20 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your 20’s…

So my brother found and posted this article on Facebook. It has some good advice in it if you pretend to ignore how fucking misogynistic the author is and you have a dick. However it does make some good point, and they can actually be pared down to three things:

1. Work towards your dreams, and work hard.

It is a simple concept that’s really hard when you try to put it into practice. Figure out what you want and fucking well go for it… Ignoring the part where you’re 20 and apparently have to decide what you want to be doing for the next, oooooh, 40 odd years of your life.

If you know what you want to do resist the pressure society will throw at you to ‘get a real job’ and instead work towards building your dream. Study what you need to study, travel if you need to travel, live in your parents basmeent and devote every waking minute to your craft if that’s what it takes.

Which isn’t to say don’t have a job. Some of the most prolific and famous artists, musicians and writers that ever been had day jobs for the entirety of their careers because it gave them a stable financial base so they could focus on their craft rather than wondering how to pay the rent next month. Just don’t waste your time doing something that doesn’t support your art.

And that goes for people who want to be high flyers in the corporate world. Going to university and getting a part time position doing the filing in the industry you want to be in is a fucking smart move. You’ve got the foot through proverbial door. You can ask questions, you can put your hand up for odd jobs that will teach you about the industry, you’re insider when positions come up (most companies will employ internally if it is an option) and you have access to the people who can mentor you. Don’t waste that chance.

2. Don’t get yourself stuck in relationships that bring no value to your life.

Friends, lovers, and family can be the greatest cheer squad you will ever have. They can also be the people undermine you the most. If I had a penny for every time someone close to me told me I was being unrealistic in some way I would be rich, and if they hadn’t done it I probably wouldn’t be about to turn 30 and only just starting to chase dreams.

Every person you choose to have in your environment (coworkers don’t count you don’t get to pick them) needs to be supportive. Surround yourself with the people who believe in you and you will get further faster. Which isn’t to say surround yourself with people who will blow air up your ass. Sometimes you need your friends and family to bring you back to earth before you do something epically stupid, but they shouldn’t be doing it in a way that makes you feel like you should pack it in and give up.

And the relationship goes both ways.

Encourage the people who encourage you, bring out the best in them, support them, help them, care about them. They need you as much as you need them.

So yeah, don’t be afraid to say good bye to people who bring you down and undermine your confidence. Do be awesome to the people who support you. Simple, yes?

3. Live within your means. 

Financial stuff is important. Do not waste your money, do not blow it on random crap and all night drinking binges every other day when it can be buying the equipment you need, paying for your education, and sending you to far off places. What is important will be different from person to person… For some going years without a holiday in order to get their business of the ground is important and for others a round the world trip will do more to further their careers than actually having cash in the bank, it really does depend on what your goal is.

However absolutely no fucker ever has been better off in debt than not in debt. Go for the cheaper share house if it’s an option, fuck off the designer label wardrobe and fancy cars in favor of gear that costs half the price and looks as good and a car that won’t crap out on you every other day, and generally just keep your expenses well within your budget. You’ll spend less time tossing and turning at night worrying over how to pay your rent and more time getting to do what you enjoy this way.

This also extends to buying equipment if you’re in the creative field. Always buy the very best you can afford because it will make a difference, but don’t get yourself into debt you can not pay because the stress will wipe out your creativity.

And straight from my experiences:

There is enough room for everyone:

There is enough room for everyone, so support people. Offer advice and encouragement. Mentor the new kid. Network your ass off in field and out. Quite often it is the people you are kind to just because you can be who will be the ones that think of you when there’s an open slot in that gallery they’re exhibiting at, or call you randomly to do a photo shoot rather than hire a model they don’t know, or end up asking you to collaborate on a big project, or even think to let you know of that awesome position coming up in their workplace. Contrary to what people think it is not dog eat dog. The more you support and care for those around you the more the opportunities will open up.


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