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Morgan Bakies

Summer co-op, LyondellBasell

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If you could give your twenty-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Why?

Hello! I'm an undergraduate student who was truly inspired by Meg Jay's talk, "Why 30 is not the new 20" so I wanted to see what the TED community has to say. I turned twenty in March and I want to make the most of my next decade of life. How did you spend your twenties? Was this the defining of your life? Currently, I see endless opportunities, but I'm scared for the day they will disappear.

So if you're above twenty, what advice do you have for your past self? If you are twenty-something, what do you tell yourself everyday to be the best you can be? And if you're under twenty, what's one thing that you hope your twenty-year-old self will remember about adolescence? Thank you so much and I look forward to seeing what you have to say!

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  • May 29 2013: I am 26 and loving the feeling of standing at the edge of a canyon ready to jump into new versions of my self! Having passed the half way mark of the twenties, here are some thoughts....

    1. Fine tune a strong sense of self awareness. Figure out what makes you tick. What are you good at? What are you not so good at? Focus on your strengths. A mentor once told me to "Find where your gifts fit a need in the world." I love taking personality tests like Meyers Briggs, StrenghtsFinders, True Colors and the Enneagram. They really help you see yourself from the outside in. When you know yourself, it s much easier to see when you are and are not in the right path.

    2. Take lots of time to reflect. It is hard to see where you are going if you don't stop an take the long view every once and a while. Get comfortable with being alone. It is a sign of knowing and loving yourself. Journaling or blogging is a great way to do this. I've gone back and read my journal from when I was 22 and my mind was blown when I realized I had achieved almost everything I wanted in a way I could have never imagined.

    3. Be open to change and the unexpected. Odds are what you expect will happen, won't. Some of the greatest opportunities are something you'd never expect. Get more comfortable with uncertainty - gone are the days when life is planned out for you - middle school to high school. High school to college. Make your own path.

    4. Ask lots of questions and make many friends. You are young and everyone loves the well channelled exuberance of a twenty something who knows they are standing on the edge of the rest of their life. I can not tell you how many times this quality opened up doors for me. Ask for advice. People love to share their knowledge with someone who is genuinely interested - it can take you so far.

    Enjoying the freedom from major responsibilities in your twenties is less about doing whatever you want and more about having room to discover yourself!
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      May 29 2013: My word! That's beautiful! And you are only 26? There is a lot of wisdom there that I would not expect in someone so young. Your comments are truly beautiful.

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