24 Life Lessons Learned In 24 Years That Every 20-Something Can Appreciate

Drew Coffman
Drew Coffman

1. Heartbreaks will often put you in an uncomfortable place.

When the world becomes your enemy and it’s people turn evil is the point  where we learn to fight and overcome depression and anxiety which in result leads to self-harm (physical as well as emotional) and withdrawal from our loved ones. Every heartbreak has taught me valuable lessons and although I had to go through the same feelings I honestly believe after the storm has ended you come out as a totally different person. Once the fog over your misinterpretation of the situation has lifted and the Sun shines clearly over reality is when you know how you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Heartbreaks are inevitable and are not simply subject to relationships.

2. Be a WARRIOR, not a WORRIER.

It is certainly important to worry as without doing so you won’t be able to anticipate what might go wrong in any given situation and therefore avoid it. However worrying only gets you so far. Learn embrace that things might not always fall into line with what you have envisioned as a challenge. Face the fear, rise to the occasion and bring out the Warrior because if you won’t who will?

3. Self-pity doesn’t get you anywhere.

That being said I must admit that I too am guilty of this. SELF PITY is a horrible disease to gain attention which can often backfire, I learned that the hard way. Life is great, we should be humble and take every life situation in a positive way. We should not feel sorry for ourselves but rather understand how blessed you truly are.

4. The hardest battles are the ones you will fight alone.

24 years and uncountable battles later, those including heartbreak, health issues, family distress and more I have come to realise that when you are already on the battlefield though your army of loved ones are there for support, that’s the moment when you realise that you have two options. The first is that you give up and seek help for it is easier when someone fights your battles for you. The second choice is stand up and face those battles alone. Once you pick up your armour and take charge you give yourself an entirely new meaning to the concept of being strong.

5. Try and find the gain in your loss.

As opposed to dwelling in the past and sinking in your sorrows, finding the silver lining is always a more productive and fulfilling way to deal with your grief.

6. Every experience counts (Don’t ignore the things you think are small).

There was once a point where I used to find the answer to questions which I had no idea the answer was so simple. There was one instance in particular where I was in the place where I thought going to Thailand, (my first ever solo trip) was just going to be based on partying and drinks and trying something new with martial arts. Little did I know how that trip would fuel my passion for Muay Thai. One small trip to Thailand turned out to ignite something I never dreamed would become so special to me.

7. Exploring a place = Exploring yourself.

One of the most important things in my life has always been travelling. The wanderlust within had me open up to myself and see things in a whole new light. I highly recommend everyone to go on holiday at least once by themselves. I am still trying to travel solo as much as I can, you leave your home town and come back as a totally different person. With so much passion, a drive to achieve your goals and do something that will leave a mark. Whilst you guys are reading this, I am already on my 3rd solo trip to discover what more there is out there to learn.

8. Parents.

The foundation of life, the reason behind why you were able to stand up on your own two feet. Although there are always exceptions to this rule where  we have inspiring individuals who have made a life for themselves as well as their family. Although it has been said again in many different ways parents are the wings whom without, you wouldn’t be able to fly to success. This title is not only limited to blood relations but is applicable for the people who were there to provide that guidance when nobody else would. Cherish them. Their presence, their wisdom and most importantly their unconditional love.

9. Be ambitious  but don’t go overboard.

It is said that “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” Whilst this is true what I’ve learnt is that dreams are visions you want to turn to reality and the reality is that if your ambition exceeds what is feasible within your current situation then you are either taking a huge risk or setting yourself up for disappointment (Unless life thinks you’ve earned it and the timing is right). Now I just want to clarify that I am not trying to demotivate but more so share some practical advice with what your goals are because let’s face it, we don’t live in a movie and it’s rare that someone will one fine day come along and drop big bucks on your million dollar dreams. Once again I’m not trying to be “Negative Nancy” but rather than diving in with both feet test the waters first. Explore your strengths, work on your weaknesses. Figure out what your limitations (for that moment) are and learn to overcome them bit by bit. Keep repeating this process each time and slowly but surely, you’ll be swimming in your hard earned success

10. If you snooze you lose.

NUFF SAID ! So wake up cause your dreams won’t wait for you while you taking a long extended break or nap.

