During your twenties, every decision that you make or don’t make has an impact on your future. Yet most people party their twenties away. If you want to take advantage of your 20’s? Let’s talk.

At this moment you’ve got many years ahead of you. That either scares the Hell out of you or you use it as an excuse to be lazy.

Both come down to you being scared to make a decision.

For the first time in your life, you don’t have a clear system to follow. Up until this point you’ve had a clear script to follow.

Not so long ago you knew that as long as you turned in your homework and got at least a C on your tests. You’d pass and move to the next level.

Now that you’re in the real world.

It’s as if your rose-colored lenses have been ripped off. But people tell you that you still have plenty of time.

Live a little before you decide what you want to do.

Weeks, months, and even years pass and you still aren’t quite sure what you’re doing. If you look around.

You are able to find some direction. Direction from what society tells you.

You know that you can find a job or continue your education. But even that doesn’t feel right and only helps so much.

Before long you’re right back where you were before. Lost and going from one distraction to the next.

Wasting your time and chasing highs.

I know in my case I spent a year doing nothing but smoking pot and having sex. The rest of my time was spent playing video games and hanging out.

But I finally hit a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. As I laid there looking up at my ceiling I didn’t know where to begin.

I knew there were plenty of jobs, but none of them excited me.

I could go back to school, but I didn’t know what kind of major I wanted.

The only thing that I could agree on was that something had to change. I refused to waste my potential.

I wanted to change the world while living an exciting life. Not end up like all of the other miserable people sitting in traffic every day.

I just didn’t understand how to make any of that happen. So I spent 18-23 going all over the place.

It wasn’t until I finally made a decision that my actions started getting real results. Which leads to you and I talking here today.

It’s time for you to make your decision. But first I want you to understand exactly why your twenties matter.

Because until you understand why. It will be impossible to make your decision.

1) Your Brain and Body Are in Turbo Mode

As you read this article. Your brain and body are developing quickly. New research has found that it’s during your 20’s that you’re the most moldable.

Up until 28 years old your brain is growing. This means that you can learn faster and change your personality easier than ever before.

That’s why someone you went to school with who was weird. All of a sudden becomes attractive and an entirely different person.

Recently a girl came up to me at a cafe. She knew my name and talked to me as if we had talked before.

I didn’t know who she was until she told me her name.

In high school, she had terrible acne, was shy, and as a skinny as a twig. There was one time though where I helped her in class.

Here we were 5 years later and she was a different person.

Her acne was gone and her body looked like your favorite IG model. We talked for several hours and even went on a date that weekend.

However, 5 years ago I would never even entertain that idea.

In your twenties, you can become more attractive and honestly anything that you can dream of.

The other reality of your twenties is why someone who was the most popular kid in high school.

Who seemed to have it all ends up working at Walmart. And never going anywhere in their life.

They had it all in school and then when their real life began. They were no longer the most popular and nobody cared about them.

Of course, they could leverage their high school days and continue winning. But they aren’t used to having to work for their place in life.

So no matter who you are, NOW really is the time to act. Because at this very moment not only do you have many years to mold yourself.

But as you now see, your brain and body are developing rapidly.

So hit the gym, read great books, and experience new things. That is how you will become everything that you ever wanted.

My book recommendations are…

Think and Go Hustle (reinvent yourself and find your purpose)

Gorilla Mindset (one of the best mindset books out)

Not Caring What Other People Think is a Super Power (insights from a pro boxer)

2) Your Experiences Are the MOST Impactful

In your 20’s your frontal lobe is still developing. This means that you’re more emotional than people who have a fully developed frontal lobe.

Not only that but you still don’t know much about how the world works. Hence why you feel overwhelmed by all of the options before you.

Combine these two together and simple things seem bigger than they really are. Let me give you some examples.

  • Someone taking hours to respond to a text stresses you out. You think that maybe they’re mad at you.
  • Your boss calls you on your day off and you immediately think you did something wrong. Only to be told about an upcoming meeting.
  • As you’re driving your check engine light comes on. You start worrying about how bad it is and how much it’s going to cost. In reality, it’s a simple fix and only costs you $125.

These are all examples that when you read them seem silly. I know that when I started questioning different thoughts that I had.

