20 things you need to master by the age of twenty

American writer and business trainer Julien Smith gives practical advice to young people on how to manage in adult life. In order to become a successful person, one has to learn several basic things until the age of 20 – some norms that will help adapting better to the demands of a modern lifestyle.

1. From dealing with meaningless bank fees to embracing the always brand new and revolutionary weight loss diet, the world wants you to be stupid. It is easier to rob and manipulate uneducated people; so, teach yourself to become rich, independent and happy.

2. Don’t believe blindly in educational institutions. While these institutions plan and execute educational plans, the system itself eventually becomes obsolete, and it may even crumble. You should rather learn to gain the respect of others by becoming a leader than to follow the footsteps of others.

3. Read as much as you can, and master quick reading and memorizing strategies. It is possible to read a book in a week.

4. Try to become a better communicator by practicing the skill a lot. Try to see those characteristics of people that you would like to have yourself, and aspire towards achieving those qualities.

5. Don’t waste your time on being modest. A popular belief is that your feelings are important and helpful in decision making; the fact is, they shouldn’t be.

6. If there is something that really bothers you about someone, the best solution is to break the relationship with that person.

7. Try to talk a lot to people who are older than you. A mature person will teach you many things you would be able to learn on your own mostly through mistakes.

8. Look for people who are better than you and spend lots of time with them. Never be the mediocre member of a group; always aspire to be the best by doing interesting things and by being ambitious and receptive.

9. As you become older, you will become more conservative. People surrounding you will create a social environment that will keep you in a given status quo. This is the reason why you should fulfill your craziest ideas NOW, or you will be too timid to do them later.

10. Minimize your spending. This will allow you to save up to fulfill your crazy ideas.

11. Instead of trying to achieve a status by what you own, create one by gaining experience. In other words, a trip to Paris is a better choice than buying a wardrobe-full of clothes. Studies show that such choices raise your satisfaction in life.

12. If you are poor, work on the problem. Use the internet for shopping to buy things cheaper at online auctions. If you live on a salary, start saving 10% of your earnings and invest your money, or start a savings account. Otherwise, chances are you will stay poor all your life.

13. Learn to make conscious plans for the future – this will develop your logic, memory and imagination.

14. Don’t allow yourself to become overweight when you are young. Hormones will help you stay healthy for a while, but you shouldn’t abuse your body.

15. Learn to cook. If you cook your own meals, your life will become much simpler, and cooking won’t seem monotonous once you master it. In fact, it will save you money, and you can always try out sensational recipes.

16. Sleep well. If you sleep at least 7 hours a night and cook your own food, your life will become much more balanced. If you still claim that “you will sleep when you die”, because you have too many things to do, you are not efficient enough. If you don’t sleep, it’s impossible to be efficient. In fact, reducing the time for sleep will make you less productive.

17. Make a new friend –a journal; don’t trust your memory. Never allow yourself to get to the point when you wonder “am I forgetting something?” Instead, make to-do lists and notes.

18. Establish an objective. If you don’t have one, something will happen anyway, but if you do, you have a better chance to obtain that goal by working towards it.

19. Become an expert in something. Spend 5 years on it if necessary, but don’t just sit around and count the clouds. If you need to change your career, go for it – just make sure to choose something you can become good at.

20. Don’t try to change people. You’d be better off if you try to find those who are not spoiled yet.

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