How to Live Your Life in your 20s to Experience Freedom in Your 40s
As I quickly approach my 50th birthday I thought it would be appropriate to write a letter to my younger self.
Like many other humans, I had hopes, dreams and aspirations in my 20s.
With passing time I have come to understand myself better and learned a number of key lessons.
It is safe to say that I've had a mixed bag of experiences that helped me to become who I am today.
This letter will cover several areas including health + well-being, business, wealth, recreation, environment, relationships and spiritual.
Many other people like me have written letters to their younger self so this is not a unique idea at all.
At the end of the day, this letter is going to be my take on life, love and self-growth.
It will also serve as advice to my children so that they can learn from my mistakes and have a better experience in life.
Hopefully, it will inspire you too so that you can avoid some of the mistakes that I have made and achieve your dreams minus the pain.
To Write or Not to Write
Oh, how I wish that I had taken the time to write down and cherish all my dreams, plans and aspirations.
Because I would've had something tangible to look back on to help with this reflection post.
I have to confess that I did write down my dreams over the years but it was never done in a cherished way.
In fact, I wrote them down on scraps of paper or in notebooks that I used for a variety of other things.
Of course, it is never too late to write down your dreams and aspirations.
Even at the age of 50, I would still have another 20 years of life to live so I need to get a journal.
A special book that I can cherish for 20-30 years. If you have any suggestions let me know in the comments.
In the meantime, let me see if I can remember what was in my dreams during my 20s.
I know for certain that I wanted to get married, have a lovely wedding and have 2-4 kids.
The specifics of where I wanted to live remain unclear.
It is frustrating to think that in my 20s I never really saw marriage as a form of lifelong companionship.
At least I don't remember seeing it as super important.
However, I wanted to become a medical doctor because I saw it as a career as well as a way to provide for my family.
It's weird but I wanted to be a home owner and live somewhere stable but again no specifics about where I wanted to live.
Being able to pay my bills and afford food, clothing and shelter were super important to me.
Most importantly, I didn't want to become bored in my career so I was always thinking of the next step.
My excitement for travel was a big focus, so positioning myself with the ability to do that was a priority for me.
Health + Well-Being
As someone who grew up in an environment where it was common for my parent's relatives to be ill.
It was important for me to ensure that I lived a healthy lifestyle.
Thanks to my parents, my siblings and I were brought up on a vegetarian and sometimes vegan lifestyle.
So, I have maintained that over the last 20+ years and I am happy that my younger self deemed it imperative.
In this letter to my younger self, I say bravo for all that you did to keep up with your health and well-being.
Although, I have to say you should have been a little more interested in exercising regularly.
I say that because I don't consider myself as fit as I could be.
I've also wanted to be an entrepreneur and business owner. In my 20s I found it difficult to get started.
Looking back I wish I had saved up my money and waited to find the right business coach.
I remember during my early 20s the online world was like the wild, wild west.
A few people claiming to know how to be successful online but not knowing a thing.
In this letter to my younger self, I want to say that you gave up too easily.
You should have stuck to that thing you created until it came to fruition instead of switching so often.
Yes, it was difficult to find your purpose and find that business model that suited you.
It would have been more sensible to gain initial success in one area by staying the course for 3-5 years.
The biggest lesson in life to learn is about wealth creation.
It is one thing to have a job and save for retirement but a totally different thing to focus on wealth.
This letter to my younger self has a specific focus on wealth because it is the one thing very few people build.
In my 20s I should have spent more time learning about wealth systems rather than worrying about hair and beauty.
Many people reading this would disagree with me but that's okay.
My mother died at age 70 penniless and I don't want to wish that outcome on anyone.
She never thought me about wealth creation but she too was searching for a way to generate wealth.
I am a lot better at educating myself in this area now but I do remember avoiding it like the plague.
Personal finance was so boring to me and I just wasn't interested at all.
Get yourself educated on personal finance to avoid being stuck when you are older.
In case you think that I have totally lost my mind I had the privilege of taking part in a similar discussion in a Facebook group.
The question was asked in a group of female entrepreneurs.
Here's the question; "What financial advice would you give yourself at age 25 if you could go back".
What happened next blew my mind! The responses were very similar to mine.
Let me share with you a few responses really quickly.
One person said; "save, save, save. Stop dating that loser and go travel everywhere."
Another person responded; "Find a career related to your degree and stick to it for a few years whether you like it or not.
Then continue enhancing skills by studying, and yes invest."
