“A life lived cannot be re-lived”, is a popular adage and its truth, still holds. Being 22 in today’s world is challenging since many things compete for your time, energy and emotions. Without wisdom and thought-through plan, it could be wasteful moments. However, many, like Sir Richard Branson built companies and fortune at that age.

There are things I would do differently as a 22-year-old, starting again.

Be Born Again

First, I would seek and receive Christ as my lord and savior. Receiving Christ early helps you to build strong virtues and saves you from many social vices, peer pressure and its negative consequences.

I wouldn’t waste my time partying and drinking at “Gyataamu”( a drinking spot near Berekum main roundabout), “Atomic Night Club”, “Scotch” and likes, but rather committing myself to reading good books that will help me to discover my purpose, energize me to dream big and pursue my vision will be a priority. Readers are leaders. I will build healthy relationships and achieve high academic performance. Find mentors to guide and listen to you in times of need.

Mr. Augustine of the JENARK group of companies motivated me through his life story on how he turned his small drugstore in Dormaa to buy a taxi and later became such an admirable CEO in Berekum. Mr. Ernest Oppong (Haypong) who also started selling tap cassette at the Sekwai Station in Berekum and now a great entrepreneur inspired me greatly at my 22. One of my strategic relationships in my early twenties was Ras Woodman Koda, of Shalom radio. He shaped my dreams and gave me some books that helped me to build my dream. He advised that, I should always learn to say “am grateful” when people do well and I have gone to places with this virtue. What relationships, are you building in your 20s? At this point, let me dedicate this article to Rev. Adomah K. Solomon (Impact Family Chapel-Berekum); a man who taught me the importance of relationship at such age. Why don’t plan a visit to one of the great names in Berekum one day?

Pursue My Passion through voluntarism

Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent. Billy Graham

Our culture and educational world touts a person as less intelligent if he makes mistakes. Many have neglected their passion with the notion that they are not perfect yet are ready to do anything with their talent. Playing it safe and avoiding mistakes seems the best advice for most youth in their early twenties. But remember, there is magic in mistakes and that is the lessons we learn from them. On point, I will advise that, volunteer more, at your schools, church, community to take on projects and do not hide your talent. Now, volunteering alone will not necessarily make you a great person or leader, but if you accept the feedback and correct yourself well, you can grow into greatness. Find mentors to guide and listen to you in times of need.

No Idea is too small and No Dream is too big to Pursue

If I were 22, I would have wished to know that, no idea is too small to make you great in life. No Dream is too big that you cannot achieve it. Strangely, limited minds make us think the opposite. Additionally, I wish I had known that, with diligence and excellence, you can make greatness out of any course you study in college. Emmanuel Owusu Addai and Alloysius Attah; 2014 Echoing Green Global Fellows and the co-founders of Farmerline, a for-profit that builds mobile voice services that provide timely and improved agricultural information access and better communication channels for small-scale farmers and agricultural workers through their mobile phone in any local language. They were not Computer Science Students at the University. Course of study does not matter but attitude.

Kiss Dating Goodbye

Desire to be loved and start a romantic relationship at this age is high, but you are better off if you wait to develop your values and leadership and become responsible. Relationships take time, demands financial commitment, energy and emotion. You will succeed in a relationship if you wait for the right moment and time to start.

Always Be On Point

Again. I would learn to be brief and will always go straight to the point. Brevity signals brilliancy. The more you talk, the less, people would listen. Sir Richard Branson confirms this by summarizing his lifetime purpose in just 5words-“I like to create things”.

Develop your IT Skills

Moreover, it is crucial to use this formative age to develop your competency in ICT and the internet. Richard Branson wishes he had known in his early twenties that the Internet would exist and that it would revolutionize the music industry. That’s what the billionaire founder and CEO of the Virgin Group says in a new LinkedIn post marking college graduation season. Learning more about Microsoft office (Word, Power Point, and Excel) and even website development (basic html, CSS and PHP) will give you competitive leverage for the job market in the future. Besides, many young guys are making money from web development and photo editing (Photoshop). Also be responsible for social media and use it to build and take control of your brand. And that includes how you write (grammar and creativity), your comments, the links you share and tweet and how you dress in pictures you upload, since people judge you in that way.

 Follow your deep conviction

Steve Jobs was a giant in his time.  More than an inventor and an entrepreneur, he revolutionized our culture with beautifully designed music systems (iPods), smartphones (iPhones), and minicomputers (iPads). In his graduation speech at Stanford University in 2005, he said:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

The African Culture normally does not allow youth to challenge thoughts, norms and push through limits to fulfill their dream. Many youth has ceded to relationships, even against their choices in the light of the fear of dishonoring some religious authorities leading them to do so. Disagreement with proven facts is never dishonor. Always learn to express your views and opinions if you have any on a subject and do so confidently when you are given the opportunity to do so. There are people who will make your good ideas, feel inferior and you must always rise to defend your opinion and ignore them. It is beneficial to put your life together in 20s rather than wasting it on partying and drinking. Our 30s can be a success or complete failure, all depends on what we do and learn in our 20s.

Schandorf Adu Bright

C.E.O –GOLDEN MINDS

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