Although I look back on my twenties with rose-colored glasses, the truth is that it was a really tough decade for me.
Lots of uncertainty, not knowing where I was headed, and in a constant state of anxiety about what was coming next.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of great times and made lifelong friends, but it was a very unpredictable time for me and I definitely made my share of mistakes. But, I supposed that most people do at that age.
Do you wish you would’ve gotten some tips from older folks when you were in your twenties?
Here is some good life advice from folks on AskReddit.
1. I like this one.
“Don’t fall for the trap that your life needs to be one long narrative that you should be building. Life is best when it’s a bunch of happy moments that just happen to be connected.
Don’t try to make your life into a novel, make it a book of poems.”
2. It’s never too late.
“It’s never too late to start again.
All in my 20’s I thought I couldn’t just restart my career or dump a useless boyfriend or go back to school because I was already on a certain trajectory. Made my choices now I gotta make the best of it. That’s total bullshit. You have no idea how incredibly young you are and how much time you have to do whatever you want to do.
When I figured this out, I found the man of my dreams, had a kid in my late late 30’s, dropped my entire career in my late 40’s and starting a new one at 50 and it’s awesome.
And if you are sad or upset or frustrated with life that’s ok too. You have time and it will pass. You have no idea what comes next and you have so much time to explore! I am still figuring things out….”
3. Take some chances.
“When I was in college, I had the chance to go to Europe but I passed because I had to work at a warehouse. I picked staying at a part time warehouse job over seeing the world.
When I finally went abroad in my 30s, it changed my perspective about everything and everyone. Go to another country that is far away and different than your own.”
4. Go get it!
“I’m 46, and here’s what I know:
Money is important but it’s not the end all be all. It will not listen to your problems or hug you when you need it
Watch your weight, your blood pressure, and do not smoke. 75% of my patients that have the most serious diagnoses have at least one of these factors.
Comparison will rob you of joy. Be happy for others, but don’t feel you need to be like them.
Let go of the little things. Stress will kill you
Chase your dreams! Life goes by SO fast. You don’t want to be 80 yrs old and regretting not traveling, pursuing your passion, etc.
You cannot change someone. Whether a friend or a partner, their faults will not “get better” and you cannot rescue them. Don’t waste your life on toxic people.
Make a point of performing kind acts for others. It will greatly enrich your life.
Now… go get your life!!!”
“Relax and don’t get overly angry
While others talk about material things or experiences the real lesson is to accept that things won’t always go the way you want them to and that’s ok.
Didn’t marry your perfect spouse? That person doesn’t exist – align expectations to reality and appreciate those who love you for who they are. Or find new people
Didn’t buy the perfect car? Oh, well, it still gets you where youre going. Define your criteria for the next one and work towards it
Didn’t get the perfect house? Probably not. But it’s yours and you can fix it
Didn’t get that promotion? Don’t be so sure it would have worked out the way you think it would have.
Vacation wasn’t perfect? Are you sure about that, or were your expectations too high?
Point is, relax, enjoy the ride, work to your goals but remember none of it matters if you can’t enjoy it along the way.”
6. My parents always said this.
“Take care of your teeth. This is the only set you’re ever going to have and you don’t want to neglect them and mess them up like I did. I’ve got crap tons of fillings which don’t last forever and need replacement.
A filling isn’t as good as the real thing and filled teeth can break, requiring crowns. I have two and it sucks.
Brush and floss thoroughly every single day without exception. Hell, get an electric toothbrush. See the dentist regularly. Ditch the sugary drinks.”
7. You can turn it around.
“I was a raging alcoholic in my twenties and thought I would never recover from it. I never found a real job using my first degree or my masters. Part of it was because I was always drunk, part of it was the job market at the time.
I went back to school in my thirties and found something I like a whole lot more. Now, I’m married, nearly ten years sober, and have a great job.
My point is, if you end up on the wrong path or don’t like where you are, there’s always time to turn around and change it. Too many people just assume they’re stuck where they are and stuck with the issues they have.”
8. Don’t compare yourself.
“It’s not a race! Stop comparing yourself to others. Just because they did things sooner than you, doesn’t mean they’re happier or better.
Try to start good habits. It is a little rough at first, but in a few years it will be second nature. Do this with things like cooking, cleaning, saving money and self-care.
It is okay to not like someone. It is also okay to have someone not like you (people are going to not like you for no reason. That is okay. It’s a “them” issue and not a “you” issue). Don’t be an ass to everyone and give them reason to dislike you, but also know that you are under no obligation to put up with someone else’s bad friendship.
