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6 Reasons Why It’s Okay To Not Have Your Life All Planned Out In Your 20s

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

by Fatin Hafizah. |


One of the most nerve-wracking questions when you are in your 20s is, what is your five-year plan? All of a sudden you are expected to have everything planned down to the most minute detail without even knowing what is out there. This type of question is always overwhelming and if you are in your 20s and are constantly bombarded by this question, I am here to assure you that it is okay to not have a life plan. In fact, sometimes, it is better to not have a life plan, and here are five reasons why.


1. Life is not only about checking things off from a list

As much as I love making a list, making a list for my own life is not something I would recommend to anyone. One thing I noticed about making lists is that you will constantly be “living” in the future, which in return, will hinder you from living in the present. As good as it feels to tick things off from your list and cross them out, it will also make you miss out on some amazing opportunities. Other than that, it might also rush you into doing things you are not ready for. It helps to remind yourself that things happen according to its own time and no matter how fast you’re going or how hard you force yourself if it’s not going your way, there is a reason to it.


2. You can’t predict the future

Another simple reason why it’s okay not to have a life plan is that you can’t predict the future. Nobody knows what is going to happen five years from now nor does anyone know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Things are constantly changing and what works five years ago may not work today. Being too engulfed in your plan will make you less flexible to adapt to new situations. The world is constantly changing and there’s no reason you should be stuck with only one plan because, in truth, nobody knows what is going to happen. What worked five years ago may not work anymore now. This can be seen through new job opportunities that exist today such as SEO specialists, social media managers, app developers, and so on. This just goes to prove that you will never truly know what your future holds.


3. Change is the only constant and that’s okay

As mentioned in point number two, the world is ever-evolving and that is okay. You are ever-changing too. You are not the person you were a year ago. The things you see, learn and consume, more often than not, will change the way you think and who you are as a person. So why put the burden of sticking to the same plan when it comes to something as important as your life? Another plan may come up and who knows, it may lead to greater outcomes. By embracing changes, you will not only be more flexible, but you will also allow yourself to grow and explore more options. Sometimes, the plan you have crafted for yourself may lead to a different path and that is okay. There is still a path to be followed if you choose to embrace the change. Here is a Ted Talk by Emily Simoness if you need that extra boost of encouragement that everything will be okay; even when things do not go according to your plan.


4. You have more time to experiment with different things

If I could turn back time and meet myself five years ago, I would tell her that there are so many things to be tried in this life and everything is available for her on the other side of fear. But hey, it is never too late to try something new, so I urge you to have the courage and take the time to determine your passion. While you still have your youth and energy, today is the perfect time to try new things. Aside from allowing yourself to learn something new, this journey will also help you in discovering who you are as a person as well as shaping your identity. So, give yourself the benefit of a doubt and the chance to try new things. You will never know where your true passion lies.


5. You are still figuring yourself out

As cliché as it sounds, shaping who you are as a person is a constant life lesson. Some may discover themselves at the tender age of 21, some may get their epiphany at the mature age of 50. Nobody knows and that is the beauty of life. The journey to creating yourself is yours alone. It’s okay if you mess up. Everybody messes up, we just don’t post our failures online. Instead of chasing your goals, the 20s is the prime age for you to build up your character and shape your behaviour. As mentioned by Reggie Rivers, a motivational speaker in his Ted Talk, “If you focus on your goal, you’ll never achieve it. You have to focus on your behaviours. Behaviours are things that are in your control solely.” So, control your behaviour and your goals will follow.


6. There is more to life

Most importantly, there is so much more to life than our plans and career goals. If you are feeling the pressure of letting your career define who you are as a person, I hope you can find it in you to stop. Just like this article written by the late Toni Morrison, the job you hold does not define who you are. You are much more than the work you do. A job whether you enjoy what you’re doing or not, shouldn’t be a determinator of who you are as a human being. It’s work and you may take a lot of different roles throughout your life so don’t cuff yourself to one specific title.


If you need one more reminder of how there is much more to life than your goals and plans, listen to this Ted Talk by BJ Miller, a practising hospice and palliative medicine physician. Last but not least, I hope you know that through this article, by no means am I telling you to forego all your plans. It is okay to have a plan but while you’re in the midst of it all, don’t forget to give yourself a few surprises along the way.


You can find out more about the author on Instagram.


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