During my teenage years, my parents were a constant source of encouragement and inspiration, imparting their wisdom without fail. However, despite listening to their advice, was I genuinely committed? The answer is an emphatic no. I had taken life for granted because everything was provided for me. I had failed to take note of their sacrifice and hard work. I was attentive, but my concentration was lacking. I studied, but I didn’t study harder. I had opportunities but failed to take advantage of them. Today, at age 40, I wake up each morning and reflect on my life. Things I wish I had done earlier But my introspection of life helped me realize that I had lost something very important: Time. I am left with something I never wanted: Regrets.
Now, I will not take you on a depressing journey through my hardships and failures, as that is not my intention. I am here to help you realize that regrets, failures, struggles, and pain are all necessary components of existence. They help us learn from our mistakes and allow us to grow as individuals and as people. They prepare the path for our success. The trick is to prepare and start working. Thomas Edison once said in response to a question about his continuous failures in inventing a light bulb, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
Today, I have discovered my life’s purpose and am aware of how I wish to live. What I intend to do and what I hope to accomplish Peace and happiness cannot be found; they must be earned through hard work. And believe me when I say that, despite turning 40, my life is just getting started. It is difficult to articulate, but I now possess an abundance of energy and optimism. We must remember that life is what we make of it, regardless of when we begin. You need only a small push to embark on a never-ending rollercoaster that will shape your future. I discovered my motivation at age 40, and through this article, “Things I Wish I Had Done Earlier,” I hope you can discover your motivation much earlier than I did.
I want you to imagine that you are 70 years old and on vacation with your wife, children, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren, watching the mesmerizing Northern Lights, perched on the balcony of your hotel, watching the spellbinding majesty of the Himalayas, or relaxing with coconut water on the sun-kissed shores of Goa. You can then take a deep breath and find solace in the fact that you have done honor to the lives and well-being of yourself and your family. At long last, you are happy, with a sense of contentment and tranquility.
Without further delay, let us begin with the things I wish I had done earlier, something that you can begin now rather than later and make the most of this one God-given life.
This is common sense. There are no shortcuts to success, wealth, or fame. Even if your sole objective is to become rich in order to appreciate life to its full potential, you still need to study. Studying develops knowledge, knowledge enhances understanding, understanding generates thought, thought facilitates action, action produces experience, and experience is the foundation of a happy life and prosperous career. I never studied hard because I was busy adopting shortcuts and malpractices. I wish I could rectify that by going back in time. Today, at age 40, I am back studying again, spending less time complaining and more time engaging, and I can already see my life full of unlimited possibilities.
On a side note, if you believe that social media influencers and YouTubers earn more money with less effort, I can assure you that this is not the case. Digital marketing, advertising, client servicing, public relations, graphic design, video editing, VFX compositing, lead generation, email marketing, media planning, promotions, and branding are all essential components of social media success, and each branch of study requires countless hours of hard work and practice on top of a busy schedule. And if you wish to pursue a career outside of social media, such as that of a doctor, lawyer, scientist, engineer, or IT professional, then only academic excellence will get you there.
This is easier said than done. Worrying is a state of mind that stimulates a pattern of behavior and overthinking about a future set of events that have not occurred yet, leaving a person anxious or apprehensive. There is no permanent solution to stop worrying, but you can take measures to manage it. I took solace in the idea that fate has predetermined everything that happens to us. And if we are attempting to accomplish something that is engraved in the stars, then no force in heaven or on earth can stop that from happening.
I spent years worrying about nonexistent events. I was able to regain control of my life, but I lost precious time in the process. Therefore, stop pondering the future and focus on the present, which will determine your future, because you alone control your own fate.
Things will not always be done your way. Your ability to adapt to the conditions that shape your life and career will benefit you on a professional as well as a personal level. I made the mistake of being blunt and adamant about certain decisions in my life, considering it a defeat if I didn’t. But I realized later that my ego and its capacity for acceptance were being tested. Life was teaching me to accept that I may not be perfect. Life was teaching me to accept that I might be a failure. Life taught me that the greatest mistakes are the result of misguided beliefs, but that does not mean I should stop trying and abandon my dreams.
