70+ Life Lessons and Advice I Would Teach My Younger Self
Over the last few years I’ve learned many valuable life lessons and would like to share them with you. These tips aren’t really age restricted, I just wish I would’ve know about them earlier. I guess making mistakes and learning from them is the most important lesson in life, right? Well, for those of you out there who don’t want to fall in the same traps, why not learn from the mistakes of others?
You can’t live long enough to make every single mistake in the world yourself.
Telling you that I know everything there is to know about life would be a complete lie. The reality is nobody really knows what we are all doing on this planet. I’m sure people have some good theories, however nobody really knows.
While reading, be sure to keep an open mind. Nothing is perfect. Even this article. You can argue every single point in mentioned till the cows come home. I don’t expect you to agree with everything I wrote, but I hope you’ll learn and apply some of these lessons to your own life. Enjoy!
Become the Best: If there is something that you’re really interested in, don’t just read about it online. Practice your craft and become the best — it’s totally within reach.
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them?” – Aristotle
Don’t Buy Her a Diamond: It’s pretty sad that men and women have been brainwashed into buying diamonds (here comes the hate mail). Do you really need to spend all that cash? How about putting that money towards something else? Prices for these carbon stones have been artificially driven up by cartels who hoard them in order to constrict the supply. This video by College Humor does a good job at explaining this subject with humor.
Don’t Over Plan: Don’t try to focus on planning an elaborate scheme of how you want your life to work out; it will rarely work out how you expect. Roll with the punches.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – Allen Saunders
Read More: Start learning about new things as early as you can. Don’t wait until you’re old and bored. Try to read at least 2-3 hours a day. Pick up a book you find interesting and dive in.
I used to hate reading, I just never saw the point (facepalm). Instead of learning new things I watched mindless television programs. I was an idiot. Don’t be like me. Here’s an incredible quote to get you motivated:
“There have been gazillions of people who have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you could have–with your parents, with school, with a bully. There’s no new problem that someone hasn’t already had and written about it in a book.” – Will Smith
It’s Never Too late: It’s never too late to fall in love, have kids, get married, travel the world, start a business, find you passion, etc. unless you’re literally on your death-bed.
Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should: This one is pretty self explanatory, but can be applied to almost every decision in your life.
Get Out: Go do things. Take a road trip, go hiking, experience skydiving, meet new people, go somewhere you never thought that you would go. You won’t regret doing it. Collect moments, not things.
Avoid Nude Photos: Don’t ever let anyone take photos or videos of you nude unless you’re trying to leak it to become famous and get a tv show. Your current lover can be your ex tomorrow, so be smart about it.
Don’t Date until You’re 20: Seriously, it’s rarely worth the effort, and you have all the time in the world to find your soul mate. Spend some time learning who you are first.
Don’t Worry About Grades: Make sure you’re actually learning the materials, not just passing exams. Your employer couldn’t care less what your GPA was. They want to see experience, sharp thinking skills, work ethic, and mostly results.
Be Nice: You’ll meet a ton of great people throughout your life who will teach you incredible lessons, but they won’t want anything to do with you if you’re mean.
Write a Lot: Get your voice out there, and try to be known in some circles; people will know you’re a pro at whatever you want to accomplish.
Be Honest: If you’re used to lying your way in and out of things, don’t bother. All it does is cause problems, and it’s going to catch up with you sooner or later.
Embrace Simplicity and Minimalism: Ask this question before you act on anything: “Is this going to complicate my life?” If yes, don’t do it. In no, then go for it. You should focus on deleting clutter from your life.
Be Open: You don’t need to tell everyone your life story, but it’s not going to hurt you to be open with people who ask you questions.
Keep In Touch: Don’t forget that friend you’ve had since kindergarten just because you’re in college now; don’t lose contact with the people who have always been there.
Find a Charity: Choose to donate your money to a cause that is local, make a local impact in your community, and do some good for those around you.
Not Everything is Perfect: At times, even your dream job will be terrible. You’ll fight with your spouse, and there will be problems in life; just accept them and try to do your best.
Don’t Waste Time: Television will not help you accomplish anything; don’t spend too much time doing things that don’t get you anywhere.
“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” – Anthony G. Oettinger
Know that Experience is Greater than Money: Don’t worry so much about being rich while you’re young. You’re supposed to be broke and roam around for a while. Go learn something.
Be Passionate: Make sure you find something to be passionate about while you’re young.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” - Harriet Tubman
Make Friends: These are people who will give you more experience than anything else can. Later on they can become business connections, or a good shoulder to cry on.
Always Have a Goal: While you shouldn’t plan out your whole life, have a dream that you want to follow. If it changes, make sure you have something new to aim for.
Take Part in a Discussion: Start talking to as many people as possible. You want to get to know names and ideas that are connected to those names.
Look Up to Someone: Find someone who has done well, and follow their path; get to know what they’ve done. Set your own standards, but admire someone who inspires you.
