Things I Wish I Had Known Sooner

They say that as people get older, they get wiser. As people grow older, they reflect on their lives, the lessons learned and moments they enjoyed and regretted. This can turn into wisdom which is said to come with age. Sometimes, people discover lessons they wish they had known sooner; life hacks and bits of trivia that can help make their lives easier going forward. I have been alive for more than 30 years (I won’t give my exact age), and during those three decades, I have had a few realizations about things. 

Here are the nine things I wish I had known sooner. 

  1. People will twist and turn stories for their benefit. No one knows the true story of situations, unless they were there. When recounting what happened, people will often “rewrite” and “retell” the story in their favor, often making themselves look better. Remember this when only hearing one side of the story.
  2. Have high expectations, but don’t be disappointed when they aren’t met. We all have different versions and images of how people should act, and when they don’t act a certain way, we are left disappointed. Limit your expectations of others and what you expect of them. You can still look for the best, but give grace when expectations are not met. 
  3. “No” is a complete sentence. There are times when multiple requests and decisions to be made are thrown at a person. Many people wish to be people pleasers and say “yes” to all the things asked of them, however, that can get tiring and be impossible. Saying “no” isn’t selfish and is a complete answer. There are certain times when more explanation is needed, but most of the time, it is not. Also, you can be kind and helpful, but set boundaries and do not let yourself be taken for granted. 
  4. Failure is going to happen, and it is completely okay. Being a perfectionist can lead to burnout. It is important to know that sometimes you will fail, and that is okay. Making mistakes is okay and a part of life. Don’t beat yourself up when this happens. Keep your eyes on your goal and turn it into a learning moment. 
  5. Listening is just as important as speaking, sometimes more important. Active listening can be hard to do but shows you are engaged and interested in the topic, person or conversation. A good rule of thumb is to spend at least 60% of the time in a situation listening and the other 40% talking. Absorb what is being said, and take it all in before asking questions or responding. 
  6. You can’t control everything, so let it go. If you can’t do something about a situation you don’t like, then don’t spend time worrying about it. In the end, all you are doing is hurting yourself. Focus on the things you can control and put your energy towards that. 
  7. Life can change on a moment’s notice, whether you like it or not. Change can be hard, but you are strong and can adapt to whatever life throws at you. Take it day by day. And, once again, focus on what you can and can’t control. In the end, keep in mind that one way or another, you’ll be okay. 
  8. Step outside of your comfort zone whenever you can. It can be scary at first to try new things. Start with something new and small. Before you know it, you’ll be expanding your comfort zone without realizing it. 
  9. Just be yourself. There will be some people you will like and there will be others you don’t. Be confident and trust who you are. There is no one like you, so why not be yourself? 

No matter how old you are, you are able to still offer lessons and reflections to those who are younger. By taking the time to pause and meditate on what you have learned, you will realize there is no shame in getting older. 


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