Biggest mistakes in your 20s

Luxe, Calme et Volupté ("Luxury, Calm and Pleasure"), Henri Matisse, 1904

Luxe, Calme et Volupté ("Luxury, Calm and Pleasure"), Henri Matisse, 1904

Every twenty-something year old should know these four facts

  1. Your energy is a limited resource that you're consciously or unconsciously investing every day.
  2. How you invest that energy determines the outcome of your life.
  3. Most people will convince you to invest your energy into things that benefit them, not you.
  4. You will never have as much disposable energy as you do in your 20s ever again

So the the biggest mistake 20 year olds can make is chasing pleasure and comfort, and not investing energy into building a strong foundation for their lives.

If you become disciplined and sow the right seeds early, you'll reap an abundance of health, wealth, intelligence, love and strength in the future.

But how do you become disciplined?

You need to know these two concepts: compound interest and purchasing power

Compound interest is what turns small investments into huge payouts over time, it's the only sure way to generate wealth in any domain.

Here's an example:

Jill invests $5,000 a year in an asset that increases by 7% in value each year, while Jack invests in an asset that decreases by 7% in value each year. After ten years of investing, Jill has about $69,000 in her account, but Jack only has around $37,000

Applying this to habits, the same logic applies.

If you invest in good habits early, they will compound and accelerate your growth through the power of compound interest

As James Clear once said: "Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement"

The second piece is purchasing power.

Back to the financial metaphor:

Imagine now that instead of having $5,000 to invest each year into an asset, Jack and Jill lose $200 worth of purchasing power each year

The amount of energy available you have to invest in yourself declines as you get older.

As you get older, you take on more responsibilities that place a demand on your energy. You have to manage your time and energy to balance work, family, and self-care.

The easiest time to form good habits and break bad ones is while you're younger.

To make things easy, you can focus on only 5 assets to invest in.

Five best assets to invest in

  1. productive capital
    • what: your expertise that makes you valuable to society
    • how: stay curious, consistently learn and improve, do hard things, put in the work
  2. spiritual capital
    • what: how strong your conscience is in making wise decisions
    • how: self-reflect, meditate, be truthful and honest, volunteer and mentor, support local causes
  3. intellectual capital
    • what: ability to turn negative emotions into insights and actions
    • how: practice labeling emotions, use creative outlets to process emotions
  4. social capital
    • what: depth and quality of relationships
    • how: invest in quality time with friends and family, seek for mentors, network and step out of comfort zone
  5. physical capital
    • what: health and physical well-being
    • how: consistent exercise routine, balanced nutrition, staying hydrated, quality sleep and rest

Look at your daily/weekly/monthly schedule, try to squeeze in time to grow and develop each of the five forms of capital.

This way you're investing time and energy that will have ROI in the long run.