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25 Life Lessons I Have Learned Over The Last 25 Years

25 Life Lessons I Have Learned Over The Last 25 Years

At age 25, you already have a few of life’s biggest milestones behind you: the day you took your first steps; your first “words” (more like adorable baby gurgles, but you catch my drift); your first day at school; graduation; your first drink with your pals on the night you officially become an adult (yeah, right!)… And then comes 25. 25 is the unsung heroes of milestones: while the “Quarter Century” moniker carries a hefty sense of foreboding, it’s also the age at which most people have a little more life experience behind them and start feeling like “adults”. (If you don’t, yet, that’s totally fine, too!)

I feel like I’ve learned a lot over the first 25 years of my life, some of it wonderful, some of it not so much; all of it, I hope, of value to you. Here are my 25 life lessons learned by age 25.

1. Start saving early.

Sorry for raining on your parade and being the boring Uncle at the frat party, but you’ll thank me for this. What people (and by people, I definitely mean myself, too) tend to conveniently forget when starting their first jobs and getting their hands on their freshly-printed paychecks, is that there’s a certain thing called taxes looming over the horizon. And unforeseen medical bills. And LIFE. Make things easy for yourself and put just a little bit of your hard-earned cash away every month. It needn’t be much but it will add up over time and you’ll be so thankful for it in the long run.

2. As unmotivated as you may be, start working out early, too.

Even though it may not feel like it in the aftermath of an epic night out, your late teenage years and your twenties are theoretically the prime of your life. You will never be better equipped to handle the strain of working out. Put your youthful body to use and prep it for the wear and tear of getting older. It’s so worth it.

3. Learning how to cook a simple + delicious meal will save your life.

Because being able to serve something other than cheese on toast when you have company feels so, so rewarding.

4. Spend time with the elderly.

spendtimewithelderly

    I learned this the hard way: both my wonderful grandmothers, whose abundant love I’d been showered with as I was growing up, passed away within a year of each other recently, leaving be bereft and wanting. As we no longer lived in the same country (and hadn’t for a good few years), spending time together was difficult and our relationship, although still loving, became more distant. Looking back now, I really wish I’d made more of an effort to spend some time with my grandmothers. I feel their loss keenly. Don’t do what I did – spend time with your elderly.

    5. Get over your entitlement, stat!

    As Millenials, we grow up being told we’re the bee’s knees. In a sense, this is positive because it bolsters our self-confidence, but it also gives us a sense of entitlement that has no place in the workplace. As harsh as this may sound, being told we are special over and over again doesn’t make us so and wearing your Gold Star on your lapel certainly won’t endear you with future employers. On that note…

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    6. Work hard, stay humble.

    workhardstayhumble

      This quote is a cliché for a reason: it’s true and it’s important! Working your behind off and letting your actions speak for themselves is a surefire way to get ahead. Being full of hot air and slacking isn’t. However…

      7. Learn how to give yourself a break.

      giveyourselfabreak

        It can be hard to be kind to ourselves and give ourselves a time-off when society piles sky-high expectations on us. However, learning to give yourself a break is one of the most important life lessons you’ll ever learn. You don’t have to be Super(wo)man and sometimes, the best thing you can do both for yourself and the task at hand is press pause and recentre yourself.

        8. Some people are toxic. Stay away from them.

        toxicpeople

          It’s easier said than done, but that friend who always leaves you feeling exhausted and unhappy after you spend time with them? Cut them out of your life. Life is too short to waste your time and energy on people who make you feel like crap.

          9. Your body is beautiful. Treasure it.

          loveyourbody

            You may not feel that way now, but your body is a thing of wonder – yes, even with those (imaginary!) lumps and bumps. Your body is capable of greatness. It’s also the only one we have, so making a point of looking after this mortal coil of yours should be on the top of your list of priorities. Feed it good, healthy food. Take it for a run around the bloc. Shower it with love and affection. And remember…

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            10. Your body can only take so much abuse.

            You may be young now, but you won’t always be. (Wow, way to bring the mood down, Grandma!) While those vodka shots and super late nights may seem like a brilliant idea right now, be aware that no matter how invincible you feel, your body can only take so much before it crashes and burns. So, occasionally, trade in the party heels for a pair of slippers and a mug of tea. You’ll thank me later.

            11. Reading is NOT a waste of time.

            When you’re in school, unless you’re one of those people who devours books by the dozen (that’ll be me, then), reading can feel like a kind of cruel and unusual punishment. Often times, if you’re made to do something you don’t want to do, your first instinct when you don’t have to do it anymore is to throw your hands up shouting “F*ck the system!” and just stop. Don’t give up on reading. It’ll help you grow into a better human. Promise.

