8 things you must do in your 20s if you care about being successful

It has been said that the majority of successful people today had no clue what they wanted to do with their lives at the age of 30. This statement I believe is very misleading as it may lead us to believe that successful people just waltz through 20s not caring and not actively contributing to their future. The truth is the majority of successful people did things (perhaps unconsciously) in their 20s that prepared them for the success they built later on in their lives.

Finding success and enjoying it till you’re old and gray means starting early. Here are 8 things you must achieve in your 20s and if you are past that age, then you should strive to achieve them (as it’s never too late). They are:


In our 20s we tend to have many ideas (some ludicrous) that are destined to fail but my point here is that you try and bring these ideas to life anyway. Don’t doubt yourself, instead follow your passion. It is important to know that you will learn more from failure than from success. And the more you fail in more 20s, the likelihood that you will succeed later on.


There are people in their 40s that have never stepped out of their state of birth. In your 20s, your back can still tolerate hostel beds and you should be fine eating N200 suya for dinner so you can travel on the cheap in ways that elderly people just cannot anymore. Go places and go alone at least once. Traveling will open you up to new experiences, new ideas and new people that can inspire you in ways you never imagined. Seeing beyond your doorstep is a sure step to becoming successful.


Building healthy relationships with loved ones is important. Now is the time to spot and drop fair-weather friends and pick ones that will be there through thick and thin. Ensure to support your support system. Make an effort to remember birthdays, holidays, and important events of your loved ones. Whether you like it or not, a time is coming when you would not really have the time to do this as often.


You might say what about all the reading you did at school? I am not talking about academics here. Take time to read current news, non-fiction, fiction, career advice, self-help books — anything! This will keep your mind stimulated and open to ideas. Most noteworthy is that reading is a stimulus for growth so start reading!


Your 20s are the period to invest in self knowledge. What makes you happy? Can you identify the causes that motivate you? What do you want to achieve in life? All these and more are questions you need to find answers to in your 20s. Learn who you are and what defines you. Your 20s are useful years for understanding yourself better so invest in that self knowledge.


I know the advice to “follow your passion” can be alluring but it is important to remember the benefits of mastering a set of skills/trade. Whether or not this skill is related to your career is irrelevant. Remember that no knowledge is lost and this skill can lead to new beginnings or an alternative source of income.


If you can master at this early stage “the delicate art form of planning ahead & budgeting your time and financial resources”, you will save yourself considerable stress over the course of your life. This will in turn make you become a better employee, parent, friend and lover in your later years.


The truth is gone are the days when donuts, chips, and soft drinks can pass as a full day’s meal. Even if eating well takes a little more time and effort, your future self will thank you when you find yourself maintaining your energy and healthy body at this early age. Therefore, learn new recipes and treat yourself to healthy meals as often as possible. 

These are my own opinions on things that must be done in one’s 20s to achieve success. Perhaps you disagree, share your thoughts. 

Image: Jumia Travel

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