21 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

younger self

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. —Psalm 90:12

There are many things I wish knew when I was younger. 

No matter how much we try to live each day to the fullest, there is always something we wish we should have done differently or known earlier.

1.  Travel more.  Traveling makes you appreciate life more; the more you see and experience new things and places, the more you appreciate being alive.  You see the beauty of nature, and you feel closer to your Maker like never before.  You get to release stress, you worry less, you become a happier person, and you see things from a different perspective.  You realize it’s a beautiful world we live in, and it’s amazing to be granted the gift of life.  

2.  Start investing early.  The power of compound interest is the greatest phenomenon in the world. According to Albert Einstein, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it”.  

3.  Time is an illusion.  When I was younger, it always felt like I had my whole life ahead of me.  So, I kept on procrastinating; putting off reading that book I’ve always wanted to read, not dropping a message to a friend I haven’t seen or talked to for a long time, not exercising daily, not saving and investing, not going out.  Now, I look back and I realized I’ve wasted so much time planning and not acting.

4.  Friends come and go.  You may feel a certain connection with some people and think you could be friends forever.  Truth is, if you’re not losing friends you’re not growing.  When you feel like the friendship is not helping you grow anymore, you’re not learning anything new, or it’s holding you back, know that it’s normal.  Also, you’ll find out some people also change, and you will feel like you don’t belong in their world anymore.  It’s either you’ve outgrown them, or they’ve outgrown you.  Either way, it’s time to let go.  

5.  It’s okay to be the odd one.  When you’re young, most people will call partying cool and not partying boring.  If you believe it isn’t so, that’s perfectly fine!  It’s okay to be the odd one.  Don’t be afraid to be different.  Celebrate your uniqueness.  

6.  You’ll get your heart broken.  Maybe once, maybe twice.  It’s all part of the package.  Only a very few are lucky enough to end up with their first love.  Most mortals will have to meet a few wrong people before they meet the right one for them.

7.  It’s never too late to pursue a passion or change career path.  If you’re not happy with what you do anymore, it’s never too late to shift.  If you’re itching to pursue something you’ve always wanted, don’t delay it.  There’s a reason why that dream or passion has been planted in your heart.  Use it to bless the world.

8.  Take more risks.  When you’re young, you have more opportunities to fail.  More opportunities to fail means more opportunities to learn.  More opportunities to learn is more opportunities to succeed.  Plus, you become wiser and stronger in the process.

9.  You can’t change a person or save the whole world in one go.  You can’t change anyone.  That’s God’s job.  Your job is to accept and love them for who they are.  The change will follow.  If they’re sucking out your energy, learn to love them from a distance.

You’ll go crazy trying to save the world.  It’s frustrating!  What you can do is try to save one person at a time.  How?  Be a friend.  Listen.  Empathize.  Share your time.  Let them feel they matter.  Never underestimate the power of kindness.

10.  Dance, run, hike, try something new, go out of your comfort zone while you still can.  While you still have the stamina, the energy and the time, do something that you think you’ll never be able to do when you grow old and weak.

11.  People you know and care about will die.  We can’t live forever.  That’s the harsh reality. Cherish the people around you, show them you care, and never miss an opportunity to affirm.  Words are powerful, and the impact can resonate forever.

12.  Haters are going to hate!  It’s not what you do, it’s not what you say, it’s how you affect them.  And how you affect them is not your call.  

13.  Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you have to be submissive.  Just because you’re a guy doesn’t mean you have to be a chauvinist.  Don’t follow what the society dictates.  Don’t get stereotyped.

14.   Sleep!  You’ll never appreciate the value and beauty of getting enough sleep until you have to just squeeze it into your schedule.

15.   Vegetables really are your friends.  You don’t see the effect of eating all meat and no veggies just yet because you are still young.  Later on, you will realize that you need all the nutrients you could get from your greens.

16.  It’s not the end of the world when you fail.  When you make a mistake back then, you instantly feel discouraged.  When you look back now you realize how naive and silly you once were.  People make mistakes.  It is normal to fail.  Even the best people in history has their fair share of rejection and failures.

17.  You teach people how to treat you.  No, being kind and considerate won’t always get people to respect you.  Most of the time, you’ll get pushed over and abused.  Keep a balance, know when it’s time to say no.

18.  You’ll need a team to help you get to where you want to be.  Don’t discriminate, but be deliberate in choosing who you spend most of your time with.  

19.  Don’t work hard, work smart.  Don’t stress the small stuff at work.  More importantly, don’t let your work schedule your life.  Take control over your life and schedule it.

20.  Choose your battle.  Don’t stay angry with people that don’t even deserve your attention and time.  Don’t linger in the past and drive yourself crazy in what-could-have-beens and what ifs.    Don’t hurt people intentionally, and never engage in useless arguments.

21.  Forgive and let go.  Forgive your offender.  Forgive yourself for doing your part in what happened.  Stop berating yourself.  Stop asking the other person to give you back what you lost.  Stop obsessing over what already occurred.  It’s a waste of time and energy.