First, I must say although this article title targets those in the 19-29 age bracket, most of the facts discussed in it are applicable in virtually every stage of life. So if you’re past 30 and you think you’ve got some catching up to do, or if you’re in your 20s and still struggling to figure what it means to be an adult, this is your opportunity to rise from the ashes.
(10)Giving Up Easily
The current generation is (no offense) mainly made of “cerelac babies” who naturally expect instant gratification and quick results. They want fast solutions and text-book ready answers to their problems. However, that’s not how life is supposed to be.
You have to appreciate that good things in life require a little bit more effort to be harnessed. And there goes our first lesson: Don’t be an early quitter, things don’t just pop-up abruptly like in the movies; patience is a virtue.
(9)Leaning Too Much On Your Parents
If you were lucky to have parents who gave you Cerelac, took you to school and provided you with everything you needed; count yourself lucky (some of us had to hustle all the way up). The least you can do for yourself (and for them) now is to move on and start a new life.
If you’re still living with your parents and you’re approaching 30 years of age just know that you are committing an atrocity against the human society’s way of life. Come on, go out there and be your own man or woman. It surely won’t be easy, but this is the only way you can learn to be an independent and responsible adult.
(8)Mixing Money with Emotion
Money and emotion don’t mix. Ask the best investors in Nairobi and they will confirm to you that in order to succeed in wealth creation; you must learn to differentiate your emotional intuitions from your logical judgements.
Yet majority of people in their 20s make this mistake all too often. They rush to make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings. They take loans to fund weddings they otherwise could not afford.
They go deep into debt as they buy luxurious items, which they can barely afford to maintain just so that they can prove a point to their “enemies”. But life doesn’t work like that! Major decisions have to be made based on logic and not emotions.
(7)Thinking You’re The Only One Of Your Friends Struggling
Have you noticed how digital media is effective at making big things look small and small things look way bigger than they are in real life? For example, if I pose for a photo in the car driver’s seat of my rich uncle’s Ferrari and post it on Instagram then all my friends are going to think that I’ve made it.
However, deep down inside I know that my bank account is running on empty, but I will certainly not reveal that to my followers because I want them to envy me without asking questions. That’s how life is nowadays.
What you see is barely what you get. So ditch that mentality that everyone is making it except you. Remember, life is a Marathon not a sprint.
(6)Not Building a Good Relationship with Financial Institutions
If you ever have dreams of investing in multiple streams of income and becoming a notable person someday then you must start working on your credit records right away. Ignoring that meager HELB loan that helped you sail through college could work against you one day in the future.
Likewise, taking those bank overdrafts and salary advances might end up doing more harm than good. So be disciplined right now and stick to a small but manageable personal budget.
Most importantly, don’t “eat” all your earnings open a bank account or a SACCO and nurture a saving culture early enough.
(5)Not Hanging Out With People Who Are Older Than You
If you spend most of your time glued to your Facebook TL and flipping between your best friends and drinking buddies, you’re really limiting your potential. Sure, old people may seem a bit boring, but in reality they do have a lot of wisdom which is why you should hang out with them as often as possible.
Normally, that little more wisdom they offer is all you need to excel in real life…and how can you get it if you spend all your days in jealousy-inducing and name-calling orgies on social media? Make it a point to spend time with an old person at least once a month – thank me later.
(4)Indulging In Drugs and Alcohol
I don’t think this needs a lengthy explanation. Drugs and alcohol will not only ruin your life but also shorten it. Instead of spending more time thinking about growing your business empire you will spend more time switching between a rehab and a police cell – so don’t do drugs.
(3)Waiting For The Perfect Moment
Are you still waiting for the perfect moment to launch your startup? Still waiting for the perfect moment to make a bold decision? Well, guess what, the perfect moment never arrives.
As I always put it, you can seldom win a marathon race by standing still at the starting line. You have to get going even when the odds seem to be against you.
Else, you’ll be stuck in a life of procrastination only to realize how much time you wasted when a retrenchment letter comes your way; too late.
(2)Worrying About Things You Can’t Control
You can control a lot in your life, but sometimes finding true freedom means appreciating what you can’t change. You can’t change your looks. You can’t change your family. You can’t change your IQ. And you can’t change your past.
The more you continue to worry about these things, the more time and energy you will waste. So instead of dwelling on your imperfections, the best way to spend your 20s is by only focusing on what you can change i.e. your future…and while at it, always appreciate who you are.
(1)Going Back To School for a Degree or Masters
Unless you are in a career where more academic prowess is directly required (e.g. medical research, lecturing), taking a hefty loan to go for that degree (or Masters) course might not make much sense to your bottom line after all.
In other words, don’t go back for those academic papers just because your friends are doing it. Only go back to class if you’re looking for more knowledge, not so that you can get more money. Going back for a second degree for purely monetary desires (e.g. getting a job promotion) is similar to investing in more buckets to carry water from the river instead of building a pipeline.
So ask yourself, do you want to carry larger and heavier buckets or do you want to build a pipeline that will continue bringing water to your family even when you’re gone? The choice is yours.
Well, that was one long article, and we appreciate the fact that you’ve read it keenly to the end. We hope you’ve learnt something new. Thank you for keeping it Kuza Biashara.