Hard-won Advice from Happy 40+-year-olds to all you Unhappy Young Hotties.
This Blog is worth more than your Bank Account: Advice from 40+ year-olds to those of you in your 20s.
Start saving now for your retirement. Avoid debt. Floss daily. Exercise daily.
My best advice is this: you’ll never know what you’re doing. There is no goal, no perfection ahead. That said, I’ve learned many key lessons the hard way. Don’t date crazy. Eat mindfully. Listen to criticism, but don’t get lost in it. Exercise every single day. Floss, gaddamnit.
Below, much more advice:
“It’s never too late to start again.
All in my 20’s I thought I couldn’t just restart my career or dump a useless boyfriend or go back to school because I was already on a certain trajectory. Made my choices now I gotta make the best of it. That’s total bullshit. You have no idea how incredibly young you are and how much time you have to do whatever you want to do.
When I figured this out, I found the man of my dreams, had a kid in my late late 30’s, dropped my entire career in my late 40’s and starting a new one at 50 and it’s awesome.”
“Don’t put yourself in ridiculous amounts of debt trying to portray a certain image. You’ll spend your entire life trying to get out of the hole you dug or you’ll have to declare bankruptcy.
Set aside enough money to cover 3-6 months of expenses for emergencies just like now. Moreover, save now for your retirement years. It doesn’t require much and if you have it taken directly from your paycheck you won’t be inclined to not pay yourself first.
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.
Enjoy the days of your youth without going overboard. There is nothing wrong with having a good time, yet if you are always waking up wondering what happened last night, why you can’t remember how you spent so much money or you always have a hangover; you should tone it down a bit.
Don’t take advice or criticism as a personal attack. Most times the people who care about you have observed behavior in you which is off putting, doesn’t reflect who you really are or could be or would make you a more rounded person.”
“When I was 22, an older gentleman asked me how old I was and then told me, “chad303, when you are twice that age, you’ll be twice the man you are today.” I almost considered it a slight in that moment, but time has proven him wise. Here I am, twice that age and, in my humble estimation, twice the man than I was then. I believe this chiefly because I have learned that kindness is not a weakness, humility serves you better than pride, and cruelty is a fool’s game.”
“I was a raging alcoholic in my twenties and thought I would never recover from it. I never found a real job using my first degree or my masters. Part of it was because I was always drunk, part of it was the job market at the time.
I went back to school in my thirties and found something I like a whole lot more. Now, I’m married, nearly ten years sober, and have a great job.
My point is, if you end up on the wrong path or don’t like where you are, there’s always time to turn around and change it. Too many people just assume they’re stuck where they are and stuck with the issues they have.”
“Get a regular exercise routine going and stick to it like your quality of life depends on it, because it does.”
“Chris Rock said it best: ‘Now, people tell you life is short. No, it’s not. Life is loooong. Especially if you make the wrong decisions!'”
“Relax more. Don’t get angry over little things.”
“This! Relax and don’t get overly angry.
While others talk about material things or experiences the real lesson is to accept that things won’t always go the way you want them to and that’s ok.
Didn’t marry your perfect spouse? That person doesn’t exist – align expectations to reality and appreciate those who love you for who they are. Or find new people
Didn’t buy the perfect car? Oh, well, it still gets you where youre going. Define your criteria for the next one and work towards it
Didn’t get the perfect house? Probably not. But it’s yours and you can fix it
Didn’t get that promotion? Don’t be so sure it would have worked out the way you think it would have.
Vacation wasn’t perfect? Are you sure about that, or were your expectations too high?
Point is, relax, enjoy the ride, work to your goals but remember none of it matters if you can’t enjoy it along the way.”
“Take care of your teeth. This is the only set you’re ever going to have and you don’t want to neglect them and mess them up like I did. I’ve got crap tons of fillings which don’t last forever and need replacement. A filling isn’t as good as the real thing and filled teeth can break, requiring crowns. I have two and it sucks.
Brush and floss thoroughly every single day without exception. Hell, get an electric toothbrush. See the dentist regularly. Ditch the sugary drinks.”
“I’m 46, and here’s what I know:
money is important but it’s not the end all be all. It will not listen to your problems or hug you when you need it
Watch your weight, your blood pressure, and do not smoke. 75% of my patients that have the most serious diagnoses have at least one of these factors.
Comparison will rob you of joy. Be happy for others, but don’t feel you need to be like them.