I couldn’t help but laugh at how small most of my worries were. And as I questioned my thoughts I slowly figured out what I wanted.

Which in your case as you start thinking things through. You’ll make better decisions and start moving forward in your life.

Why? Becuase since you’re learning much faster and don’t have 30-40 years of the wrong information. Your experiences are more impactful.

While it’s NEVER too late to change your life. It is, however, much easier to learn new things in your 20’s.

These are the days where you push yourself to your limits. Where you push yourself to the point where you ask why you’re working so much.

Not just “figure out life” because obviously sitting around thinking doesn’t do anything.

It’s through direct experience that you’re able to figure things out.

You can sit around thinking about what it’s like to learn a new language. You can sit around thinking about how bad you want to find your purpose.

But I can tell you from experience that that won’t do anything for you.

Sitting around thinking only makes you wait even longer for what you want. That is if you ever even decide to do it in the first place.

The next time that you think about how you “want something”. I want you to immediately do something towards getting it.

I don’t care if it’s something as small as trying a new food. Just make it happen. As you do, your perception of reality will expand.

You will find ways of living that you never knew existed.

3) Love, Work, and Play

By now you see how something as simple as trying a new food can change your life. This was a huge realization for me personally.

I lived in such a bubble for so long that I didn’t know anything else.

It wasn’t until I bought a one-way ticket to LA that I started seeing the world in all its glory. Living in Los Angeles was the first time where I truly lived.

I saw how much control we really have over our lives. How each decision leads to the next outcome whether you understand what you’re doing or not.

YOU are literally shaping your future with each decision. I don’t mean that in some hyped up self-help woo-woo type of way.

It’s during your 20’s that you are building a life. Not in your 30’s or whenever people tell you to grow up.

It is this very moment that you are living a life. Sure, you can play video-games and hang-out with your friends.

There isn’t anything wrong with that at all.

Just keep in the back of your head what you learned earlier. Your brain can learn faster than it ever will again.

Each decision and thought that you have is building your brain. Any neurons that you don’t use are wasted.

I’m just stating the facts. Because as each day passes your brain develops a little bit more. And you are the person who decides if that’s good or bad.

Not to get too abstract, but you are helping or hurting your future self.

Even your future family is being impacted by the decisions that you’re making. Even if you don’t make a decision you’re still making a decision.

When I really understood this I literally felt sick to my stomach.

In my effort to make the “best” decision aka wasting time by not making one. I was simply making a decision to not be in control.

I don’t expect you to fully understand this yet, but when you do. You’ll realize the importance of making a decision.

To show you how little time you really have. I want to run you through an exercise that really put everything into perspective for me.

Because it can be hard to see 30 years into the future, let alone 2-months from now.

You Don’t Have That Much Time

Even if you live to be 99 years old, that really isn’t much time. Because most of your life is lived between the ages of 20 to your mid 70’s.

That is if you take care of yourself. And based on how most people live that gives you until your 60’s to really live your life.

Depending on what you want from life, determines how long you’ve got. Since I don’t know every goal that you have I’ll lay out an example below.

Let’s say that you want to have a family, be making good money, and have your own place by 35 years old.

That’s VERY achievable if you’re in your 20’s. But only if you make a decision today and then get started.

I’ll use 24 as the starting age. That gives you 11 years to start a family, build a career or business, and have your own place.

Once again, this is just a simple example. More than likely you want more out of life and less time than you think.

So don’t sit there and think that 11 years is plenty of time. Or like my friend who just turned 20 and laughed at how long he has.

The reality of the situation is that you don’t have anymore time to waste. If you’re going to really be different than all of those so-called normies.

And live a fulfilling life while everyone else lives for the weekends. Then it’s time for you to take yourself seriously.

Nothing is guaranteed in this world and that includes you getting what you want. You aren’t the exception.

No matter how smart and talented you are. You’re going to have to earn your place in life like all of the other greats.

So let’s say you’re 24 years old and have 11 years to accomplish your 3 big goals.

No matter which money path you take. It’s going to take you 2-5 years before you start really getting things going.

That applies to online business as well as the traditional career path.

5 years puts you at 29 years old. Now money is coming in and you don’t have to worry about surviving anymore.

Let’s say you met a girl and got married along the way.

Since you’re good in the money department. You decide that it’s time to have a kid and so if everything goes well.

