5 Secrets for Success in Your 20s

millennials secrets
Flickr: Wonderland

This month’s guest post comes from Paul Angone, one of my favorite Millennial writers. Paul is a full-time speaker and the creator of AllGroanUp.com, a community for those asking “what now?”  He lives in San Diego with his wife Naomi and two baby girls. 

Check out Paul’s NTLB guest post about 5 secrets in our 20s and then consider buying all 101 secrets in his book!


5 Secrets for Success in Your 20s

By Paul Angone

1.  Your twenties will produce more failures than you’ll choose to remember. The key is when you fail, don’t begin calling yourself a failure.

Failing means you’re simply finding a more profound way to be successful, if you’re willing to learn from it, and then have the courage to possibly fail again. And possibly more profoundly than before.

We can’t let failure be our death sentence instead of just one more sentence on the page before we turn it to the next. If we go for it, we will fail. We have to. That’s part of lifting a weight heavier than you. You tear your muscles so that they can become stronger.

The only real failure of our 20s would be if we never had any.


2.  The Freshman-Fifteen is nothing compared to the Cubicle-Cincuenta.

Don’t sit at your computer perched like a Roman gargoyle. Don’t let office birthday cake be forced on you like a cigarette behind your middle school. Bust out before your butt does.


3. Crappy jobs are the Twentysomething Rite of Passage. We can learn the most in the jobs we like the least.

Take for example, my stint at a call center getting cussed out on the hour, every hour for something I couldn’t fix or change. I wanted to quit every.single.day. But I was getting married in six months and couldn’t afford a jaunt down Unemployment Lane.

However, through all the Call-Center-Crud I learned something vital—consistency. I learned to show up and do my work every. single.day. I learned to be patient, hold on, and just try to make it another time around the track.

So if you find yourself right now lost in a forest of computers and spreadsheets, not sure if you can make it another day, figure out what you need to learn there and learn it. If you don’t, an assortment of lousy jobs might be your thirty, forty, and fiftysomething rite of passage as well.

Learn. Grow. Then go.


4. Obsessive Comparison Disorder is the smallpox of our generation.

Nine out of 10 doctors agree this disorder is the leading cause to eating two boxes of Girl Scout cookies while watching The Bachelor.

Like having to run outside to light up a cigarette, our addiction to comparing is uncontrollable and killing us with every puff.

Remember everyone’s too busy putting a PR spin on their Facebook profile to care much about yours. We need to sail our own ship instead of drowning trying to swim to everyone else’s.


5.  Life will never feel like it’s “supposed to”.

Being twentysomething can feel like death by unmet expectations. However, let me be so brash to say that you are right now, at this moment, exactly where you need to be. But you’ll only be able to see that five years and thirty-eight days from today.

If we’re always trying to live like we’re “supposed to,” we’re never going to really live.

Check out 96 more secrets for your twenties in Paul Angone’s debut book 101 Secrets for your Twenties (Moody Publishers). Paul Angone is an author, speaker, and the creator of AllGroanUp.com— a place for those asking “what now?” Follow him on Twitter @PaulAngone.

Featured photo: Wonderlane (Flickr)


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