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34 Most Difficult Things You Have To Learn In Your 20s

34 Most Difficult Things You Have To Learn In Your 20s

When you’re a 20 something, you know you need to be mature because you’ve grown up. You’re seen as an adult, not a kid any more. It’s reality, and you really should face it. The faster you learn the most difficult life lessons, the sooner you can lead a great and successful life. Rich Tatum shared the most difficult things he wished he knew when he was 20 on quora:

  1. Love hurts, but not as much as not loving.
  2. The friendships you nurture will have a greater effect on your life than where you work or what you earn.
  3. You are not your job. You are not your bankroll. You are not the sum of your possessions.
  4. The company does not love you. It has no heart. You are replaceable. Keep your parachute handy.
  5. Few decisions will ever shape your future life more than who you choose to marry. To marry well, you must choose well.
  6. Love is a commitment.
  7. Believe it or not, passions grow out of your values. Make early, wise choices to value what (and who) is good, trustworthy, and praiseworthy.
  8. Integrity preserved is honor won.
  9. Rejoice in your health. It fades fast.
  10. Find a passion. Pick a hobby, own it: photography, juggling—whatever. Get your 10K hours of perfect practice in early and change your life.
  11. Don’t bother comparing yourself to others—this only leads to heartbreak, anger, and disappointment.
  12. Most disappointments grow from unmet expectations. Set realistic expectations for yourself, based on your strengths, then strive to exceed them.
  13. Don’t drive others to meet expectations they’ve committed to — lead, inspire, and help them do it.
  14. Don’t set expectations for others when they haven’t or cannot commit to them.
  15. Don’t complain. Either change your situation, learn to cope, or change your perspective.
  16. Don’t worry about making big bucks out of the gate, worry first about doing whatever you have to do excellently.
  17. Little stuff matters—even in lowly jobs. The boss notices and even if not, your peers and colleagues do.
  18. Ultimately, privacy is a myth: God sees everything. The cloud records everything. NSA files everything. So, live transparently and don’t waste useless energy hiding failures.
  19. Don’t look down on others because they don’t have what you didn’t earn—your intellect, your beauty, and your culture of birth are undeserved gifts…be humble.
  20. Failure is an opportunity: no great man or woman ever achieved significance without great failures to learn from.
  21. Never withhold an apology when it’s merited. Deliver it quickly, sincerely, and personally—before resentment festers.
  22. You don’t need to nurture old guilt when you’re forgiven. But remembering the shame can help you avoid repeats.
  23. Mere belief in anything signifies little more than assent. It’s trust and behavior that reveal where convictions lie.
  24. The main thing you need to do quickly is to stop doing things quickly. Trade hurry for calm, confidence, and precision.
  25. Everybody needs an editor. Everybody.
  26. Get your work done first so you can play without guilt. Even better, make work play and the fun never ends!
  27. If you want to develop your passion and gift, stop worrying about the things you do poorly. Go with your strengths!
  28. Avoid fights. Seriously. Avoid them like a plague: nobody wins in a fight, even if you walk away unscathed. But when a fight picks you, leave everything on the mat and give it your all. Hold nothing back.
  29. If you’re bored, you’re doing it wrong.
  30. The skills that will help your career most are the abilities to assimilate, communicate, and persuade. Keep learning.
  31. Nothing in this life—no pain, no agony, no failure—compares to the eternal joy of Heaven. Live in light of eternity.
  32. Protect your joy. Nothing is easier to lose by over-thinking, overanalyzing, and second-guessing. On the other hand, always consider the long-term consequences of your choices: stupid decisions made in the moment can rob you of years of joy and happiness.
  33. Your purpose in life determines how you frame events. You can maintain your joy in the most dire circumstances if you find meaning for your life. Dig deep.
  34. It truly matters what you think about. Think well by reading good books, building good, loving relationships, having good conversation, and imitating great people.

I’m still learning — in fact I haven’t fully appreciated most of the list I made, myself. And I’m still adding to it. But I’m getting better.

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Featured photo credit: Multiracial Young People Holding Hands in a Circle via shutterstock.com

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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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