What the young people lack in experience, they often make up in cockiness and recklessness — qualities that, surprisingly enough, give 20-year-olds a competitive edge. The younger we are, the more likely we are to do first and ask questions later.
While this most often works against us, it’s also allowed room for some impressive successes for those who’ve managed to get it right later on in life.
It can be difficult to try and explain why some 20-year-olds manage to make tens or hundreds of millions of dollars while others can’t break a million their entire lives.
We’re taught that experience is the key to success and, with enough dedication, we’ll one day be successful too.
But there’s a special quality to being reckless that being cautious doesn’t allow for. The key is understanding which reckless qualities are useful and how to utilize them best to your advantage.
1. They have an I-can’t-fail attitude.
There’s little in life we can’t conquer once we believe we can. The beauty of youth is it allows us to delude ourselves into believing we’re invincible.
And in many senses, we are. We’re cocky and have plenty of time to get things right — a very handy combination. The beauty of this mentality is it gives us the confidence we need in order to succeed.
This sort of confidence is crucial to success. As we get older and remain unsuccessful, this vigorous attitude fades and withers. You can only believe you can’t fail for so long…
2. They have no issue with failure.
This is the beautiful contradiction that youth allows for: We believe we can’t fail, so when we do fail, it doesn’t deter us from continuing in our pursuits. In our minds, we haven’t failed — our successes just got a bit delayed.
This is another necessary mindset for success. No one really gets it right the first time around — it only sometimes looks that way when we’re standing on the outside looking in.
If you can manage to remain certain of your inevitable success and refuse to accept failure as your final destination, then success will be almost certain.
3. They refuse to sleep and become addicted to caffeine.
We do silly things when we’re younger, like pull all-nighters and get hopped up on coffee and Red Bull.
Because you’re still in your 20s, your body is most likely pretty healthy. When you get older, it becomes nearly impossible to do work with such fervor because our bodies have taken a beating over the years.
But when you’re still in your 20s, you can push yourself closer to your limits with fewer chances of repercussion.
This isn’t to say such behavior is recommended, but it definitely is part of the reason people manage to find themselves on top of the world before they hit 30.
4. They worry about their passions first and make a living second.
The older we get, the more responsibilities we accumulate. Eventually, most of us will have husbands, wives and children. Most of us will have too much riding to risk not being able to pay for food or to risk going bankrupt.
When you’re still in your twenties, you have less to worry about and less on the line. You can screw up and be the only one who ends up paying for it.
This isn’t to say you can’t be a successful entrepreneur and have a family, but having a family of your own makes starting and running a startup very difficult.
5. They play just as hard as they work.
As we get older, most of us tend to hang up our disco pants. We tend to spend more time at home and less time drowning ourselves in liquor. Truth be told; there are benefits to partying your ass off and then working it off the following morning.
Playing hard allows you to blow off steam very quickly. Sure, you’ll almost certainly be hurting the next day, but if anything, it’ll keep you content for even longer.
6. They always believe they’re right.
The older we get, the wiser we usually get, which means we better understand how wrong we’ve been our entire lives. Being able to admit you’re wrong is important to personal growth. When it comes to being successful in a certain area, however, personal growth isn’t usually as important as brute force and lightning fast action.
If you always think you’re right, you never have to question whether or not you are. This is most definitely a bit reckless, but it has its benefits.
7. They don’t worry about consequences.
Of course, entrepreneurs always have to think and worry about consequences. Yet, they have a selective sort of understanding of them. They focus on the positive potential consequences and do their best to forget all the negative ones.
While this can be dangerous, it also allows for great focus and determination. Most people are so worried about the consequences that they never attempt the feat in the first place. Thankfully, this lessens the competition and makes your chances of success higher.
8. They show no interest in relationships.
I believe we should all find that one special person to spend our lives with. But our 20s aren’t a great time to do too much investing in our love lives.
Most of us are far from settled in our personal affairs and would do much better spending our time pursuing other goals.
Of course, finding a partner can make attaining our goals even easier. Most relationships end up failing, however, so chances are the relationship will do more harm than good. When we’re still in our 20s, we’re usually more worried about chasing tail than getting married.
9. They take enormous risks.
With great risk comes great reward — and who’s more likely to take huge risks than 20-year-olds? When you’re younger, you want it all and believe yourself capable of having it all.
While many call this delusional thinking, the fact is some people manage to pull it off. How are you going to call them “crazy” when they’re sitting on a yacht sipping on margaritas? Younger individuals are more likely to take bigger risks, and it often pays off generously.
10. They make impulsive decisions.
I’m not usually one to recommend going with your gut feeling, but sometimes it works to your benefit. At times, there’s no clear right or wrong answer, right or wrong decision.
Sometimes in our lives, we come across a coin flip. At such moments, we need to make a decision, make it fast, and then stick with it withholding all doubt.
For most people, the older they get, the more they tend to worry and over-calculate. When we’re younger, we have more trust in our luck and trust in being able to adjust to whatever circumstances follow.
Sure, this can be a bit reckless, but forcing yourself to adapt makes you a quick adapter — and when it comes to success, it can mean life or death.