We change significantly in our 20s

The defining decade of our life

Many of us experience a second growth spurt between the ages of 25 years old to 35 years old.

This is a natural outcome of being in a different environment. The industry; type of work and people we spend time with shapes us significantly.

For example:

🌏 One who works in a more global work environment would turn out differently from one who mostly works with other locals.

🌏 One who comes from a deal making role i.e. a closing role in sales; investments; entrepreneur etc, will develop different characteristics from someone in partnerships; marketing or customer service.

🌏 One who works in a high growth competitive environment, would be shaped differently from another who comes from a slower paced one.

The difference in environment also means you meet different type of peers and romantic partners.

This changes so many things including: How you spend your free time; the type of content you consume; the way you carry yourself; financial acumen; fitness habits and your benchmark for what success looks like.

Given that we all change so significantly in our 20s to early 30s, that is probably why it is sometimes hard to form deeper connections with new people outside of our social circle when we are older.

In my own experience, when I look at those who are closest to me in my own social circle and even the people I dated, most were in finance or tech.

In fact, my bestfriend does the exact same job as I do, just in a different company.

20 世代是个转捩点,一个大重整的机会。这段期间经历的所有事情,将会大大影响我们未来的成年生活

The idea above reminds me of what I’ve learned from Meg Jay. I came across an article where she was sharing Why 30 is not the new 20.

She wrote a book called The Defining Decade and also expressed the points in her Ted Talk which I am sharing here.

💡 Question for you: If our 20s - early 30s matter so much for one’s growth trajectory, what will you do differently today?

The value of social graces

One quality I find it hard to tolerate is poor social graces.

To me, it is a sign that someone lacks consideration and respect towards others.

Examples include being late by > 15 minutes often; cancelling last minute on plans; not dressing properly and checking notifications multiple times when we are having a meal.

In contrast, I feel impressed by people who have good manners.

Ultimately, this stems from my belief that 礼仪为本 (It is basic human virtue to have manners).

Good manners is a clear signal someone notices and cares about others, not just themselves.

Some basic examples include:

  • Dressing well and suited for the occasion

  • Keeping chairs or helping to clean up after an event is over

  • Wiping gym machine and putting weights back after using it

  • Helping to take food for others and top up tea when eating together

  • Arranging one’s cutlery correctly after eating

  • When being brought to an event as a plus one, carry your own; socialize and conduct yourself with confidence and grace

The lack of social graces is basically showing the world that you do not respect others and yourself.

It is also showing lack of respect to your parents. People will look at you and think “How did your parents even bring you up?” ( 我们代表父母的传承)

Great manners and taking pride in how you look goes a long way when it comes to improving your luck surface area.

If this is something you’d like to be excellent at, follow these pages to learn from some of the best: Fabio Attansio | Sofia Marbella

The Importance of a Global Mindset

My friend Rui Ming recently shared a post which resonated strongly with me.

I have been bullish about Southeast Asia since 2015 after reading The ASEAN Miracle by Kishore.

Southeast Asia is China ten years ago, but the pace of growth is going faster.

Yet, when I speak to many locals, they simply dismiss it. They do not understand the tremendous potential of this region.

Ruiming’s post is a good reminder that everything is much bigger than where we are:

“Some of us become arrogant, especially towards countries they deem to be less developed than us.

We become blind to the huge strides our neighbours have made, while fixated on our ‘first-world problems’

If history is our guide, looking inward is mostly a bad idea. After 200 years of isolation, Japan found itself outmatched by American gunships in the 19th century. In ancient China, the Ming dynasty’s isolationist policies contributed to stagnation in economy, ideas and technology.

I argue that Singapore — a tiny nation that’s no larger than many capital cities — cannot afford to show even symptoms of looking inward.

That’s why if you have the capacity, I strongly encourage making a concerted effort to look beyond Singapore for opportunities and networks. I’ve met so many amazing people and gained so much perspective by doing so.”

Recommendation: Book by The Woke Salaryman

On that note, Ruiming and Wei Choon are publishing a book titled Crash Course on Capitalism and Money: Lessons from the World's Most Expensive City.

This book acknowledges the frustrations many young people feel as they enter the world of money, and it shows you how to develop the mindset necessary to thrive for the rest of your life.

For young people just beginning their personal finance journeys, as well as anyone who wants to make better financial and life choices while navigating the rules of capitalism and wealth, this is going to be a good read.

I personally feel this will be a great gift to anyone who just entered the workforce < 5 years

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I am a millennial content creator who writes about work; money; health and relationships.

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