We spend so much of our 20s fixated on the negative.
Why aren’t they promoting me?
Why can’t I find a partner?
Why don’t my TikToks go viral?
It’s understandable. After all, society constantly reminds us that this decade will make or break us. That if we fail to “figure it out” in the next five to 10 years, we’ll never amount to anything.
For most of us, our 20s are and will be a constant struggle. We can’t make up our minds, we make swift career changes, we’re rarely content in our situations.
Our 20s are hard.
But what happens in those periods when we aren’t struggling?
When we’re thriving at work, when we’ve found someone who loves us, when we’re content within our four walls, when we’re proud of our appearances, when we’re not scratching and clawing to make a buck, when we’re surrounded by people who care about us, when we’re mentally strong ... how do we navigate those times?
Because history provides us with an endless number of stories about individuals who climbed to the top, only for them to discover that staying there often is more difficult than the winding journey up the mountain.
One-hit wonders bask in the newfound attention and adoration that accompany a chart-topping single.
Star college athletes lose their identities after transitioning to a mediocre career at the pro level.
Formerly hungry and humble people become greedy and arrogant.
But honestly, can we blame them?
Therapists, life coaches and financial advisers guide us through tough times, but who helps us persevere through the landmines of success?
How do we prevent money from going to our heads?
How do we deal with old “friends” who suddenly re-enter our lives?
How do we remain humble when we’ve achieved our dreams?
How do we resist the nagging temptations for more?
As we continue to turn our individual dreams into realities, we have to consider these questions. We must ensure we remain the same people, that we don’t forget those who’ve supported us along the way, that we abide by the same moral codes that shaped our success.
It’s not easy. Success gets the best of so many people.
Is it possible that navigating success is more difficult than navigating struggles?
I’m still scratching and clawing to the top, so I don’t have an answer yet.
But I’m eager to find out.