Understand Your Parents Were Worse Off: Their goal was to make your life easier, and they probably did. Take some lessons from them, listen when they talk. You don’t necessarily have to take their advice, but be sure to listen.
Take Your Body For What it is: No one is perfect, and the sooner you understand you will never be perfect, the better off you’ll be.
Family Matters: Don’t take your family for granted since they are all there to support you, in most cases. Your family can be a great tool.
Don’t Look for Sympathy: Some people can’t wait for a reason to judge you; never look for sympathy from people. You can share your problem, but if you can solve it, you probably should.
Rely on No One: While it’s great to have supportive friends and family, when it comes down to where your success is coming from, that’s all on you. Focus on doing your best.
Make Choices: They don’t always have to be the right ones, but make choices, and never settle for less than you think you deserve.
Don’t Pick a Vice: The occasional drink is usually okay, but don’t start compulsively drinking, gambling, smoking, doing drugs, and sleeping around. Each of these things WILL catch up to you. Life is all about maintaining a balance.
People are People: That’s right, your college professors and your boss, whom you might hate, are all people. Think about them this way and you’ll have better relationships.
Care Less: It’s important to love people, but don’t put everything into your relationships since this can cause you to become obsessive, and lose a lot in the end.
Getting Rich is Hard: That does not mean it’s impossible. It just means you’ll have to work hard to be wealthy. We’ve all dreamed about it, but you need to act.
Don’t Doubt: If you start to doubt your abilities, you won’t end up getting very far with anything that you’re looking to accomplish. Try to focus on what you CAN do.
Some People Don’t Like You: Hard to imagine, right? There are some people you just can’t please, no matter what you do. Don’t focus on these people. Let them be.
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby
Someone Has Been Through It: Think about the worst moment in your life, someone has been there and someone else will be there, and they got through it. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Your life is in your own hands, do something about it.
Don’t Blindly Follow Anyone: Don’t spend time putting your energy toward causes you don’t understand or care to understand. Make your own path.
Don’t Hide Things From Your Spouse: You’re both on the same team, and that’s so important to remember. Come clean, move on, and work together.
Save Some Money: It’s always a good thing to have some money ready to go.
The Grass is Never Greener: Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s very true. Never think about how much better things could be.
Take Some Time: Be thankful for whatever it is that you DO have, and never focus on what you don’t have. Sometimes you just need to remember that you’re better off than someone.
No One is Staring at You: People are overly concerned about themselves, and they don’t care if you’re not looking your best; people care about themselves more than anything.
There is No Right Time: This is usually said about having children, but in reality, there is no better time than right now to start doing whatever it is you’re looking forward to.
People Love Humor: Try to find ways to make people laugh when you’re talking to them; it will win over their hearts.
Spoil Yourself: Don’t be afraid to spend your resources on things that are important to you. Get extra sleep, buy nice things, and do something special that is just for you.
Time is the most valuable commodity: No matter how much money you have, you can never buy back time.
Learn to Apologize: Yes, even if you’re not wrong. Swallow your pride and do it. It will make your life much easier. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. Simply ask your self, “Will this matter in 3 or 5 years from now?” If the answer is no, then don’t stress about it.
Don’t Count Days: Some people are so excited to turn 18, 21, 25, 40, etc. but there is no point in it. It’s just another year, and now you’re just older. There is nothing wrong with celebrating something, but why do you need somebody else to tell you what to celebrate?
You have the power to turn any day into a celebration. Too many people fall for fabricated holidays like Valentine’s Day. Why not send your wife or girlfriend flowers on a random Tuesday? Surprise her.
Branding Sucks: Don’t let big companies tell you what you need. If you don’t know how advertising works, you’ll be constantly tricked into buying things you don’t really need. I would highly suggest you read about Edward Bernays and Sigmund Freud. If you like being manipulated, then by all means, please ignore this advice.
Don’t Drink and Drive: It’s irresponsible, dangerous, and incredibly expensive.
Take Pictures: Someday, when you’re eighty, you’re going to be happy you took them.
Don’t Worry if You Mess Up: Everyone makes mistakes, don’t allow yours to get the best of you. Learn your lesson and move on.
Life is Not Fair: Some people will just have it better than you for no reason at all. Other really good people may have terrible lives. Try not to get caught up in fairness. It’s not like we get to select our parents, personalities, and appearance before we’re born. On a second thought, maybe we do. Maybe this is just a huge simulation. There’s some food for thought…
Keep a House Key Someplace Safe: Locking yourself out is no fun at all, and unlock fees are insane. Keep one near your front door, but don’t make it too obvious.
Never Talk to the Cops if You Don’t Need to: Any lawyer will advise against it. If a Peace Officer asks you questions you don’t wish to answer, simply say, “I plead the fifth.” This is a reference to the Firth amendment.
Learn Another Language: It will be more useful than you think. You’ll be able to work around the world, be more respected, and listen in on secret conversations.
Say No: Understand that you don’t need to do everything your boss, family, friends, or partner asks of you. This can apply to other things too, but you can always say no.
