Ten things to know and do in your 20s and 30s

If you're in your 20s and 30s* and want to consider what you're doing with your life, you should start by listening to a talk by Matthew Hosier (and guests) about exactly that topic. It's available here, about half-way down the page and it's called LT06/1 Faithful & Fruitful. The context is a Christian leadership conference but the principles are good for anyone.

Matthew starts by expanding on some advice given by John Maxwell about getting started: ten things you should know and do before you are 40. If you don't think you've got time to listen to the talk (more fool you), here are the ten things, with a few of my own comments:

1. Know yourself.
One of the biggest deals for many young guys is to realise they can’t do anything they want. I really struggled with this a couple of years ago, haunted by a missed penalty.

2. Settle your family life.
After God, nothing is more important.

3. Determine your priorities.
Knowing what matters to you will help you decide what to give your time to.

4. Develop your life philosophy.
Not as wishy-washy as it sounds: it's how you live your life. You already have one, you maybe just don’t realise it.

5. Get physically fit.
I scored a hat-trick at football on Tuesday, just saying.

6. Learn your trade.
In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell claims that you need to spend 10,000 hours on something to become world-class at it, i.e. three hours a day for ten years. Just to be good at something takes ages of discipline and humility too. Thanks for your patience.

7. Pay the price.
Maxwell: “There is no success without sacrifice. If we succeed without sacrifice, it is because someone who went before us paid the price. If you sacrifice and don’t see success, then someone who follows will reap success.”

8. Develop solid relationships.
You need good friends, new and old. I accidentally almost cried during my wedding speech when I thanked my ushers for being such brilliant mates: we’re spread out across the country but still have the ties that bind. Literally, I gave them ties.

9. Prepare for the future.
Don’t worry, just be as ready as you can be. Maxwell says this means having options.

10. Find purpose in your life.
There is one.

So there they are: loads to be getting with, a lifetime still ahead of us.

* Or is it 20's and 30's?