            12. Hating things isn’t cool, nor does it make you look mysterious and attractive.

            It just makes you look like a hater. And while you’re at it…

            13. Don’t be a Negative Nancy.

            I get it: it’s really, really easy to get caught up in other people’s negativity, often even without realising! But what you don’t know, is how pervasive negativity is and how deeply it impacts your life. What starts out with a little “innocent” gossip at the water cooler and a few unkind comments between friends can quickly transform into a horribly pessimistic outlook on life. As hard as it may be, choosing positivity is so much better for the soul.

            14. Time heals MOST wounds.

            timeheals

              Another cliché, another nugget of wisdom. As crap as you feel now, you will feel better over time. Have patience and have faith.

              15. Being in nature is good for the soul.

              naturegoodforsoul

                Most of us live hyper-connected lifestyles in busy urban environments, without much opportunity to unplug and slow down. However, spending more time in nature is something that we should all strive for, as disconnecting from the frantic world around us for even just a couple of hours is a surefire way to recharge and return to our occupations refreshed and relaxed. Plus, it’s a wonderful way of reconnecting with our natures as human beings! Give it a try.

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                16. It’s not worth hanging on to clothes “just in case they fit”.

                If your clothes don’t fit and all they do is make you feel cramped and uncomfortable, do. Not. Keep. Them! Trust me on this: keeping a pair of “motivation jeans” will not encourage you to lose weight; all they will do is make you miserable and take up space. Do your self-confidence and your closet a favour and give away the clothes you don’t need.

                17. It’s OK not to be OK.

                oknottobeok

                  Like I mentioned before, no one expects you to be a superhero all the time. We are all human; we all have emotions and sometimes, life just gets to us. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to give yourself a break. It’s okay to surrender to your feelings and have a good old cry, if you need to. No one will think any less of you (and if they do, they’re the toxic people I talked about earlier and it’s time to cut them out of your lives). Also…

                  18. You are not alone.

                  youarenotalone

                    No matter how isolated and desperate you may feel, know that everyone around you is fighting their own hard battle. And guess what? More people are experiencing what you’re experiencing than you think! Those problems and snags you keep running into? I’ll bet there’s a Facebook group or a forum or a community that can help with that. Try reaching out; you might be surprised at the outcome!

                    19. Being blind drunk just isn’t classy.

                    It really, really isn’t. Learn your limits early and respect them.

                    20. It really is best to be yourself. (Promise.)

                    beyourself

                      They say that imitation is the best form of flattery but always trying to be someone you’re not is no way to live – no matter how popular, beautiful or successful the person you’re trying to emulate is. Not only is it impossible to be exactly like the object of your admiration; pursuing this unattainable “ideal” will only make you frustrated and blind to your own, unique beauty.

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                      21. Never stop learning.

                      Just because you’re out of school, it doesn’t mean that you should stop educating yourself. Making a point of keeping yourself up to date with what is going on in the world and keeping abreast of the latest developments in your industry will both give you an edge. Plus, learning keeps your brain sharp!

                      22. Work-life balance isn’t really a thing.

                      There will be times when you’ll be working yourself to the bone, and others when you’ll be twiddling your thumb (but trust me, there will be fewer of those until you retire). Chances are, your work-life balance will be totally out of sync most of the time. And guess what? It isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it just means you’ll have to prioritise and manage your time effectively and that, my friend, is an invaluable tool!

                      23. You never get unless you ask.

                      People aren’t mind-readers (unfortunately), so ask for what you want! Only those who ask get what they want. What’s the worst that could happen?

                      24. Keep an open mind (and an open heart).

                      openheart

                        Be open to new experiences. Let new people in (even if you’re scared of getting hurt). Say YES. Live life with open arms, because before you know it, it’ll be too late and you’ll be filled with regrets.

                        25. YOUR opinion of yourself is the one that matters the most.

                        youropinion

                          At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is what you think of yourself; how you perceive yourself, whether you value yourself. People come and go, but you’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your life. Learn to listen to your intuition and your opinion of yourself before tuning into others’. Everything else is just white noise.

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                          Last Updated on April 23, 2019

                          13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

                          13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

                          Let me begin by being 100% frank with you – everyone is capable of happiness.

                          Happiness is first a choice but it also takes persistence to maintain. Happiness is our birth right and my mission is to help as many people as I can live their happiest life.

                          My mission is to spread the message that everyone deserves happiness.

                          To live a happy life; however, you must do the work, gain the necessary knowledge, and increase your awareness.

                          You must fully embody this state and begin to think and feel happiness on every level of your being.

                          Often times, excuses present themselves and our mind gives us the reasons why we can’t be happy:

                          “I am too busy right now to focus on happiness”

                          “I will be happy when I finish school, when I have the money, when I am in the right relationship, when I have kids, when my children are older….”

                          “I would have had a happy life if this traumatic event had never happened”

                          “I don’t deserve happiness”

                          EVERYONE deserves happiness. The reason that you are here right now is because you have a purpose and you are on the earth to enjoy your journey.

