Life is short. There are very few people in this world who won’t wish for more time when they are lying on their deathbeds. The biggest regrets people have revolve around experiences, relationships, and happiness.

At 80, we will wish for the ability to travel and move more like we could at 60. At 60, we will wish to be spry and energetic like we were at 40. And at 40, we will want to relive our glory days like when we were 25. But why do we wish for these things? It’s because very few of us will ever fully experience what life has to offer: a life full of abundance, beauty, and unlimited experiences.

Age is a state of mind; being young is relative. There are 70-year-olds who look and feel like they are 50. And there are 40-year-olds who look and feel like they are 60. Your mental, emotional, and physical health will determine how well you age and how ‘old’ you feel. Young can mean age 22 or young can mean age 52, it’s all about how you feel about yourself.

With that said, there are many life experiences that are best done early in life. The reason is that the more time you can spend doing these things, the more you will appreciate and enjoy your life.

30 Things You Must Do When You’re Still Young:

  1. Make yourself a priority. If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will. You have to be number one. All things in your life stem from your happiness. Be someone who makes you happy!
  2. Enjoy the small things. Take walks more often. Stop and look at a babbling brook. Sit in an oversized chair at Barnes & Noble and read a great book. Observe an elderly couple holding hands. Life is made up of these small and seemingly insignificant things. They aren’t insignificant. Be sure to take the time to appreciate them.
  3. Get outside. Being outdoors is good for you. Soak in the sunlight, get those endorphins kicking, and enjoy the beauty that nature offers.
  4. Be confident in who you are. Every person is unique and special in their own way. Understanding this early in life is critical. Be proud of who you are and don’t be afraid to let the world know it.
  5. Take calculated risks. Life is a series of risks and rewards. Be smart with your risks and understand the consequences.
  6. Focus on the present. Worrying to a certain degree about your future is normal, but don’t overlook the power of being in the present moment. You can’t change the past, but you can control what you do right now.
  7. Stop caring about what people think of you. Fear of criticism is one of the most destructive fears known to humanity. It can debilitate you to the point paralysis. Learn early in life that it doesn’t matter what people think of you. It really doesn’t. And besides, people are too worried about what you think about them to care about you!
  8. Remember that people are good at heart. Being a lifelong cynic can and will make your life an uphill climb. Recognize that people are inherently good and you will embrace relationships in a far greater capacity.
  9. Be a positive person. Make being positive a habit early in life. Your success in life will come from your thoughts and your thoughts can be either negative or positive. Only you can control which you choose.
  10. Let go of negative influences. Avoid bad situations, unhealthy relationships, and people who make your life worse. Letting go of a good friend who is going to drag you down is a difficult yet intelligent decision. Failure to do so can negatively affect where you end up in life.
  11. Surround yourself with positive people. Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And it’s completely true. If you want to be a success, hang around with successful people. If someone has what you want, you can do what they do, and get what they’ve got.
  12. Worry less. Worrying about that big test is normal, as is worrying about that possible job promotion, but when you begin to worry excessively, it can become a real problem. Worrying can lead to stress and anxiety, which can become disorders and negatively affect all areas of your life.
  13. Learn from your past but don’t dwell on it. Being caught up in your past can lead to stagnation and the inability to progress in your life. Understand that life is just a series of events and move on. You can change the future but you cannot alter your past decisions.
  14. Travel. Most of you want to travel the world, see new things, and meet new people. But statistics show that the average mother in the U.S. will start a family at age 25, meaning that your travel options will become quite limited for a number of years after you start having children. And even if you do tell yourself that you’re going to travel, most of you won’t. Don’t put it off. Get out there and see the places you desire most.
  15. Learn a new language. In this day and age, knowing a second (or third) language is no longer just a hobby, it can help you in your career. Being able to communicate with people from multiple cultures not only makes good business sense, but expands your personal growth.
  16. Overcome some of your biggest fears. Your fears will haunt you for your entire life if they aren’t dealt with. Do you really want to go through life being deathly afraid of flying? Do you want the fear of public speaking to control you? Of course not. Take these challenges head on and early on and overcome them.
  17. Experiment. Life is chock full of experiences. Try new things. Get out there and fail often. Learn from your mistakes. You only get one chance at this life. Get as much in as you can.
  18. Appreciate your parents. As children, we adore our parents. As teens, we ignore our parents. And in adulthood, we take them for granted. Knowing that they did the best possible job they could raising you will help you appreciate them. Make a phone call right now to tell them so.
  19. Stay close with the important people in your life. Most of you will lose contact with childhood friends, college buddies, and past coworkers. But chances are that you’ve made some great friends along the way. If you’ve found that you’ve lost touch with someone who was important to you, reach out to them and try to reconnect. People who you consider important are few and far between, so do your best to keep them in your life.
  20. Remember that you do not know it all. It’s a given that teenagers believe they know it all, but as an adult it’s important to recognize how little you know. Make learning something new part of your daily routine. Started at an early age, you will be amazed at how much you can learn in a lifetime.
  21. Listen to your parents. As crazy as it may seem, they have much more life experience than you and do know what they are talking about. Take the time to listen to their stories. They have more wisdom than you believe.
  22. Face the bully. Most of you have had a bully in one shape or another in your lifetime. Do not let your fear control you. The best way to handle any bully is to confront them. Most are cowards hiding behind their size and/or power. Confronting them will get their attention, and in many cases, their respect.
  23. Give unconditionally. Understanding the sheer power of giving unconditionally can shape the course of your life. Learn this early.
  24. Working too much. Working yourself half to death throughout your 20s and 30s may seem like a great idea for rising up the corporate ladder, but remember that those are your golden years. Make time for the things you are most passionate about while you are healthy enough to do so.
  25. Develop good habits. The outcome of your life will be based on the decisions you make. Making good decisions comes from having good habits. Educate yourself on how to start adopting positive ones and removing the negative ones.
  26. Find what you excel at and begin to master it. Spending years languishing in uncertainty is the fastest way to living an average life. Find where your strengths meet your passions and become great at them. Don’t be a jack of all trades. Be the master of a few.
  27. Spend as much time with your children as possible. If you lose your time with your children, you will never get it back. Embrace this time with all your heart. Being a parent is the single most important job on the planet. And do not mistake time for quality time, there is a huge difference.
  28. Learn to be grateful. This is easier said than done, but being appreciative of what you have can make the difference between a life of wanting and a life of contentment.
  29. Start a business. Don’t spend your life only knowing what it’s like to be an employee. Start your own venture, whether it be mowing lawns or running Internet security, try your hand in business. Lessons in entrepreneurship cannot be learned in a classroom. Real world experience will prove invaluable.
  30. Be crazy. Well, not literally. Do something wild and adventurous. As you grow older, you will begin a career, and/or settle down and start a family and will be less inclined to let it all hang out. Be bold and daring. And have fun with it!

While it’s never too late to work on your personal growth, getting these things done early in your life can truly make the difference between a life lived on your terms or a life lived on someone else’s.

Make it yours!

Featured photo credit: Bahman Farzad via flickr.com

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