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!

#1

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

NoBSforGma , Gian Cescon Report

XenoMurph
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm going to reply to these in order of importance. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. But feel free to reorder them to your preference.

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#2

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do.

Cherryfritterfrieda , mentatdgt Report

Sage Gusano
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How they treat the staff is how they actually are.

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#3

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

frumperbell , Karen Zhao Report

Harley Lee
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is a good one. Go by yourself if no one wants to come with u!

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#4

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

zazzlekdazzle , Elina Fairytale Report

Tilfeldig Forbipasserende
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sometimes parents turns out to be simply shitty people. The kind of people you would never want to know under different circumstances.

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#5

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

MisterAmmosart , cottonbro Report

Alexia
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

THIS. Wish I had known this earlier.

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#6

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver VERY few companies out there will ever give a s**t about you. You should never feel any loyalty to them.

Rdr1051 , Dylan Gillis Report

Bored Birgit
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And colleagues are no friends even if you spend so much time with them.

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#7

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver Wear sunscreen.
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.

wienermcfartface , BATCH by Wisconsin Hemp Scientific Report

#8

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

wienermcfartface , Andrea Piacquadio Report

suzanne van Doorn
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish I was as "fat" now as the first time I thought I was "fat"

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#9

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver Travel, use your vacation time, make memories.

IrishSFnative , Leah Kelley Report

#10

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

Thomasgraham76 , Tirachard Kumtanom Report

Vanessa Panerosa
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Something ppl don’t mention about being unhealthy is just how expensive it gets. Eating cheap c**p costs you much more in the end in medical bills, dr’s visits, etc. I bought a yoga mat that I just replaced after a decade and subscribe to a yoga channel on YouTube. Less than pennies a day to work out and be fit/healthy.

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#11

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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".

jenfish06 , Elle Hughes Report

censorshipsucks
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

that goes for 401k (retirement funds) as well. Do not spend your whole life working so they can put "he brought great value to the shareholders" on your tombstone. "Saving for retirement" implies you're going to only do fun stuff at 65. F**k that. You need to be doing fun stuff while your body is not a wreck. Source: me, old person.

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#13

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver Do it.

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.

spiked_macaroon , Toomas Tartes Report

No you didn't
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You can do whatever you want as long as you're willing to live with the consequences.

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#14

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver Your joints are the first thing to wear out--take care of them.

manwithavandotcom , Kindel Media Report

#15

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver It's never too late to start a new career. Do what you love!

monja2009 , cottonbro Report

#16

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

frumperbell , Alexander Mils Report

censorshipsucks
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

for those who don't speak american, a 401k is what the rest of the planet calls a retirement fund

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#17

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver You don't need to excel, average can be extremely fullfilling.

Aspire to be happy with little achievements.

Failures can open many unexpected windows.

tigbit72 , gaspar zaldo Report

Hey!
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wouldn't want my surgeon to be average, though. Or my financial adviser.

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#18

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

geegeeallin , Emma Bauso Report

JJ
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was 24, am 32 now, happily married. My advice: Don't listen to any of these "wait til day x to ..."-advice. If you feel it, you feel it.

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#20

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver Go to the doctor and to the dentist regularly

olderthanbefore , Thirdman Report

Alexia
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And if you can, donate blood regularly. Apart from saving other people's lives, it has benefits for your health too. Also, if the donors get a free set of blood tests (they do in my country) you can spot serious health issue quite early. One of my friends was contacted by the transfusion center immediately after donating blood. His blood tests showed something was wrong. He underwent other investigations and was diagnosed with an early stage colorectal cancer. He didn't have any other signs or symptoms. He had surgery and chemo and now he's fine.

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#21

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

lostwynter , Steven HWG Report

alwaysMispelled
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or something medically routine turns into... bad.

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#22

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

PoorMansTonyStark , Helena Lopes Report

Rob Eman
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But being enslaved and watching it happen to my kids sounds too depressing... Sorry can't sit back and just have fun, one day the fun will end for all and I'd rather my family be prepared; than just had been temporarily happy....

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#23

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver If you're addicted to nicotine, stop. If not, don't ever start.

Rdr1051 , Tobias Tullius Report

Leslie B
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I quit cold turkey. Had a cough I couldn't get rid of, decided to quit then and there, haven't touched it since. It's only been eight months but the cough is gone and helped identify an underlying issue I had (anemia) which has been dealt with (with iron infusions).

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#24

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

Juan_Calavera , Poodar Chu Report

censorshipsucks
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is the most common cause of depression (stressing about milestones) and the most important cure is above.

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#25

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver Ask him/her/them out. Worst case you get a "No".

Rdr1051 , cottonbro Report

#26

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

JoshG1981 , Ketut Subiyanto Report

DuchessDegu
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My ankles were sore for a week after I jumped about 5 inches to get a cobweb from the ceiling

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#27

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver Don’t get fat. Losing weight is a brutal fight. It’s mentally draining.

NoMooseSoup4You , Mikhail Nilov Report

Tuna Fish
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't know if you can really control that as a youth. You are kinda at the mercy of your upbringing in that regard. I mean I've been fat since I was a child. My family's eating habits were my eating habits. My parents metabolism was my metabolism. They were fat so I am fat. Losing the weight after the fact is my only option in my reality. I guess the better advise would be to give your children a better relationship with food than you had so they don't have to deal with the side effects of weight gain. Because yes, it is very mentally draining to lose weight on purpose.

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#28

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

CurrentlyNobody , Hannah Olinger Report

censorshipsucks
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

latest science says brain stops growing at 25. So: please. Just enjoy yourself. Rent. Do not have kids. Do not get married. Travel. Be promiscuous. All that stuff is hard to do once you are in your 30s and are being pressurised to be a grownup.

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#29

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver 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.

wienermcfartface , Anthony Tran Report

Sarias_song
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

people keep quoting 'Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen' :-D

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#30

Someone Asked People Who Are 40+ To Share Their Best Advice For People In Their 20s, 30 Deliver Improve your posture now

You_Maki_me_vomit , Karolina Grabowska Report

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