20 Lessons That Will Save You During Moments Of Uncertainty In Your 20s

Originally published at elitedaily.com on January 4, 2016.

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Our 20s are the toughest and the most rewarding years of our lives.

These are the years we make dozens of mistakes, and we even make some of the same ones several times and have no time to look back and analyze them.

The speed of life is at its max, and we procrastinate doing things we’d rather postpone until we retire.

Some years in our 20s are so eventful and diverse.

We move to big cities, visit unknown countries, meet interesting people, find our first jobs, have mind-blowing romances, go through breakups, experience moments of solitude and have fresh starts.

The roller coaster pattern of life is exhausting, yet full of adrenaline.

It’s all fun and games until you reach a point in your life when you are just drained and lost, with no idea of what will come next.

Now reaching my late 20s, I’m emotionally destroyed, but I’m still full of enthusiasm.

Plus, I’ve gained a little bit of wisdom.

I’m here to share the things I wish I’d known five years ago.

Back then, I didn’t put up with any preaching.

I just wanted to taste it all by taking every opportunity that came my way.

I wish I would’ve had more guidance in life so I could have avoided so many disappointments, pain and self-judgement.

Here are 20 life lessons I’ve learned in my 20s so far:

1. Not every one who is nice to you is worth your trust.

It takes time and experience to see people through and build loyal relationships with them.

These kind of things don’t happen over the weekend.

Don’t open your heart and soul right away.

Life tests your acquaintances and makes them your friends.

2. Passion and emotions can’t possess you.

Keep that common sense and cold mind active to live without regrets.

Genuine emotions are rare, so you better save them for those who truly deserve them.

3. Get out of the box you’ve been raised in.

There is a whole world at your feet.

Don’t limit yourself to a certain location or certain people you already know.

Get out there and expose yourself to a larger setting.

4. Choose your friends and affairs wisely.

Don’t waste your time on people who give you nothing but negative emotions, who drain you, who impose their opinions on you and who are not there for you in the middle of the night when you are half-broken.

5. Stay patient.

This is the hardest thing to master.

There is a moment for action, and with a clear mind, you will instinctively feel when it’s time to make a move.

6. You don’t need to impress people.

Stay true to yourself, your morals and your beliefs.

You can’t make everyone like you.

Respect is what you want to get, not love.

Don’t change for anyone. People will like you for who you are.

7. Love is not a savior.

Love is a luxury after you save yourself.

If you are not at the right place in your life, relationships will be a waste of time and feelings.

8. Know your worth.

Don’t let anyone judge you.

Don’t feel sorry when you lose the ones who do judge you.

9. Don’t hold on to people.

Never run after attention and love.

If people want to peace out from your life, let them.

Those who care will return.

Heroes are not defined by their courage to leave, but by their courage to return.

10. Don’t rely on anyone in life.

You are the only one who can change everything, so be independent.

Work hard and be diligent in everything you do, and life will reward you.

Don’t trust every word you hear.

Selective hearing will save your life from the unnecessary stress and overthinking.

11. It’s okay to be scared of the unknown.

There’s no shame in it.

We inherited our fear from our ancestors who fought hundreds of times harder to survive than we do.

12. Make today a happy day.

Don’t wait for tomorrow for things to be different. They simply won’t.

Happiness is a process, not a state.

See perfection in the flaws of today.

13. Flexibility is the key to peace and success.

It’s okay for plans to be ruined, changed, cancelled or postponed.

Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will.

Accept it, or be pissed off for the rest of your life about the things that haven’t worked in your favor.

14. Learn to say no.

Learn to shut the door behind you.

Pleasing people is not what you are meant for.

And don’t think you are missing out on a good opportunity.

If you thought it wasn’t for you from the first second you heard it, it’s okay to turn it down.

15. Invest in your growth.

Grow every day.

Read, talk to smart people, explore and learn.

Improving yourself is a lifelong journey.

Never let anyone stop you or discourage you from doing it.

16. No matter how selfish it sounds, think of yourself first.

Love yourself, and take good care of your physical and mental health.

17. Do sports, eat healthy and meditate.

If you neglect your body and your mind, you’ll become miserable.

No one in the world will love you more than you love yourself.

18. Explore the world.

Discover the unknown, experience new cultures and learn foreign languages.

All of these things help you mature, grow wiser and become more tolerant of things you’re not used to.

19. Set goals for yourself.

Setting goals is great. A life goal keeps you moving.

But, don’t push yourself too hard to achieve it.

Sometimes you need to just let things go and wait for the right time.

Life is happening all the time, and limiting it with certain directions you think you must take will kill the joy of living in the moment.

20. Be kind.

Never ignore people in need.

The world is so cruel, and one second of kindness will sometimes become a rainfall in someone’s month of drought.