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9 Things to Do In Your 20s to Make Yourself Proud In Your 40s

by Sarfaraz Ali 2 months ago in Identity
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How to make your future self happy.

9 Things to Do In Your 20s to Make Yourself Proud In Your 40s
Photo by Conner Ching on Unsplash

What you do today can tremendously alter your future—for better or worse.

That’s why it’s so critical to make the right actions and decisions when you’re younger so you can make “future you” super proud of yourself.

I’ll skip obvious ones like quitting smoking, eating healthy, etc. Instead, I’ll focus on the common ones many people should really change to enjoy a better life in a few more decades.

Your future self will thank you.

Stop Listening to Loud Music

Your hearing doesn’t get better as you age so take good care of it now.

When you’re in a subway or plane, it’s tempting to crank up your music to drown out the outside noise. But that’s going to kill your hearing. Instead, memorize what a comfortable volume setting is when it’s quiet and avoid exceeding that limit.

Also, be careful at concerts, near loud sirens, with planes flying overhead, or near construction. Consider wearing earplugs; there’s no benefit in “toughing it out.”

Lift Weights

It doesn’t matter who you are: Doing some kind of resistance training is essential for your body—not only to build muscle and power, but also to strengthen your joints, ligaments, and bones. (You’ll miss them when they’re gone.)

“If you think lifting weights is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous.”

— Bret Contreras

It’s far easier to do strength training when you’re younger; you’ll build muscle memory and it’ll be easier to start again—even if you take several years off—than if you’ve never done it before.


The point isn’t to quit your job, sell everything, and travel the world for years.

The point is to regularly visit more places. The world is unbelievably big: There are so many cultures and opportunities. And as much as you might like where you’re at now, how do you know it’s best for you if you’ve never seen anything else?

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

— Saint Augustine

Don’t limit yourself. Heck, being born and raised in LA, I never thought I would live anywhere else. But through travel, I discovered cultures I aligned with much more and I eventually lived there.

Once you see new things, your mind, perspective, and future will become much bigger. (And if you still like your current home the most, at least you’ll truly know it.)

Make Older Friends

Getting friends from older generations is like having a time machine, going into the future, and seeing how everything turned out. They’ve already lived through it so they can guide you through those moments.

“The best part about being my age is knowing how my life worked out.”

— Scott Adams

You’ll get the truth your parents will never tell you. You’ll find out what it’s really like to get married, buy a home, have kids, and do other major life decisions. And most of all, they’ll help you gain a better perspective on time and make the most of your life now.

“In my practice, I notice that many twentysomethings — especially those who surround themselves with other twentysomethings — have trouble anticipating life… They need something to remind them that life is going to continue on past their twenties, and that it might even be great.”

— Dr. Meg Jay

It’s easy to think you’ve learned a lot about life when you and all your friends are 27. But if you talk to a 50-year-old, they’ll smack some sense into you.

Get Started Now

Many people wait too long to take action.

For example, tons of people hate their job, but they wait for years until they get so miserable that they break down and eventually quit. But the better approach is to look for other opportunities ASAP and take action.

Don’t pause your life. Don’t wait 10 years to “start a business,” “get in shape,” “start dating,” etc. Just take the first few steps now, see what happens, and then you can learn and move on to the next thing.

“Measure the cost of inaction, realize the unlikelihood and repairability of most missteps, and develop the most important habit of those who excel and enjoy doing so: action.”

— Tim Ferriss

Save and Invest

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.”

— Anonymous

If you’re struggling to pay the bills, it’s harder to save and invest. (I know the feeling.) But at the same time, it’s still valuable to learn how to do it regardless of how much money you make. (If anything, it’s even more important when you’re struggling because — well — how else are you going to get out of it?)

Even if you can only put away $10, do it. Get in the habit. Build your muscles.

“It doesn’t matter if you have a fortune right now or virtually nothing. What does matter is that you immediately begin to manage what you’ve got, and you’ll be in shock at how soon you get more.

I had another student… say, “How can I manage my money when I’m borrowing money to live on as it is?” The answer is, borrow an extra dollar and manage that dollar. Even if you are borrowing or finding just a few dollars a month, you must manage that money, because more than a “physical” world principle is at play here: this is also a spiritual principle. Money miracles will occur once you demonstrate to the universe that you can handle your finances properly.”

— T. Harv Eker

Ditch Your Bad Friends

Your friends that don’t do much except get drunk, get high, party, and complain about life are not going to help you get to where you want to go.

They are holding you back tremendously.

It might feel a little sad to leave them because you know they’re good at heart, but you can’t sacrifice your life just to keep other people happy. You have to go for what you want and align yourself with the right social circle.

Learn to Communicate

At a certain point, to get to a higher level in life, “soft skills” (i.e. people skills) are more important than “hard skills” (i.e. proficiency). Highly successful people are often great communicators, whether with the written word or spoken word.

If you mumble, say a lot of fillers (“um…uh… you know”), and ramble, it’ll limit your potential. Learn how to overcome that. Learn how to connect with people and build relationships. Learn how to share ideas. Talk to real people and learn what works and what doesn’t.

Being a great communicator will open up a lot of doors.

Zig When Everyone Else Zags

I’m not encouraging you to walk around with no pants because everyone has pants. (If you get arrested, that’s on you.) This is just a reminder that popular opinion isn’t always right for you.

The same goes for common things like getting a “stable” job, buying a home, having kids, etc. I’m not against any of those things, but if “everyone” tells you to do it, that’s a damn good sign you should at least question it.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”

— Mark Twain

Ask yourself, “What would it look like if I did something different?”

You might avoid regretful decisions and open up a lot of incredible opportunities that improve everything.

And your future self will be very, very happy.

Ready to upgrade your success? I’ve created 5 free life hacks that will boost your results. If you use them, your life could change very quickly.


About the author

Sarfaraz Ali

A Psychologist, Writer, Animal advocate and Human Rights activist. My blog is about finding the balance in life and encouraging others to be their best selves.

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  • Liam Dinn2 months ago

    I didn't see DMT anywhere on that list.....

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