How To Make The Most Out Of Your 20-Somethings

Success. One word; seven letters that hold so much power and meaning.

Everyone knows of the two statements “You are your own biggest critic” and “You are your own worst enemy”. Why? Because they are two of the most honest statements known to man.

The reality is; we worry. We compete. We doubt. We fear. We deny. And all for what?

Success. One word; seven letters that hold so much power and meaning.

Do I worry? Yes. Do I compete? Absolutely. Do I doubt? Duh. Do I fear and deny? Yup.

But, in my life’s playbook, success isn’t defined by money. It isn’t defined by who’s thinner or has flawless skin. It isn’t defined by who gets married and has babies first. It isn’t defined by who follows society’s norm best.

In my life’s playbook, success is defined by personal accomplishments, pushing limits, taking chances, and overcoming challenges — living life differently from anyone else.

What most 20-somethings don’t realize is that while you may not have full and complete control over the card you’ve been handed, you do have full and complete control over how you view and react to it; the good, the bad, the challenging, and the unexpected.

While I’m riding this 20-somethings wave right there alongside you, here are some words of wisdom for how to make the most out of yours:

  1. Take chances. Move to a city you’ve never been. Date people who are both similar and different. Quit your job you don’t like for a job you love. Ask for a raise. Write a book. Submit your artwork. Be open-minded.
  2. Be independent. You don’t always need to have someone by your side — enjoy figuring out who you are as your own person. Treat yourself to dinner and a movie, solo. Spend time reading in a coffee shop, alone. Explore your own city without a companion for the afternoon.
  3. Challenge yourself. Push your limits. Test yourself. Say yes to things that scare you most — don’t always take the easy way out. Experience first-hand what you’re truly capable of.
  4. Learn and grow from failure — don’t stop halfway because life is too difficult. Failure won’t kill you, but giving up will.
  5. Stop blaming others for not having your own shit together; start taking accountability for your own actions. Acknowledge. Try. Work harder. Do more than just the bare minimum.
  6. Plan for your future, financially. Get a credit card and start building/maintaining your credit score. Put a percentage of your paycheck into a savings account. Invest in your company’s 401k.
  7. Set professional and personal goals. Not a new years resolution that you’ll forget about in a couple of weeks. Buy a calendar or notebook, and write down SMART goals for yourself over the next week; month; quarter.
  8. Put effort into being a great friend. Romance and relationships will align when the timing is right, but true friendships are not worth sacrificing over a summer fling.
  9. Don’t lose yourself in someone else; stay true to who you are because that’s when you’ll find those who admire and love you, for you.
  10. Apologize, accept, and move on. If you made a mistake, acknowledge it. Life happens, but most importantly, life goes on — accept it and move on. Stop wasting valuable time dwelling on what coulda, shoulda, woulda.
  11. Stop apologizing for who you are. Stop apologizing for having a fragile heart. Stop apologizing for your imperfections. Stop apologizing for your limitations. Stop apologizing for feeling real emotions.
  12. Forgive. Forgive yourself; forgive others. We’re all human; we all make mistakes. We learn and grow from each and every one, and we become stronger because of it.
  13. Fight for what you believe in. We live in the 21st century — you have a voice; one that should and can be heard. Believe in that, and believe in yourself. Speak up and allow your voice to be heard. 
  14. Travel. Explore. Adventure. Meet new people from varying ways and walks of life. Appreciate the differences and beauty in the world.
  15. Fall in love. Fall in love with someone; with family; with friends; with this world; with yourself.
  16. Find new hobbies; explore new passions. Keep life interesting in order to keep yourself on your toes.
  17. Smile. Smile at the person staring back at you in the mirror. Smile at your friends. Smile at your family. Smile at a stranger.
  18. Be present. Life passes by at a rapid pace — stop worrying about what comes next, and learn to simply live in each and every moment.
  19. Have faith. You don’t have to be the most religious person in the world, but having a little bit of faith will help you get through some pretty monumental ups and downs.

Most importantly — live compassionately and love passionately. Live fearlessly, unashamedly, beautifully, extraordinarily.

 

 

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I Love This World Too Much To Allow Someday To Be Today

I don’t fear the idea of loving you. I don’t fear the idea of being in love with you. I don’t fear the idea of embracing love with you. What I fear, has nothing to do with you.

The concept of love seems simple enough — yet, everyone has their own vision, their own story, their own definition of what love is; what love has the potential to be. Everyone has their own vision, their own story, their own reasoning behind how and why they love, which makes the journey to find or understand it all the more complex.

I, personally, experience and express love in two ways; physical touch and words of affirmation — my emotions and belief in love develops and comes full circle when both are in alignment with one another. Through experience, time, and trial & error, my heart has been changed. It’s been broken and abused; it’s been confused and rejected; it’s been saved and healed. But even so, I’ve managed to find real, honest love in something greater than just another human. I’ve managed to find more love than I could have ever imagined possible in this unexpected, challenging, crazy, yet awfully beautiful life.

