Last month I turned 27. Looking back at my life, I would say that my way of thinking is different from the younger me. I think because I have more life experiences than before. I’m not an expert in life, career or whatsoever, but I think some of the knowledge is worth sharing. So I decided to list down the things that I’ve learned in the past 27 years.
1. Friends come and go
I learned that friends I often hang out with would not stay with me forever. Friends come and go. They might get married in their early 20s and now have a different circle of friends, or they might have to move to another country. Well, in my case, a lot of my friends decided to move back to Indonesia after they finished their study. But you learn that even though you and your friends might go separate ways, true friends will always make effort to keep in touch.
A few years ago, I was having a hard time when some close friends had moved out of Perth. I wasn’t happy with the situations. My negative thoughts were thinking that I would not have friends anymore. But seriously, we have to fight off those silly negative thoughts. Start to get to know others. It’s never too late to meet people and make new friends.
2. Stop comparing
You will always be challenged to be content at any stages of your life. I’m not a competitive person, but there are times when I’m tempted to compare my achievements, my possessions, or simply my life in general with others. I need to remind myself that contentment and humility are the keys. I’ve learned to not only see a beautiful butterfly, but also to acknowledge that it comes from an ugly caterpillar who had gone through a process. Too often we only see the success of others, but not the struggle they have to go through.
Nobody has a perfect life, everyone has their own problems. Never think that the grass is greener on the other side, because the reality is not. So stop comparing, and be content with the life that you have.
3. Be gracious and forgiving
Forgive even though it’s hard. Forgiveness benefits you. It’s not for the sake of the person who has done you wrong, but it is for your own good. I believe at any stage of your life, you will always learn how to practice forgiveness. There were a few events in my life where I had to learn to extend grace and forgiveness to the people that hurt me. It was not easy to forgive, but it’s all worth it. You reap what you sow.
4. Love yourself and that’s why you need to take care of your health
I once heard that you must love yourself first before you can love someone else. It’s true in relation to taking care of your health. If you don’t take care of your health, would you be able to take care of your loved ones? Imagine if you were sick, they would have to take care of you instead.
When I was younger, I didn’t think much what I eat. But as I grew older, I began to understand the saying ‘you are what you eat’. That’s because I’ve seen the effect of eating healthy and non-healthy food.
5. Never stop learning
Graduation (for me it’s quite some time ago) doesn’t mean you stop learning. Read books and get knowledge! Learn about finance, health, creativity. Pick a new hobby, learn it. You’re only in your 20s! My pastor often said that your 20s is your learning curves. Once you reach your 30, you would have the foundation to build on it. Your 20s is the time when you absorb a lot of knowledge. You might fail, but you’ll learn how to get up and learn from your mistakes. Be content with your life, but never be content with knowledge!
6. Don’t forget those who love you
We live in the days when we rush to do a lot of things. Time has become something that is very expensive. Look at how you’re paid – you’re paid by hour rate! Often we forget that time is short too. One day your loved ones won’t be with you anymore. So appreciate the time and the moments if you can still spend time together with them. These include your parents, your closed friends and your sweethearts.
7. Save and invest early
If I could turn back to my early 20s, I would have started investing as soon as I started earning. It might not be your priority right now, but trust me it pays off when you get older. If you leave it to later years, you would have missed out on opportunity. And even if you fail in investing, let’s say the worst case scenario is you making loss, time is on your side. You still have a chance to either wait until you make profit or take it as your learning experience.