You gotta keep your wits about you because there are all kinds of traps you can fall into in life.

And a lot of them are bad. And depressing. And painful.

And today we’re going to hear from folks on AskReddit about how they feel about this.

Take a look.

1. Pressured.

“Feeling pressured to have children because they’re sold the fantasy that motherhood is beautiful and relationships improve after children.

The amount of people I’ve watched whose lives have fallen apart after having children to bring fulfillment to their lives, fix their relationships or just because “they’re getting older” and it’s what “life is about” is insane.

Children are expensive, huge financial and time drains and are not for everyone. People who have kids for the wrong reasons end up disappointed and the kids suffer. This is especially bad in the South.”

2. A big trap.

“The whole “keeping up” thing leads to a monster trap: debt. I know folks on the verge of retirement, who have mortgaged themselves twice over.

Who bought into the real estate agents’ “you can afford more house than that” spiel. Who installed the backyard pool and patio, and bought the pair of Lexus SUVs along with a brand new $60K pickup truck for their high school kid.

To arrive at your last stop on the career train, and own almost nothing and therefore be staring into an abyss, has to be horrendous.”

3. Imaginary race.

“Thinking that you need to be at a certain point at a certain age in your life.

As long as you have a goal and you are working towards it, you are fine.

Don’t fall into stress over an imaginary race.”

4. Wasting time.

“The sunken time fallacy.

We tend to stick with things, like relationships and jobs, long after we should have given up on them, because we have put so much time, into them.

We feel like we have wasted time, so we continue to waste time.”

5. Be careful.

“Overextending yourself on a mortgage.

Real estate is such a volatile market and before you know it you owe more than your house is worth.

The “American Dream” can quickly turn into the American Nightmare.”

6. Learn how to finish.

“Thinking that potential is in any way important.

You don’t get points for half-finished projects, and ideas are cheap. Things you have the potential to do are meaningless unless and until you actually do them, and until you actually do them you don’t get to brag.

The guy sitting in Starbucks on his Macbook, writing the same opening ten pages of his novel over and over again without ever making it to page eleven is kidding himself.

Don’t be that guy. Actually finish things, then either move onto the next project or try and edit the last one to make it better.”

7. Boring can be good.

“Thinking a unique life is essential to happiness.

Finding joy in the ordinary without thinking you’re too cool for all the “boring” things like family, pets, books, meditation, faith, community, cooking, taking care of a home, gardening, working hard, etc.

Learning to “bloom where you’re planted” and enjoy the stuff of life can unlock so much happiness and satisfaction, and is so much more attainable than, say, becoming an award-winning film director, if I can borrow from my own teenage life dream (long since abandoned, no regrets).”

8. Definitely not for everyone.


I’m a proponent of higher ed, but it’s not for everybody.

I’m even thinking it would be better for some to learn a skill/trade or a junior college level discipline then reevaluate if they need further education, especially for those that aren’t very certain about their career path.”

9. Ouch.

“That you have to have a big wedding ceremony with a giant dress, tons of expensive food, flowers, photographer, catering, etc.

All of that is nice and all but maybe I’d like to get married to the person I love without putting myself in 50k of debt.”

10. You have the power.

“That you can get ahead by working harder than the guy next to you. All that gets you is worn out and spending more time at work and less time with your friends and family, which is where you want to be.

Stop putting up with that nonsense. If your workday is 8-4, get there at 7:59am and leave at exactly 4pm. If your boss sends you an email or a text after working hours, ignore it. Whatever problem he’s having will still be there tomorrow morning, and if it’s not, then it’s his fault for not managing his workforce correctly, not yours.

They pay you for 40, so work your 40 and GTFO. If it’s a problem for them, too f**king bad. If their business model is built on the concept that they will exploit their workforce, then it’s not a business model, it’s fraud and a scam.

And don’t be an idiot. Keep your resume up to date and watch for new opportunities. All of the job sites will send you job openings automatically, so keep tabs on them and your industry. You’re not irreplicable, and your company is only one of millions. Don’ be afraid to cut ties and go somewhere new if they’re too obnoxious.

The power is in your hands, not theirs. The job you have isn’t the only one in the world. They will survive without you, and you will survive without them. And if they can’t survive without you, tough shit. Sounds like a them problem, not a you problem.”

11. Let this one sink in.

“Having kids before you’re financially ready.

Finish your schooling and find a job you can live with for a while, then have kids.”

12. Inertia.

“Relationship inertia, especially when you’re in your 20s, really can extend relationships that should really only have lasted months and then stretch them into years.

It’s not necessarily for bad reasons either. A lot of us understand that all relationships have ups and down and moreover, we have a value system of being committed to “making a relationship work.”

That’s all well and good when a relationship has the right foundation to be great so long as two people are willing to put the work in but the problem is that, when you’re younger and inexperienced, you don’t know how to tell good vs. bad foundations from one another.

I’m not talking about huge red flags like abuse, infidelity, overall mistrust or fundamentally different value systems. I’m talking about a relationship that is functionally “fine” but ultimately isn’t the right fit for many smaller reasons. So many of us stay in those “this is ok” relationships because we don’t know better or we feel like “maybe it will get better” only to realize, in hindsight, “yeah, this wasn’t a great fit and never could be.”

As someone who’s been in an incredibly fulfilling relationship for 20 years now, it’s easy to spot all these things in hindsight but it’s incredibly hard to have the presence of mind to see them in the moment unless all those small issues begin to build into a greater ball of unhappiness.”

Now it’s your turn.

Tell us what you think about this in the comments.

Thanks in advance!