31 People On The Devastatingly Simple Advice They Wish They’d Followed When They Were Young

via Unsplash - Amos Bar-Zeev
via Unsplash – Amos Bar-Zeev

1. You have less time on earth than you think you do

“Life is shorter than you realize. Put your family first, spouse kids,that includes your parents and people who are like family to you. Develop a service attitude and do things for others. Cultivate patience you need it more the older you get. It doesn’t matter if your house or car is the best, if they fulfill their intended purpose they are good enough. When it comes down to the end of a persons life all the money in the world doesn’t matter. What matters is the memories you leave behind..make peoples memories of you good ones and keep them talking about you. The stories live on and through them you do. Find your faith. If you aren’t religious find your faith in something else that is important to you. I am 59 years old and have seen shit that’ll curl your hair. I retain a spirit of optimism in spite of knowing full well the chaos life can be. I recommend hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.”


2. Pick Your Battles

“Pick your battles carefully, not everything is worth your time.

Show some respect, it doesn’t cost a thing and builds political capital you can spend when you fuck up.

Just because someone does dope doesn’t mean they’re cool, some will sell you out in a heartbeat.

Find people and things that make you laugh now and then.

Know when its time to leave.”


3. Clean Out Your Life

“Declutter your life a few times a year materially, emotionally, and spiritually.”


4. Use Sunscreen

“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.”


5. Discuss Ideas, Not People

“Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas.

This is often attributed as a quote to a few different people, most popularly Eleanor Roosevelt. Ironically though, worrying too much about attribution misses the point itself.”


6. Spend Time With Your Parents

“Spend as much time as you can with your parents. By the time you leave the home you’ve spent about 80% of the time you ever will get with them. And once they’re gone you’re going to miss them and wish you had spent that time with them.”


7. You’re Going To Fail If You’re Going To Try

“Don’t stress every little failure in life. Learn from the mistakes and treat them as lessons.”


8. Be With People and be truly present

“In person, human connection is way more valuable than some text or message. Spend as much time in the company of friends as you can.”


9. Trust That Little Voice In Your Head

“Save 10%. Follow your passion but have a career that pays. That feeling in the back of your mind is usually correct.”


10. Look People In The Eye

“Put down your cell phone. Look the people around you in the eye and talk.”


11. Don’t Be Afraid to say ‘Fuck it’ and Make sure you can

“You deserve better than what you are willing to accept. Don’t take the minimum from people. Demand respect and don’t ever give your body to people who insult it.

Oh, and save money for a Fuck It Fund. When people push you or screw you over or ask you to do unethical stuff…have money in the bank so you can just say ‘Fuck It’ and walk away.”


12. Make Those Changes NOW

“When you know you need to make a change- do it. Don’t stop or second guess yourself forever or wait for the right time. Previous to coming to this conclusion, I would wait for years debating the pros and cons- then finally jump. I would get so mad at myself because had I jumped sooner, I would have been happier sooner. Ask yourself these two questions: what is the worst that can happen? Can you live with those consequences?? The chances are the worst isn’t the end of the world and the consequences of it not working out won’t be as bad as you imagined. Finally, ask yourself these two final question- how will my life change for the better if it does work out? If it doesn’t work out, will my life be any worse than it is now?”


13. Don’t Borrow So Much Money

“Don’t waste your life paying off college debts. Go to a trade school, get a scholarship, work your way through, or save up and go later. You will be paying off those loans the rest of your life, if you don’t get a good job.”


14. Tragedy Will Give You Perspective

“One day, someone close to you will die.

It will suck a lot. But take it as an opportunity to put things in perspective. It makes the bumps of life feel trivial in comparison.”


15. There Is No Point Where You Have To Have It All Figured Out

“Don’t get too overwhelmed thinking you have to figure your entire life out by a certain age. You don’t reach a certain number and then cease to change or develop. I recently decided to pull a 180 career path change. I know folks in their 50s-60s who are still trying to answer questions of who they are and what they want to be.

You make choices for your life through a series of changes towards a goal. Rarely are any life’s decisions make by a single decision or over the course of a single thought.”


16. Just Because You Are Never Wrong Doesn’t Mean You’re Right

“Never deal in absolutes. So many people voice opinions as though they are absolutely correct. There is a strong chance that your belief system is wrong. That you may not know the answer. Very few things are black and white, most are shades of grey. Complex problems rarely have simple solutions so try to be open minded. Walk into every interaction with that thought in the back of your mind that you might be wrong and there may be a different way of viewing the situation that you haven’t considered. It sounds obvious and almost everyone I explain this to claims that they do this already, almost immediately before declaring a very definite and uncompromising point of view. Race, Religion and Politics in particular all fall foul of this type of thinking. I can think of very few people who genuinely question themselves and interrogate their life choices and decisions in any great depth or through a different lens. Just because you are never wrong does not mean that you are right.”


