As much as we’d like to truly live life with no regrets, most of us end up looking back on a few certain situations with “what if’s” stuck in our heads. What if we had handled things differently? What if we would have had the courage to take a risk? What if we had stopped someone special from leaving? It’s completely natural to wonder if things could’ve been different, but there are probably a few pieces of advice you would give your younger self if you could go back in time.
If you’re just entering your twenties, these ten small but important tips might help you navigate this thing we call life just a little more easily. If you’ve passed your twenties, remember that it’s never too late to make a change, take a risk, expand your knowledge or follow your dreams.
Here are eight pieces of advice that you may wish someone had given you in your twenties:
1. Turn the Television Off
It’s estimated that the average American watches more than five hours of TV every day. Five hours is a big chunk of your day, don’t you think? Imagine all of the other things you could be doing with those five hours, instead of staring mindlessly at a television screen. While everyone needs to relax, there are plenty of other ways to wind down that can actually benefit your body and mind, such as reading or yoga.
Many people dream about traveling, but it’s never “the right time.” Most people several years your senior will tell you that “the right time” is in your twenties. You have little responsibility, you are focused on yourself, and your sense of adventure is in full force. Put money aside in a travel fund. As soon as you save enough for a plane ticket, go wherever it is you want to go! Experience other places, people and cultures before you establish more responsibility that might hold you back.
Failing is a part of life. While it may seem scary, being afraid to fail will only hold you back from some amazing possibilities. Don’t be afraid to fail. Fail often. Fail at love, fail at friendships, fail at work… but let it be a learning experience. Look at failure as an opportunity for growth.
While watching T.V. does very little to activate your brain or your creativity, reading is the complete opposite. Reading can boost your creativity and imagination, and take you to a new place or a different time, all while expanding your vocabulary and your knowledge. Make reading a priority.
5. Be Patient
Nothing worth doing is worth doing quickly. Patience is a trait that many people struggle with, but learning to be patient can be extremely valuable throughout your life. As much as you may want success, love or stability, good things take time. Work hard, stay humble, be patient, and the rest will follow.
6. Value Time
With each passing year you begin to realize just how short life is, and how fast time passes. Don’t waste your time on people who hurt you, use you or treat you badly. And value other people’s time. Don’t show up late. It tells the other person you think your time is worth more than theirs.
7. Live Your Passion
When you’re young, the most important thing you see in a career may be stability and money. While great, stability and money aren’t everything, especially if you aren’t living out your passion. If you know that you were born to be a painter, sitting at a desk answering phone calls day in and day out will eventually drain you and discourage you. Seek happiness and success, but don’t be afraid to do things your way. Do what you can to reach your dreams.
8. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Some people may be the best thing that have ever happened to you, while others may be the worst. Don’t allow negative people with hidden agendas to be a part of your life. They will only bring you down. Instead, surround yourself with people who love you, support you, motivate you, make you laugh and lift you up. You don’t need a big group of friends. A select few who are truly there for you are more than enough.