Travel More: Today we have access to cars, airplanes, trains, buses, boats, etc. 300 years ago people didn’t really have the opportunities you have today. You can fly to China, Brazil, Australia, or any other country for a week and then come home. That entire idea alone is completely mind-blowing if you stop and think about it.
Stand up for Yourself: Don’t ever let somebody walk all over you. You can only be nice to a certain point. If somebody does something mean, evil, or immoral to you, say something.
Just Do It: You can read as many productivity books as you please, however at some point and time you need to actually start doing the stuff you wish to do. Here’s a simple tip. Before you do something simply count to 3, 5, or 7. As soon as you finish, do whatever you intended to do. Need to wash the dishes? Need to wash your clothes? Need to schedule an appointment? Simply count to five and just do it. Stop overthinking.
Exercise: Don’t spend time getting out of shape. You don’t know if you’ll ever need to run for your life. So when the zombie apocalypse finally hits, you’ll be ready.
Never Get a Credit Card: If you can’t afford something with your debit card, it’s a bad idea. Maybe have a small $500 limit for emergencies, but other than that, forget it.
You are Replaceable: This is so important at work; know that your boss can find someone to take your position. Don’t take your job for granted.
Never Buy Something You Can’t Afford: It’s common sense, but I guess people still fall victim to it.
Never Buy a New Car: Let someone else be the guinea pig. As soon as you drive it off the lot, it depreciates in value. In general, cars are a terrible investment (unless you’re a collector and plan to sell them at a later date). Only buy a car that will get you from point A to point B without any issues. There is a reason why Honda and Toyota are popular. I’ll just leave it at that.
Maintain a Healthy Diet: This is quite controversial, because various companies profit from people eating the wrong food. I know people will disagree with me, but I will give you some easy tips based on my research over the last 5 years. I’m not trying to be arrogant. Feel free to prove me wrong by doing your own research.
Here is something important to remember. Most scientific studies are funded by giant corporations, governments, and sometimes non-profits. Everybody has an agenda, don’t take any scientific study at face value. Research who funded it and how it was carried out.
- Don’t eat grains. If you don’t believe me, do an experiment. Don’t eat grains for 2-3 weeks and then go back to eating them.
- Fat is healthy for you. Eat more fat. Make sure to research different fats. Obviously, don’t eat the bad ones. (It infuriates me that companies push the “low-fat” propaganda.)
- Fat doesn’t make you fat. Carbs and sugar make you fat.
- Remove the three white poisons; sugar, salt, and white flour. You obviously can’t completely remove sugar and salt, but try to watch you intake. Maintain a balance.
- Eating 3 huge meals a day is a myth. The less you eat the longer you will live. Simply listen to your body, it will tell you when it’s full. If you take some time to research this, you’ll see that people who eat less and fast often end up living up to or more than 100 years. Don’t force feed yourself.
- There is a reason why fasting has been practiced for thousands of years. Research about it.
- Avoid processed food. Look up a few Youtube videos about how it’s made, and I promise you will think twice about eating it.
- Walking is better than running.
- Exercise your entire body. Don’t isolate specific muscles. For example, doing bicep curls is unnatural. Find an exercise that works out multiple muscles all at once.
- Buy a high quality kettlebell and look up exercise tutorials online. That kettlebell will outlive you and probably your grandchildren too.
- Don’t waste your money on gyms. You can run, walk, bike, run up the stairs, etc. outside. Unless you have harsh winters where you live, there is no reason to get a gym membership.
- There are no shortcuts to lose weight and become healthy. Like everything it takes time. If you’re truly determined to change your body and your diet you will succeed. (Please don’t fall for those “lose weight fast” commercials.)
- Research what’s in your food. What chemicals are you consuming?
Learn to Let Go: This one is easier said than done. Throughout your life you will cross paths with incredible people, and at some point and time they won’t be a part of your life anymore.
When I was little I moved around alot, constantly having to make new friends. I would meet new people, build relationships, and eventually have to let go. It’s hard, but the reality is that you come in this world alone and you will leave alone too.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
Knowledge is Power: The more you know, the better off you’ll be. When you educate yourself, you’ll learn new things which essentially lead to more options. Knowledge = Options = Power.
Love Advice: Here are a few things to consider.
- Don’t marry the first girl/guy you fall in love with. (Make sure it’s actually love)
- Unless you’re trying to have kids, wear a condom.
- Don’t get married without living with him or her for at lest 3-6 months.
- Stop with the cheesy pickup lines. Simply say, “Hi. I’m _____. Nice to meet you” Strike a conversation about something around you and go from there.
- Ladies, there is nothing wrong with approaching a guy first. It’s 2014.
- Don’t get a serious girlfriend until you’re at least in your late twenties.
- Be with someone who makes you happy, attraction will fade away.
- Never steal a man’s girlfriend. If she’ll cheat on him, she’ll cheat on you.
Last but not least, I want to leave you with this video. I hope it will inspire you. (NSFW) Enjoy!