While it can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to have your life completely figured out by the time you reach 30, you don’t need all the answers at that age (or ever, because life is always evolving). During our 20-something years, we’re often searching for answers to big questions such as “What do I want?” and “What do I want to do with my life?”

In my 20s, I thought I had it all figured out. I was on track to have a great career, find the man of my dreams, and have lots of money. But when I lost everything at 27, I felt like a complete failure. Judged me harshly and went from thinking something was wrong with me.

You aren’t abnormal if you feel like a failure because you think you failed at something or haven’t done enough. Many people go through this phase, which is often called the “quarter-life crisis.” So, if you’re feeling lost and confused, don’t worry! You are perfectly normal.

The time in our lives when we are “supposed” to be carefree and having fun can often be terrifying, instead. However, it can also lead to wonderful self-discoveries if we’re willing to accept that not everything needs to happen within a set timeframe or meet specific milestones.

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to know exactly what you want to do with your life, but you do need to take some action. Your life purpose is not going to manifest itself without any effort on your part. If you want to live a life with significance and make a lasting impact, it’s time to change how view “everything.”

A month ago, I started interviews with over 30 thought leaders and experts in their twenties and thirties for a free resource called the Quarterlife Upgrade. One of the questions asked was “What do you know now that you wish you knew then?”. Some themes emerged from these interviews which are shared below to inspire readers and remind them they are not alone.

  1. Failure is part of the journey. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as they will only teach you and help you grow. In fact, playing it safe is more dangerous than taking risks.
  2. Aiming for perfection will only leave you stressed and unable to reach your goals.
  3. Your parents may want you to do things their way, but it’s important that you forge your own path – even if they don’t always agree. They’ll come around in time.
  4. If something goes wrong, don’t get too upset. The things that seem like the end of the world are often blessings in disguise—it might just take some time to figure out what that blessing is.
  5. Take risks and be different, but only if it aligns with your values.
  6. Don’t make money, power, and fame your sole focus in life—live according to your deepest values instead. You’ll never be truly fulfilled if you’re chasing superficial things.
  7. While being young doesn’t make you indestructible, it does provide the time to develop habits for a healthy lifestyle.
  8. Get a good night’s sleep, incorporate more greens into your diet, and cut out processed foods. If you don’t know what an ingredient is or can’t pronounce it, chances are you shouldn’t be eating it.
  9. Give your body the love and attention it deserves by breathing, meditating, saying affirmations, and exercising regularly.
  10. Taking the pressure off of yourself and your timeline increases your fertility. by being more stress-free, you improve your chances of having a baby when you’re ready.
  11. Being romantically compatible with your partner is essential, but not the only thing that matters. You need to make sure that you have the same values and priorities, and be willing to compromise on some things.
  12. Your health and happiness increase when you have supportive friendships, so ditch the ones that don’t help you achieve your goals. Find friends who inspire and support you!
  13. Don’t fall in love with who you think someone could be; instead, pay attention to how they are treating you from the start. If they give you any indication that they will not make a good partner, listen to those red flags and move on.
  14. No matter the outcome, all relationships teach us something valuable that we can take with us and grow from.
  15. Everyone hates going through break-ups, but it’s crucial to remember that having closure is key. Don’t stalk your ex or think about what might have been – instead, focus on progressing and keeping your heart open. Getting hurt in love is something we all go through at some point or another, but it doesn’t have to control us.
  16. There is no single person who can complete you- that job falls on you alone. You will have multiple romantic partners throughout your lifetime, but the most crucial relationship is the one with yourself.
  17. It’s not only important to budget and saves when it comes to personal finance, but changing your money mindset is crucial as well. Discover ways to improve your financial situation and show gratitude for what you have—which can come in forms other than money—right now.
  18. The question, “What do I want to do with my life?” is more often a series of trial and error instead of a sudden realization.
  19. Don’t strive for overnight success because it’s not possible. Instead, have patience and know that opportunity and success will come in time. And lastly, you don’t have to love your job to be happy while doing it!
  20. Every company wants an employee who works beyond their job description; don’t be the person who falls short. Go above and beyond to achieve more than what is expected of you.
  21. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, make sure you’re solving a problem that people have. Initiative and discipline are two of the most important qualities an entrepreneur can have.
  22. Never try to do everything alone, as it will only lead to burnout. Delegate the tasks you don’t excel at so that you can focus on your strengths!
  23. Developing your personal brand is essential to Distinguish yourself and to remember your passion is what makes you unique!
  24. Jot down the qualities you want to be known for, both in terms of your profession and personal values. This way, you’ll never have to “sell out.”
  25. The things you think about the most are what manifests in your life, whether you want them to or not. Pay attention to your day-to-day thoughts!
  26. Too often, we compare ourselves to those around us and find ourselves lacking. This only leads to anxiety and feeling down about oneself. Instead of subjecting yourself to this negativity, be your own best friend. Talk kindly to yourself and be encouraging. You deserve it!
  27. Now that you’re an adult, it is time for you to kindly sever the emotional ties with your parents and live your life.
  28. Once you learn the language of your intuition, it will be easier to recognize when your heart is speaking to you. After that, responding properly will come more naturally.
  29. There are two important steps you must take if you want to be happy: finding a cause that resonates with you emotionally and getting educated on its mission. Service is also key to happiness.
  30. Think about what you can give instead of only thinking about what you can receive in order to make a positive difference.

I hope the advice I’ve given doesn’t just let you know that it’s okay not to have all the answers but also inspires a real sense of involvement in your life so that you can take initiative and create dedicated meaning. Living is for creating, not just existing! And if you want even more free advice, join me for The Quarterlife Upgrade.

Don’t forget to watch Christine Hassler’s Office Hours!

Say hi to Christine on Twitter: @ChristinHassler

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