And that’s the way I like it — so no, I don’t fear the idea of loving you. What I fear is loving this world that keeps me on my toes too much. Too much to allow my heart to share it with you, just yet.

What I fear, is the inability to fully and completely love you the way you deserve; having volumes of genuine love to give, but not being able to fully and completely give it all.

A delicate, fragile heart is set up for some pretty monumental ups and downs, along with some confusing and life-altering realizations. And then all of a sudden, life happens; you pick up the broken pieces, put them back together, and manage to find your way despite the fears, doubts, and unanswered prayers.

You learn to fight your own battles; fight the right battles. You learn to stand tall and take in all life has to offer, in the most unexpected ways. You learn to retaliate against all no’s, doubts, and disbelievers to prove your place in this world — to fight back in every aspect of life. You discover a passion for the unknown, the challenging, the inspiring, and the ever-changing.

You find passion and love in everything you see, hear, smell, and touch. The love in your heart is so immense, yet not enough.

So no, I don’t fear the idea of loving you. What I fear is loving this world that keeps me on my toes too much. Too much to allow my heart to share it with you, just yet.

What I fear, is loving the adrenaline that comes with chasing a new obstacle too much to let you be apart of it.

I love new. I love exciting. I love challenging. I love pushing my limits.

I love buying a plane ticket and taking off to Neverland without having an agenda or any sense of direction; what I’m doing; where I’m going; who I’ll meet.

I love having conversations with strangers and learning about new cultures; talking through varying ways and walks of life.

I’m a planner; I plan for the expected as well as the anticipated unexpected, but I’ve come to love and appreciate taking life as it comes and figuring it out along the way, on my own.

So no, I don’t fear the idea of loving you. What I fear is loving this world that keeps me on my toes too much. Too much to allow my heart to share it with you, just yet.

What I fear, is knowing that I don’t need you.

Being vulnerable isn’t hard for me — it’s the easiest thing in the world for me, to be quite frank. But love, well, that’s a different story. When your heart finds love in something unforeseen; i.e life, it becomes second nature to retract and shy away from any situation that could lead to a broken spirit; a broken, bruised heart.

I lean on me, myself, and I; I’m my own QB. Taking risks and chances on anything and everything that comes my way out of retaliation; proving to myself and the world around me that I can and will do it all on my own.

Someday, at some point in time, I will be ready to let you in. Because at that point, there isn’t going to be a way to avoid it. There isn’t a scientific equation or strategy for falling in love and falling hard. There’s no timeline, no initiation fee, no pre-requisites. It just happens. But, today is not that day. I’m not ready to share this spontaneous, always-changing, chaotic, yet awfully beautiful life.

So no, I don’t fear the idea of loving you. What I fear is loving this world that keeps me on my toes too much. Too much to allow my heart to share it with you, just yet.

 

 

 

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Hello, My Name Is

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Hello, my name is Defeat.

I’m sure you can still recognize me.

Hello, my name is Regret.

Seeking moments left and right; up and down; in anyplace, in anyone but you. Over and over again.

Hello, my name is Sin.

Feeling numb and comfortable, judging you while leaning on me, myself, and I. 

Staring to my left, with sin staring back at me again.

Hello, my name is Fear.

Standing face to face with another stalemate; draw; tie with sin. Questioning you; questioning me, myself, and I. 

Hello, my name is Doubt.

I’m sure you can recite them all by now.

Naming all my demons when I stopped believing, ready to close the door for good before I realized what was missing in my life was you.

But today — in the shadows of my shame and through the darkness of my doubt, I’ve come to realize how my God is The One I live for now.

Today, my name is Triumph.

My name is Happiness.

My name is Virtue.

My name is Belief.

My name is Courage.

Today, I conquer Defeat; Regret; Sin; Fear; Doubt with all that I am and all I can be, with my Father by my side.

Today, tomorrow, and all of the days following; I am a Christian. I believe in fate. I believe in something bigger, something greater than any words or phrase could ever put into a comprehensible explanation on paper.

Today, tomorrow, and all of the days following; I am a Christian. I believe there is something bigger, something greater for me in this world; I believe there is something bigger, something greater for you in this world.

Today, tomorrow, and all of the days following; I am a Christian. I believe in His calling for me, even if I’m still trying to find and understand what exactly His calling for me is.

Today, tomorrow, and all of the days following; I am a Christian. I bleed the same as you; I bleed the same as Him.

Today, tomorrow, and all of the days following; my faith remains a journey in progress, and while there are still things I do not understand, cannot see, cannot feel, and have not physically touched; I still believe in this continued journey through faith. Because I believe it’s real.

Today, tomorrow, and all of the days following; I will believe in His calling — wherever it may be; wherever it may lead.

Today, tomorrow, and all of the days following, I will walk hand in hand with His plan — through every step forward and every set backward.

Today, tomorrow, and all of the days following, I will be gracefully broken — to be His someone called upon our world; to fulfill His calling for me; to surrender all I am for all this world could be.

Today, tomorrow, and all of the days following…

I am second.

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