Have you ever wished you learned something or got a piece of advice before you actually did? Maybe it was something like the S.A.T doesn’t determine the entire course of your life, or being nice is sometimes more important than being “right.” Regardless of what it was, I’m sure most of us can relate to wishing we knew something, to begin with. Taking a bit of time to learn about life can help you save time, money, and energy no matter what age or stage of life you’re in. We all still have plenty to learn! Knowing this, here are 9 hard truths you need to know to help you live with as few regrets as possible!
1. You will never be younger than you are now
It may sound distressing to hear, but it’s the simple truth. We only have a certain amount of time to live, interact with others, and make a difference. Regardless of what you want to do in life, realizing that taking action is one of the most important things you can do is key. There will never be a perfect opportunity or time to start something, for you already have what you need to succeed: yourself. If you wait too long, you may find it’s too late to take action. This principle can be summed up to a quote from the famous Broadway musical, Hamilton, wherein taking action is one of its key themes, “you don’t get a win unless you play in the game. You get love for it. You get hate for it. You get nothing if you wait for it.”
2. Life isn’t a safe, predictable formula
There are no rules on how to live life. Despite what many of us have been taught, the basic go to school, get a college degree, and get a job formula doesn’t guarantee you anything. Of course, it increases your chances of financial stability, but it doesn’t guarantee you happiness. There is no do x, y, and z then become happy and fulfilled formula. Life is messy, uncontrollable at times, and far from perfect. Knowing this might save you a lot of disappointment and distress in the future!
3. You can’t have it all
It may seem discouraging, but it’s true. No one’s life is perfect, so if you’re looking to have an amazing social life, work-life, and be deeply invested in many hobbies, you may end up stretching yourself way too thin. The same concept applies to those of you who are still in school: if you want a perfect GPA, active social life, and amazing extracurriculars, chances are you’re not going to feel good. Taking on too many responsibilities will leave you stressed and overworked, meaning you’ll enjoy the activities much less as well. You have to prioritize what matters most to you while keeping your limits in mind. It may be sad to let go of a few things, but you’ll probably realize how much happier you are not having to juggle fifty different things like a circus act!
4. Despite your expectations, nothing is ever as good or bad as you think
Our minds have a tendency to blow things out of proportion. Do you remember ever failing a test and thinking your life is over? Did that test really affect where you are now? Chances are the answer is no. When you care a lot about something, it makes you blow it out of proportion in relation to your life as a whole. Whether it’s something good or bad, no one thing is going to drastically improve or ruin your life. Life isn’t pass/fail, but it is a series of events and choices, so try not to fixate on one positive or negative thing.
5. The most important relationship is the one with yourself
Remembering this can be extremely hard between all the social pressure to be in a relationship and personal pressure to be close with friends and family. However, it’s so important to know to prioritize your mental health. You are important and deserve to be treated well. The people who don’t recognize this fact simply aren’t worth fighting for because, at the end of the day, you are the one constant in your life.
6. Everyone has emotions and is a person just like you
This may seem cliché and obvious but believe it or not, we often both idolize and treat people as if they aren’t human. It may be flattering by saying something like, “so and so never fails! They’re perfect!” or negative by treating people as if they don’t have feelings. This often happens with celebrities or any other people who lead such different lives that the average person has a hard time relating to them. Surprisingly, both cases are bad. Imagine if everyone expected you to never make a mistake, or they treated you as if you didn’t have feelings. It would no doubt put a lot of pressure and strain on you. The hard truth is that although some people seem untouchable, they are complex, flawed humans who are going through many things all the time just like you.
7. Trust pays off
While trusting people is hard for a lot of people, more often than not, it will be worth it. By opening yourself up occasionally, you make the foundation to build meaningful, deep connections with other people. You may be betrayed once or twice, but ultimately the many emotional benefits outweigh the risks. Of course, take it slow if you feel unready. Just keep in mind, by assuming everyone is untrustworthy, you block everyone off without giving them a chance meaning you’ll lose out on 100 percent of the relationships you could’ve had.
8. Social media affects your mental health
In our day and age, social media is a great way to stay connected and entertained. However, there is a stark difference between using it as a way to gain inspiration, affirmation, and new connections and using it to compare yourself to others. It can be easy to compare your lifestyle, body, and achievements to other people’s, but the bottom line is that comparing yourself to snapshots of someone else’s greatest highlights and achievements isn’t healthy. Especially considering most people only put the best, most aesthetically pleasing, and ultimately unrealistic versions of themselves online. This can make you feel like you’re not good enough or that your life doesn’t amount to as much as someone else’s, but that is, of course, not the case. Social media may end up doing you more harm than good, so keep that in mind the next time you open up Instagram to scroll through photos of what you may wish you were.
9. Retirement shouldn’t be your goal
While saving up for retirement and thinking ahead is great, retirement shouldn’t be your goal in work. If you’re waiting around until the day you can finally be done working, chances are it’s not the right job for you. Keep in mind that you spend so much time working in life that enjoying your job should be one of your highest priorities. This principle is sure to help you when deciding your job, and if you’re already working and now realize you don’t enjoy it, it can still help you as well. Refer back to point number 1 and possibly think about some action you can take. It’s not too late!
While these may be hard to put into practice at first, they’re truths that will ultimately benefit you in the long run. Just remember, while it may be too late to change the past, it’s not too late to change your future. These truths could end up saving you a lot of heartbreak and pain. After all, learning now is way better than learning the hard way!
Do you relate to any of these truths? Do you think learning these now will help you in the future? Please feel free to share any questions, experiences, or thoughts!