Question: I'm 20 Years Old. How Do I Make The Most Of My Twenties?



Question I originally answered on Quora.

Contrary to most societal ideas like delaying your career, kids or marriage until you’re in your thirties or postponing your education because “you are only young once” people often seem to forget that you’re older for much longer.

Life compounds on yesterday’s effort.

If your effort yesterday was the best of you then multiply and compound that over the years and you’ll be a success but the converse is exactly true.

You will have more opportunities to make mistakes, take a risk and really experiment with life in your twenties but don’t take the time for granted before you know it you are thirty; forty, etc.

Here are some huge mistakes I have witnessed my clients make (older and younger):

  • Using dating as a way to have fun rather than a selection process for the right life mate
  • Not learn how to earn money outside of a job
  • Not learn how to multiply the money
  • Not save any money
  • Not upskill in future proof skills like communication, negotiation, relationship building, selling, marketing, coding.
  • Not learn to public speak, write, and not enough reading or podcasts
  • Not learn their personality type and how to make the most of themselves

The good news?


So I am 34. Started my first business at 15, became a real estate agent at 19 to self fund my dream of competing and to study dance and make it the world's professional level by my mid-twenties. Which I did and it took me all over the world.

I run two successful companies and only need to “work” for 3 days per week whilst I now raise my family in a beautiful house and neighborhood. I am not a slave to a boss (only clients lol) but I choose to work as much as possible.

In my twenties, I partied HARD but I also worked 7 days per week and trained 6 days per week in dancing. I didn’t really have a social life and I didn’t go to college.

Every day I learn about money, finance, philosophy, and study the qualities of what I consider a good life.

I now reap the rewards of my intense 10+ year efforts in my twenties with lots of options going forward and would love that for you.

So what should you do?

  1. Find a mentor or start going to personal development seminars very regularly but apply what you learn. Work harder on you than on your job.
  2. Pick up an exciting hobby and become really REALLY good at it.
  3. Start a business or find a skill or career that suits your personality NOT one for you to fit into.
  4. Write out the big goals you want to hit by 30, place around your home but then take daily micro-steps with someone to hold you accountable to change yourself into the person that you need to be to make those goals happen.
  5. Realize by 30 the dating pool has SHRUNK and you start getting into divorce, 2nd rounders, extra baggage relationships. So use your twenties to find a LIFE partner, not just a LUST partner. Qualify out and qualify fast. You only have room for 2–4 serious relationships IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.
  6. Life is super hard and there is a LOT of pain you’re about to experience. Take a Stoic approach and know that, prepare for it and then devise strategies around how you will handle it not just avoid (because that is impossible)
  7. You will only get situations, events and experiences you can handle so nothing are above you or beyond you. Now, it comes as a result of your own doing from your own actions so therefore it’s your growth opportunity, not a way to make you a victim.
  8. You will become who you associate with the most so be aware of the influence of those you spend a lot of time around. Tip: Their results will tell you what everything you need to know. As Maya Angelou said, “when a person first shows you who they are - believe them.”
  9. Your environment shapes you. If you’re around people losing you will also lose. Hang around people who challenge you and push you - even if you don’t like it so long as they are not toxic.
  10. You will become what you think about so read and listen to as much non-fiction as possible and teach yourself to THINK.
  11. Thinking is not memory, nor is it mental activity. The narrative of your life will play in a loop or internal dialogue this does not represent thinking; often it’s what traps you into the mundane rituals of day to day. Thinking is critical reasoning, logic and breaking down complex ideas and is not easy but it is the hallmark of true winners.

Your 20s you test, tweak and setup your 30s.

Trust me in your thirties you won’t want to party as much and your priorities will heavily shift (this is also due to your brain's prefrontal cortex finishing development at 25 - its the area that governs risk, decision and adventure. It’s why 50 years olds are so “fixed” in behaviour as the pathways here are very very set - another reason to get the best habits early)

If you don’t use your 20s right you play catch up in your late thirties and this is why so much midlife depression from “wasting youth.”

30’s for family and now sacrificing you for the betterment of your wife and kids.

Your 30s you setup your 40’s financially.

40’s are when you’re seriously building a career and making moves to start leveraging your finances for your 50’s.

50’s are peak career and I don’t believe in retirement as that is to retire from life and why the heck would you want to retire from a career you love? (Hint; you should be in work you would DIE doing not one to Retire from)

Now in your 50s, 60s, 70+ is the time to enjoy your expanding family and the money from the efforts of your Twenties and Thirties and Fourties.

If you play it right your life will be of insane quality through each phase.

Lastly, practice forgiveness and have compassion for yourself.

You will make so many mistakes like we all do, but you are not a failure you are learning.

Ultimately you have two options. To be a victim of the world and blame everything and everyone for why things don’t happen for you and justify your unfulfilled existence or bear the burden of responsibility which brings a lot of meaning to the suffering of life which ultimately makes everything you try, fail at, succeed at - Worth it.

You can rebuild and restart at anytime but the sooner the better and it’s harder later.

You have so much going for you I wish you the best!



Explore the idea of working with Vaughan and let him coach you to excellence and transform your life today.



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