The #1 Life Mistake That 20 Somethings Repeatedly Make

by Alexander Heyne · 21 comments


You’re probably making the most common life mistake that 20 somethings make… without even realizing it. And it’s probably making you miserable.

John, a reader that recently emailed me, told me that his life was pretty good in New York. He had a decent job, cool friends, a happy life, but he just felt like he needed to expand his bubble. He felt like he was withering away, and even though he was in New York city, he felt like he was going to die in the city he was born in – unless he did something.

He wasn’t dating anyone (although he wanted to be), and his friends were kinda complacent – not very ambitious, not very driven to improve themselves, and just existing for the sake of existing.

He wanted an adventure and some serious memories, so he decided to move to San Francisco and start over.

He figured it’d be easy just to push the reset button, get away from all his “stuff” here, and try out his dating life, work life, and personal life all over again. It was time for a change.

He saw himself moving to San Francisco, getting an awesome new job, living in a baller apartment, surrounded by friends that “got him” and a pretty little girlfriend that would be an awesome companion.

… Except when John emailed me, he had already been in San Francisco for a year – and he found himself miserable as hell. Not only did he find himself making the exact same kind of friends he was trying to get away from, his dating life hadn’t changed at all. Big city. Lots of pretty girls. Not one with him. What was up?

The way he described it was that he literally pushed the reset button on the scenery… but all his problems were still there, his old habits, and even his old mindsets – making similar friends that were uninspiring.

By the time John had emailed me he had reached the “what the fuck” point.

“I thought I could start over and be happy.”

As it turns out, it’s not that easy – and sometimes it’s a huge mistake.

The Biggest Mistake…

We (20 somethings) are experts at avoiding hardship and our problems.

For years I fell prey to this sneaky bastard of a mindset: “If shit isn’t working here, I can just move and start over.”

For example, I moved back home after living in China and the first thought in my mind was “Wow, all my new friends suck and are cubicle slaves. Time to move.”

I was literally prepared to move across the world… because my current friends weren’t cutting it. I didn’t even try to meet new people. I didn’t get new hobbies, go out more often, or otherwise do ANYTHING to try and find my tribe. I just wanted to push the reset button.

Just like John, I figured I could just move and all my problems would be fixed – friends, dating, living situation, job.

In reality, it’s not so pretty.

Since then, I’ve received dozens of emails from other people that have moved across the world trying to get away from stuff… only to find themselves more miserable and more isolated than before.

My point here isn’t to say “DON’T DO THIS.”

I regularly recommend people to go take “fuck it” trips to reset life.

I encourage people to go travel for 6 months or a year straight, despite the fact that I bash quitting your job to travel.

I’m totally down for moving across the world, even if there’s nothing there for you.

I encourage all these things under one condition.

The 30 Second Psychological Trick to Fix it

Here’s the million dollar question that you need to ask yourself:

Am I moving away from something… or am I moving towards something?”

In other words, is your move/fuck it trip/long-term travel getting you closer to the life you want, the goals you have, the stuff you find fulfilling, or are you just running away?

There’s a huge difference, and a huge shift in how it’ll make you feel.

If you’re running away, you’re just going to say “whew” for a while – and then “now, what?” You’re going to have the nagging fear following you everywhere that you’re still wasting time. You’re going to know you’re pissing time away.

But if you’re running towards something, every day on the path is one step closer towards what you want. There’s this sort of contentment about life because you’re working on something worthwhile.

Like I said recently, time is not important in the pursuit of “your dream” – whatever that may be. What’s important is that you understand the urgency of not wasting time.

My fear is that if you end up moving away from something – you’re just going to be wasting your time somewhere else, and you’re going to have to start over again.

Are you considering pushing the “reset” button on your life and moving? Before you do…

Filling your life with adventure doesn’t make it worthwhile.

Filling your life with what you want is what makes it worthwhile.

If your life has gone to shit and you’re strongly considering moving far away and starting over – here’s my honest advice for not messing up your life.

Ask yourself if you’re moving towards something important to you , or if you’re just moving away from something.

Chances are, you’ll intuitively know which path to take from there.

Thoughts on this?

— Alex


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