Let go of the little things. Stress will kill you
Chase your dreams! Life goes by SO fast. You don’t want to be 80 yrs old and regretting not traveling, pursuing your passion, etc
You cannot change someone. Whether a friend or a partner, their faults will not “get better” and you cannot rescue them. Don’t waste your life on toxic people.
Make a point of performing kind acts for others. It will greatly enrich your life.
Now…go get your life!!!”
“It’s not a race! Stop comparing yourself to others. Just because they did things sooner than you, doesn’t mean they’re happier or better.
Try to start good habits. It is a little rough at first, but in a few years it will be second nature. Do this with things like cooking, cleaning, saving money and self-care.
It is okay to not like someone. It is also okay to have someone not like you (people are going to not like you for no reason. That is okay. It’s a “them” issue and not a “you” issue). Don’t be an ass to everyone and give them reason to dislike you, but also know that you are under no obligation to put up with someone else’s bad friendship.
There is no shame in seeing a mental health professional.
Everything you “get” becomes something you “have.”
Learn how to be happy “having” things instead of “getting” them.
This is true I bought a very big piece of exercise equipment (6 post power rack) and I just sold it even though I loved the thing.
I sold it because I realized I was paying rent on it that far exceeded the cost of just selling it and buying it back later when I could actually afford to keep it. It was becoming a burden and restricting my options in life and I wanted the flexibility back. While I had it I was paying to store it and move it when traveling, paying increased rent to put it in my garage, etc.
In a way everything you own ends up owning you, make sure it is all meaningful and worth keeping around.
The more you own, the more you’re owned.”
“The biggest regret my dad has was not starting some sort of savings for retirement when he was in his 20s. He didn’t start putting money into his 401k until he was 30 or so. If you don’t have access to a 401k, look into getting an IRA or something you can just chip something into every week or month.”
“I hesitate to give advice, being unqualified to do so.
Instead, here are some points that may or may not be worthy of consideration.
Time is very short, and as you get older it speeds up more and more.
Time is more important than money. In theory, you could end up a billionaire. But nobody is ever a “time billionaire.” Rich or poor, you’re gonna get maybe 100 years at the absolute max, and probably not that much.
There will be several versions of You as you walk your path, but one version that kind of colors all the other versions. This version you could call “the real you.” It pays to spend time figuring out who that real you is.
You will have to deal with people. Learn how to leave them happy to have been in your presence, and you will not lack for friends and loved ones.
Speaking of loved ones: just because someone is a blood relative, it doesn’t mean they’re worth a shit. If your parent, sibling, or child is a complete asshole unworthy of your attention, don’t waste further time on them.
Find something you love to do, and do that. Do it every day. It doesn’t matter if you make money at it, or get recognition because of it. Do it like Henry Darger did his writing and drawing, and like Vivian Maier did her photography. Do good work. It is its own reward.”
“I am a geezer, 64 years old. It does not have to suck being old. (I think it’s fucking great, for many reasons.)
If you’re ever in my town, drop by and get ON my lawn.
I’m 40. This is my input.
Everyone is focused on themselves to care too much about their opinion of you. So fuck what they think.
Social media is only an illusion.
Zero debt is an amazing feeling. Think twice before dropping that down payment on that fully loaded 2020 dream mobile that offers nothing but looks and depreciates value quickly.
Falling out of love is perhaps more powerful than falling in love.
Use up ALL of your vacation time / sick time at work.
Don’t lose sight of the hobbies you enjoyed as a child. They will help you live as you grow older.
Family is not necessarily blood, but instead who you would bleed for.
There are just as much benefits to being a night owl as there are to being an early bird.
Forgive yourself first before forgiving others.
Do not be a doormat in submission, but hold the door open in kindness.”
“I am 40 years old and I have three pieces of advice for anyone in their 20’s
Accept that perfection doesn’t exist. Your relationships will have problems, your car will break down, someone else will anyways have a better phone, a newer car, or a bigger house than you, no matter where on the social ladder you stand. Constantly chasing perfection will keep you permanently stressed. That doesn’t mean you should not try to better your life, just know that if you expect perfection you will never be statisfied.
Pay attention to your diet and health. I have been working out at least 4 times per week since my mid 20’s. I am fitter, healthier and look younger than almost everyone else my age
Don’t stop doing the things you love. Even though I have a wife, kids, job etc. I still make time to play video games, draw, write stories, read comics, play basketball, listen to music, etc. There is no reason to become a miserable old bastard!”