Why Your 20s Is The Most Important Time To Invest In Yourself

by Paul Hudson

Ah the 20s… You can say what you like about 30 being the new 20, but let’s be honest — there are no years like those in your 20s. Although we have learned a lot during our years on this earth, much still remains a mystery and the glimmer of childhood excitement has yet to completely drain from our veins.

They are the years when making mistakes is frowned upon, yet remain acceptable. Your 20s are the years you should spend investing in yourself. They are the prime years of your life and the years that in large part will decide how you live the rest of your life.

30 is only the new 20 if you’re successful by 30 — otherwise it’s just 30. Here are five reasons you should invest in yourself in your 20s.

1. It’s The Time When You Are Beginning To Know Yourself Well Enough.

We spent the entirety of our teen-hood experimenting with hairstyles, clothing, music, drugs and ways of speaking. Now that we are in our 20s, we understand ourselves a whole lot better than we did just half a decade ago. During your 20s you will — hopefully — get to understand the real you. You will begin to understand what it is that you want out of life and what will make you happy.

These years should also be the years that you decide what the best way of achieving said happiness should be. You should set goals and make plans in your 20s. You now know what you want and what you are capable of — your strengths and your weaknesses. You know what it is that you need to work and where you want to go. The only thing left is deciding how to get there — and actually beginning the journey, of course.


2. Your 30s Will Be Too Late.

In all honesty it’s never too late to set your life in the right direction. However, doing so in your 20s will make the rest of your life much more enjoyable. What you have to understand is that no one succeeds right away; it takes time. Even when you do begin your journey towards success and happiness, you will get lost multiple times and you will experience setbacks and failures.

It’s also likely that by getting your hands dirty, you will come to realize that you were wrong in thinking that you’d enjoy living the life you thought you’d enjoy living. Most people — if not all — have to scrap their plans several times and start from a clean slate. It takes roughly 10 years to master anything. Start when you’re 20 and you’ll be a master by 30. Start when you’re 30 and you won’t be a master until 40. Why not get a head start?

3. Your Love Life Can Wait.

I understand that people are different, but I think it's foolish to get married too early. Late 20s may work for some couples, but I believe that most marriages would last much longer if the partners were in their 30s. During our 20s, we do a lot of growing. We get to know ourselves much more deeply and begin to understand the kind of person that we could put up with. It’s not about love. Couples are in love when they get married — it’s after they get married that everything falls apart.

Living with another person is not easy. Keeping the love alive, the romance, the excitement becomes very difficult when the other person is always around. It takes a certain level of maturity to make a relationship like marriage work. Date if you wish, but you must remain your priority until your 30s. Otherwise you are risking unnecessary sadness and heartache.

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4. You're Young Enough To Push Your Limits.

In our 20s, we are young enough to push ourselves without risking damaging ourselves in the long run. We can sleep less, put in more hours, survive on caffeine — something that becomes a lot more difficult in your 30s and 40s. You're young and hungry for life; hungry for success. Give it your all now while you still have the energy. Life gets more complicated after the 20s…you may not get another opportunity to give it your all.

5. Become Successful Early, Retire Early.

Success is really a matter of how much you know, how well you perform and for how long you perform at a high enough level. The later you start focusing on yourself — whether it be your career or your health — the more difficult and unlikely it will be that you achieve your goals. Don’t put off your happiness for when you’re 30.

Stop focusing on instant gratification and learn to enjoy delayed gratification. Think about your life in the long run — think about the life you want to be living and not the life that you feel you need to live because of your current situation. Work your ass off now and reap the rewards sooner than others. Why not retire by 40? Who says that you have to work until 70? Chase after your dreams now so that you’re still young enough to enjoy the benefits once you’ve made it.

Top photo courtesy Tumblr/Favim