From My 20s to Yours: 20 Insights For 20 Somethings For 2020

These are not in any  rank or order, as they may have had higher levels of significance for me at different times.

  • Find Mentors- More important than where you work, is who you work for in this season. Take the pay cut if that means you will get experience with good people. Align yourself with people you admire and learn from them. Seek out professional mentors, as well as role models in the other areas of your life in which you would like to grow(marriage, Christian discipleship, finances).
  • Be Willing to Admit Your Weaknesses and Learn Your Blind Spots- Its Okay. We all have weaknesses. When we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses we live with more focus. We stop doing things that God has not called or equipped us to do. This can be very freeing. Learning your limits will allow you to walk more humbly with God and others, as you see your need for dependence on God and others. Your humility will make you a more enjoyable person to be around, which will bless your relationships. People admire you for your strengths, but they connect with you through weaknesses.
  • Enjoy the Discovery Phase- You do not have to have your life figured out by now. Some of you very well may know who you are and what you want, but my suspicion is that you are the exception. Your 20s are a time of exploration. Take an internship. Try a particular field of interest. Go on dates. Try a new haircut. Move to another state. Move to another country. Do this while knowing that your God is sovereign. I am not telling you to make foolish decisions, but my encouragement is for you to trust God, and to let go of control. Let him lead you, and enjoy this season of seeking him, and his will for your life. Enjoy this.

  • Invest In Friendships- Technology has us more connected than ever, but one could argue that our pseudo connections do not cultivate true intimacy. You need real friends, and to have real friends you have to invest in relationships. Spend time with people. Travel to see them if you have to. Pick up the phone and call. Work is important, but you need meaningful relationships. Put down the books, or the computer and go grab a cup of coffee or a beer, or whatever you do. There will be hard seasons in your life, where you need a real shoulder to cry on. Invest in those shoulders now, and be a shoulder to cry on for someone else.

  • Don’t Fear Failure- If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. Fail forward. Failure is a part of the process of growth and maturity. Just because you failed the test, or got fired from the job does not mean that your life is over. It might hurt. Failure might utterly humiliate you. It does not have to define you. It can educate you, and prepare you for a brighter future.
  • Travel As Much As You Can- Traveling exposes you to different people and cultures. It can broaden your understanding, and inspire you to try new things. And its fun!

  • Learn About Money- Build credit. Learn about different saving and investment options. Learn how to create a budget, and stick to it. 
  • Respect The Process- It takes time to build momentum with anything. In the days of YouTube stars and instant internet fame, everyone appears to be looking for the elevator to success, when most of us have to take the stairs. Develop your craft. Don’t leave jobs for petty reasons. Earn a right to be heard on your job. Be patient with yourself and others. Get better. Seek more training and education if that’s what you need. Respect your leaders.
  • Walk With God- As Noah built the Ark, he walked with God. Walk with God. Do not try to force him into your plans, but walk into his. Build an intimate relationship with God through submitting to the leadership of a local church, seeking him in prayer, reading the Scriptures and serving him with your gifts. You can talk with him about anything.
  • Date With A Purpose/Don’t Make Dating Weird- Get to know people. Allow them to get to know you. Learn whether or not that person aligns with God’s vision for your life. Set healthy boundaries. 
  • Feel Free to Take a Risk- Have you prayed about it? Is it legal? Have you sought wise counsel and gotten a green light? Why not?
  • Create Healthy Rhythms of Exercise, Rest, and Reflection in Your Life- And on the 7th Day God rested. You and I are called to rest as well. There needs to be space in your calendar for rest and recreation or you will not be at your best when trying to serve God and others. Power down friend. You are not Jesus.
  • Kill Your Inner People Pleaser- You can’t make everyone happy all of the time. You can’t make everyone happy all of the time. You can’t make everyone happy all of the time. You have to set healthy boundaries with people. Most people will understand. Some will not, and that’s okay. 
  • Get Comfortable With Conflict– Conflict is not a dirty word. It is necessary. Some people are natural fighters, and others are natural avoiders. We all have our tendencies, but what is essential is the skill to work through problems with other people in order to have healthy resolution and reconciliation. Learn this by any means. If you do not, your growth will be stunted. 
  • Learn How to Lead Up– So my guess is that you are not the CEO of the company…is that right? Just checking. With that said, you have to learn how to lead your leaders at times. You have to know how to stay in your place while simultaneously influencing those who are above you in rank. One of the biggest lies in our culture, is that you have to be at the top of the organization to be a leader. That’s not true. You can lead from any place in the organization, you just have to know how to influence up, below, and horizontally. This requires you to be respectful, but truthful, and tactful. As a middle manager you’re a translator. You translate up to your leaders, and you translate down to your team. The skill of translating is a golden skill.

  • Build a New Relationship With Your Parents That Includes Boundaries– When your parents first met you, you were crying, and in need of a bottle. Things have changed. They watched you grow up. They saw you at your lowest and best of times. As you get you get older your relationship with your parents needs to mature. You should start becoming more like friends. They still are your parents, and you should respect them speaking into your life, but especially when marriage and kids come, you need healthy boundaries. The relationship should be more interdependent and less codependent.
  • Kill the Comparison Monster– The grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence. It is green where you water it. Just because people are experiencing things that you haven’t, doesn’t mean that you are not in a good place. Appreciate what you are doing and who you are becoming. You are blessed too. Someone just might be desiring what you have. 
  • Go To Counseling- I can’t emphasize this enough. All of us have been wounded in one way or another. Let a professional help you navigate your inner world, so that you can be healthier for the people that you love and influence. 
  • Eat Better Food- You can’t continue your High School/Freshman year of college diet. Food is medicine. Break old trends and habits in your family, and eat a healthier diet. Take care of yourself. As you get older, that high school diet will begin to take its toll. Get ahead of it. 
  • Take Personality Tests– Be very aggressive at getting to know yourself. Enneagrams, Meyers Briggs, and DISC assessments are all great tools. Read the Word of God and let Him pour his truth over you to wash away any lies and refine your true identity