Your early 20s is the best time to discover your purpose in life. What you're good at, what you're not so good at. Failing or falling short at something is just another way for us to learn how to become good at something.
How would you know if you never try?
Never be afraid to try something new at the risk of failing because it may just lead you to a wonderful result in the end. See a set back as a set up for success.
Having a set of goals of where you want to be when you're 20, 25, 30, 35, & 40 is such a crucial thing to do. Remember when you have a goal, you are focus and determined on achieving those goals. Whereas not having a goal means you're living your life aimlessly. So have a target & live your God given life intentionally.
Use your time wisely. Successful people make their time count. Psalm 90:12 tells us "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
The clock is ticking, whether we like it or not, we will always grow one year older each year. Evaluate what truly matters to you. Make the best of it. Understand which activities to prioritize daily so that it could help reach your goals more efficiently.
Below are 5 lessons that I’ve learned in my early 20s which has helped me to excel in school, develop new skills, make great decisions, gain confidence, improve communication in public speaking, form new and healthy relationships, and most importantly, grow my faith in Christ.
1.) Setting Boundaries
This could mean drawing a line on something or someone that hinders you from growing. Ask yourself questions like “How will this habit help me reach my goals? Will this relationship improve my well-being? How can I learn from this mistake, and not repeat it again in the future? How can my skill, gift, and talent strengthen and comfort those around me? Will our relationship bring us closer to God or not?"
If consuming junk food leaves you feeling sluggish and lazy, then maybe it’s time for you to stop eating unhealthy food, start preparing a healthier meal, and to exercise more often.
If spending your time with a certain group of friends leaves you feeling stagnant or discouraged, then maybe you need to find another group of friends that can help encourage you to heal and grow as a person.
If you have a bad spending habit that prevents you from being financially stable, then perhaps you need to stop scrolling on social media or Amazon, and start learning how to manage your finances to create wealth. Be content with what you have; find joy and true happiness from anything else other than accumulating more "stuff."
If watching YouTube videos or Korean drama, or playing games online for 2+ hours/day keeps you away from being productive, then perhaps try optimizing your time on activities that will boost your productivity and benefit you in the long run.
You can see a change of improvement when you first change what you do with your time.
If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, then you'll keep getting the same results.
Rachel Cruze, a personal finance American author of Know Yourself, Know Your Money said “If you want to break the cycle, you have to do something different.”
It may not be easy at first, but trust me, it will be worth it.
2.) Be Generous & Do Good
In every aspect of your life, find the opportunity to do good and be generous to others. That could be through your time, money, energy, attention, encouragement, creativity, and so much more. Believe it or not, you find fulfillment when you are generous towards others because in the end you understand that you weren’t created to live a life from a place of selfishness (“Me, Myself, & I” 24/7), instead, you were born to be a blessing wherever you go.
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:9-10 NKJV
3.) Having a Spirit of Excellence
This does not mean that you have to become a perfectionist. Having a spirit of excellence means that whatever your occupation is right now as a high school or college student, an employee, CEO, or even a daughter or son, you are doing things with a positive attitude and in your BEST ability.
Not slacking off, trying to hide your true color of action from someone, and “acting” to be excellent only when you’re seen by other people. Having a spirit of excellence means that when seen or not seen, you are constantly doing things the right way, being responsible, avoiding any shortcut or conflict, and constantly learning for ways on how you can improve.
Do all things with the spirit of excellence, "Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men." Colossians 3:23 AMP
4.) Do Not Apologize for Being You
Let me be clear now: I may or may not have met you before, but please believe me when I say that YOU (Yes YOU, the person reading this right now) are wonderful, beautiful, special, unique, and truly one-of-a-kind. Repeat that first sentence again: Out loud.
Never be sorry for being yourself. In spite of what others have said about you, know this truth, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14 There is NO ONE else that can do what you’ve been called to do here on earth. Your existence here on earth is NOT an accident, you are here on purpose, called and chosen for such a time as this. You are highly loved and favored by your Heavenly Father. So no need to compare yourself to other people, instead, focus and work on the craft that has been assigned to your name.
You were created to flourish and thrive dear one! So grow, multiply, and let others taste and see the sweet fruits that you produce in every season of your life.
5.) Give Thanks Always
There are so many reasons to be thankful for, (not just during Thanksgiving). Give thanks for the breath in your lungs, a peace in your heart, food on the table, a place to live, a proper transportation, a job, family and loved ones all around you, etc.
These past few years, I’ve made it a habit to always give thanks in all circumstances.
Even during the good, bad, and ugly seasons of my life. Giving thanks to God helps keep me in check to know that He is still in full control and also prevents me from complaining.
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 NIV
Every single day, you will be given the options to either give thanks or to grumble. I’ve learned that the former option is the best choice between the two. By constantly giving thanks about your current situation, you will begin to develop a healthier and positive perspective. Also to mention the overflowing Peace and Joy you’ll receive from a heart of thanksgiving, it’s the whole package; buy 1 get 2 free. You will end up making wise decisions that can lead you to unexplainable fulfillment and happiness.
Now giving thanks when things are going well with you is an easy and natural thing to do. But how about giving thanks when things are going against you? Perhaps when you lose a loved one, facing bankruptcy, in the process of a divorce, was fired from a company you've been loyal to, have no money to feed your family, receive eviction notices, battling a disease that is incurable…
How do you stay thankful in those hard situations? I will answer this question in detail on my next blog about my personal experience in testing positive for covid-19.
As a friend, I would encourage you to not give up and to not lose hope. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, so keep the good fight of faith. What you go through in life can either break or build you up; the choice is yours. The fact that you are here today is a living proof that you are much stronger and capable of overcoming any harsh storm that may come your way. Aren't you glad that you are a tough cookie? Oh yes you are!
Plus, knowing the fact that Jesus is with you through every season of your life should empower you to know that you are not alone. He’s always by your side, orchestrating everything before your eyes. Even when you can’t see it, He’s working. Even when you can’t feel it, He’s working, and He will never stop working.
All you need to do is lean in and trust in Him. His timing and plan for your life is much greater than what you can ever think or imagine for yourself.
I hope that these 5 lessons I’ve learned in my early 20s will help encourage your journey of growth. Learn to apply these lessons, and you'll definitely see a positive improvement in your mind, body, and soul.
Your Best days are still ahead of you friends! God's Favor and Blessing is upon you!