Reflections from my 20's

Joseph Moon
3 min readJan 2, 2021


As I get ready to turn the pages on the second chapter of my life and get ready for my 30's, I wanted to lay out some of my learnings from my 20's. My 20's passed on by so much more quickly than I had imagined, and I suspect that my 30's will be even shorter-lived. I hope these learnings can be helpful to those of you who are fighting your own battles. I hope to reflect back in ten years to see what has changed, and what has not. Some of these learnings are universal, some are idiosyncratic to me. This is also a reminder for myself to be steadfast to my values in a stochastic world.

  • Just get it done. Nothing will ever be perfect.
  • Life is about resource management: time, money, health, relationships.
  • Defining the correct goals is half the battle.
  • Form the right habits early. Health, wealth, and purpose. Focus on improving what you can measure.
  • Believe in compound growth. Money, relationships, reputation.
  • You already have the answers. Give yourself the courage to act on them.
  • Personal growth will necessarily entail discomfort and pain. If you are in pain, that means you are on the right track.
  • All things that matter take a lot more time and effort than you anticipate.
  • Stay true to yourself. Don’t try to become who you are not, because you’ll be miserable. It takes time to understand who you are though.
  • The only things that truly stay with you are the difficult accomplishments that take years or decades to accomplish. Everything else will be forgotten in the end. This also includes long-lasting human relationships that require effort and energy to maintain.
  • Learn how to close doors on opportunities and people. And don’t look back.
  • Don’t let goals define your life. Goals are critical in giving your life purpose, but life is the journey to the goals, not the goals themselves.
  • It’s better to be right about the direction but slow on speed rather than vice versa. Take your time to figure out the direction. Speed will follow.
  • Learn from your mistakes, but don’t try to turn back time, because you can’t.
  • Success is being at the right place at the right time with the right skillsets. But it’s impossible to time the market. Be at the right place with the right skillsets. Time will catch up to you eventually.
  • Know when to walk away. Know when to double down.
  • Don’t be miserable from things that you can’t control. Ultimately, the only thing you can truly control is your reactions to what happens to you. Accept the things that you cannot change.
  • Think about your life as a movie. When in doubt, make the decision that will make for the best story.
  • Be present. Life is short. But being present also takes practice. Practice being present.




Joseph Moon

Data Scientist, Entrepreneur, Investor. Harvard & MIT. @josephmoon_ai