Young And Reckless: How Everything Society Says Is Wrong With You Will Make You Successful


In your 20s, getting an earful from your parents, coworkers, professors, whoever, is certainly inevitable. The trick isn’t to ignore them, but to hear them and move forward. Setbacks will break your bones just as easily as any stick or stone.

As long as you, yourself, stay positive, you’ll continue moving forward. Understand, when someone points out your flaws, you can either sit and pout, or grow from the unwarranted criticism.

Here are the 10 flaws you’ve likely been called out on in your 20s, and how those very same flaws may help your success:

You’re Impatient

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A lot of the advice you’ll hear when you’re young contradicts itself. Some days, you’ll be told not to put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Other days, you’ll hear, “Patience is a virtue.” So which is it? Well, I, for one, am not going to sit around and wonder.

Be impatient. I’ve never heard of anyone being penalized for doing something too early; hell, it’s better than being late. Just because you have time doesn’t mean you need to spend it waiting. You’re young; if you jump into something too fast and fall on your face, it’s fine — you have time to recover. That’s the beauty of not waiting.

The bottom line is, everyone’s different. Everyone has different times for ripeness; everyone has different expiration dates. But you’ll never know, for yourself, until you try to reap the harvest on your own time.

You’re Stubborn

If someone tells you “no” 100 times, tell them “yes” 101 times. Of course this policy shouldn’t translate to the bar scene at your local college… but you get what I’m saying. Being stubborn isn’t always a bad thing; in fact, in my mind, it’s a good thing. Without stubbornness, no one would ever learn how to ride a bike, or swim, or do anything that requires “trying again.” If you want to do something, and somebody tells you that you can’t, he or she may be right. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying. In a world in which everyone loves telling others “no,” only the most stubborn will survive.

You’re Conceited

Be conceited. Think you’re the best. Why wouldn’t you? In the working world, your future boss is going to hire the “best person for the job.” You’ll need to think you’re the best, before you can ever expect someone else to. Confidence is one of the most attractive human qualities around, and conceit is nothing more than excessive confidence. Last time I checked, you can never have too much of a good thing. Wake up telling yourself you’re the best, feel the best and do your best. It’s all connected. Don’t just talk about it; be about it.

You’re Ignorant

This may be true, but this also might be the key to your future success. I’m sitting here right now, tapping away at my MacBook, writing this very article before you. If I listened to all those high school teachers who told me, “[You] don’t write the correct way” and routinely threw C’s on my essays, I doubt I’d be here right now. I would’ve given up on writing and, I don’t know, picked up a new hobby.

I was ignorant then, thankfully, and never gave up on the whole writing thing. Be ignorant about your aspirations. Remember the old adage: “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” I’ve never skinned a cat before, but if you’ve got a passion, don’t always listen to the textbook. Being young and ignorant is a beautiful thing. Ignore limitations and focus on your goals.

You’re Too Aggressive

When it really is time for you to pump the breaks, you’ll know. Until then, push the pedal. There’s no such thing as being too aggressive; if anything, others are just too passive. Until you’re fat, rich and have a beautiful woman feeding you grapes (and another one fanning you down), be aggressive.

It’ll only pay dividends at the end of the day, when you rest your keppe. Don’t be afraid that your aggression is too “obnoxious.” If the people you’re doing business with can’t handle your aggression, look for someone who embraces it. There’s nothing worse than surrounding yourself with people who don’t motivate you to go above and beyond.

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