The problem with learning from experience is that we invariably gain that wisdom after we needed it:
But thanks to the Internet, we have access to the collective knowledge of a bajillion random people who can give us advice at a time when it's actually useful. Reddit is an especially great platform to throw your questions into the void, and one Redditor asked: "Redditors who are over 30, what knowledge do you wish someone had given you when you were still late teens-early 20s?"
The thread is long-closed, but the advice remains as pertinent as ever.
But if these bits of wisdom seem commonplace, it might be because you're used to ignoring them. If you find that you're brushing these off, take note. Because while there are some things you must learn from personal experience, these pieces of advice may actually spare you a bit of pain, and, perhaps, regret.
1. No one can read your mind.
"Nobody knows what you're thinking unless you tell them.
People can't read your mind. This goes for your significant other, your employer, and that hot girl you're too scared to talk to.
Years ago I was dating someone I no longer wanted to date. I knew that I was unhappy in the relationship, but she didn't. Consequently, I waited and waited for things to improve, but they never did. I want to scream at my young self: Well no shit things didn't improve. You never told her anything was wrong!
Relationships can't improve unless you communicate. This applies to your relationship with your employer also — if you're working hard at your job and believe that you deserve a raise, you probably won't get it unless you ask for it.
Simply put, your supervisor doesn't know what you want. Don't wait for them to come to you, because your blood will boil over and you'll end up quitting before it ever happens. Ask to meet privately and spell it out for them!
As for that hot girl, if you don't say anything before she walks out that door, then she's going to walk out of your life forever having never known you. Don't let it happen. Learn to communicate so people can know you."
2. Be single successfully.
"Learn to be happy alone, you attract the best partners when you are confident in being without someone. Plus you won't settle for less if you ever hit a dry spell."
3. Don't settle.
"For relationships: DO NOT SETTLE.
Find someone that makes you laugh as much as you make them laugh.
Never think that this is the one simply because you're afraid there will never be another one... There will always be another one. You may not know when you've found it, but you will most likely know when you haven't."
4. Life is not a destination.
"There is no 'there'. You don't arrive, there is no day where such-and-such is all set and you're ready for the next step. Life is organic, priorities are ever-changing, and you'll always be in the middle of something."
5. Be money-smart.
"Pay yourself first and save at least 10% of your salary no matter what. And never... ever carry a balance on a credit card. i am 43 years old, and have just paid off all my credit card debt. It make me sick to think how much I could have saved. The crap I bought is long gone or discarded, but the debt never seemed to shrink. Be smarter than I was."
6. Always look the part.
"Brush your teeth, shower daily, and keep yourself presentable. Some new clothes and a new haircut will not only make you look better but feel better."
"When I cared about what other people might think about me, I never tried new things. I was afraid that if I sucked at something, I'd be embarrassed. To spare myself the embarrassment of being bad at something new, I would never explore opportunities to learn a new skill, or start a new hobby.
Looking back on it, I see it as lots of time lost!
Nowadays I'm always anxious to put myself out there and learn something new. I sing at karaoke, I enter juggling contests, and I play Euchre even though I suck at all of them. I try new things as they come up, whether it's a new restaurant, a new beer, or a new pastime. When you try new things, you discover more and more things that you enjoy.
Currently, I have plans to master the piano, the pool table, the surfboard, and the pen in my lifetime. They're things that I know I love. Still, if you were to introduce me to a unicycle today, I'd hop right on to try and take it for a spin, fall off, and then hop on again!
As Harold and Maude put it best, 'Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much.' "
8. Go talk to the girl (or guy).
"As a girl: Each of the guys I've had significant relationships with admitted they were almost too afraid to talk to me the first time we met. I can't imagine what my life would be like without those guys... So it really boggles my mind thinking about all other guys who are so anxious about talking to girls. You never know what'll happen, and usually, I feel like guys expect the worst in these situations. "
9. Don't play it safe.
"Don't be afraid to fail. Take some risks to get what you want in life. Even if you only succeed occasionally, those victories will be very sweet."