A person learns several important life lessons and becomes wiser as they grow up. One’s life experiences depend on different situations they have been, their mistakes and what they have learned during their lifetime…
One of the best ways to gain life experience is by learning from others’ mistakes and experiences.
This can be done by reading books and talking to older people.
I have learned many things and aspects of life this way.
The list will become quite long if I mention everything. So, here I listed all the important life lessons I learned before turning 22.
Life lessons I learned before turning 22
1. People should earn your trust
I had some interactions with people where they have such a vibe that they can be trusted. They will talk to you like they have known you for years. And they just want to help you and don’t want anything in return.
But most of the time it ended very badly.
Before you trust someone they should earn your trust. Well, it might take longer to trust a person who really wants to help. But it will help you to avoid getting into many bad situations in life.
2. My life my rules don’t work
The idea of becoming your own boss is great.
But it isn’t as simple as you think.
In my teenage years, I used to do what I liked to do. But some years later my perspective on living on your own terms changed.
How my mindset changed (in short): Even if you say ‘It’s my life and I can do anything I want. You can’t. There are many people in your life. Your parents, siblings and your partner (if you are in a relationship). These peoples are also a part of your life.
So, you need to think about the consequences before you take any major life decisions. Because these are the ones who support you in need. You need to take care of them and you need to give back.
3. Everyone is not your friend.
Difference between friends and acquaintances
I was 17 or just turned 18 when I realised the difference between friends and
acquaintances because of some incidents.
Of Course, at that time I didn’t use the term ‘acquaintance’ instead in my head I had a list of my friends and who are just classmates.
This is one of the best life lessons that I learned early in my life and I’m so glad that I did.
It’s so important to be clear about – your friends and acquaintances or co-worker whatever you name it.
Because we tend to help our friends and invest time and money in them as we expect the same from them. But you can’t expect the same from your acquaintance.
Also, it doesn’t mean you should not help them. But there should be a limit.
Because sometimes there will be people who will give you excuses about their sickness or the difficult situation they are in. Later you find out that they are just using you to complete their tasks.
So, be clear about your friends and those who are not.
4. Spend most of your resources on yourself
When I was in school I used to stay in a dorm (inside the school campus). I was 12 years old. After a couple of years, I realised that – you will meet many people in life. They will become your buddies and some months/years later most of them will become strangers or better to say ‘acquaintances’. Only a few will stay.
That’s why it’s best to spend most of your resources on yourself.
Because it’s a good investment without any questions asked.
Also, give treats and gifts to your friends who helped you. But don’t overspend.
5. Self-learning is powerful
I’m not a big fan of the current education system. In some professions/streams, it makes sense but most of the syllabus is so old that it has no use.
The world is changing so fast. And I think we should only learn what we can apply or use in our life.
It’s important to teach students about past technologies and things but what more important is to teach them about things that have a usage in future.
In college, I really got bored as I knew what I’m learning has no use (at least 80% of it). So, I started teaching myself through self-learning.
It was only possible because of the easy access to the internet (I live in India, and 10 years before, during 2008-2010 internet was there but expensive)
Today you can learn anything with the help of youtube and other websites. There are plenty of websites that offer paid courses on different things. It’s affordable and you can learn things faster from your room.
6. Try different things early in life
At around 19 I learned that I should try different things before turning 27-30. Because at this age I have fewer to no responsibilities and I can adapt myself to any situation.
So, it’s a perfect time to let your crazy ideas come to life. But don’t do anything stupid.
7. Thanking other people who helped you
I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP). I learned about it when I came across a video on youtube. Then I read the book – The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron. I was 21 at that time. And it’s the best thing that happened that year.
I knew it from a very young age that I have a different point of view and characteristics than most people. I knew it but doesn’t have an answer. After I studied the topic, I got all my answers (I have some plans to write about HSP, if you are interested, let me know in the comments).
I struggled to communicate fluently with people I don’t know. I am very open-minded but it takes me a long time to have a long conversation with people I’m not familiar with. I had a hard time expressing what I feel in words. Even if I admire a person or how I felt when they helped me. It was difficult.
Even now I’m working on it but it’s better now.
8. Choose a career that you love
Here you should not listen to anyone.
If you choose a career early (that you love) and devote yourself to it then you will be successful no matter what. But if you let anyone influence you or don’t take that decision early, you will end up with a career you hate or don’t like at all.
Many people end up working in a job that they don’t like because they have dependent on someone to choose their carer for them.
It leaves a big impact on your life. Because you have to spend 6-8 hours for 5 days a week in your workplace. And if you don’t like what you do; then it’s simply exhausting.
9. Don’t bring money into a friendship
that you don’t want to lose
Money is powerful. If you have access to money you have access to most of the things in this world and beyond.
But I learned that bringing money matters into a relationship ruins everything. So, if you have some good friends and you don’t want to lose that friendship then stay away from involving money in the friendship.
10. If anyone offers you something
see what they want in return
No one will throw money at you if they don’t want anything from you.
This is one of the big lessons I learned through 2-3 incidents.
Sometimes you can get yourself into big trouble if you fall for this.
11. Be selective about the person you are giving your personal/sensitive information
You should not share any personal information with anyone. Because anyone can store it and use it in future to take your advantage.
So, be selective about what you share and with whom; to stay safe.
12. Take care of those who care about you and make you happy
During our teenage, we tend to find someone who cares about us. And even later in life.
But as you grow up you began to realise it’s better to care for those who already care for you.
It feels good that I found it before turning 22. I already tried it and I can say that the people around you will love it and your bonding with them will improve.
