20 Things My Dad Wishes Someone Had Told Him in His 20s

Your 20s is a constant battle between thinking you have it all figured out and life giving you a harsh reality check. It's a period of trial and error, but it can also be one of the most fun decades. Much of my life knowledge is from my dad, who's filled with never-ending lessons. Though he's considered to be pretty young for a father at 49, his professional and personal success speaks far beyond his years. As much as I've become jaded by his daily inspirational texts, I know there's great value to them. His advice has been nothing but helpful to me as a 20-something, so I figured others could benefit, too. Here are 20 things that my dad wishes someone had told him around this age.

  1. It's OK to be insecure with yourself; it's discovering time.
  2. Try to experience everything! (Culture, dating, sexuality, foods, other religions.)
  3. Traveling around the world is a must — not by Four Seasons Hotels, but simple backpacking and discovering the world. You'll start to discover yourself in the process of what's truly important.
  4. Get off the train, and in stillness without outside distractions, plan your own life versus your parents' expectations, society's, etc. Ask yourself: What's my purpose? Why am I here? What brings true joy to my life? What makes me happy?
  5. Don't ever chase money! Chase, discover, and cultivate your passion — money will follow.
  6. Don't get pressured into marriage due to cultural heritage, your parents, something that's lacking within yourself, or thinking someone will make you happy or fulfill your emptiness.
  7. It's never a failure, only experience.
  8. Failure is not being able to trust your instinct and going for it. If you have never failed anything, you haven't done anything.
  9. He/she wasn't THE one! There will be others, trust me!
  10. Love yourself first. When the plane is going down, they don't instruct you to help others first.
  11. Success can be reached by many different roads. Don't think college is the only avenue to success. (Look at all the billionaires around the world today and in the past.)
  12. Don't get married until you're in your 30s. You're still discovering yourself.
  13. You'll be incredibly disappointed thinking success is all about self-acquirement (big homes, fancy cars, money, country club memberships, etc.). Yes, it's great to have nice toys and there's nothing wrong with wanting nice things. But you'll be disappointed if you consider this as success and think it will make you complete and happy.
  14. Think BIGGER! If you're going to plan your life, think HUGE! The process is still the same.
  15. Learn to be more loving, understanding, caring, and open-handed to the world with your heart, time, and money.
  16. You've been brainwashed by your parents from the moment you were born, intentionally and unintentionally (who you're supposed to be, what religion you're supposed to believe, what your career should be, who you should marry). Almost every aspect of your life has been loaded into your hard drive. Simply ask yourself: why?
  17. Create a path for others to follow.
  18. You must learn about your financial future because no one will take care of your money but you. Start early and use compound interest and equity to your advantage in your 20s like real estate, 401(k), SEP IRAs, annuities, stocks, etc. Buy the staple companies in the US and never sell or trade.
  19. Think for yourself and create your own "why" in life. There is no right or wrong way to live your life, because it's your life! So go live it to the fullest and have more joyful days than sad ones.
  20. Oh, and one more thing: take care of your badass body in your 20s. If you don't or think you will always look like that, you'll be greatly disappointed and shocked later.