brothers from another mother, partners, colleagues, etc. They are the only people that will be there for you in the up’s and down’s, and will be the only people you think of when you leave this place. Cherish them now with empathy and compassion.
  16. Love yourself; all of yourself. The positives, negatives, and nice-to-have’s. You are a beautiful being and are deserving of love, even if you don’t think so.
  17. Be kind to yourself. The world can be a rough-and-tumble place sometimes. You’re going to have enough critics out there, so there’s no need for you to be so hard on yourself. Come on, cross those arms across your chest and squeeze tight!
  18. You don’t need to have it all figured out. You don’t need to know your exact purpose in life, your reason for being, your entire life plan or every detail about yourself. Life is about experiencing, exploring and learning about all of those things in due time.
  19. Laugh, all the time! It’s a great calorie burner, releases endorphins to make you feel amazing, looks great on your face and brings you closer to people you do it with.
  20. You don’t know it all. I know you think you do and truly feel like you do but you don’t. Just accept it and learn that it’s okay if you don’t know the answer. Repeat after me,”I don’t know but I will look into that.”

What are some lessons learned in your twenties?

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