21 things people aged 40-plus wish they knew when they were in their 20s.
By Johnny Testa
As you age, you always tend to look back at moments in your life and immediately think, “I could have done/handled/taken care of that situation better.” For some, this type of realization may eat them up, but for others it turns into an opportunity to help a younger generation with everyday life issues. This reddit thread asked redditors that are 40 or more years old to list things they wish they knew while in their 20s. While most of these redditors aren’t unhappy with their current lives, they do wish they’d done a few things differently. Here are the best responses from the thread:
No bullsh*t, no drama
“The bullsh*t/drama you allow yourself to pay attention to… complete waste of your time and energy.
Let other people carry around their own bullsh*t baggage.
Live your life.” — oldhead
Get rid of toxic people
“Get rid of the toxic people in your life; they serve no purpose other than to drag you down. You can neither change nor even help them so quit wasting your time.” – Cambium29
If you have freedom, take advantage
“You will never have more freedom and free time than you do now. So f*ck excuses, get to the gym, ask the hot girl out, go on that trip.
Also all the fear you feel is bs. Fear was meant to save your life, not stop you from public speaking or starting a business. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” –— jraby3
Start things you want to do, NOW
“You have things you want to try in life – learn to play piano, try your hand at writing, whatever. You figure you’re 25 years old so you’ve got plenty of time later to give them a shot. Well, START NOW. You will be shocked how quickly you’ll find yourself in your late 50’s, looking back at your twenties and thinking Jesus that seems like it was only a few weeks ago. You are going to run out of time far sooner (subjectively) than you think.” — joeomar
Get in the habit of exercising
“Get in the habit of regular exercise now, because it will be a lot harder to start after you’re already obese.” — NDaveT
Spend disposable income on experiences
“Spend your disposable income on experiences, not products. You’ll be a lot happier with the outcome.” — Grayandlovingit
Ease up on the drinking
“Liver damage is a real thing.” — whistled***
Keep an eye on your credit score
“The importance of keeping your credit in good shape. Paying an extra 1% on a home loan is a huge deal.” — dougglatt
Chill and live within your means
“Chill the f*** out. The world will continue to turn with or without you, you’re not that important and don’t need to solve every last problem that presents itself to you.
Take more time to enjoy your youth before you wake up and suddenly have weird aches for no reason.
Communicate better with those around you. Especially your spouse/significant other.
Live within your means, don’t try to impress anyone but yourself.” — JeF4y
Speak your mind, be honest
“Just f-ing say it. Whatever it is.
You aren’t sparing anyone’s feelings when you aren’t being honest about yours and the things you don’t say affect your life far more than the things you do.” — Gilga-Mosh
Pot, the more you know, women, etc.
“1. Smoking pot is a big waste of time.
2. The more you learn at 25, the more you’ll know 40+.
3. Women enjoy sex as much as men do.
4. Live your life for yourself, not for others.
5. Develop good exercise and eating habits; you will have much more energy in your 40s because trying to get back into shape when you’re older is a real bitch.
6. Take care of your teeth.
7. Don’t let other people get into your head.
8. Stay close to your family.
9. Don’t take love for granted; it’s much harder to find the older you get.
10. Wear sunscreen.” — tsatsawassa
Get used to rejection and failure
“Try and get used to rejection and failure as soon as you can and up until you don’t care any more, so you become a person that isn’t afraid of it. And of course, try and learn from your mistakes or (even better) other people’s. Be observant.
The sooner you do that, the better life will be for you. You’ll be able to get to old age with little regrets.” — jandemor
Do NOT be too nice
“Being OVERLY nice to a girl, wont make her like you and want to date you.” — VerbalRadiation
It’s not the destination, it’s the journey
“… It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey to get there. Find the good in each step and enjoy it…it doesn’t last long…
Most important, you are far, far capable than you’ll ever know, either at 25 or 40. Go.” — allyallmfersneed
Have a contingency plan
“Always have a contingency plan, no exceptions. You (obviously) think you’re going to be married for ever and that (obviously) you are special and different from all those yucky, lazy people who end up divorced. Youjust are a little more careful and have things a little more together than all of them. Obviously, right?” — newloaf
There are no guarantees in life…
“No one owes you s***. A lot of people bitch and moan about their bosses, work, the promotion they gave to Tom instead of you. Everyone feels like their not getting recognized for something great they are doing, that its all being over looked. Those guys are usually the ones who are insecure about something. Don’t play into the drama. There are going to be good days, there are going to be bad days. Good years, and bad years. Put your head down, do your job to the best of your ability, and don’t be the guy whining about everything that’s wrong.” — Wise_Kruppe
Everything, bad or good, will eventually change
“I know I am late to the party but… I would tell my 25 year old self that nothing is forever. Everything bad or good will eventually change. So if you are going through a bunch of stuff just keep your head down and move forward till it gets better. And when things are good appreciate and cherish it. Oh and stop drinking diet soda that stuff is going (to) rot your brain.” — tonguefangtail829
Say to the people you love what you want to say while you can
“People close to you are going to die and you won’t know when. Say to the people you love what you want to say to them while you can.” — ThatGuyFromOhio
Get regular check-ups
“ 1. Even if you feel healthy, get regular checkups. Make it a habit.
2. If you bang your teeth up, say in a mountain biking accident, talk to your dentist about it. Internal tooth damage can take a while to show. You can catch it early if you’re looking.” — greendot
Don’t be bossy, be a better listener and get some sleep
“Even if you are a pro at something-don’t be bossy. Most people already have a boss; they don’t need you telling them what to do.
Be a better listener. Don’t interrupt – some people will stop talking to you if you keep interrupting them.
Sleep is a beautiful thing.” — QueenofCakes
Invest in value and don’t get into a serious relationship
“I wish I had known the following.
1. It isn’t about how much you earn it’s how much you owe that is important. Bling gets boring, so avoid it and focus on investing in things that go up in value.
2. In your 20’s don’t get into a serious relationship. People in their 20’s are idiots, so focus on becoming the kind of person that you want to be, not what some idiot 20 yr. old thinks you should be. Cause, they aren’t going to stick around anyways.
3. Vote quietly, don’t tell anyone whom you voted for and stay out of political conversations because Democrats and Republicans have created actual hate out of their beliefs. In fact just try to vote for the best American and ignore political parties.” — 1fineFZO9
This article originally appeared on AskMen.
For more like this from AskMen, try:
30 PROVEN WAYS TO JUMP AHEAD OF THE CURVE AT WORK & AT PLAY
Photo credit: Bridget H/flickr