Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver
Throughout life, we naturally pick up small pieces of wisdom to put into our arsenals of experiences. From more practical tips like "eat mindfully" and "exercise every day" to corny but deeply universal truths — "stay true to yourself". We always keep an eye out for ways to improve the quality of our lives. Eventually, looking back on the decisions we’ve made, most of us uncover valuable lessons about how to make life more joyful and less problematic.
Unfortunately, far too often, the learning comes too late to prevent painful mistakes and wasted time and effort. Though we don’t have a time machine to take us back and help our past selves, we can at least offer these little pieces of advice to anyone willing to listen. So two months ago, Reddit user morningperzon did precisely that when they asked folks over 40 if they had any pertinent words of wisdom to pass down to people in their 20s.
The comments were immediately flooded with tips and habits from the older generation to give twentysomethings perspective on what's truly important. We at Bored Panda have gathered some of the most enlightening responses from the thread, so we hope you enjoy and get inspired. Be sure to upvote the replies that resonate with you, and share your insightful advice in the comment section below!
I'm 81 and I really can't distill it down to one thing so here goes:
- Be yourself. Stop trying to live up to others' expectations and do your own thing.
- Get moving! Whether it's bike riding or walking or a gym membership. Just move.
- Eat healthy! Yes, those fast food fries and burgers are easy - but - you will pay for that some time in the future. Start eating healthy so it becomes a habit.
- Be kind to people. If everyone did this, imagine what a world we would live in!
- Become politically active. Support honest, progressive candidates in whatever way you can. And VOTE! F*****g VOTE!
Hugs from Gma.
Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do.
Don't be afraid to do things by yourself. Go to that show, see the movie, take a day trip. Don't miss out on opportunities because no one will go with you.
Get to know your parents as people. Ask them all about their early lives and about their parents and other relatives. Write these things down if you can.
Before you know it, they will be gone, either physically or mentally and there will be so many things you want to know.
Ghost your s**tty friends. They are as much of a liability to your health and future as any other malicious factors in your life right now.
And if you have to ask if they're a s**tty friend, they are a s**tty friend. Ghost them. Now.
VERY few companies out there will ever give a s**t about you. You should never feel any loyalty to them.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. A long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh—never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded, but trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine.
Travel, use your vacation time, make memories.
Take care of your body. Exercise to maintain a healthy weight and good cardiovascular health. As you get older, it's much harder to maintain these.
Life is short, enjoy! You may have a day or 50 years left, no one knows. Don't put things off for "your golden years".
Brush your teeth.
Whatever it is . Take a trip. Start a band. Move to a new city. Do it now when you aren't as tied to place by obligations.
Your joints are the first thing to wear out--take care of them.
It's never too late to start a new career. Do what you love!
Save. If your job offers a 401k, take advantage of that. If not, open a savings account and put something in it every pay. Even if you can only afford to put in 5 bucks, it still adds up.
You don't need to excel, average can be extremely fullfilling.
Aspire to be happy with little achievements.
Failures can open many unexpected windows.
Don’t rush to get married. You’re still figuring out who you are. Date, live together, whatever. Just don’t get married before 30.
If you have a good relationship with your parents, try and see them. It’s frightening how quickly the years pass and suddenly they’re gone. Alzheimer’s also can hit unexpectedly and it’s amazing how much I wish for just a few more hours.
Work hard, but also have fun. That huge paycheck probably isn't worth it, unless you're super materialistic. Having a brand new tesla or a luxury condo is fun for a month, having good friends and balanced life is fun for a lifetime.
If you're addicted to nicotine, stop. If not, don't ever start.
Don’t worry about not getting to certain “milestones” by a particular age (like 25 or 30 or whatever). Everyone’s circumstances are different. If life gets in the way of your goals, just keep at it (and take a pause if you need) until you achieve them.
Stretch. Start stretching. Do yoga. Keep stretching. Never get out of the habit. You don't have to be in the best shape to be happy, but stretching makes everything feel better, keeps it feeling good, and means that when you inevitably hurt yourself at some point in the future it's easier to recover.
You may feel invincible now. Every person in their 20s does. And then you hit 30. And you start noticing things like it hurts when you jump down the last two stairs instead of walking down them, or when you wake up, or just, from existing. In my 40s now, and I'm still doing just fine, and find my daily yoga practice matters more than any other exercise I've ever done.
Don’t get fat. Losing weight is a brutal fight. It’s mentally draining.
Stop obsessing that you need to
A) Be in a relationship
B) Knocked up/Parenting
C) Home Owning vs Renting
in order to "prove" to society your life has entered some larger adult phase.
You are 20. You may think you have it all figured out, and you certainly come with an in-built, unflinching optimism that life will go exactly as you wish as most of you haven't been thoroughly kicked in the face long enough yet by life to lose that rosy impression. However, you are 20. What you want today may not even be possible or relevant in 5 years let alone 20. You still have a lot of growing up to do and you will change.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.