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WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT 20 YEARS
2020.06.28国际青年社区

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that’s counted truly counts.

(不是所有重要的事物都能被衡量,也不是所有能被衡量的都真正重要)

                                                                                                ——Albert Einstein


Since we were young, we have been told:

 you have to study hard and then finish your k-12 education. 

After that, you'll be studying at the university of your choice.

 In four years’ time you'll have started your career,

 you'll working for the top institutions across the globe if you try hard. 

You'll then get married, you then may buy a house. 

In 10 years you'll be 30 and from then on your path, your life will be set.


However, I'm going to tell you why that approach may fall you.

 Please see what celebrities are doing when they are 20 years old.





At the age of 20, Napoleon(拿破仑) was devoted to the French Revolution, 

but he was still an obscure lieutenant colonel in the voluntary legion. 

He didn’t know that he would become emperor in 15 years.



At the age of 20, Watt(瓦特)’s mother had already passed away. 

He had just completed an instrument manufacturing training class and was planning to open a small repair shop. 

Six years later, he would start a steam engine experiment in this small shop.




At the age of 20, Tolstoy(托尔斯泰) was passionate about socializing and gambling, 

and owed a lot of debt. He would complete the literary masterpiece "Anna Karenina" in the next 30 years.




At the age of 20, Picasso(毕加索) ended the days when he often had to burn his paintings to keep warm. 

He found a job which was drawing illustrations in magazines.



At the age of 20, Edison(爱迪生) worked as a telegrapher at Western Union. 

That year, he was fired because he accidentally dropped sulfuric acid onto his boss's table while at work. 

A few months later, he would receive the first patent in his life: the electronic voting counter.




At the age of 20, Disney(迪士尼)'s first company had just failed. 

He joined an advertising company to learn film shooting and animation technology. 

Two years later, he and his brother would set up a company called "Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio".



At the age of 20, Jobs(乔布斯) had just finished his 7-month arduous journey of India and developed games such as 

"Breakout clone" with Wozniak. One year later, they would start a company called Apple.



At the age of 20, Marco Polo(马可波罗) was on his way from Italy to see Kublai;

Marie Curie(玛丽居里) was a tutor to help her sister to study medicine; 

Dickens(狄更斯) missed the interview because of a cold and did not become an actor; 

Bruce Lee(李小龙) has appeared in 15 movies and TV shows; 

Marilyn Monroe(玛丽莲梦露) appeared on the cover of 33 magazines; 

Kurosawa(黑泽明) gave up painting and fell in love with movies.


What are you doing now?





I’m not trying to judge anyone, I just wanna say: Everyone is running their

own race, in their own time. Personally, I don’t believe something like: Do the right thing at right age.

At age 25 Mark Cuban(马克库班) was a bartender in Dallas;


It took to her 32 for J. K. RollinJK罗琳) to be published for Harry Potter after being rejected by 12 publishers; 

Ortega(奥尔特加) launched Zara when he was 39;

Jack Ma(马云) started Alibaba when he was 35;

Morgan Freeman(摩根弗里曼) got his big break at 52;

Steve Carell(史蒂夫卡瑞尔) only got his break after 40 years old;

Virgin was started by Richard Branson(理查德布兰森) at 34.




Getting your degree after 25 is still an achievement. 

Not being married at 30 but still happy is beautiful. Starting a family after 35 is still possible.

Buying a house after 40 is still great.

People around you might seem to go ahead of you, some might seem to be behind you Don’t envy them or mock them.

They are in their time zone, and you are in yours! Life is about waiting for the right moment to act. 

So, relax. You’re not late. You’re not early.

 You are very much on time, and in your time zone destiny set up for you.