Man, I wish I had a list like this in my 20s.
Hardship would have been avoided.
Here’s what I’d tell myself are the mistakes to avoid, if I could speak to my younger self:
1. Worry about what you ‘should’ be doing.
Some people are lucky and fall into the ideal career early. Most do not, and that’s ok.
Spend less time concerned about what you should be doing, and instead experiment as much as you can.
Act before overthinking everything.
Now is the time to test the waters and see where your strengths lie.
2. Not building life-long connections.
This is different to your TikTok or Instagram following. I’m talking about developing your Rolodex network.
Tomorrow’s dream future clients and employers are met in-person or online today. You want to avoid joining the ‘resume-queue’ for creating work.
Standing out and reaching out directly to job-givers via your network is the remedy for this.
Start getting into the habit of connecting with interesting people early.
3. Ignoring your inclinations.
Stop sitting on the sofa watching Netflix all day.
This is your avoidance manifesting. Do what excites you and comes from a place inside you that can’t be explained.
Follow your insights about ‘how cool it would be to do this.’ Maybe you had this thought that learning woodwork would be cool. Or creating an app, or learning the bassoon.
Follow your weird. Pursue these little tickles of insight — this is your genius calling.
4. Investing too deeply into something you will later regret.
Be extremely careful about taking on big life commitments — like marriage, mortgages, children, and even long-term relationships — that can imprison you for decades if you choose poorly.
Be aware and give big life decisions a lot of thought before jumping in.