You've Got Time: Why You Don't Need To Have It All Figured Out In Your 20s

by Paul Hudson

The whole idea of having your entire life all figured out is, to be frank, stupid. I’m not even exactly sure what is meant by "having one’s life all figured out." People will say the people who are making a good living doing what they love have it all figured out.

Others will say that the people who have found the loves of their lives have got it all figured out. Maybe it’s the people who have both a great relationship and a great career that have life "all figured out"? What exactly is it that we’re supposed to have figured out? To me, it doesn’t seem like life is as big of a mystery as everyone would like to make it out to be. You are born. You die. And you do things in between that hopefully somehow matter.

The things that matter in life are rather few in number. They are the things that either matter to you, or matter to someone else. The whole point of life is basically to do something that matters so that you feel like you did your part and don’t regret living.

When we’re younger, during our college years and throughout our 20s, we do our best to figure out what exactly it is that we want out of life – we try to figure out the meaning of it all and what part we’re supposed to play in the grand scheme of things. Most of us are pressured into figuring it out early on, before we hit 30, because we are expected to start a career and be capable of supporting ourselves.

Those who don’t "have it figured out" by 30 are looked down upon and said to be lost causes. And, in reality, they are. But it’s not because they don’t have life figured out in the way that we believe we should have it figured out. It’s because these individuals are wasting time.

Time is what it’s all about. You can spend your whole entire life "figuring it all out" – which, by the way, is exactly the case for every individual and any individual that tells you otherwise is full of himself and a fool – as long as you’re not wasting time while you do it. It’s not easy figuring out exactly what it is that we want to do in our lives, but this is again because we are approaching the problem all wrong.

Firstly, we don’t need to figure out that one thing that we want to be doing with our lives – that one thing that we want to do will more than likely change with time. If we don’t change along with it then we will simply be torturing ourselves and producing inefficiently instead of changing directions and following the paths that we feel we should be following.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that "figuring it all out" isn’t figuring out what you will be doing with your whole entire life, but rather what you will be doing with the next chapter in your life.

There’s a reason we compare life to a book – turning pages or moving on to following chapters. Our life is filled with chunks of time that are dedicated to doing certain things. You going to high school is a chapter in your life. You going to college is another chapter. You learning ballet is another. You working retail is yet another.

You keep moving from chapter to chapter, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you want to be moving to the next chapter as quickly as possible. Life isn’t about reaching the final page. When the book is over, it’s over. This is why it’s important to make sure each individual chapter is filled with meaningful things, love and happiness.

Human beings should only focus on one chapter at a time. Therefore, having it all figured out simply implies understanding what you need to be doing during this present chapter in your life. There is no point in trying to figure your entire life out because it’s impossible; you never know what will come your way or where life will lead you.

This often confuses people because they feel a need to have the idea of some end-goal in mind – a direction that their whole life needs to be headed. Like I said before, the only place your life is guaranteed to head is to an ending. What matters in the end are the things you did while you were still alive.

This being said, your grand scheme in life should be to live a life filled with love, happiness, joy, excitement and all other things good. Making sure that your life is filled with goodness is really all that matters. Life can be divided into two parts: good and bad. Good should be done – bad should be avoided. What you do and how you choose to live such a life as described is really up to you.

All that you really need to decide is what you can do that will make you happy. The beauty of this is that happiness isn’t an end goal, but a state of being. Make sure the chapters of your life are always focused on your dreams and aspirations and you can’t go wrong.

If you don’t know what you want to do in 20 years, it’s no reason to worry. Figure out what you can do now to make yourself happy and then when you’re already happy, think about what you can do to keep yourself that way. Take one step at a time and I promise that you’ll have life all figured out the second before you die.

Photo via Tree Angels Tumblr

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