11. One is better than none.

This is my best friend . Aliza has always been an important person in my life . Yes, i have a lot of good friends and i am blessed to have them all . What i learned is that true friendship is even when you stop talking to each other ( Aliza and I didn’t speak to each other for a couple of months due to personal issue’s ) they are always there for you when you need them ..distance and time won’t affect them . Aliza has always bee

12. Never look for love, let it find you.

I’m still young but I have gone through numerous of relationships which unfortunately ended badly and sadly. What I learned is that I kept looking for love in wrong places however as soon as you stop looking for what your classification of perfect is something better will definitely find it’s way to you. Sometimes you may not even know how nearby they could be!

13. Distance doesn’t mean you can’t help.

Not many people know this but I have a lovely son who is 8 years old in Cambodia. Having said this I want to bring the alarm down and clarify that by having a son I mean I am helping him with his school and life till he grows up and fulfils his dreams. I honestly I can’t tell you how I feel when I get daily handwritten letters by him (Sent monthly) and photos. He always makes me laugh as he expresses his love for food and drawing. and I can’t wait to make a trip to Cambodia and surprise him. If I can be so bold and give you guys a piece of advice is that if adoption isn’t feasible try sponsoring a child and make difference. It won’t cost you much but with that money you are building a child’s future. There are no words to express the gratification of knowing that you are providing a child the opportunity to accomplish his/her dreams .

14. You’re worth more than you think.

We are all our own biggest critic. You may think that the world is bringing you down however that is not the case. It is time to snap out of that illusion and splash some ice cold water on your face to wake yourself up and realise that’s not the case. The only person allowing those thoughts into your mind is yourself. Nobody is forcing these misconceptions about your “incapabilities” down your throat but yourself. Sit down and grab a piece of paper and write down all the things, big or small you have done till date and what you are good at. Scroll through your messages and take a look at all those people who turn to you for advice. Read through that advice and hopefully you’ll realise that you are a pretty damn awesome human being with so many attributes whom without, a lot of lives, projects and destinies would be incomplete.

15. Drink to remember, not to forget.

Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.

16. Education isn’t just a piece of paper.

A person I once knew referred to degrees being just a sheet of paper and it’s value is not seen in the working world as much as experience. I would like to respond to that here. Although the end physical result is in fact the name of a University with your name and hard earned qualification printed on parchment paper, make no mistake there is a reason as to why people undergo this excruciating process. This piece of paper will be the foundation upon which you pave your career no matter what industry you may choose. This piece of paper will define you as a hard working candidate in future interviews. This piece of paper can only be obtained once you submerge yourself into learning about your passion. Education isn’t just restricted to academics and this is something you learn whilst going through the whole system. There is so much out there for us to soak in however if you want to get the ball rolling, getting your qualifications and putting your heart into learning is laying down the first stone.

17. Self-love.

I can go over this topic endlessly. When the idea of this website came up in my mind, I told Aliza that it would not only be about fitness, It would be about self-love and empowerment. I love to see people when they talk about their career, life, things which make them happy. I didn’t know the true value of self love till this year. Once you know how to love yourself, it’s so powerful that you don’t need anyone else to make u happy. It’s just you and your happiness that matters the most and no it’s not being selfish. It’s putting yourself first and what’s right for u. As it is said, “you were born alone and you will die alone … so in the middle .. make yourself happy.”

18. Never lose the child in you.

Freshly turned 24, people and even my family told me numerous times “nisha why can’t you just focus on one thing and have stable career ?” I know if I did listen to them, my childhood dream of travelling, playing extreme sports would have never come true. With taking the step to working on my own blog would have never been possible. So guys never give up on dreams of when you were younger.

Children, they don’t care what tomorrow brings, The only care in their mind is how they’re going to play, How can they be happy ..why can’t we be like them ? A carefree spirit, why has adult life taken that big of a toll on us ? Just for one day I urge you to be like little kid, go out have fun and leave your worries at home. Trust me when you embrace that mindset and realise your youth had never left in you, you get a whole new incentive to work harder.

