What To Do To Avoid Having Regrets In Your 20s

Luke Porter

People regret things they do. They also regret the things they didn’t do. Regrets are inevitable. But they’re not always bad. Regrets mean you tried and failed, you used your time walking the wrong path, and you made the wrong choices. It means you’re alive.

No effective vaccine has been discovered yet to prevent human beings from regretting. In saying that below are some of the tips for your 20’s that may mitigate the risks of some future regrets.

Don’t trade away your values.

They’re called values for a reason!

When you were a kid you learned all these great virtues from your parents, teachers or even from watching animated movies. Everyone around you hummed the same song: honesty, integrity, loyalty, respect, truthfulness… etc. The bad would be defeated and the good would prevail.

In your 20s, you faced the real world with burning ambition and great expectation. You asked for a lot (success, status, security), but you realized that you had little or nothing to give back.

That’s when the trade would start. You might trade away your dignity for a secured job or discard truthfulness to gain more money or give away loyalty to get promoted.

Any loss of one of your virtues would be permanent and regrettable. The values and ethics you lost will be replaced with new deformed survivor notions like white lies; scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

Losing your values in your 20’s means losing your identity, your uniqueness, or maybe your self-respect. You will not just struggle with yourself, you will struggle to teach these values to your kids when you know deep inside you don’t have them anymore.

There is a very famous quote summarizes this point below:

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Learn how to read people.

This one of the best and hardest skill to learn in life. If you learn it early (in your 20s) it may save years of your life and protect you from demeaning relationships.

How to read people then?

Try to listen to what they say and compare it with their actions. Many people have predictable patterns. ‘

Reading books also help you to understand human behavior, especially fiction. All these fictional characters that you read about are based on real people.

It is not a simple task, to read someone. It may be easy to read people from same culture or country, like Indian person may understand another Indian, but can Indian understand a Chinese. It gets harder as globalization and social media evolves and connect people of different backgrounds together.

I will give you interesting and funny real-life example:

There is this guy who talks about me behind my back- backstabs and badmouths me.

But every time he did it he comes to me afterward, his face split into a wide friendly smile and asked me, how is my day?

I took a deep breath and thought; it was good till you ask.

“I am still good. Thank you for asking,” I replied.

Take care of your brain cells.

The evidence for the human brain continues to produce new cells throughout life is so slim.

Let this argument aside, your brain ability to comprehend declines by time. So don’t destroy the brain cells that you’ve got.

Getting high just to pass by, seeking happiness, filling a void in your life and many more misleading reasons may lead youth to consume drugs.

There is also binge drinking (Drinking so that you can deliberately get drunk) culture among youth.

Drugs, alcohol and sleep deprivation will eventually destroy your brain cells. Something you’ll regret about later on life.

Do mistakes and learn from them.

That sound obvious. You go through experience you learn and grow and know how to deal with things better.

Well, that’s not the case for everyone. AND I DON’T KNOW WHY there are hopeless people in their late 60s and act like they’ve jumped from being a teenage to senior skipping all the years in between.

The 20s is a great time to observe and learn. You’re young and have nothing to lose. Mistakes are your friends, your biggest allies. Mistakes are your opportunity to grow. Embrace each mistake in your life. Every lesson learned from a mistake will help you avoid regret later.

Don’t let the world dictate your wants and dreams.

The ways the Media/marketing engine manipulate our world are ridiculous. You’ve been targeted from an early age.They set your dreams and needs, even your lifestyle, to suit their products. This has been done to you and me from an early age.

As a little kid, you were introduced to the “Happy Meal.”

As a teenager you were asked to “Keep up with the Kardashian.”

As soon as you hit your 20s (working age) you’ll be sold the dream of owning your own home. Now you’ve to spend the rest of your life paying for this dream, doing work you don’t enjoy coping with people and situation you don’t like.

Stop now (in your 20s) and ask yourself, who am I? What kind of life I’d like to live? Find your real dream and chase it or you may regret later.

Enjoy every minute of your 20’s.

Guess what! There is only one 20’s in your life. No there is no 20’s after the 30s or the 40’s. This is your prime time.

Keep away from any drama. Enjoy every minute.

Don’t limit yourself by others, by negative thinking, by place.

I asked a 29-year-old man if has traveled before. He said no because he is saving money to buy a house in the same suburb he lives in now. Once he settled in, he will travel.

“How do you know that this is the best place in the world for you to live and work?” I asked.

Don’t let saving money prevent you from any life experience. You live only once and during this lifetime, there is only one 20s. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I write articles about life and living, family and short stories.

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