Anyone that has been following my blog knows that I am a huge fan of lifelong learning. If this is the first time you have read my blog, you will understand that after this article. I love to read. I agree wholeheartedly with the quote by famous motivational speaker Charlie “Tremendous” Jones:
You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read
Because of my great fondness of books and the power I believe they have to improve people’s lives, I have decided to start a regular series on this blog entitled “What I Learned From A Book”. I find so much value in the books I read that I feel the need to share those lessons with you as well.
In the first installment of the series I am honored to present a new book by Millennial author Paul Angone entitled 101 Secrets For Your Twenties (affiliate). Paul describes the book like this:
Every twenty-something needs a little black book of secrets. Our 20s are filled with
confusion, crappy jobs, anticipation, disappointment, cubicles, break-ups, transition,
quarter-life crisis, loneliness, post-college what the heck, moderate-success sandwiched
in-between complete failure, and we need a worn, weathered guide stashed somewhere close
to help show us the way. This is that book.
But I actually think this book is so much more than that. Yes, it is a great survival handbook for your twenties, but I believe it can take you well beyond that as well. Many of the 101 Secrets are applicable for any time in your life, and for any generation. Paul may have classified this as a book for your twenties but I assure you anyone can learn valuable lessons from this book. And the best part? The book is actually fun to read. So, without further ado, I would like to share with you what I learned from a book.
Secret #15 – A College Diploma Will Help You Start Your Career, Hard Work Will Give You A Golden Ticket Into DreamJobLand
As I mentioned in my article “Should You Go to College“, you should not expect a college degree to solve all of your career problems. Yes, a college degree is beneficial in most cases, but you still need to put in the work, and the time, required to advance your career. I know many people in their twenties think that a college diploma is some sort of magic bullet but it is not. Even if you feel that you don’t have time for to attend college because you’re supporting yourself with a full-time job, you can attend school online and study a lucrative and high demand field like cyber security. A cyber security degree can pay off in a number of ways. For starters, the internet is not going away any time soon, so you’ll have stable job security. Just remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. You may have to buckle down and work extra hard for a couple years, but it will pay off.
Secret #25 – Your Twenties Will Produce More Failure Than You’ll Choose To Remember. The Key is When You Fail Don’t Begin Calling Yourself a Failure
Have you ever heard the saying “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs”? Well, your twenties are full of broken eggs, but you are really just setting the stage for some awesome thirties. The twenties are such an awesome time in your life. You get to take risks. You get to figure out who you are and how you fit into the “adult” world. You get to try new things. But guess what? Sometimes your risks don’t pan out. Sometimes you try new things and you are terrible at them. And above all, it is pretty hard to figure yourself while also trying to fit into the “adult” world.
It can be pretty hard at times to keep your chin up; to keep moving forward when you keep failing. 101 Secrets For Your Twenties (affiliate) has many sections that discuss this particular phenomenon. As Paul suggests, one of the biggest keys to life in your twenties is to not get down on yourself. Realize that failure in your twenties is a normal occurrence. Realize that your failure does not define you, your ability to pick yourself back up off the ground does.
Secret #34 Sometimes the Most Proactive Thing You Can Do is Un-Plug
The Millennial generation is the most “connected” generation in the history of the world (connected to our devices that is). It is far more common for me to have a conversation with a friend via text than it is to have a conversation with them face-to-face. I probably spend more time staring at a computer screen than I do playing with my daughter. I don’t make excuses for this type of behavior, it is some sort disease. I need to unplug more often. I need to take the time to appreciate the world and the interactions of those close to me. My best guess is that you could benefit from this as well. Just as my blogging buddy Katie unplugged her headphones for a week, I am in the process of making some goals to restrict the use of my ever-present iPhone. Stay tuned for a post dedicated to that topic in the near future, but while your waiting maybe you should make a similar goal as well.
Secret #54 – In the Working World, Very Rarely Is There Someone Waiting There to Teach You How to Do Your Job. They’re Expecting You to Teach Yourself.
I remember my first day on the job like it was yesterday. I arrived at work all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to conquer the world and push my new company to the next level. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. Seriously, I waited for two weeks before I realized that if I wanted my day to be full I had to fill it up myself. I had to read manuals to learn how to use the software needed to do my job. I still have to research topics on my own frequently. As a young professional, most of your coworkers are too busy trying to figure out their own job to help you figure out yours.
These are only a few of the many lessons I learned from 101 Secrets For Your Twenties. It really is a great book, for your twenties and beyond. I learned many other things that I don’t have time to share, and I’m sure you would learn a lot from this book as well.
Paul gave me the opportunity to get an advanced copy of 101 Secrets For Your Twenties, and I am extremely grateful that he did. I probably would have missed this book if he didn’t reach out to me. I don’t want you to miss this book. If you are in your twenties, or you just want to get to know yourself a little better, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy. If you do, please come back and share with me some of the things you learned as well. Additionally, if there are any books that you recommend for me to feature in my “What I Learned From A Book” series, I’d love to hear those as well!