17. Live Life On The Edge

“Pay extra for guac. You’re worth it.”


18. Be The One People Can Count On

“If you commit to something, do it every time. No one likes a flaker.”


19. Don’t Get So Drunk All The Time

“Don’t be the one who always gets the most drunk. It’s not funny and you will not only alienate people but damage your reputation and mental health.”


20. Six Things He Wishes He’d Known Before Turning 51

“I just turned 51 and there are so many things I wish I had known sooner, but here are are a few.

  • Yesterday is gone and tomorrow doesn’t exist. The only thing that matters is the present moment. Make the most of it. Don’t stress about things you can’t control, its a waste of time and energy.
  • Know when to forgive or forget. Don’t be a doormat in order to say you have a lot of friends. There are times in life that it is necessary to “break up” with friends when the relationship is toxic.
  • Always trust your gut instinct. If something is telling you that something or someone is off, they probably are.
  • Never give permission to someone to treat you badly. Personal boundaries are key. If someone in your life disrespects your boundaries, it is imperative that the matter be addressed asap and the implications of a reoccurrence.
  • Meditation. It’s important to take time to yourself to be the best person you can be for your SO and your children. It’s more important then sex and yes, you have time. You can do it in the bathtub, in bed or even on a walk. Challenge yourself to meditate at least 10 minutes every day for a week and notice the changes.
  • Most importantly, don’t fuckin cheat on your spouse if you’re married. If you are unhappy in your marriage, get out of it first. When you have affairs, you bring other people into the relationship who don’t belong there. And that’s hurtful. I’ve been on both ends of this equation and the emotional damage is equally destructive.

Take it or leave it!”


21. They Aren’t Thinking About You

“Don’t worry about what people are thinking of you – they’re probably not thinking about you at all.”


22. Don’t Talk Shit

“Be careful about calling out others either to their face or behind their back. Life will often surprise you by forcing you to need something from that person in the future. I’ve noticed many instances at work where I am forced to deal with someone who I think to myself ‘glad I didn’t say that thing to them that I wanted to say last month’.”


23. Time Forgets All Rejection

“In two years, asking that guy/girl for a date and getting rejected doesn’t matter…Just do it!”


24. Make Things Easier On Yourself

“If you plan on going to college that encourages weed out courses, take your core courses at a junior college/community college first, then bring the credits over. The credit hours transfer, but not the grade points. It will save you a lot of stress and money.”


25. Never

“Never grow up.”


26. Worry Less About Other People’s Expectations

“You may spend a large portion of your life trying to be that something that everyone expects. You may try hard to be that successful business person when all you want is to travel the world. You may try hard to be that great partner or spouse to a crap partner or spouse. You may try hard to be straight when you are in fact gay.

Wasting your life trying to make sure you are meeting others expectations of you will gain you nothing. If you do ultimately become that successful business person, or you are a great partner or you pretend to be straight you gain nothing. At the end of the day when you are alone with your thoughts, when you are in the car by yourself, when you are in the shower by yourself you will realize that you are not happy.

Find what makes you happy and do it. Obviously people can and will take this to extremes. However, if being a plumber or a carpenter makes you happy because you work with your hands then do that. If being gay or just loving who you want to love makes you happy then do it.

There will be people that will and won’t accept you. That hurts sometimes. Sometimes when those people are your family or your close friends and they say and do hurtful things because you are finally living how you want to live, that hurts. However, at the end of the day and at the end of your days, what do you want? Do you want to leave this life saying you lived up to everyone’s expectations or do you want to say you lived life how you wanted to live it.”


27. Learn To Read People

“The sooner you’re able to read people the better off you’ll be. Learn to spot true friends as opposed to those who only get in touch when they need something. Family members that have your best interest in mind. Coworkers who look out for you as opposed to stepping on you to get ahead.”


28. Become A Doctor, Right Now

“Become a medical doctor. If you can’t, then consider becoming a dentist, or a nurse.

Ignore those people that tell you to follow your dreams of majoring in Women’s Studies or Art History. You can study Women’s Studies or Art History later as a hobby if you must.

You’ll suffer through med school but the light at the end of the tunnel is that you’ll be financially secure for the rest of your life, and never have to worry about job security.

You’ll thank me once you’re done with med residency and you visit the Starbucks to order a doppio espresso from your Women’s Studies major friend who’ll finish paying back student loans when they are 65.”


29. It’s Out There, Not In Here

“Everything you desire is just on the outside edge of your comfort zone.”


30. Just Say No

“Learn how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty, or without feeling the need to explain yourself. It will save you years of stress and heartache.”


31. Seriously Though

“Never marry someone who doesn’t want to have sex as much or more than you do…”

Shakooza Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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