20 Somethings: Being Grounded While Gaining Ground

By July 10, 2013Inspiration

Being a 20 Something is an exciting, uncertain, and growth-oriented time. Although my twenties are well past, I remember them well. I thought I could accomplish so much in less than ten years. No different, really, for Millennials today. Age-related time supersedes generational time in some ways.

20-Somethings: 101 Secrets

20 Something AdviceAfter reading 101 Secrets for Your Twenties by Paul Angone, I found it refreshing and relevant. It is geared to 20-Somethings yet it contains solid reminders for anyone at any age.

Balance is discussed a lot. 101 Secrets takes balance to a better place. Paul strikes a balance between being grounded while gaining ground in life, career, and family. In our twenties, it is very easy to get out of balance, getting caught up with shiny objects or quick hits of success. The twenties set the foundation for the following 20 years, so it is vital to get it as right as you can.

Paul delivers key insights in short bursts, which add up to 101 secrets to navigating your twenties with some sanity and happiness – in the short run and long haul.

Some Secrets Exposed

Highlighted below are just a few points that popped for me, along with a reinforcing quote from Paul:

  • Don’t stand in mediocrity. Add your color. “The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to be great.”
  • Don’t compare yourself. Write your own story. “Don’t cram YOUR PLOTLINE into someone else’s story.”
  • Faith isn’t always pristine. Faith is real. “Faith is walking as you are. It is being stripped down to your own bare essentials and simply saying here I am.”
  • Insecurities won’t disappear. Work through them. “Insecurities don’t just disappear with age. No – they become more pronounced and ingrained. We must actively face those insecurities and work at removing the root, or the weeds will just keep growing back.”
  • Don’t sulk in frustration. Figure it out. “Sit there. Take a breath. And allow yourself to be frustrated. Then figure out what the frustration is saying. Listen to its voice.”

These points deliver some of the insightful punches from Paul. And that is one of the keys to the book. It isn’t preachy. Points are made and then give you room to think (and laugh a little).

As mentioned earlier, the book gives you balance – keeping you grounded while gaining ground. It may be your friend when you feel all alone, and it may be your conscience when you are surrounded by ego. In your twenties, it is essential to strike this balance. Paul delivers a delightful, poignant perspective all the way through.

Embrace Your Twenties…. Always

Choose your decade, and 101 Secrets will strike a chord. At well over 20, I took some of the points to heart. For my sons who are moving closer to their twenties, this will be a book I plan to pass on.

No matter your age, hold onto the spirit of your twenties while not getting stuck or caught up in them.

Note: Check out Paul Angone’s blog – All Groan Up as well as his book – 101 Secrets for Your Twenties.

What key lessons are you learning in your twenties? What insights have you gained from your twenties?



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book mentioned above for free as part of the book launch. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use or have read and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and highlighted as one of the Leaders to Watch in 2015 by the American Management Association. He also is the author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. Jon serves as vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Outside of his professional life, Jon brings together a community to inspire Millennial leaders and close the gap between two generations of leaders.
Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz

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Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Kelly Silay says:

    I love the idea of being grounded and finding balance in your 20s. It is definitely an era of many changes. But while all these amazing things are happening, I think it is important not to become distracted by the signs on the side of the road and then forget to look at the road in front of you. I often hear older generations say that the best times in their lives were in their 20s with a feeling that this was the time in their lives that they “peaked” so to speak. While a lively decade, its not our only one and this was a great reminder of that! It is a great idea to balance the innovative optimism of this era with a sense of direction, purpose, and humility.

  • […] faith in their capability that propels them forward in love? I read this interesting insight: “Faith is walking as you are. It is being stripped down to your own bare essentials and simply say… Complementarity is when a leader has a healthy perspective of life and work. As Lolly Daskal [LINK] […]

  • I am incredibly honored by this amazing review. Thank you Jon!

  • Hiten Vyas says:

    Hi Jon,

    This sounds like a wonderful book and I’m tempted to grab a copy.

    The first point from the book you shared in the secrets section of your post really struck a chord with me. By the age of 23 I had missed out on so much of life because of problems with stuttering. I decided at that time that I would not continue to settle for a mediocre life and decided to work on my fears and create the life I always wanted.

    Thank you.

    • Jon M says:

      It is a fun, practical read, Hiten. I enjoyed it. Your story is so important as it shows how to grab ahold, no matter what, and life a full, meaningful life. Thanks for your inspiration to all! Jon

  • Alli Polin says:

    Embrace your 20’s – Always. Jon, I feel so much wisdom in that! I just wrote about returning to my college campus but more than that reconnecting with myself and who I was in my 20’s and the truths that I’ve let go (and am ready to reclaim!). Love the secrets that you shared from Paul’s book. “Don’t cram your plotline into someone else’s story” Brilliant! Also true no matter your age. We are always looking around at what others accomplish, have and do… lots of energy spent on the comparison instead of creation (of our own story.)

    • Jon M says:

      I agree completely! Paul did a solid job in his book, and it is relevant for us who have already passed our twenties. There is a spirit in those years that we need to embrace still. Thanks, Alli!

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