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The 20s represent a hugely important period in any person’s life. This decade forms the foundation of your adulthood, both professionally and personally. It’s your first proper venture into the outside world; your chance to prove yourself and stand on your own two feet. It’s a time in your life that is brimming with excitement and possibility.
How you use this foundation of your adulthood can greatly affect your life down the track. Successful people are creatures of habit, and those habits are far more easily formed early on. For those looking to give themselves a head start in life, lessons can be learned by looking at the common characteristics of successful young people. So, which habits do these young bosses form in order to get ahead?
Successful 20-somethings know that their university degree, traineeship or MBA is just the start of their education journey, not the end. In this ever-changing world, you can never consider yourself completely educated; a decade ago social media courses may have seemed like a thorough waste of time – now they form the crux of many business strategies.
And investing in yourself is not limited to work related pursuits. Successful 20-somethings see personal investment as a non-negotiable as well. Be it investing in a personal trainer, language classes, or a music tutor, spending time and money on personal development is one of the greatest investments you can make. It keeps the mind fresh and active.
American entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said ‘you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with’. So, how is your inner circle looking? In order to experience success, you want to be surrounded by as much of a dream team as possible. This can be tricky if your family or a lifelong friend is weighing you down – it may be hard, but minimising your time with negative people is incredibly important if you’re looking to succeed.
By shifting blame, you’re not developing as a person; you’re regressing. An important habit of successful 20-somethings is that they see mistakes as opportunities to grow, rather than things to be embarrassed or guilty about. You’re young, after all; you should be making plenty of mistakes (or, if we can put a positive spin on things, generating plenty of opportunities to learn!).
Being successful is never a one-person effort. Whether you like it or not, you will inevitably rely on others to help you walk the road to success. And these other cogs in the machine will only be useful if they get a clear message of what you require from them. You need to make sure that you can convey your ideas and visions in a way that is understandable and actionable.
You need to work on your communication. You need to be comfortable delivering clear and concise messages no matter what the setting, be it a one-on-one conversation or a speech to hundreds. If you can’t articulate your ideas properly in any situation, you won’t be able to generate the support needed to achieve them.
Dwelling on the snide comments of your detractors is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, the more successful you become, the more comments there’ll be. You need to realise that often people are unpleasant not because they particularly dislike you or the way you go about things, but because they have other unrelated problems, and take it out on you. They are often insecure, and need to cut people down to their level.
Develop a thick skin, and realise that these comments usually come from a lack of understanding, a place of jealousy, or from somewhere totally unrelated to you. Knowing that you’re perhaps not the source of their grievance will allow you to take these comments with a grain of salt.
When you’ve hit a major goal or milestone, take a moment to enjoy that feeling. If you’ve put in the hard work to get to this point, you deserve to celebrate. Basking in the glow of success will make you hungry for more, and will reaffirm you decision to go down this often hard path in the first place.
Taking a moment to reflect will also give you the chance to look at the bigger picture, and check on your career trajectory. Are you still heading in the same direction in which you’d originally aimed? Have things changed? Now is the time to re-evaluate your long term goals, and ensure that they’re in line with your current hopes and dreams.
A person’s 20s provide a great opportunity to become successful. Relatively low risk can reap relatively high reward. And even if those rewards don’t materialise straight away, you’ve sown the seeds for it to happen in the future. You’re young, after all.
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