How to Thrive in Your Twenties: Gratitude and Know Your Talents

How to thrive in your twenties | Positively SmittenFull disclosure: I have issues.

Just kidding, but not really. We all do. It’s easy to list off a bunch of ways to thrive in your twenties, but the truth is you’re the only one who knows what’s best for you.

This series is written more for myself than for any other reason. I am a normal twenty-something, struggling in certain areas and thriving in others. I know what is right, but I don’t always do it. These suggestions have served me well when I choose to follow them and my hope is they’ll do the same for you.


Today is a miserable, rainy day. I recently returned from a long weekend of traveling where I was reunited with my ex and forced to confront “those” feelings again. My dog had a health scare and almost died this past weekend. I had really greasy Mexican food last night and my stomach hates me for it right now. What I really want to do is sleep the day away and hope I wake up feeling a little bit less sad, confused, and sick.

There will always be excuses for misery available, but I’ve discovered that this type of moment is exactly when I need gratitude the most. It’s when I’m struggling to see the wonderful things in my life that I have to go searching for them.

Marianne Williamson defines a miracle as a shift in perception, which essentially means that if you want to experience a miracle, all you have to do is change your thinking. Gratitude takes me out of my narcissistic, “woe-is-me” state, and reminds me that I am lucky to have an ex that I can still call a good friend, that my dog survived, and that though it hasn’t been too much fun since, last night’s salsa verde, shrimp tacos, and sangria sure did taste delicious.

Know your talents.

Like a lot of other twenty-somethings I know, I’m still trying to figure out a career path for myself. I have no idea where I will end up. I have ideas ranging all over the place but no sense of certainty… yet. I’ve accepted that as a part of life, so long as I keep moving forward, giving my best, and making progress.

However, it’s easy amidst all the uncertainty to forget about the talents and skills you’ve become aware of and accumulated throughout your various internships and jobs. It’s also easy to lose touch with those innate gifts you were born with.

My best friend recently reminded me that there are two ways to approach uncertainty: you can think, “Crap. I’m clueless and completely screwed.” Or, you can think with enthusiasm and excitement that the world is your oyster and the options are limitless. I’m trying my best to stay in the latter frame of mind.

As a reminder to myself, I created a list of all of my talents and various skills. I then asked my closest friends and family members to help me brainstorm some more. At the end of the day, though I still had no clue what my next job would look like, what I was left with was a clearer vision of my strengths, a reminder of what I have to offer, and excitement to put it to use.

How to Thrive in Your Twenties is an ongoing series. You can find previous installments here.


4 responses to “How to Thrive in Your Twenties: Gratitude and Know Your Talents

    • Hi Andrew, thanks for your comment. Remembering to be grateful always helps me and I know everyone who makes a conscious effort of it feels the same. Thanks for sharing!


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