Every 20-year-old thinks they know everything (don’t lie, you did too) and every 40-year-old has things that they wish they could explain to their younger selves – even if it was just to avoid that particular person who would make their life miserable after a while. But most of the life lessons that we learn along the way can be simply summed up and handed down to the next generation who won’t listen to them anyway.

Things Won’t Always Go Your Way, and That’s a Good Thing

No matter how much you plan or think about a situation, there are going to be scenarios in which what you expected or wanted to happen does not happen. When this does happen it can be frustrating to no end, but it can also be a valuable life lesson. As John Lennon said once, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” and that’s exactly right. Instead of trying to plan or control your life, appreciate each situation for what it is and look for the lesson that can be learned. Sometimes a derailment of plans can lead to something even better.

You Are in Charge of Your Life

It’s easy to put the responsibility for things that happen in our lives onto other people or circumstances. But in reality, except in extreme cases, you are completely in charge of your own life. Others may attempt to tell you what to do or how to live, but ultimately the choices you make belong to you and you alone. If you don’t like where you are now, changing it may not be possible immediately but it is always possible. When it comes down to it, no one else and nothing else forces you to do something, you do that yourself.

Do Something That You Are Passionate About

A job is a job and jobs make money and money is good, but if you are at the point of looking at a job that you may be doing for more than a few years, make sure it’s something you love and are passionate about. Not everyone knows what they want to be in life, sometimes when they are twenty, sometimes when they are forty, and sometimes ever. 

But we all have things we enjoy and love to do, and there is always a way to turn those passions into a revenue stream with enough work and dedication. And while it may be difficult to get started, that challenge on top of doing something you love will pay off big in the end.

Take Care of Your Body

We all feel invincible as young people, and refuse to believe the age-old adage that talks about how time speeds up the older you get. For anyone reading this, it absolutely does. So while it may not enter your mind as a young person to think about how things will be when you are older, taking the time now to care for yourself properly will be extremely beneficial in the long run

This includes paying attention to what you eat, how much you drink, and how you take care of your skin. Of course you love to be in the sun and get that warm, tan summer glow that shows you’ve spent a fun summer outdoors, but sunscreen is very important! If this old body had worn sunscreen more when I was younger, I’d be relying less on using a reducing wrinkles balm and a correcting dark spots serum.

Comparisons Shouldn’t Be a Thing

We have a tendency as young people to compare ourselves to everyone we see, whether it’s our classmates, peers, or even people in advertisements and commercials. It’s very important to keep in your head that everyone is different, no one is ever going to be exactly the same or have the same of everything, and you can never truly know what is going on in another person’s life. 

And if you’re comparing yourself to those people you see on social media or on the television, stop! Filters are a thing, and it’s very rare that someone presents their actual true self on social media. The sooner you learn to be happy with yourself and what you have and realize your power of doing that, the happier you will be and for longer.