At age 3, you know so little about the world around you. At age 7, you know a few things. But at age 17, 20, or 25, you sure know most things, right? Not that simple. Though as a young adult, you may be tempted to think that you already know what life is, who you are, and what you want remains an important area most people don’t pay attention to hence; they make a big mistake that can lead to failures and unhappiness all through their lives.
That’s what this blog post is all about.
So, what’s the biggest mistake most young people make?
In my opinion, the biggest mistake most young people make is to think that they’ll be young forever or for long.
Let me explain this.
When you’re 16, 18, or 21, you’re young, vibrant, and strong. You can dream big dreams and try anything you want and because of this experience, you’re likely to think that period in your life is going to last for a long time (or even forever), then, you fall into the trap most young people fall into; party hard, waste time on social media, expect the government to fix their lives, etc.
Sorry, your youthful vibrancy will not last forever. In fact, instead of your youthful vibrancy and unlimited capability to last forever, time goes too fast than you’ll ever believe in a few years from now.
Let me share my personal experience with you.
I spent every day of my 19 to 29 years as if I was in the prison. I never partied, ran away from the TV, and avoided every negative friend. Instead, I focused doggedly on my life’s goals. Today I have many of my friends who are trying to do now what I did last 10 years, but it’s now 3 times more difficult for them. Don’t be deceived. Your youthful years are very short.
If I’ve been able to convince you that youthful years and the opportunities that come with them are for a short period, then what?
Now there are three major problems with misusing those few years of your youth.
The first problem is that those few years are the only time you have to create your life. When Steve Jobs was talking about how he and other people created Apple Inc., he said, “We were able to do it because we were young and have nothing to lose”.
There’s a big point here, and that’s, being young comes with a great advantage because you have almost nothing to lose while pursuing your dreams. Unfortunately, the older you get, the more difficult it becomes to take risks or pursue your dreams.
Listen to me, all teenagers and twenty-something out there. NOW is the only time you ever have.
It’s 3 times easier to start a company at age 23 than it is at age 33 and even 10 times more difficult at age 43 because as we grow old, we become more conscious about the negative implications of our actions, hence; we start to take life easy by avoiding as many mistakes as possible. This, in turn, restricts us from being able to achieve greatness.
The second problem that comes with thinking that you’ll be young for long is that you really don’t know what it means to be old.
Most people who are in their twenties now really don’t know what it means to be 45 and there’s no way you can get them to see the picture.
You see, life in your late 30s and 40s is a life of more caution and responsibilities. You’ll probably have a family and have more bills. You’ll probably have some friends who are doing better than you in the corporate world and you’ll want to beat them in the race of life. You’ll probably have consumed too much negative news in the media, so much that you no longer believe in a world of unlimited possibilities. You’ll probably have resorted to taking life easy. All these are big problems that you don’t really have in your early 20s.
Listen. Life is different in the 40s than it’s in your 20s, so don’t waste your youthful strengths doing what everyone is doing.
The third problem about thinking that you’ll be young and vibrant for a long time is that you’ll waste too much time doing things that really don’t matter.
That’s why today an average young adult in civilized countries spends 7-11 hours every day on different media, the TV, Social Networks, and Gossip sites.
These young people could party every week and hang around unproductive friends just because they don’t know what lies ahead of them.
Sad News; what lies ahead of you is not as sweet as you think.
You see, life is tougher than it looks when you’re a teenager or in your twenties. Be wise. Stop thinking you’re going to be young for long. You have only a few years and you’ll no longer be called “young”. However, your wisdom or stupidity in your twenties may follow you all your life.
Let me share my life experience with you.
I started out in business when I was 21. Though it was tough, because I had no financial responsibility, I was able to fight through every odds. Another advantage I had was that most people were not taking me seriously, so they weren’t expecting me to be serious, since I was just a boy who was “playing” around.
If I were to try today what I did in my early twenties, my chances of success would have been half of what it was then.
Let me round up this blog post this way.
You see, the biggest mistake most young people make is to think, “I’ll enjoy my life”, “I’m still young”, etc. Your twenties should never be a time to enjoy. Instead, it should be a time to run. Your twenties should be a time to read great books, do difficult things, and lay a solid foundation for your life.
Your 20s should never be a time to consume what everyone else has created. It should be the time to figure out what you can create (either a product, service, or an idea), to make the world a better place.
Listen, if you can discipline yourself to do what most people won’t in your 20s, you’ll live the rest of your life the way most people can never live.