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10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was A Teenager

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was A Teenager

Life as a teenager was complicated and chaotic for me. I had too many feelings, frustrations, and too much anxiety about everything. I had placed no value on personal finance, and I had no desire to really talk with anyone. Needless to say, there are a lot of things I wish I knew when I was still in my teens. Instead of bottling them all up and just wishing for the best to come, I’ve decided to share them with you. I’ve decided that there will be no more regrets–an ample amount of wisdom and a greater appreciation for today will be my greatest drivers in the production of this list.

1. Those butterflies in your stomach? That’s not love at all.

The top item on my “things I wish I knew when I was a teenager” list is about attraction. I wish I had known that feeling flushed, embarrassed and flustered mean you are nervous, not that you’re in love. It’s not that I was too young to fall in love: it’s that I was too self-absorbed and caught up in my own world that caring for someone else didn’t really make sense back then.

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2. Don’t go into a spending frenzy–you didn’t earn that money!

Looking back, I shudder and cringe when I remember my past spending habits. Whenever I received my allowance back then, I never stopped and thought about saving some of it. I wish I had known–and really valued–the way money was earned.

3. Failure doesn’t mean you’re weak.

I was easily discouraged. I thought that failing meant losing and that being a failure meant you were going to be poor for the rest of your life. Ha! How far was I from the truth? Failure is helpful in shaping your character. It helps you develop and come out stronger than before. Failure is priceless. And frankly, everyone deserves to fail once in a while.

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4. You’re never too young to invest.

I know I said no regrets–but come on. Whenever I think about the thousands I’ve lost, the thousands I could have invested, I can’t resist slapping myself for being too ignorant. If you’re still in your teens, please. Do yourself a favor and start investing!

5. You can be who you want to be. I promise you.

Sure, this sounds false, with all the bullies putting you down, all the mean teachers attacking your character and all the failures stressing you out, but it’s true. Don’t let anyone bring your dreams down.You don’t need gold (gold-plated) medals, a bunch of certificates or an A+ every single time! People–or people who do matter–won’t really care about that.

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6. Gossiping, while fun, can be an energy-drainer.

You need your energy so that you can do a lot of things. If you spend all your time and your energy gossiping, you’ll have imaginary power but little control over your life. Sure, there’s a bit of a fun in this activity, but all the negativity and emotional stress you’ll get aren’t going to be worth it.

7. Emergencies happen. Please prepare for it in advance.

Just imagine: if I had saved up at least 5% of my monthly allowance, I could have been better off financially by the time I graduated college. By that time, I would have an emergency fund already! I really wish I had known to save up early in my teens. Granted, I started when I was 19, but imagine if I had started at 13!

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8. Read about the Law of Attraction.

No, I’m not talking about physical attraction here. What I’m saying is that it would have been better if I had known that my thoughts can be manifested through my actions! I would have spent more time thinking positively.

9. It’s okay to not conform sometimes.

“Study hard, get good grades and find a great company to work for.” –No, you can actually consider entrepreneurship as well. “Don’t strive to be rich or you’ll be evil.”–It just depends on the person. Money just magnifies your inherent character. “Help will always come.”–Not necessarily. No one owes you anything, really, so it’s better for you to depend on yourself instead of other people.

10. Start something.

Your teen years are the best time for you to create projects: put up a blog, write a novel, donate to charity, produce a song, read non-fiction books and basically start owning your life.  You’re still young. You’ll still make mistakes. But the most important thing is that you’re making an effort, that you’re not afraid to try. Don’t wait until you’re old enough. This time will never happen! Now, let me ask you: are the things on this list also on your list?

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Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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