August 15, 2023

5 lessons from the first half of my twenties.

What’s good everyone.

I apologize for not posting for the past month, I was off in Europe and by the time I came back I must have contracted some exotic European disease because I’ve been sick as a dog the past two weeks. So I haven’t really had the motivation to do much of anything except binge some TV shows and movies.

But I’m glad to say that I’m so back now baby. 

At the time of writing this, it’s actually my twenty-fifth birthday (August 4th). I feel like I’ve grown and learned so much these past few years and I’d like to share a few things  that I’ve had to learn the hard way. I never thought I was going to be someone who struggled through their twenties. I always thought I would always have it figured out and have my head screwed on straight.

Boy was I naive and wrong. 

So here’s a short list of a few of the things I’ve learned from the first half of my twenties.

Don’t have expectations.

Expectations are a funny thing. You need them to create a sense of excitement and motivation in order to do anything, but the consequences of having them are they could potentially disappoint you because that thing may not have been able to live up to the scenario you had in your mind. 

I tend to feel quite frustrated with many things because of this exact reason.

But what I’ve had to realize over the years is that there is no thing or person that has any obligation to satisfy these fantasies in my brain. I can’t expect things to work out perfectly for myself every time. I can’t expect people to behave how I want them to, just because I want them to. That’s just not how life works. 

If you make a million dollars but expected to make five million, you’re going to be miserable because reality couldn’t match up with what you think you should have and you’ll be reeling over the things you should have done instead. But for someone expecting nothing, a million dollars is life changing money and they’ll end up way happier because of it.

Which brings me to my next lesson.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

When I first graduated college, I would constantly compare myself to my peers who got great jobs, moved into great cities, and had their careers on track. To me, it seemed like they had such a perfect life, something that I wanted and was so different from my own situation.

What I’ve come to realize is, nothing is ever actually as great as it looks from afar. We build up the fantasy of how great something must be when we aren’t experiencing it ourselves, but when we get there ourselves it actually isn’t as great as we may have originally thought. Because nothing is ever that simple, even people living their best lives can have its downsides.

Keep in mind everyone is on their own journey. There is no path that is better or worse. And that’s a good thing.

Happiness is not something to achieve, it’s a choice. 

Believe it or not, I used to think being sad and edgy made me more interesting because that’s what I thought gave me an interesting personality. Until I realized that this in itself just made me cynical and negative about life in general.

But after taking a long look at myself during Covid, I realized that I don’t have to live like this if I didn’t want to. I can choose to be a happier person simply because I want to.

Being happy doesn’t rely on having money, status, the coolest clothes, or having a significant other. It’s simply a matter of making the deliberate decision to see the world in a more positive way.

I used to think being unhappy was a byproduct of being smart and being able to rationalize everything in a logical and matter-of-fact way. But a quote from Naval Ravikant really stuck with me when he said, “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you happy? How come you haven’t figured that out?” 

Damn, you got me.

If you think you’re too smart to be happy, then you just might be a little arrogant and narcissistic. It’s not your fault, but it’s your responsibility to change it. The world is full of garbage that wants to make us angry with each other and depressed. The odds are really stacked up against us. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to be someone who isn’t a chore to be around. Nobody is going to do that for you.

But if that’s what you're into, then by all means go ahead. Just don’t hang out around me. 

Learn new things constantly. 

One of the greatest joys in life is being able to learn new things and improve on them over time. I can’t tell you how many hours a week I pour into watching Youtube tutorials on random subjects that I plan on completing one day. It’s what keeps life interesting and your brain sharp as you constantly fail and challenge yourself to do new things.

That coveted “Aha Moment” when everything clicks on something you’ve spent the past few weeks banging your head against a wall to figure out is what makes hours of pain and frustration worth it.

But I feel like most people don’t enjoy trying new things or learning new skills. I think it has to do with complacency, feeling like it’s just too much work to start from scratch and feel the frustration of being bad at something.

Don’t be an NPC, be someone with actual interests and hobbies and things to say. There are already enough of those people out there, just pick something and your life will be better because of it.

Stop listening to so much advice.

Let me just say, I for one, love hearing advice. 

I find myself constantly surfing through Reddit threads and watching Youtube videos on advice for topics of all kinds because I’m interested in learning how to be better at all types of things.

But I’m here to break it to myself and everyone reading, you don’t need more advice. You just need to go ahead and try it for yourself.

Most people know what they need to do in order to be successful at whatever they’re trying to do. But we tend to read information about that topic past the point of when it stops being helpful because we are procrastinating the actual activity of the thing we’re trying to do.

The best teacher is failure, and the only way to fail is to just do. Yes, you can learn valuable information from others on the internet and it’s amazing, but it’s only so helpful because you’re not doing it yourself, so the lessons learned are someone else’s, not yours.

You don’t need more advice, you just need more courage. 

Something I’ve struggled with for a long time is not having the courage to just get up and go and do things that I’ve always wanted to do, but never felt like I was equipped enough to start. But what I realized is that nobody ever is when they do anything. They just have enough courage to start. 

Just trust your curiosity and intuition to lead you down the right path. Just start, literally anywhere with whatever it is you’re doing. You’ll figure it out along the way. 

By taking a leap, you will go much farther than you ever imagined compared to following someone’s arbitrary advice from their experiences.

Just because someone did something one way, doesn’t mean that it’s the only way to do it. Be willing to explore and make mistakes and learn from them. 

BONUS LESSON: Don’t be afraid to fail.

I just thought of this one. 

Don’t be afraid to fail, actually embrace it. If you’re failing that means you’re trying, most people are too afraid to even try in the first place so you’re already ahead. 

Failure is good because it offers you an opportunity to improve yourself. And frankly, the more you fail the more you will get better. So you almost want to fail as much as possible in order to improve as quickly as possible.

If you want to go the extra mile, learn things in public by posting yourself on social media while you do things. Even if it’s not perfect, just post it. 

Most people aren’t sitting on the sidelines critiquing you and what you post. If they are then they’re weirdos who really don’t have much going on in their own lives. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you will reach more people who are interested in the same things as you, and you will actually benefit from it.

So just go out there and do that shit. Because nobody cares, and you’re holding yourself back.

Remember, you only fail when you quit.

Song of the Week:
What I Watched This Week:
Interstellar Movie Poster Print & Unframed Canvas Prints | eBay

A Cool Youtube Video:

Support the newsletter

If you enjoy this content or find this helpful, here's how you can support it:

  • Share it to a friend and invite them to subscribe to the newsletter :)

  • I plan on keeping this newsletter free, but if you want to support, the best way is to buy me a coffee

Join the Dloveandfriends Newsletter

Sign up to get notified every time I post a new blog.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.