A lot happens in your twenties; you’re graduating from college or graduate school; you’re living in your first place; you’re working your first full-time job; you’re traveling; you’re starting more serious romantic relationships and friendships.
All three of my children know what it’s like to be a 21st century twentysomething; my oldest, who recently turned thirty, knew these pieces of advice well and would agree that these nuggets of truth have served them well.
Life is a precious gift; the less time we can spend spinning our wheels in things that do not serve us well, the sooner we can find unadulterated joy and abundance in all we do whilst navigating this big bold beautiful life we have all been given.
It starts with these five lessons for twentysomethings.
Your time and your energy are your most valuable resource
Pay attention to where and how you spend both your time and energy – and how you manage how other people understand both, as well. It took me years to understand the influence of energy of others. Notice if and when the people with whom you spend time elevate you energetically or diminish you when you spend time together. That time together may be written exchanges, phone calls, texts or in-person interactions. Energy transfers across all those ways of communication and interaction.
It was not until a few years ago when I woke up and realized there were energy suckers in my path – and I was welcoming them into my life. What did I do? I made a conscious choice to remove them from my life by distancing myself.
Only spend time with people who lovingly challenge you or innately bring out the very best in you just be being themselves. Move away from critical rather than constructive people. You simply do not have the time, energy, or space for them.
Bring light – your light
To my point above – we support, encourage and elevate one another, and also have the power to diminish others. Be the woman who elevates all other women and all other humans regardless of areas where we may differ. Look for opportunities to compliment, authentically. When you see someone in a rockin’ outfit or admire a smile, or notice a great kind gesture, let him or her know. My kids bust my chops all the time for all the random people in my life I know. I love people at random places I frequent and I often take time to connect and offer a kind word. Because a smile, a kind word, taking time to listen or offer a word of encouragement can change the trajectory of the other person’s day. Make a choice to see good in everyone everywhere and share those observations. That is your light. Bring it.
I am a student of people. I love listening and watching and learning and the greatest thing I have learned is that a book is rarely shown by its cover alone. Tune in to the great people around you. Seek first to truly understand them and learn. Ask them questions to stretch you and so you grow. Become curious. Learn and grow by listening to others and asking, never assuming once you believe you might know their lens.
Be wildly authentic and bold
If you have read any of my blogs, you know I am a massive fan of being wildly authentic and bold.
Sometimes, this world attempts to shame us or make us think we cannot. It makes us shrink or step away from the spotlight. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told I was too much; I needed to be less direct, less open, and less honest.
Bullshit. I need to be me. And you need to be you.
First, we have to believe in ourselves so much that no matter what anyone else says, we know we’ve got the right stuff. Kind, respectful, authentic, thoughtful, love and joy filled me. Stand next to me or step off but whatever you do, please do not ever ask me to be less. March to the beat of your own beautiful drum… rum pa pa pum. (I always did love the little drummer boy.)
Mentors should be people whom you admire and can from learn from; people who inspire you. They can be women and men. It’s ideal to find them in your area of work or interests, but do not limit yourself. Anyone who crosses your path who brings out curiosity in you and is willing to take you under his or her wing and give you time and encouragement, welcome that. Make it a point to interact with these mentors regularly.
Learning these lessons early in life can empower you to feel confidence and create powerful change for others, yes, but, most importantly, for yourself. You’re unstoppable when you know and feel that.
That’s my not so sexy truth.