19. There is only one way to find your own limits.

Until you overcome numerous of failures, not one but an average of 20 will come a time where you will realise your limit. However the key question is Do you stay stagnant up or keep pushing a little further. Once you start you get addicted to exceeding your personal best.

Being a very fitness oriented person, there had come a point where ironically it was my health which fluctuated in the middle affecting my daily routine. Upon receiving the news it had suddenly made me realise how I hit a fork in the road. I could either choose the path of self-pity and letting dejected thoughts overtake my psyche. On the other hand there was the more enticing path that formed as a challenge to how dedicated I was to maintaining a healthy body and my goodness does it feel great to say I chose the latter.

The freedom of knowing that you can achieve better and better results, the feeling of determination to excel impacts your entire life. Pull the plug on limits and crank up the power to tread on, you’ll be amazed at what comes your way. Want to say it proudly that “The life I am living is all because I didn’t give up. I’ll keep pushing till my last breath”.

20. Learn to overcome fears.

Fear is a horrible frenemy of ours, if we keep feeling our fear it becomes our best friend. And that fear keeps us on and off the edge of our goals and dreams. See the tricky thing with fear is that you need to find the balance between how is helps in terms of assessing oneself and when it gets in the way and keeps you from succeeding the way you are destined to.
There was such a time in my life where I lived in fear for couple of years. I lived in fear where I thought I could never emerge out of depression. One day, early

Summer I woke up feeling that I am not going to feed my thoughts (fear) I am going to stay active and keep my fear away. I started to do things which were out of my comfort zone which I thought I could never do. All the adventures that one only dreamt about can be fulfilled once you look fear dead in the eye and put it in its place.

21. Tattoos aren’t stickers.

I got my first tattoo when I was 19 years old and hid it from my parents till the age of 23 . I am on my 5th tattoo and each and every tattoo I got has it’s own unique little story, a hidden meaning if you will, behind it. A friend of mine once implied body is an accessory for which I strongly believe that tattoos are more than stickers, it’s your life story and how you define that piece of art .

22. Craziness isn’t just being wild.

What’s life without a bit of craziness sprinkled on top? (Or doused in, whatever suits your preference!) Being crazy is not only about being wild and reckless though I will admit, the thrill of dodging a bullet (spoken figuratively) does get your adrenaline pumping. However the best way to channel that craziness is being crazy for those opportunities, crazy for that good life , crazy for your dream and crazy just for the sake of letting go and feeling free. Once you stop caring, daring yourself to go ahead and do this conventionally you wouldn’t, that rush can get you through many turbulent times. It’s when you sit down and reflect on things you would never have imagined yourself doing does it make you realise what you’re capable of. That feeling and sense of empowerment… how will you use it?

23. Time waits for no one.

When I was 18 and half, I lost my ex to god, he was my first love. Unfortunately, the year before that my beloved Grandmother also parted this world on my Birthday. It was a pretty tough year. Time molds you, it is up to you how you choose you want it to capture you… whilst being productive or remaining idle? I learned in a hard way that time waits for no one . Guys if u love someone go and tell them, if you have dream or something You always want to do .. go for it even tho it might sound crazy and cliche right now just do it.

24. Be true to yourself.

Whatever I wrote above was an innermost expression of a perspective on life. One night there was one question rattling in my mind “Am I being true to myself?” We all seem so sure of ourselves in this day and age because let’s face it, to keep up on your two feet there will be times where you need to sand off the edges a little. Fair enough, however never forget about the importance of honesty and how it starts with you yourself. In any given situation, be it career aspirations, Your goals in life, personal victories you name it! Big or small, bad or good who cares? What matters is the one person who  at the end of the day is going to look you in the mirror, right into the depth of your eyes to see how genuine your heart was into doing whatever it was you were doing. Once you feel that comfort and ease, you know you’re on the right track and everything falls into place.  “If I am not true to myself , I can’t be true to anyone.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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