25 is a weird age, as is 20 or 35 for that matter. You see some of your friends getting older, married, have children and others still in college and, well, young. You’re constantly sandwiched between the middle-aged folks and the younger generation. On the upside, you probably have learned a lot of things coming this far. Here’s a list of things I learned.
You’ll learn to be fearless.
Perhaps, this is the most crucial of life lessons you will learn. Danger may be real, but fear is completely your choice. Only when you let go of fear will life become complete and meaningful. Falling is natural, and you might hurt yourself too. What matters is that you have the courage to gather the broken pieces and keep trying again without the fear of broken bones. Fail early, fail fast. It is good for you.
You’ll learn to be yourself.
You must not pretend or try becoming someone you can never be. If you are introvert by nature, it would do you good to accept that. If your taste in music is nothing commendable, accept it as well. What you endure being yourself is better than the suffering you undergo when you try to be somebody else. People you are trying to impress disappoint you eventually. Learn this and be yourself. Do not let people around you convince you that you are worthless. You are amazing in your own way.
You’ll make some great friends.
Before that, you must focus on being a great friend yourself. No matter what the temptation, never break the trust of a friend. In case you happen to, be the first one to apologize. You might treat a friend badly on occasion. This is normal. You might take someone’s feelings for granted. Do not worry when someone hurts you. Think you might as well be hurting someone unintentionally. Learn owning up to all the mistakes you make.
You will love. And you’ll be fooled in love.
Love is a natural feeling. Do not let bad experiences stop you from finding love again, but do not force yourself to love someone, no matter how attractive she may seem. If a relationship does not work right from the start, it probably never will. I know it is confusing, but that is what love is.
In the words of Bob Marley:
If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up, if you give up, you’re not worthy…. Truth is, everybody’s going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for…
You’ll learn to fight.
You cannot escape this. There will be times when you have to fight. Do not become a coward when fighting for a cause, but it should be worth the effort. Fight for all the right things. In the end, make sure that you are able to look in the mirror and say to yourself, ‘That sure was damn good fighting!’
You’ll find real happiness, & it will surprise you.
You will one fine day realize what real happiness is. It can be the person you love, a book that you like, newfound friend or a hobby. Until such time that you realize, do not stop the pursuit of happiness. Making money only brings superficial happiness. Do not let it fool you in any way. Keep looking for real happiness. It will be worth everything when you experience it finally.
You’ll do things you know you might fail in.
From early on, have faith in your instincts. Failing is okay, so is disappointing people. Do not allow mediocrity to creep into your life. Keep doing whatever you like. Fight for your happiness if you have to.
You’ll learn to enjoy solo travel.
What you learn about the world through travel is worth more than the knowledge that you get from reading numerous books. Travelling with your friends may be fun, but you learn about yourself more when travelling alone. To begin with, leave home. Overcome homesickness.
You’ll eventually find yourself.
Travelling could be a wonderful thing. To know more about yourself, you need not travel to the Himalayas or become spiritual. Meet some new people and visit some new places. Understand all about your comfort levels and the type of people you like. Find your interests, things that excite you.
You’ll find out that the world is not a fair place.
You should not expect it to be as well. You are bound to feel lonely at times, lost and disappointed. Learn to overcome such feelings. Try to find a sliver of silver lining. Now keep your focus upon it. Do not compare yourself to others as this gives you terrible feeling.
Your friends will change.
Do not dig deep. Everybody changes and you will too. Even the fastest of your friends can turn against you. When they do, just shun them. Just like any toxic weed, mow it early.
The best time will always be now.
There is no right age to start over. You can begin any pursuit at any age. Learn some new language. Try dancing sometimes or maybe start brand new business. Remember, failing is okay. It is natural too. Inaction is damaging, not failure.
Twenty years hence, you will feel more disappointed with things you did not do than for the ones that you did. Furthermore, I would rather regret things I did in those crazy and young days than realize that it is too late and regret things I never could find the courage to try.
You will embarrass yourself, & get over it.
One fine day you are going to look at yourself and feel hopeless. When that happens, avoid it like the plague. I will not dig much deeper into this. You will know it yourself when it is time to stop. If it means leaving friends and closing some doors for ever, do it. Some day you will be glad that you made the decision.
You’ll build something. & you’ll be proud.
This makes you human. This can be something big like a giant company or just a small wooden table. Along with your present job, take up some additional projects. While studying, make sure to save your weekends for some additional work. Keep your curiosity alive.
You’ll learn to be grateful.
Appreciate small, simple things, like the aroma from filter coffee, plain raindrops or the smell of freshly baked bread. Live those little moments. Live inside them. Thank people often, more than you do today.
You’ll learn to love your family.
With parents, you might share love-hate relationship right from college. Most of us do. Give value to the time you spend with your parents and grandparents. Talk of the time when they were young. One fine day you will realize that you were everything they ever had. This knowledge will shatter you that day. While you can, try to make sure they know that you are worth all the efforts they made.
College is time wasted, you will realize eventually.
Education is not worthless. Do attend college because education is crucial. When you are educated, it shows. Now see if this works for you, otherwise evaluate options. You have to find this on your own.
You will stop chasing money.
Instead, keep your focus upon sharpening your axe. Do not be bored. Have fun, it is important. If money seems important, contemplate why. When you have justifiable reason, make money and enjoy doing that. Do not take up 9-to-5 jobs that you despise.
You’ll learn to be honest.
Never cheat anyone. Lying sometimes is okay but justify that too. Draw the line yourself. As much humanly possible, stay honest. This will earn you good friends, those kinds that stay by you when you need them.
You’ll learn to ask difficult questions.
Remain curious, it is good too, but do not expect to get answers to all your questions. Keep trying. Watch documentaries, read books, even those shady ones. The more you start knowing in life, you will be that much more confident.
You’ll learn to love your body.
Once you do, you realize that working out should have begun years ago, but relax as there is still time. Do not panic. Work hard, join gym. Get back in shape. Stick to fixed diet plan. Eat sensibly. You feel proud more than ever.
You’ll lose your closest friends.
You lose touch even with your best friends. If it happens, know that this is normal. Do accept it. Some friends find more success in life in comparison to you, even those that everyone considered the retarded ones. Do accept this as well.
Your boss will stink.
You will have one boss at least that will treat you bad. He will make you feel like nothing, someone worthless. On a brighter note, he will teach you how you should not treat people. This is going to help you throughout your life in more significant ways than is clear today.
You will worry. & would learn to stop worrying.
You are too young to understand everything when you are just 25. Confusion will reign supreme regarding the career path you should take. You are still far away from being financially secure. It is okay. It is normal. Take every day as it comes. Consider things that you could achieve today. Keep focus upon that. It is all right to do epic wrong today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
That is all I remember. My 25 years in a nutshell. There’s a lot I must have missed. And there’s a lot left to learn. To another 25 years!