                          Think BIGGER than your excuses. Push FARTHER than your complaints.

                          Don’t be pulled away from greatness. Get uncomfortable. At least these are what happy and successful people do on a daily basis.

                          This article highlights the top 13 tips and tricks of how happy people think and feel.

                          If you would like to begin embodying this life-changing state, then… Here are the 13 ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently:

                          1. Happy People Put Happiness First

                          Happy people have made the decision that their end goal is happiness.

                          Every situation, event, bad day ultimately ends with happiness.

                          To them, happiness is equivalent to sleep and water – it is a necessity to their life. To live an unhappy life is to have never lived at all.

                          The happy person asks,

                          “What would be the point of living if every day and moment were filled with negativity?”

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                          “Why would I deplete my energy on negativity when I expend less to be positive?”

                          They make happy-based decisions which means in EVERY MOMENT they choose happiness.

                          If their circumstances can’t change then they instead change their perspective, they look for the silver lining in the negative.

                          Happy people don’t let negativity steal their moments away – a positive mindset always prevails.

                          If you ask a happy person how their day was, they will always answer your question with a highlight or a lesson learned.

                          2. Happy People Embrace Pain

                          I know what you are thinking –

                          “No one is ALWAYS happy”

                          or …

                          “Even happy people get in bad moods”

                          and …

                          These statements are absolutely accurate.

                          Happy people aren’t always happy and they DO get into bad moods. They get overwhelmed, they feel defeated, and their feelings get hurt.

                          Happy people aren’t invincible and they feel pain just like everyone else. The only difference between happy people and people who let negativity run their lives is that…

                          Happy people quickly acknowledge their pain and they make a decision to find a way to transform their pain into something greater. They also use these 13 simple ways to shake off the sadness.

                          Happy people admit the negativity they feel and they do what it takes to get back into their natural state: happiness.

                          When your end goal is happiness, then you will find a way to achieve it no matter how much strength you have to muster.

                          3. Happy People Have a Happy Self-Image

                          We all have an image in our minds that we subconsciously live up to.

                          The reason that change is so hard is because our subconscious mind is programmed to live by how we define ourselves.

                          How are you currently defining yourself?

                          For happy people, they see themselves with a smile, positive outlook, and/or a bounce in their step. When an event or situation arises that brings in a negative emotion, they quickly change their state to resemble their natural self-image.

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                          When happy people are in a bad mood, it feels unusual to them because feeling negative isn’t aligned with how they see themselves.

                          When they feel upset, they acknowledge the negativity and look for a solution to bring their emotions to the level of how they perceive themselves.

                          Look at how you define yourself today – your mind and body are always trying to live up to the definition it is taught to believe.

                          Your body’s job is to keep you in a “normal” state because this is where it feels most comfortable.

                          If your self-image is happy, then your mind and body will naturally be brought back to where it feels at home. Your actions will be a clue to how you define yourself.

                          4. Happy People Have a Strong Support System

                          The happiest people know that it takes a village and they lean on others for support.

                          Happy people feel comfortable reaching out for help when they feel that their resistances are overpowering them. They quickly sense their negativity and they tell somebody.

                          Happy people ask for assistance when they can’t figure out a problem. Seeking help takes strength and it never gets in the way of their self-worth. Happy people appreciate the wisdom that their support system provides.

                          They have strong connections with the people who are close to them. They never trudge through tough times alone because jeopardizing their happiness for too long would be detrimental to their well-being.

                          5. Happy People Safeguard Their Minds from Negative Triggers

                          Warding off negativity is almost impossible when we live in a society that lives by what went wrong and feeds off of what could go wrong. News travels instantaneously so it would be unrealistic to shut this out of your life completely.

                          However, one strategy that happy people use to safeguard their minds is regulating their environment.

                          We have a lot of control on how we allow our environments to affect us. We can control our social media feed, the television shows and movies we watch, the books that we read, the people that we spend our time with, and the places that we hang out.

                          If happiness is your end goal, then take a good look at what is bringing you down. What triggers your unhappiness? See if there is anything in your environment that can be changed……

                          What we listen to, read, and who we hang out with influence our mind, what we think about, what we worry about, our reactions, and behaviors.

                          Happy people know what triggers a feeling of negativity and it feels out of alignment for them so they do what it takes to avoid it.

                          They might regulate their social media news feed to reflect the information that brings them positive energy. They might regulate the people that they spend their time with. It is important to hang out with like-minded people.

                          What are you triggers? How can you avoid the negativity in your environment?

                          These are ways that happy people regulate their environment and safeguard their minds.

                          6. Happy People Know When to Say “No”

                          Happy people know when to sit one out and say “no.” They do this to protect their happiness and well-being.