13. Ask for help if it can be done fast and easily that way
We don’t have to prove ourselves every time. If most of the time you do more than what you can to prove yourself, it can give you a headache and burnout.
So, do as much as you can without risking your health or the project. If you need help ask for it. If collaborating with others makes it faster and easier then do so.
14. A few times you will meet some crazy people, don’t argue with them
I laugh at myself when I remember some past interactions with people where I’m trying to convince them. Yes, there are some crazy people out there and you shouldn’t waste your time and energy arguing with them.
Because you can’t help them and if you want to help them they will not listen.
And if you try to change them it might take several months to years and there’s no guarantee that it will be a success.
So, it’s best to just forget 2-5 minutes of interaction that happened with them.
15. If something distracting you from your goals then let it go
Not everything is compatible with you. And everything doesn’t worth holding back.
… Story …
One traveller’s hand is bleeding as it holds a tight rope. At the end of the rope, there are a bunch of things that the person cares about. But they are heavy and far away. It can’t be pulled back. The more time pass and the traveller holds the rope it hurts more. So finally the traveller decides to sacrifice those things
and move on with the left belongings.
If you compare this with your life then you will find there are a couple of things you are holding on to for a long time. It’s not going anywhere. And it’s distracting you. It’s time you let them go and move on.
16. Be open-minded with elders’ points of view on your appearance
Most people will think of ourself based on our appearance and the way we dress.
On many occasions, we don’t pick the right clothes for ourselves. Also, sometimes we get influenced by some celebrity or person that we like.
But following what they are wearing or following a trend blindly is foolish.
We need to ask the question (unbiased) if it’s right for me. Does it suit me?
The better is to listen to your elder’s point of view. Listen to them carefully. They don’t want you to look bad or ugly. They are trying to help. They are trying to find you a unique style that suits best on you.
It might seem unrealistic now. But in 5+ years or so when you look back; you will realise why they told you. So, take those feedback more seriously or ask them for recommendations.
17. Work more on your stronger side
We should play by our strength.
And it’s a good idea to get stronger in what we do best.
If you are good at painting – then you should spend more time painting and improving your painting skills.
But if you paint well but bad in sports, then don’t spend more time playing. In this case, play 30 minutes just to be fit.
By spending more time improving your sports skills, one day you might become a mediocre sportsperson. But if you spend that time in painting and improving your strong side then you might become a famous artist/painter.
18. Before working for someone make a clear official written contract
Spoken words have no value unless recorded.
When it comes to any type of deal or work where you are putting your effort and time. Always prepare a written contract.
This will make sure – of your rights and you can focus more on your project or work. Also, it is even better to specify everything you have discussed. Like how many hours you have to work, terms and conditions and the last date of payment, how much in advance etc.
19. Many times things will not go according to your plan. Lower your expectations
Higher expectations destroy dreams.
You should dream big but keep your expectations low.
To happen anything good, you have to put the work first. But things always don’t go as planned. There will be unplanned obstacles and bad times. This can affect the results. Expecting too much can demotivate you.
Setting high expectations is not a good thing. Instead, you should work hard and fix your mistakes and always look for improvements.
20. Don’t focus entirely on one thing
It’s good to be sure about the things you want to have.
But when you lock down on something for a long time. You might miss some good or even better things.
It’s good to be focused but you should take another look before you make the final decision.
21. Many times your subconscious mind will tell you the right thing so don’t ignore it
It happened to me many times.
In my head, I knew it. I just ignored it. After those situations, I thought in my head that, maybe I should have listened or give importance to what my mind was telling me.
Most of the time it’s very helpful when you give importance to your subconscious thoughts.
22. Don’t change yourself to impress someone
It’s something I knew before I turned 17. You shouldn’t change the way you do things or the way you are. Unless it’s a bad habit or not right to do.
The point is if you have to do certain things to impress someone then you are doing it wrong. It will be exhausting for you to do and in the worst scenario, the next person might not notice it at all.
So, keep it simple. keep it real.
23. You are one in the world. Unique, so keep it that way
Our best strength is our uniqueness. If we stay this way we are one in several billion.
No one can defeat you if you remain the way you are. Because they are not the same as ‘you’. But once you try to change your uniqueness, it becomes easier for
others to defeat you.
Everyone has some sort of special gift. The only difference is some find it early and some find it later in life. And some don’t find it in their lifetime because they didn’t search for it enough.
24. Aim for great work, not perfection
Simply you can’t create anything perfect.
Maybe you have put a lot of your time into one thing and you think it’s perfect. But after some months or years, you gain more expertise and skills. And when you look back you don’t see those works as perfect as you thought.
That’s, why anyone who focuses on perfection, spends more time doing fewer things.
Later in my twenties, I realised that it’s best to make something great but not perfect.
25. Don’t try to do everything in one day
Sometimes you have to stop or slow down and do your unfinished work the next day.
Often we think we can or have to finish a thing now. But it can disrupt the balance of our life
It’s better to take things slow. You have to sleep, you have to eat you also need free time to refresh. Try to increase your productive work hours not just work hours.
26. What you do in life gets back to you
It’s definitely true and a good life lesson that is – if you do bad things you will suffer and if you do good things you will be rewarded.
Yes, you can’t tell when you will receive your reward for helping others. But one day you will.
If you see at a micro level, you can see that if you help many peoples, they tell others about it and many also see it. So let’s say after two years you are going through a difficult situation and people know/have some idea about it. Then they will offer their help even if you didn’t ask for it.
27. Don’t compromise your wellness/health for money or people
I have learnt that if you are not feeling well you can’t be happy. Also, you can’t focus properly with that condition.
So, make self-wellness a priority before everything else.
Check our health and fitness section to read some good articles on self-wellness.