There is no shame in seeing a mental health professional.”
9. Words to live by.
“Everything you “get” becomes something you “have”
Learn how to be happy “having” things instead of “getting” them.”
10. Be smart with your money.
“Don’t put yourself in ridiculous amounts of debt trying to portray a certain image. You’ll spend your entire life trying to get out of the hole you dug or you’ll have to declare bankruptcy.
Set aside enough money to cover 3-6 months of expenses for emergencies just like now. Moreover, save now for your retirement years. It doesn’t require much and if you have it taken directly from your paycheck you won’t be inclined to not pay yourself first.
Take care of your body. Exercise to maintain a healthy weight and good cardiovascular health. As you get older, it’s much harder to maintain these.
Enjoy the days of your youth without going overboard. There is nothing wrong with having a good time, yet if you are always waking up wondering what happened last night, why you can’t remember how you spent so much money or you always have a hangover; you should tone it down a bit.
Don’t take advice or criticism as a personal attack. Most times the people who care about you have observed behavior in you which is off putting, doesn’t reflect who you really are or could be or would make you a more rounded person.”
11. Quality of life.
“Get a regular exercise routine going and stick to it like your quality of life depends on it, because it does.”
12. What’s important to you?
“Figure out what is important to you in life. A shocking amount of people never do this. The sooner you do, the better off you will be.
It is important to me to be able to take care of myself and have enough left over to support those I love. If I’m doing that, it is hard to get down, or be worried, or care what other people think of me, etc. I’m still going to pursue my career, and other interests, I just dont have anything emotionally riding on their successes, at least not in relation to my own sense of self worth.
I’m not doing a fun job, or an inspiring job, I’m doing on that pays the most for the least work. For me, that’s okay, because with the excess time, I can spend it with people I love. With the excess money I can help pay for my friends who didnt get to go to college to do it now. I can take time off at a drop of a hat to fly across country and help in a family emergency. etc.
There is the phrase ‘live so God can use you’. I’m not religious, but I do value the idea of setting your life up so when an opportunity to do something that you care about, that matters, arises, you’re in a position to do it.
Figure out what you want for yourself, and what you want for others. It will make planning and achieving it easier.”
13. Take these to heart.
“I’m 40. This is my input.
Everyone is focused on themselves to care too much about their opinion of you. So fuck what they think.
Social media is only an illusion.
Zero debt is an amazing feeling. Think twice before dropping that down payment on that fully loaded 2020 dream mobile that offers nothing but looks and depreciates value quickly.
Falling out of love is perhaps more powerful than falling in love.
Use up ALL of your vacation time / sick time at work.
Don’t lose sight of the hobbies you enjoyed as a child. They will help you live as you grow older.
Family is not necessarily blood, but instead who you would bleed for.
There are just as much benefits to being a night owl as there are to being an early bird.
Forgive yourself first before forgiving others.
Do not be a doormat in submission, but hold the door open in kindness.”
14. Things to think about.
“Here are some points that may or may not be worthy of consideration.
Time is very short, and as you get older it speeds up more and more.
Time is more important than money. In theory, you could end up a billionaire. But nobody is ever a “time billionaire.” Rich or poor, you’re gonna get maybe 100 years at the absolute max, and probably not that much.
There will be several versions of You as you walk your path, but one version that kind of colors all the other versions. This version you could call “the real you.” It pays to spend time figuring out who that real you is.
You will have to deal with people. Learn how to leave them happy to have been in your presence, and you will not lack for friends and loved ones.
Speaking of loved ones: just because someone is a blood relative, it doesn’t mean they’re worth a shit. If your parent, sibling, or child is a complete asshole unworthy of your attention, don’t waste further time on them.
Find something you love to do, and do that. Do it every day. It doesn’t matter if you make money at it, or get recognition because of it. Do it like Henry Darger did his writing and drawing, and like Vivian Maier did her photography. Do good work. It is its own reward.
I am a geezer, 64 years old. It does not have to suck being old. (I think it’s fucking great, for many reasons.)
If you’re ever in my town, drop by and get ON my lawn.”
15. Make good choices.
“Chris Rock said it best:
“Now, people tell you life is short. No, it’s not. Life is loooong. Especially if you make the wrong decisions!”
I think there are a lot of good tips in there, don’t you?
Now we want to hear from the readers out there.
In the comments, please share some life advice that you think younger folks could definitely benefit from.
We’d love to hear your thoughts!