important life lessons

Important life lessons everyone should learn in their 20s

These 10 life lessons can help you avoid some of the pain and failure you might experience in your 20s.

Do you ever look back and ponder upon the things you could have done differently in your 20s? As you reminisce those years, feeling regretful, you wish if someone would have shared some valuable life lessons to guide you when you were younger, just when you were preparing yourself to explore the sea of opportunities in front of you.

As you grow older, you take on the responsibilities that come with developing the foundations for your career and lifestyle. Chances are, you will make mistakes along the way. These experiences won’t be pleasant, but they will teach you valuable life lessons that will eventually shape you into a winner. Nothing can replace such experiences but lessons learned from those who have already lived those years can make your journey a lot easier.

Here are 10 life lessons that everyone should learn in their 20s.

Spend more time with your loved ones

When you get older and look back, you are not going to regret missing a season of your favourite TV show. But you will surely miss hanging out with your friends or spending time with family. While you may enjoy binge-watching Netflix, it’s also important to spend time with your friends and family. Moreover, binge-watching TV shows can also be detrimental to your health, research suggests. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, “higher binge-viewing frequency was associated with a poorer sleep quality, increased fatigue and more symptoms of insomnia.”

Take responsibility for your actions

It is easy to blame someone else for your mistakes, but it takes courage to take responsibility for your own actions. Mature, professional people understand this and do not make excuses when they have made a mistake. No one wants to hear that. Moreover, apologies cost you nothing and usually solve the problem. So, the next time anything goes wrong, own your mistake and apologise. Saying sorry won’t make you look weak or small. It takes courage to accept one’s shortcomings, but it’s still better than denying them or looking for reasons or excuses all the time.

Compete only with yourself

As you grow older, you realise how futile the exercise of comparing yourself to others is. There is always going to be someone richer, better looking, and smarter than you are. If you continue this habit, it will make you question your own beliefs and your abilities. Moreover, in the age of social media, this comparison trap has become wider than ever. A study titled The Effects of Instagram Use, Social Comparison, and Self-Esteem on Social Anxiety: A Survey Study in Singapore found that “Social media generates ubiquitous comparison information and accessible feedback, such as the number of likes, followers, comments, and retweets. Information such as these allows people to form impressions of others quickly.”

Remember, someone’s success does not make you a loser. A good way to get rid of this habit is to compete with yourself. If you work hard to improve yourself every day, it is only a matter of time before success comes knocking on your door.

Do not fear failure

Failure is inevitable. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was fired from his own company; author John Grisham’s book A Time To Kill was rejected by numerous publishers before it was acquired by Wynwood Press in 1988. Success is built on failure. It means you are putting yourself out there, taking risks, and making tough decisions. These invaluable experiences teach you important life lessons, which can use in future to achieve your desired goal.

Do not compromise your health

When you are in your 20s, making time for healthy activities such as exercising, eating nutritious foods, or meditating may not be on your priority list. But these are just the things that you need to add to your daily routine. Yes, ordering a burger online is certainly easier than cooking your own food. However, it may cause your health to decline with time. So, treat your body well. Eat more fruits, vegetables and exercise. This way, you can improve your energy, focus, and your happiness in life.

There is no shortcut to success

You need to work and pay the price to achieve whatever it is you want in life. There are no shortcuts to success. Working diligently and consistently towards your goals is the best thing you can do for yourself when you are in your 20s. This means you need to find a way to keep moving forward even after failures and mistakes. Stepping out of your comfort zone and putting yourself in challenging situations can help you create that mindset necessary to achieve success.

Time is the most valuable currency

When you are in your 20s, you will never have more time than you have right now. You might have a job that you need to devote eight hours to every day. But once you are done with your work, you probably have lots of free time. So, make the most of it. Ask yourself questions like how you want to set yourself up for life? What skills do you want to learn? What countries do you want to visit? You need to reflect on all of these questions and direct your time in achieving them. When you are young, your options are truly endless.

Stop caring about what people think

It’s only natural to seek validation for your hard work. But when you constantly seek a pat on the back, it becomes a problem. Know that what other people think or say is a reflection of their expectations and insecurities. It has nothing to do with you. As Shannon L Alder, author of the book, 300 Questions to Ask Your Parents Before It’s Too Late says, “Anger, resentment and jealousy don’t change the heart of others—it only changes yours.” So, stop worrying about the ones who don’t know you because you can’t control their thoughts and actions.

Be open to learning

If you carry a ‘know-it-all’ attitude in your 20s, you are likely to make more mistakes than you can imagine. You also alienate those who can help you grow and learn valuable life lessons. That is why you should accept that you don’t know everything. When given an opportunity, listen and learn from the people around you. You never know what lessons you might learn from them. Like Socrates once said, “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.”

Adopt healthy habits

Most people in their 20s believe that it’s the age where they can live free from the restraints and worries because they will never get it back. But what they don’t realise is this is also the age when one can establish healthy habits that can help them create a healthy and happy life. Adopting healthy habits such as exercising regularly, healthy eating or getting enough sleep can help you achieve your goals with relative ease. And you will feel great while you do it. According to a study, Changing Your Habits for Better Health, “Adopting new, healthier habits may protect you from serious health problems like obesity and diabetes.”


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