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25 Things to Do Before You Turn 25

25 Things to Do Before You Turn 25

1. Go to a Music Festival.

See your favourite bands play live; experience the atmosphere, the fashions and the micro-culture of life in a large field with a crowd of people all there to enjoy the experience.

2. Buy Dinner for Your Parents.

Your parents may have been been funding your life for years, so now you can experience the joy of repaying their kindness, love, and responsibility, and of developing an adult relationship with them. Taking them out for dinner, and picking up the bill, is one of the ways of doing this.

3. Travel to Another Continent

Travelling, with the exposure to different climes, cultures, and peoples, broadens the mind, helps develop life skills, and makes for more open attitudes and tolerance. However open-minded you are, there’s nothing like experiencing a different way of life firsthand. It also furnishes you with some great dinner party stories!

4. Try an Adrenaline Sport.

You could try sky diving, white water rafting or bungee jumping. Pushing your comfort zone and trying something like this may terrify you, but you’ll feel immensely proud of overcoming your fear.

5. Spend the Whole Weekend Partying.

Doing an “all weekender” can be more difficult as you get older and have more responsibilities—it’s a great experience to try!

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6. Have a Good Conversation with Someone of a Different Faith or Belief to Your Own.

Conversations like this helps us realise we’re not so different to other people, regardless of appearances.

7. Vote.

Have your say on how your home country is run. We really can’t complain if we have the democratic right to express our views, but don’t do so.

8. Dye Your Hair a Completely Different Colour.

Or change your hairstyle. One change that can make you feel like a different person.

9. Go to a Gay / Lesbian Club or Bar.

Or join in with a Pride parade/festival. If you’re gay, you could hang out at a straight bar.

10. Let Go of a Friendship.

Not all friendships are meant to last forever; some come into our lives and exist for different reasons at different times in our life. Holding on to a relationship that has run its course doesn’t do either of you any favours. Quality rather than quantity of friends is the important factor.

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11. Like Yourself.

The teen years are for exploring who you are, what you like, and how you tick. Now its time to embrace who you are: be proud of the unique self you have become.

12. Practice Being Charitable.

Giving is more rewarding than receiving. Consider volunteering at a home for the elderly, or donating a percentage of earnings to a charity that you feel is important. Something as simple as smiling more and being more friendly to the people in your life and strangers that you come across can make a big difference to both you and them.

13. Let the Grudge Go.

Holding resentment does more damage to you than anyone else. Let it go. Use your energy for more healthy pursuits.

14. Go on a Blind Date.

The excitement, the worry, the unknown outcome—who knows what may come of it? A blind date makes for a great story to tell friends, a learning experience and maybe even a great love.

15. Exercise.

Your body is not 18 anymore. All bodies age, and the punishment you might have applied to it in your teens and early twenties by excessive studying, partying, and having a chaotic lifestyle will not be so easy to recover from as you get older.

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16. Learn to Cook

Learning to cook, if you haven’t already, can be fun, good for your health, and your bank balance. Trying new recipes and developing a repertoire of easy, simple and healthy meals is a great start.

17. Learn to “Be”.

The Italians have a great word; “Asolare“. It means spending time in a meaningless but delightful way. Learn to just be, rather than always doing.

18. Save for Your Retirement.

The earlier we start, the greater the amount for your golden years. It may seem a long way off still, but the retired you will thank you for having started by now.

19. Camp Under the Stars.

Experience the wonder of our world, with just canvas separating you from mother nature. It puts everything back into perspective, especially when life gets clouded by all the trappings and complexities of the modern world.

20. Learn to Balance Your Finances.

Money can be an asset or a burden, but a lot depends on how you manage it. A few skills in the art of balancing your finances can have a big positive impact on your life.

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21. Wake up Somewhere Unfamiliar.

Enjoy the initial confusion, followed by the delighted feeling of having done something reckless, followed by the reality of “how do I get home?”.

22. Eat Exotic Food.

This is even better if it has an un-prounounceable name and is experienced in another country!

23. Buy a Ridiculously Expensive Item of Clothing.

Then leave it un-worn in the back of the closet. Keep it as an impulse buy; a reward to yourself; a “you deserve it” item you buy but never feel okay to wear but never get rid of because it cost so much.

24. Learn to Say No.

Learning to say “no”, is an important skill and one that can dramatically increase the quality of our lives.

25. Learn to Be Alone

Our relationship with ourselves is the most important one of our lives; we won’t spend as much time with anyone else! Learning to enjoy our own company and enjoy being alone is invaluable on so many levels.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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