Things like fertility and other factors, you’ll have a kid by 30.

Now comes the time for you to find your own place if you haven’t done so already. On top of building your career, being a Dad, husband, now comes a house.

Which brings many other things into your life. Following this timetable, you will have achieved all of your goals before 35 years old.

But that’s if everything goes perfectly.

A lot of the time building a business or a career will take your focus for 2-5 years. From there finding a partner and getting married, could take another 1-5 years.

That’s 3 years total for both of those if you’re exceptional. But more than likely they could take 6-9 years.

Add to the mix a house and kid and you’re starting to see how little time you actually have. Especially if you want more out of life than a career, family, and house.

Maybe you want to travel, create art, or get certified in something that interests you. That just adds more stuff for you to have to cram into your timetable.

Time is and always will be your worst enemy. Even though it’s nothing more than an illusion, what is real is that you’re going to die.

That’s something that is only between you and your God. And no matter how much you pray for more time, you have no say in the matter.

But now you’re left with endless options and little time. What should you do?

How to Define Your Life

If you’re anything like I was a few years ago. I felt like the world was my oyster and that I could be and do anything that I wanted.

Yet I kept finding myself feeling miserable and hating what I was doing. After I sat down and really thought about what I could excel at.

I had 3 options. From those options, I found the one thing that I get out of bed for each day.

It was odd realizing that while I could do anything. Only 3 options would really work out and let me live a life that I enjoyed.

You see…

All of your life you’ve heard that you can do anything that you put your mind to. While that’s true. That doesn’t mean it’ll work out.

Work out in the sense that it’ll give you the money and other things that you want. Honestly, I’d say you have 3-6 options that can really work for you.

And the longer that you take to start trying them out. The higher of a chance you have for picking the wrong option.

Wrong meaning you become everything that you didn’t want to become.

You become one of those miserable people staring at the clock 30-40 hours a week.

The people who look forward to the weekend so that they can finally start living. Even though they didn’t quite understand what they were doing.

They put themselves into that type of life by not defining what they wanted. And this is your chance to keep yourself from living in that Hell on earth.

The reason you find it hard to make a decision is simple. You’re too vague about what you claim that you want.

You’ll say…

None of those statements mean anything. They’re worthless and will get you nowhere but your parent’s house or the streets.

You’ve gotta be more specific than that.

Otherwise, you’re still avoiding making a decision.

Which as you know is the reason that people never find their purpose and live paycheck to paycheck.

Instead of asking yourself what you’d do if money wasn’t a factor. I want you to ask yourself something entirely different.

Because money does matter. You’ve been lead to believe that life is all sunshine and rainbows. That everything will fall into your lap.

But if I’ve learned anything. It’s that you’ve got to grab the sun and make your own rainbow.

Ask yourself this question instead…

What is something that I don’t mind potentially doing for years that will pay the bills?

Answer that question and you will have defined the, “what do I wanna do with my life question” that nobody else can’t seem to answer.

So why do your twenties matter?

Because everything that you do now impacts the rest of your life.

For more reading check out, The Defining Decade. It dives deep into the mind of people in their twenties and will give you more tools.

The Defining Decade

About Dylan Madden

My name is Dylan Madden. I've written over 300+ articles for those who want more out of life and are interested in traveling the world. I am from US city where most people work the same old job for their entire life. Now after traveling to 18 countries. I've set up a home in Dubai where I spend my days helping freelancers build successful businesses within The Real World and on the blog Calm and Collected. Within this website you will find the motivation and action steps to make your life better.

6 comments add your comment

  1. “You become one of those miserable people staring at the clock 30-40 hours a week.

    The people who look forward to the weekend so that they can finally start living. Even though they didn’t quite understand what they were doing.”

    This article is intense and hits extremely close to home as I am in my twenties as well. The qouted text will describe nearly 99% of the population, I myself struggle with this everyday. If you are never able to figure out your own potential, your own purpose, you will become this person. Figure out what it is you want, strive for it, make it happen while your young. Commit your life to it.

    Thank you for yet another great article my friend.

    • Yes, until you commit your life to it. It’ll eat you up from the inside and destroy the world around you.

      You’re quite welcome brother!

  2. I really enjoyed this article, dylan, can’t wait for the next one !

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