Advertising
Advertising

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…

    Advertising

    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…

            Advertising

            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.

                Advertising

                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.

                      Advertising

                      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.

                          More by this author

                          These 10 Songs Will Get You Pumped to Follow Your Dreams These 10 Songs Will Get You Pumped to Follow Your Dreams Jared Leto The Power of No Why Everyone Should Learn About the Power of Saying No from the Singer-actor-investor Jared Leto How to Make the Most of Winter 7 Ways to Make the Most of Winter 100 Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil I Wish I Knew These Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil Earlier 15 Wonderful And Healthy Pizza Recipes

                          Trending in Communication

                          1 How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One 2 How to Have Happy Thoughts and Train Your Brain to Be Happy 3 20 All-Time Best Entrepreneur Books to Make Your Business Successful 4 How to Attain Self Realization (Step-By-Step Guide for a Better You) 5 The Power of Self-Reflection: 10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Last Updated on June 13, 2019

                          How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

                          How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

                          Think you have a boring life?

                          The definition of boring is dull or not interesting. Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list of 20 things can definitely make any day more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.

                          Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaning) one!

                          1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self

                          What would he or she want to do right now? Color? Paint? Run around outside? Play dress up? Eat with your hands? Play that instrument hiding in the back of your closet that you haven’t touched in years?

                          Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play.

                          2. Go Play with Kids

                          Speaking of little kids, if you have your own or access to any (in a non-creepy way, like they’re your niece or your best friend’s kid, you get the idea) go play with them!

                          They didn’t create an entire show called Kids Say The Darndest Things because kids aren’t hilarious. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.

                          Advertising

                          3. Order a Hot Dog

                          While you’re eating it, Google: “What’s in a hot dog?” You decide whether or not you want to finish it.

                          4. For the Ladies: Wear Your Sexiest Lingerie Under Your Work Clothes

                          Your “little secret” will leave you feeling anything but boring all day!

                          5. Play Cell Phone Roulette

                          You’ll need at least one buddy for this. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one and call the person.

                          You could spark an incredible catch up session or be incredibly awkward. Neither are boring.

                          6. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards

                          Give them to random people who probably don’t get thanked too often for doing what they do ever day.

                          Ideas: police officers, librarians, servers, baristas, cab drivers, sanitation workers, teachers, people behind any check out counter, receptionists, your friends, the guy at the falafel stand, etc.

                          7. Sign up for a Class in Something You’ve “Always Wanted to Do”, or Something That Makes You Really Uncomfortable

                          Ideas: pole dancing, salsa lessons, improv, pottery, cooking, knitting (yup, there are classes for this, too!), karate, boxing, something techy like the workshops they run in Apple stores, get Rosetta Stone and learn that language you’ve always wanted to speak, etc.

                          Advertising

                          What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people!

                          8. Interview Your Grandparents About Their Lives

                          You can bet they’ve had some crazy experiences you probably never knew about.

                          9. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night

                          Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage and just talk funny. And if you’re not, memorize a few of your favorite jokes and tell those!

                          10. Do Something for Someone Else That You Wish Someone Would Do for You

                          We all have a few ideas on this list. I promise you will feel amazing after and anything but bored.

                          11. Start a DIY Project in Your Home

                          It doesn’t have to be super complicated. If you need ideas, there’re plenty on Pinterest. Or you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.

                          12. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation

                          This will give you something to look forward to.

                          Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is same fun and relaxing!

                          Advertising

                          13. People Watch

                          Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops and train stations are great for this!) and just observe.

                          People are infinitely interesting.

                          14. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before

                          Bonus points if it’s a random fruit or veggie.

                          15. Dance

                          You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.

                          If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public and get other people involved.

                          16. Go to YOUTUBE and Search “Funny Pets” or “Funny Babies”

                          This is also a great quickie ab workout as you will be laughing hysterically.

                          17. Pick up a Book and Start Reading

                          Check out the NY Times Best Sellers lists and grab a new book you can get lost in.

                          Advertising

                          18. Step Away from the Computer and Go Get Some Time with People You Care About in Real Life

                          Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. You can even share this post with your friends and vote on which one you’d like to do together!

                          19. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to Before

                          OK, depending on your interests, this one might actually be boring. If you love learning, art or different cultures though, this one is for you!

                          20. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want

                          This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?

                          Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then start taking your first step to make what you want happen.

                          Now go make your life interesting and live your dream life!

                          More About Living a Fulfilling Life

                          Featured photo credit: Kev Costello via unsplash.com

                          Read Next