I wish I had taken a more flexible approach to dealing with the consequences of my actions. I made poor choices, which resulted in my suffering and the emotional suffering of others. I sincerely hope that, with time, your academic, relationship, and professional struggles will also teach you humility and instill wisdom. Because as you enter adulthood, it is essential to determine whether you wish to live a life of deception and illusion, or do you wish to be unique and live your life without any regrets? Therefore, you must make decisions with an open mind and flexibility, putting your ego and arrogance aside, because your decisions will impact those who love you the most.
I will not begin to describe the numerous health benefits of physical activity. Nevertheless, it remains the most efficient approach to counteracting stress, anxiety, betrayal, depression, anger, and all other adverse impacts in life. Again, it benefits your mind, keeps the heart healthy, keeps your emotions in control, facilitates interaction with others, and keeps you physically fit. Overall, you look and feel great. I went to the gym for three years until I decided it was a waste of time and stopped going. I was so mistaken. Regular exercise requires commitment, and the result is a healthy way of life.
Start Saving & Investing
In the modern era of social media, young men and women can begin generating income as early as age 14. As alluring and enticing as the desire for fast cash may be, it is only beneficial if invested in the appropriate channels for long-term returns. This is one area where I lacked adequate knowledge. Along with the desire to spend money on nightclubs and alcohol, it was also difficult to resist the urge to purchase more than the required number of materialistic goods.
Saving money means keeping funds for future use, whereas investing money involves risk with the possibility of higher returns. Moreover, not every investment is risky. Because purchasing health or life insurance demonstrates that you have an eye on the future, Additionally, the premium rates are cheap for those who enroll early. However, investments in short-term debt, bonds, and equities may generate higher long-term returns, but it is essential to calculate market risk before investing. In a nutshell, commencing financial planning as early as age 18 indicates maturity and understanding of the world, and as you age, you become wiser, smarter, and more intelligent in your approach to life. And even if some of your investments fail, you have nothing to be ashamed of because you have now learned from your mistakes and will avoid repeating them again.
Making friends and hanging out are necessary, but they require balance. However, a lack of social interaction and engagement will result in insecurity, loneliness, and a decline in cognitive health. I wish I could have made more friends, but family obligations required me to work and make a financial contribution. As a result, I lost connections and spent the majority of my early years working and socializing primarily with coworkers over the office grapevine.
I am certain that this describes the majority of us. Family obligations cannot be neglected. However, it is essential to figure out a way to make time for friends despite your hectic schedule. It improves mood, fosters a sense of comfort and belonging, sharpens memory and analytical abilities, strengthens interaction, reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, contributes to the development of knowledge, and fosters the beginning of new relationships, all of which are beneficial to an individual’s progress and development. Personal interactions are preferable to technological connections, but both are useful.
Spending More Time With Parents
It is essential to prioritize spending quality time with parents, as this has a significant impact on their well-being and health. As parents and children lead increasingly independent lives, a lack of interaction can lead to the gradual deterioration of core family values such as affection, trust, and empathy. An increase in the number of cases of psychological disorders and emotional unrest has been a hallmark of the modern era. As a result of their children’s neglect, parents frequently engage in suicidal behavior as a means of escaping their lonely existence.
Due to an ischemic stroke, I lost my father in 2022. His left side was completely paralyzed. He lost his ability to speak and swallow food. And he had a passion for both food and chatting. After a grueling 41-day battle, he ultimately succumbed to his fate. The 41 days that followed my father’s stroke will forever be etched in my memory as a time when our bond was rekindled. For nearly two decades prior, I had lived a life separate from his own, and our conversations had been few and far between. In the wake of his departure, I was left with an overwhelming sense of untold stories. There were so many moments we could have shared together. And not a single day goes by where I regret my arrogance and stupidity because they allowed my ego to cloud my judgment. If granted the chance by the Almighty to revisit the past and change a single event, I would undoubtedly choose to spend more time with my beloved parents, especially my Dad.
“The depth of the love of parents for their children cannot be measured. It is like no other relationship. It exceeds concern for life itself.” — James E. Faust
Don’t Lose Hope
When a young career aspirant embarks on a new adventure that demands an enormous amount of time, effort, and hard work, the possibility of failure looms large. In the event that this adventure does indeed fail, it is not uncommon for one to lose hope and focus.
