I was recently thinking about what I wish I knew at age 20. We can all do that. The old expression that hindsight is 20/20 is so very true. However, we know life doesn’t work that way. But for fun, here is what I wish I knew at 20.
Wish 1 – At 20, I wish I had known that life is short and that time is not an endless commodity we can just fritter away. When we are young we think time is endless. We have all the time in the world to make decisions about our life. So, we waste time, make bad decisions and think that we will get it together “one day.” However, one day comes and usually much later in life and we don’t have youth on our side and now we face other life challenges as well. I wish I had known in my 20’s that time is a precious commodity to be treasured, savored, spent well and not wasted.
Wish 2 – At 20, I wish I had known that you need a “long term” or “big picture” for your life. When you are younger fun is a top priority. Nothing wrong with having fun, but at 20 I wish I had known that it is pretty important to think about where you want to be in 10, 20 years or 30 years? It would have been great if a Life Coach, Teacher or somebody had asked me that question. Or, what if someone had gotten in my face about my financial future and given me a vision of what I could do beginning in my 20’s with savings and investments that could make me filthy rich in my retirement years? Unfortunately, I didn’t have that kind of input and I didn’t seek it out. When we don’t think long term or get the big picture for our life, we tend to make really shortsighted decisions based on the immediate or the short term. Those decisions aren’t going to necessarily take us where we want to go or set us up for a prosperous future. I wish I had known it was important to think more about “the bigger picture.”
Wish 3 – At 20, I wish I had known that passivity is not a friend and action is your best chance for any kind of success. Many people waste a lot of time waiting for the right situation, the right opportunity, the right break, the right person to come along in their life, or the right job to fall in their lap. They are looking for someone to promote them instead of promoting themselves. They are waiting for God to part the Red Sea and He is waiting on them to put their foot in the water. What I wish I had known more in my 20’s is that life is about choices and those choices are up to ME! No one is going to do it for me. Procrastination, excuses and blame may make me feel better but they put my life on hold. They accomplish nothing and keep me a victim in my own life. I have to take responsibility for my own life and my choices, the good ones and the bad ones. I wish I had known in my 20’s that the buck always stops with me.
These are just some of the things I wish I had known in my 20’s. So, what about you? What do you wish you had known in your 20’s? Unfortunately, we can’t do a rewind. Life doesn’t work that way. However, we can learn from our past, grow and resolve to have a better tomorrow by our choices today. Better yet, we can share what we have learned with others to help them in their life journey. I think in many ways that helps us to redeem the time. We need each other and we need each other’s wisdom. If you have learned anything from this article, then this time has been well spent!