Ask the Readers: What Life Lessons Do You Wish Your Younger Self Knew?

Each of us has moments in life when we wish we knew something earlier. For example, we might say, “If only I knew it in the beginning of my career…” or “If only I knew it when I started my first business…”

Similarly, I believe you have some life lessons that you wish you knew earlier. These are lessons that could have made a big difference in your life if you knew them sooner.

So here is my question to you:

What life lessons do you wish your younger self knew?

I use the term “life lessons” in a broad sense here, so they can be related to your career, family, education, or other parts of your life.

My hope is that by learning from each other’s answers, we can learn some important lessons sooner rather than later. Wouldn’t it be great if we can avoid learning some lessons the hard way?

Please leave your answer in the comments. Even if you don’t plan to leave an answer, I hope you will still visit the page to vote for your favorite answer. Thanks!

Photo by Bigstock

27 Comments

  1. Advice to younger me: Don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Be honest with yourself about who you are, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Smile more!

  2. Life lesson to myself: Tell the difference between love and ‘lust’. True love is pure and long lasting!

  3. Wow, to my younger self I would say. 1) Keep a journal (daily) 2) Talent is a subjective/relative concept. Don’t worry about it. Just put effort into anything you want and results appear over the long term. 3) Don’t let other’s negativity talk you out of pursuits and interests 4) Educate yourself, read as much as possible.

  4. I think the best way to learn it’s from as or another life lessons , life experience , environmental habit, the level of maturity,if you keep a journal can become you history and the end of that it’s now or tomorrow’s if you can’t see, maybe to make a new personal story behind tomorrow…

  5. Number 1 life lesson is not to quit a job when you dont have another
    Number two lesson is to have a good-positive attitude to people

  6. I second ladybug. Negative people do not deserve your energy- let your goals/desires drive you. Focus on the good in life (even if it is in the future or as simple as breathing and looking at the sky). And most people feel lonely from time to time – you are not abnormal. Remember the people you care about and those that care about you.

  7. I would tell my younger self that the most important thing is family and that unlike a
    computer, mistakes in life are permanent and cannot be deleted

  8. to my younger self i would say that don’ follow the crowd. have confidence in being yourself. Focus on understanding things and on thinking about them rather than knowing and rehearsing

  9. Get as much education as possible. You have to help yourself, no one else will. Don’t trust your Boss. Give back and help others.

  10. Bonita Moonshine
    Bonita Moonshine

    Listen to your heart, do what feels right for you. Other people tend to pass on their insecurities, and whilst they might want the best for you, they don’t necessarily know what is right for you. Certainly don’t sit back down again when someone tells you something isn’t a good idea. If something is not working and you’ve tried to fix it and it still isn’t working and you’ve tried everything and then some, it’s ok to walk away. It’s ok to say this is broken beyond repair, it no longer serves my highest purpose, it’s making me ill/sad/both I am leaving. It’s ok to set boundaries and expect people to treat you with respect and care. It’s ok to say no to people, especially if they’re asking you to do something you’re not comfortable with. Not everyone is going to like you. You’re not going to like everyone. It’s ok, this is perfectly normal. Some people are just not going to get you, no matter how hard you try. In fact the harder you try, the less likely someone is going to get you. Be yourself. Always. Reach out for your dreams, embrace change. See opportunity where other people see crisis.

  11. A life lesson to myself would be:

    Take risks, lots of risks where failure is survivable!

  12. 1) being nice/polite is almost always more important than being right 2) i don’t always have to say everything that I think 3) ALWAYS save $ on a regular basis 4) just because you “have it going on” right now doesn’t mean you always will, so be humble 5) help others whenever realistically possible, 6) failure is THE BEST stepping stone to learning more about stuff, myself included & 7) DON’T focus too much on others’ opinions about me!

  13. Remember that some things really are outside of your control. I can’t even comprehend the amount of time I have wasted being sad, or mad, or worrying about things that I could not change / had no control over. Things are going to happen and the sooner you accept them and move forward, the more OTHER things are going to happen. Good and bad. All for a reason.

  14. I would say: believe fully in your own talents and abilities and trust that you are capable of many things.

  15. If I knew that no body think about me and do not help me in hard situations, I would never think about them……

  16. Thanks for sharing, everyone! I enjoy reading your answers. I’m sure others will also find them useful.

  17. I’d tell younger me to diversify. I was a very one-track mind person, which meant I had a very focused education through graduate school in the sciences. I wish I’d taken more time to take some business and sociology classes that would help me more now as a self-employed…jill-of-all-trades?

    Stop fearing failure. Failure is on your horizon, little one, and it’s inevitable.

    Also, please go talk to a therapist earlier. You have OCD, and that’s ok, but the previous two suggestions are much easier to swallow once you are medicated.

  18. Just do what makes you happy and DON’T care what others think of you

  19. having regrets is a waste of time. one has to accept his present and realize that it is the result of past decisions we have made. we are responsible for every action we take or took. accepting this brings about peace. everything always works exactly as it should. Not seing this is not taking responsibility. I have ZERO regreats and I am living exactly the kind of life I always wanted. I would change nothing and everything I learned is a gift from GOD or what ever you want to call it. I accept things exactly as they are.

  20. “Each of us has moments in life when we wish we knew something earlier.” Wrong, some people do not have these kinds of thoughts. I am one of such people. It looks like you have some more figuring out to do but know this that living a life of regreats and fear and wishful thinking is a waste of NOW, time, and it means that a person thinking this way has not accepted and taken responsibility for his thoughts and actions. Responce-abilityis something everyone has but not everyone accepts and that is a recipe for suffering.

  21. Focus on YOUR Unique Ability and let your passion drive you. Find awesome professionals to do for you what you are not AMAZING at (well over 80% of most people’s days are spent doing what they are really good at or worse).

  22. Heather Parrish
    Heather Parrish

    Relax; everyone is just as messed up as you are.

  23. Ashu Taku James
    Ashu Taku James

    Information is power and knowledge, seek it with all your heart. My people perish due to lack of Knowledge Zech. 4:6.
    Pastor Ashu Taku James, Author of book: Yes the church can and the journey to greatness

  24. To my younger self would say 1)Never put yourself into the shoes that never fits you,this would make you feel even more sad to the already existing pressure on your self.Follow what your heart says.
    2)Never take the advice given to you by some when you know that it is going to make you sad rather happy.
    3)Always help yourself first,no one comes at your time when you are in need, most of them have their own worries or in a mess.Help others who are in need as and when you can.
    4)Never let yourself down no matter what.Always accept the way you are and appreciate for what you are today,be grateful to god and every person who helped you in every way they could:)
    5)Always have the innocence like a child,think big,achieve big as you grow older and stay young.

  25. Attitude is the most important thing. Even if you are in the hard situtation, still it is your choice to smile and be happy! Love your life, love yourself. Always.

  26. That you do not have to form yourself into someone that people will love. The right people will love you exactly as you are!!!

  27. Life lesson to myself is keep on struggling, one day you must get the key of success. And it is definite 🙂 Good Luck Everyone

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