The prospect of studying abroad had ignited an intense passion within me, one that burned bright with the promise of adventure and opportunity. My academic preparation for pursuing a Master’s degree at universities abroad had been impeccable. My career objectives were well-defined, and I had found a sense of purpose in life. However, my aspirations were abruptly halted when I came to the realization that not all dreams are destined to come true because my Dad was unable to provide the necessary financial support for my education. As I watched my friends depart for foreign universities, my own dreams began to crumble before me like a deck of falling cards. My hope had vanished, my focus had faded, and I found myself unable to concentrate on my studies any longer. Suddenly, I found myself dragged into an entirely new life. My abilities had deteriorated to an unprecedented degree.
But, deep down, I held an unwavering belief that the course of events, no matter how turbulent, would inevitably lead me to a favorable outcome. My conviction was unshakable, and I remained steadfast in my belief that the future held promise beyond my wildest dreams. I may not have had the opportunity to travel abroad, but I still managed to fall in love, establish a successful career, create an income, and buy a home. I believed in myself and didn’t lose hope. Though my dreams have been delayed, they remain very much alive within me. And hope is what I have as my best friend to support me in my journey to be happy and successful in life. My only regret is that I became motivated so late in life. Therefore, you may strive, endure, and fail, but if hope is your ally, nothing is impossible.
To build a wall, you must begin by laying a single brick and then proceed to stack them on top of one another, and eventually the wall will be complete. Life is a journey, not a hasty dash. Any journey requires time, and time demands patience, for it cannot be rushed. Patience is what I lacked. Commitment is what I needed.
Patience and commitment will help you remain resolute in pursuit of your objective, no matter how difficult or impossible it may be. Patience helps overcome challenges while fostering resilience and self-assurance. It helps in making the right decisions, which in turn can lead to greater success.
Stay Away From Addiction
The use of tobacco products, alcohol, illicit drugs, and even compulsive use of social media are all behaviors that are harmful to physical well-being. In addition to impeding development, it also leads to homicide, violence, and suicide, as well as paranoia, depression, stress, and anxiety. It also causes cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood diseases. Addiction has countless negative impacts. It is a waste of time and money that can result in unemployment, incarceration, homelessness, and even death. Young men and women are typically the most vulnerable to addiction and its consequences, despite being aware of the long-term effects on physical and mental health.
I, too, had to contend with an array of challenges caused by my constant indulgence in smoking and heavy drinking. Only through the heartbreaking loss of a dear friend to the unforgiving clutches of a drug overdose did I change. Addiction is a pervasive affliction that indiscriminately impacts individuals from all backgrounds and classes of society. Addiction kills, so please do your best to stay away.
Relationship vs. Career
Now, falling in love, getting married, or having children at a young age is not a crime, but allowing your personal obligations to overshadow your professional goals is.
Since I was 16 years old, I’ve been in a committed relationship. Life felt like a dream full of sweet nectar, but I made the mistake of putting my romantic commitments ahead of my academic pursuits, and as a result, I missed out on many possibilities that could have helped me excel. A new relationship can teach you a lot about yourself and the world if you treat it with respect. But if you let your relationship stand in the way of your long-term objectives and aspirations, it won’t last. You will feel nothing but regret and disappointment.
Don’t Waste Time
Wasting time is the ultimate and most potent way to destroy the structure and integrity of a promising life and career. We have all been informed about the significance of lost seconds, but we continue to fall victim to this invisible and mute form of self-destruction. The idea of daydreaming, inactivity, and unnecessary phone browsing with no productivity are among the most prominent bad habits that affect a young person. The valuable time lost in youth influences and shapes the remaining time left in adulthood, which a person spends in despair and shame. Young men and women develop unhealthy patterns of behavior and become out of shape, plagued with loneliness and isolation. They fail in their academic endeavors, adopt unethical practices, and develop laziness and addiction. It eventually leads them to prison, the hospital, or the grave because they always relied on ‘tomorrow’ to build their personal and professional lives.
In essence, tomorrow does not exist. This simple statement took me years to comprehend, and I am still attempting to turn back the clock in order to be better and progress for the foreseeable future.
The passage of time teaches us many hidden and missed aspects of life, which we realize at an age when we can only look back with regret. Life is beautiful if we work for it. Life will be cruel and unforgiving if we abuse it. The key to happiness, peace, and prosperity resides in your early recognition of this eternal truth. Your understanding of the importance of time and your level of maturity will determine your future. I want you to think about this question. Do you want to be that 70-year-old on vacation? Or do you want to be a 70-year-old in jail or the hospital? The decision is yours.
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