Sharing Is Caring: 9 Ways To Screw Up Your Future In Your 20s

3 Mar
This article originally written by Milenko Pilic and posted in heysuccess.com 

Our world is constantly changing!

Because of these changes, most of the advice you receive from your parents does not apply anymore. At least advice related to your career.

But what is interesting is many young people are still doing things that could have been ok to do 50 years ago. Although I think these things were destructive then, today they are something you are advised to do, but only if you want to destroy your future and life. And I bet you don’t, right?

For that reason, I decided to write the nine ways how to screw up the most critical part of your life, your 20s!

1. Doing only what you are supposed to do

You are sure society and your University have planned what is best for you, and you are supposed to do what they tell you. You’ll be fine (since other people have already planned everything for you);

I do not think most people actually believe society and University have planned anything for them, but they accept and follow the path because it seems “easier and more secure” to them. Plus add our inborn human laziness, it’s very easy to live a life on a auto-pilot. Until you realize no one cared and you were supposed to be the master of your destiny.

2. Spend your 20s with the same people

I still remember one group of four girls (three later on, after they expelled one for unknown reasons) from my University. This group of girls spent the whole time with each other, almost never talking to anyone else. For four years, during the most important and powerful year of their lives, they met no more than a few new people. Crazy, isn’t it? Because my experience taught me something else, I can’t accept that some people were born social and some other anti-social. I believe everyone can become social, only if they desire bad enough to change themselves. If not, you can always hang out with 1-2 “like-minded” people within your “safe” zone.

3. Complain, complain, complain

Thinking the whole planet is yours and that the universe rotates around you. This is an extreme opinion though. The most common feeling is you are entitled to a secure job, great salary, and even great friends without investing any effort from YOU! Hello, welcome to the 21st century where, great jobs and amazing friends come from all of your effort and hard work and certainly not only after gaining a degree.

4. Hang out with negative people

Have you ever asked yourself why after spending some time with some people you feel terrible and with some others you feel great and energized. In most cases, those people from the first group were negative people and they will always find a way to persuade you that you can’t do something. If you continue spending your time with negative people, you will become very similar to them. But be careful, it doesn’t always mean, if you feel kind of down with someone, he is negative. Maybe he is trying to provide you useful feedback and you just simply can’t accept it at that moment? Slow down, think objectively, and you will be able to distinct negative people from those who want to help you with positive advice.

5. Do not travel

You assume everything you need is not more than 500 meters from your campus and that travelling to another city is a needless hassle. And yes, you do not have enough money to travel abroad (but you would like to travel the world, if an airplane parked in front of your door and you were welcomed on board); Otherwise, it’s not worth doing it! If you have such a mentality, I will just tell you two things! Firstly, you can travel the world for free. One great option I utilized when I was a student was fully funded international student programs. I managed to travel to over 22 countries on four continents without spending a penny. Now you have HeySuccess to find those opportunities easily. But have in mind the application processes will requires your hard work and patience to endure a lot of rejections. For that reason, I want to increase your applications’ success rate and offer you this killer guide. Secondly, every trip will be worth hundreds of books read. I remember myself before I started travelling: I was a person with very different worldviews and values. Enjoy the adventure, the amazing world around us, and take your trip (even 20 miles from your city by bike, just do it)!

6. Seek an immediate gratification

Do you think you should never accept an unpaid internship, because you offer high valued skills to an employer? Or, in general, do you always weigh your benefits, before you devote even a minute of your invaluable time? I’ve met so many young people whose primarily concern is what they will get (usually in terms of money) whenever they have fantastic opportunity ahead of them. They easily forget that in their 20’s their priority should be to learn not to earn, and money should be the question only in order to cover basic living costs. On the other hand, I’ve noticed both from my personal experience and the experiences of many successful young people, their benefits and rewards come in a high salary, but only after they first delivered value and invested hard work over many hours. The benefits which came later in much more abundance than the small amount you were initially crazy about (because they belong to you, you were so sure)!

7. Do not read

Why should you, when everything you need is already in your textbooks and you have to read specific materials needed for your great success in life. And then the thousands of textbook pages you crammed through, will eventually turn you into an expert after you graduate. The expert who everyone will be crazy about! Do you really believe this? Our world has changed a lot in last 10 years that now using only textbooks as a source of information is plain craziness. For example, the internet became a source where you can find all the knowledge you need quickly and freely, but it will be up to you to search and read it. Otherwise, you could wake up one day as an alien in a foreign world, still believing in theories written centuries ago.

8. Do not dare to do anything differently. Do not risk.

You remember hearing advice like “Do not try anything too bold and do not stick your head out. Just make sure your follow the rules and everything will be fine”? We have heard this so many times, usually from parents and grandparents who grew up in a completely different world where maybe this kind of advice could work. Today, be sure it won’t! As Mark Zuckerberg said “The biggest risk is not taking any risk” because nowadays there is no such thing as “secure job” or “ a degree that guarantees you everything”.

9. Do not plan your future

You might think: “No need to plan anything, because those plans always fall through!” or actually, you rarely think about it more than one month in advance. Most people never plan their future because they are to “flooded” with everyday duties, tasks, and challenges. And so day after day. “You can not hit the target, if you do not have it”. Therefore, it’s impossible to plan everything in detail, but it’s possible to set long-term goals and work towards them. Be sure if you do, you will end up with even greater accomplishments than you initially planned.


Although this article explained 9 ways how to screw up your life in your 20s, I am sure you already understood we do not want you to do it. We want you to do oppositely in the most critical part of your life, in your 20s. We want you to Succeed! Have this in mind and start now!

I know you can make it!

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