Yet another person said: "Start a retirement fund early and auto-deposit into it each month.
Buy used cars and invest in real estate."
This person's response was short; "Educate yourself on fiscal responsibility and start investing."
A final response went like this; "Be willing to invest in yourself and do the work.
Hire a coach and surround yourself with people you aspire to be like."
The post received over 400 comments from womxn entrepreneurs from different backgrounds.
When it comes to recreation over the last 20 years I have reason to believe that I did a lot.
I travelled to over 20 countries, completed many hikes, attended several outings and picnics.
However, in the last few years that has slowed down quite a bit.
The only advice I can give to my younger self is that I should have travelled even more.
Sometimes when I travel, I postponed the opportunity to go sightseeing because I thought I'd get another opportunity.
Looking back there are so many adventures that I did not take because I procrastinated.
Yes, I might have done more recreation than many people but I had the opportunity to do a lot more but I was apprehensive.
It is difficult to believe how your body changes as you get older but taking those risks with a younger body makes sense.
I did my best over the years to ensure that I found myself looking after the physical environment.
Also, choosing places to live that would not affect my mental well-being.
Each of our characters develops based on genes that we inherit from our parents.
As well as traits we gain over time from our learning environments at schools, colleges and offices.
Simply put, we are what we consume.
Over the years, I have intentionally chosen the content that I read, watch and listen to.
It is one of the reasons why I went on a media fast 10+ years ago.
I stopped watching TV and I don't have a TV in the house.
Also, I avoid platforms like Netflix, Hulu or any of those because I want to be able to use my time wisely.
In fact, it is the one reason why I decided to adopt habits that rich people do as I value my time.
Developing a 50th birthday bucket list has helped me to refocus on what's important for me in this life.
The advice to my younger self is this, I wished I started earlier as I did waste a lot of time in my youth.
Have you ever completed a personality test? Only in the last 6 months did I decide to take personality tests more seriously.
Learn more about personality types here.
One of the ways to get ahead in life is to get a better understanding of who you are as a person.
If you haven't taken a personality test yet please do so as soon as possible.
For me, it was eye-opening and mind-blowing altogether and here's why.
- I discovered that I have a very rare personality type called INFJ-A
- It means that I am an advocate and prefer to have a few committed friends (quality over quantity)
- When it comes to romantic relationships I am even more weird and choosy
- Innately I am restless until I have a mission for my life
- It is normal for me to push my children to think independently and make their own choices.
Anyone else wishing these personality tests existed in an easy and accessible format 20+ years ago?
My personality type is also prone to burnout which is probably the reason why I enjoy travel so much.
I also did not find out about the 5 love languages until later on in life. It is so life changing.
In this letter to my younger self, my advice is to figure out your personality type as soon as possible and take it seriously.
Spiritual + Personal
I have to be honest and say that I have not been as progressive in the spiritual and personal growth phase of my life.
When I was younger I never realised that my personal life was hindering my personal growth.
Many people will say that they don't believe in God and that's their choice.
However, to grow on a personal level where you are happy with your character.
As well as finding the best way to treat others does require a role model to follow.
If there was a way for me to go back and change the way I treated people I would do it in a heartbeat.
Now that I know better I can lavish on people the love and respect that I want to offer.
I'm on a mission to heal the world one person at a time. I want to go above and beyond what is expected.
To my younger self, I wish I were more humble and kind to the people I met along the way.
I can spend the next 30 years wishing that my life was different or I can take advantage of the time I have left.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us but if I wake up every day for the next 30 years I want to live differently.
This letter to my younger self is to help my children learn from my mistakes and to benefit anyone in the younger generation.
Here's a brief summary of what I discussed above.
- Write down your dreams in a safe place that you can reference for a lifetime
- Spend time mapping out your dreams in as much detail as possible
- Look after your health and well-being you cannot buy those in a shop
- If you want to become an entrepreneur save like crazy so that you can hire a coach
- Learn everything you can about personal finance embrace it wholeheartedly
- Take the time to have fun and make memories. Even if that is nice, clean and healthy fun
- Protect your character by intentionally choosing what you consume, the media can be addictive
- Learn about your personality traits and love languages. Choose your friends wisely and your life partner carefully
- Seek to become the best version of yourself and treat others with kindness. Your character is your most important asset.
Over to you, what would be something that you include in a letter to your younger self?
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In 2017, I started this blog because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally.
As you can imagine this is a huge undertaking for one person to achieve on their own.
As a result, I decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies.
That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide.
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