                          Life gets overwhelming – a lot of people need our attention and the to do list can seem never ending.

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                          Happy people give themselves permission to take the day off and they feel comfortable with saying “no” when their stress levels begin to climb. They understand that those around them aren’t benefiting from someone who is frazzled, overwhelmed, and tired.

                          A happy person identifies their negative emotion and then they quickly treat it to bring themselves back to their “normal” state, so that they can be at their best for not only themselves but for those around them, too.

                          A simple “no” can ultimately mean many more “yes’s” in the future because happiness has a long battery life. You can take a look at Leo Babauta’s article The Gentle Art of Saying No and learn to say no.

                          7. Happy People Are Good Evaluators

                          Happy people can quickly sense when something is off with themselves or others. They are very intuitive to happiness levels. When someone isn’t quite right, they are the first ones to notice.

                          Being able to evaluate happiness means that you can identify when negativity is lingering around for too long.

                          We all have bad days; however, the happy person evaluates often and quickly intervenes.

                          In other words, happy people frequently evaluate their state and immediately change when their pessimism is overshadowing their joy.

                          8. Happy People Bring Other People Up

                          What goes on inside of us is mirrored into our physical world.

                          What we think about literally consumes our life and is displayed in our work, relationships, and attitude.

                          Happy people naturally feel good inside and about themselves so they treat others the way that they treat themselves. It never feels forced to give a compliment or to help out a stranger.

                          When we are truly happy with ourselves, everyone around us has a better experience. Happy people are kind to themselves and because of this, it feels natural to them to want to make others’ happy, too.

                          9. Happy People Go After Their Dreams

                          Happy people are always following the joyful path. They make happy-based decisions and because of this, they always end up where they want to be.

                          It’s absolutely impossible to be happy by following an undesirable path, which is quite opposite for unhappy people.

                          Most people journey through life on a path they think they are “supposed” to be own. Warning signs (negativity) are often ignored because they truly believe that these feelings are a normal part of life.

                          Negativity is NOT normal.

                          The happiest people investigate the negativity in their life and quickly analyze the results. This process allows them to get back on the joyful path which ends in a desirable outcome.

                          Follow your happiness and your dreams will come true (If that isn’t motivation then I don’t know what is!)

                          In addition to happiness, here are 14 amazing things that happen when you live your passion.

                          10. Happy People Never Sweat the Small Stuff

                          The only expectation that the happy person has is that they remain in a joyful state.

                          They rarely have expectations for the events and people in their lives because they know that this is a sure way to get let down.

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                          The happiest people take life as it comes – you could say that they roll with the punches. When you don’t have expectations, thenyoue can just sit back and watch how beautifully life unfolds.

                          Happy people understand that bad things are inevitable, they are a part of life – The car will break, the kids will make mistakes, people will be late, and dinner will burn.

                          If it’s not anything seriously affecting their lives, then they don’t give their energy to it.

                          11. Happy People Rarely Have to Prove That They Are Right

                          Happy people remember that it’s more important to live up to what they believe. When you live your life aligned with your belief system, then there is no need to explain or prove yourself to others.

                          Differences in opinions are inevitable, but the happiest of people know it’s wasted energy to defend their position.

                          It is more effective to simply show people, through actions, how you think, feel, and what you believe.

                          Energy is saved, arguments are diminished, and credibility/respect are gained when we live by what we believe.

                          12. Happy People Smile (Even When They Don’t Want To)

                          Smiling is one of the healthiest things we can do; and happy people use this simple trick quite often.

                          It has been proven that smiling has the ability to boost your immune system, decrease stress levels, and can even make you look younger. The benefits of smiling have even been backed up by science.[1]

                          Better yet, smiling is contagious. When you engage in a quick smile, you are likely to brighten someone else’s day along with your own. It is no wonder why happy people smile often!

                          13. Happy People Live Life in the Present Moment.

                          When we are genuinely happy, we are living for the moment.

                          Happy people let go of the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future. They take the moments for what they are worth – they only invest their energy in what feels right to them.

                          Everyone is capable of living a happy-centered life. You deserve a life that you desire – your dream life. All you have to start doing is make happy-based decisions TODAY.

                          In every moment, decide on what makes you happy – decide on what gets you excited. Stop doing what you don’t love, don’t listen to the people that you dislike.

                          If you are engaging in something that isn’t bringing you joy, then quit doing it. Listen to your heart, stop ignoring the warning signs (negativity) because they are there for a reason.

                          I have observed, studied, and interviewed some of the happiest and most successful people along with some of the most miserable and self-loathing.

                          It starts with one decision – happiness.

                          The happiest, most successful people choose happiness with EACH and EVERY decision. And you can start doing this today.

                          Featured photo credit: Autumn Goodman via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Harvard Business Review: The Science Behind the Smile

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