Advice for my 20s.

Today, one of my friends sent me this blog post from Sam Altman discussing what he learned in his 20s. Even though I’m already 21, I really enjoyed this article and thought I would reflect on his thoughts and how I might try to incorporate them into the next nine years of my life.

In his post, Altman basically provides us with 36 lessons he has learned that can be taken as advice. Let’s start with the first. (I will be briefly summarizing his points, click here for the full post)

1. Value friendships.

I’ve always been the type of person to favor fewer close friends, which Altman advocates for, but I actually do want to focus more on meeting new people in my 20s. Another thing I would add to his main point is that I want to be careful not to sacrifice many relationships for just one.

2. This is the real deal.

Do what you want to do now, you don’t get a second chance at life.

3. Find things you believe in and people who believe in you.

(and make sure one of those people is yourself)

4. Work hard, but not too hard.

Hehe, I’ll try.

5. Money buys freedom; spend it on experiences.

Easy, I love doing this one :)

6. Talk don’t stare at screens.

Ok, you got me, I spend way too much time on screens. Help.

7. Don’t waste time.

He draws our attention specifically to work. I have to agree with this one and I shall try my very best.

8. Don’t let people push you around.

Hmm, I feel like this one seems easy, but what does it actually mean to be pushed around? I honestly feel like this one would be most applicable to dating, but we’ll see??

9. Have clear goals.

He specifies daily, yearly, and every 10 years as reasonable time frames. As an aggressive goal-setter I feel like I won’t have a problem with this one, although I do fail to set daily goals more often than I would like.

10. Be spontaneous.

Don’t let planning stop you from going with the flow. This is practically my motto so I should be good on this one.

11. Surround yourself with great people.

So true. So important. Since I know my inner circle won’t be the same one I had in college :( I’m curious to see what types of people I spend my time with in my 20s.

12. Cut out distractions.

Minimize all the sh!t feeding into our brains.

13. “Keep your personal burn rate low.”

I’m assuming he means money, but I feel like the principle also applies to not over-exerting ourselves. Both will be hard for me, but I know that spending on experiences and things that save me time over material goods is the way to go. Not to say I won’t buy any material goods because they are nice too.

14. “Summers are the best.”

Not sure this is relevant in Cali, but sure why not.

15. Stop worrying so much.

Yes, I agree, worrying is largely a waste of time and energy. A lot harder in practice though.

16. “Ask for what you want.”

I feel that this will be a biggie for me, and one I’m not that great at right now.

17. Leave no regrets.

Favor doing over not doing. Yes, yes, a million times yes.

18. Take care of your body.

YES. I think the key here for me will be to do this even when other things seem more important. I don’t get to put my health on pause when it’s convenient for me.

19. Be helpful.

It’s nice and also makes you feel good. Win-win.

20. Don’t waste your youth.

It’s ok to spend a little too much because you’ll never buy back that time.

21. “Tell your parents you love them more often.”

I know, I know…

22. “This too shall pass.”

Or in my words, everything is going to be ok.

23. Learn voraciously.

I don’t think anything could stop me from this one. But I want to put special emphasis on making myself a beginner again.

24. Chase novelty.

You done been had known it. Dopamine is my drug of choice.

25. Feel intensely.

Love, excitement, joy… channel your inner child and feel all the feels.

26. Choose your battles.

I think this is very important but I will say that I rarely ever fight with my friends, but who knows who I’ll turn into in my (later)20s.

27. Forgive.

I’m working on it!

28. “Don’t chase status.”

Noted. Status is an interesting word because I feel like we could seek status in almost every aspect of life. And in all of them it’s probably better not to. So I shall keep this in mind for sure. As a caveat to self, this isn’t an excuse to be lazy and not work hard.

29. Everything in moderation.

Including moderation right???? I’m kidding I know I need to work on this. Living in gray areas is not my forté to say the least.

30. “Existential angst is part of life.”

You are not alone.

31. Be grateful.

Yes yes yes, a million times over.

32. “Be a doer, not a talker.”

I think before I was probably a talker not a doer. Now I’m probably a talker and a doer. So I just need to work on the not talking part. You hear that Grace?

33. You will adapt.

To anything, I promise Grace.

34. Think, then act.

Think a little extra when you’re feeling negative. So true. Take this as a reminder not to let your emotions take over.

35. Don’t judge.


36. Time flies.

Savor it <3

If you are reading this and you are no longer in your 20s, please feel free to pass along any advice you have learned. I’m curious what everyone has to say :)