When I stumbled upon this list of “25 Lessons I Wish I Had Learned Way Sooner,” I knew it was basically written for me.
1. 1-in-4 people who you meet won’t like you. That’s really OK. Gosh, is this true! I used to be so worried about what people thought of me, that I ended up not acting like myself. I think it’s better to just be “me” and accept that not every person will be my fan.
2. Life isn’t fair. Most of the time it’s not fair in your favor, so don’t whine about life not being fair.
3. Save your money. I think I’m pretty good at this and it’s already paying off — No pun intended. Dan and I are both on the same page about being savings-oriented, but we also don’t see the point in stockpiling up so much money that we die rich and boring.
4. No one knows what you’re thinking unless you tell them. I’d dare say that the majority of conflicts with anyone are because of failures to communicate. The best thing I can do is to voice my thoughts (not in an obnoxious way) before major issues arise.
5. Perfectionism will kill you. Seriously. If I kept up my old ways, I’d die as a very successful 40-year-old.
6. You’re stronger than you think you are. I don’t know about that, but I know how to ask for help when I really need it.
7. You think that sexism and racism were in the olden days. They’re not.
8. Comparing yourself to others is never a good idea. I admit: I still have to tell myself this daily. It’s so easy to fall into the comparison-trap, but it does nothing except provide a kick to my self-esteem.
9. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. People are consistent. I don’t know how many times I thought, “I should give them a chance,” when “they” started are undeniable jerks. Shockingly, I always end up kind of hurt.
10. Develop critical thinking skills and use them.
11. Never hide your intelligence from anyone. But, I think it’s also important to add that you shouldn’t always flaunt it. No one likes that.
12. Trust your instincts. I’ve gone against the grain on some thing, but they are usually the things that make me happiest. (Hello, getting married at 20!)
13. 80% of everything is irrelevant
14. Spend WAY less time worrying about the shape of your body. As far as I’ve come in my journey with health, body-conscious thoughts still creep into my mind more frequently than I would like. Now, though, I retaliate with “feel good” statements such as, “My thighs may be bigger, but without them, I wouldn’t be such a strong runner.”
15. Stay away from credit cards. I developed an extreme stigma against credit cards when I was younger. Now, I see they have some purpose, but I’m still extremely careful.
16. There are lots of men who will be nice to you. Accept nothing less. I could have learned this sooner, but then I may not have met the best guy of them all.
17. Be nicer to yourself, too. Easier said than done, right?
18. For the most part, it doesn’t matter what people think. Follow your own truth.
19. No education is wasted. Drink in as many new experiences as you can. I think this is definitely true for both classroom lessons and worldly lessons.
20. Pay your dues. Work hard. This ties back to the saying, “nothing good comes easy.” On the times I have tried to scrape by, it’s just come back to bite me in the butt.
21. Networking is critical. I’m kind of banking on this come next spring when I have to find a job.
22. Letting go of control is liberating. Try it. I can’t do everything. Sorry, but admitting that is one of the best things in the world. It’s also good to say “no” every now and then.
23. Don’t treat anyone badly. You’ll be surprised when they’ll pop up again in your life. Also, I think it’s important to just be a little extra nice and generous to people every now and then — You don’t know what kind of craziness they’re dealing with. Dan’s really good at this, so I’ve learned a lot from him.
24. Do what you love, not what you think you’re supposed to do. Hallelujah! I’d even turn this around to say, “What you love is what you’re supposed to do.” Everyone has their place.
25. Don’t forget to enjoy your journey!
Questions: Which “lesson” resonates with you? What do you wish you knew sooner?