People who are 40+, what’s your advice to people in their 20s?

People who are 40+, what’s your advice to people in their 20s?

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  1. Don’t fall for the trap that your life needs to be one long narrative that you should be building. Life is best when it’s a bunch of happy moments that just happen to be connected.

    Don’t try to make your life into a novel, make it a book of poems.

  2. Don’t waste your friendships. Get in shape, and stay in shape. If you don’t know *what* your passion is, your job is to find out what your passion is. Then work in that direction.

    I’m 46. I was a touring musician for 15 years (up until I was 40), dirt broke, worked in bars when I was home – lived hand to mouth. Would do it again in a heartbeat. I’m a family guy now, with a normal job, but I’ll never have a mid life crisis.

  3. Floss your teeth daily, watch your weight, and pay off your credit cards in full each month. If you can’t afford to pay in cash then you can’t afford to charge it.

  4. Have a work ethic. Show up, do what’s told, go home. That does not mean let them walk over you. You don’t need your phone. There is always something to do.

  5. Save. If your job offers a 401k, take advantage of that. If not, open a savings account and put something in it every pay. Even if you can only afford to put in 5 bucks, it still adds up.

    Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself. Go to that show, see the movie, take a day trip. Don’t miss out on opportunities because no one will go with you.

    Don’t think that just because you’ve been with your partner for so many years you can’t start over/you’ll never meet anyone/no one will want you. Instead look at it as not wasting your time on someone who doesn’t deserve it.

    Take care of your teeth. It is so expensive to get them fixed. And if you let it go too long it’ll fuck up your health.

  6. Everyone you’ll meet has been through some shit. Try not to judge, it’s masturbatory. Instead, try being empathetic. Curious. Kind.

    Also, no one is ever ready for kids.

  7. I’m 81 and I really can’t distill it down to one thing so here goes:

    – Be yourself. Stop trying to live up to others’ expectations and do your own thing.

    – Get moving! Whether it’s bike riding or walking or a gym membership. Just move.

    – Eat healthy! Yes, those fast food fries and burgers are easy – but – you will pay for that some time in the future. Start eating healthy so it becomes a habit.

    – Be kind to people. If everyone did this, imagine what a world we would live in!

    – Become politically active. Support honest, progressive candidates in whatever way you can. And VOTE! Fucking VOTE!

    Hugs from Gma.

  8. Save money. Fuck a lot. Don’t go to jail. Enjoy your time with friends because soon you will only talk on FB. Figure out what you love without giving a crap what people think about it. Keep learning. Change happens constantly and if you get complacent, you will become a relic in no time. Do a good job. Network.

  9. Safe for retirement. If I had started at 20, I‘d have to put away like 20€ a month; now I have to put away like 200€ a month to catch up. Stupid past me.

    Also, take care of your teeth. Replacing those is a goddamn pain (literally) and expensive.

  10. Commit to saving some money on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Whatever you are sure you can save without stopping. Don’t even worry about where to put the money until you’ve developed the habit.

    $50/week over 20 years is $52,000. Quite a bit more than that if accumulating interest.

  11. Everything about high school was all made up and the points don’t matter.

    As general advice that everyone will ignore and then shake their fist at themselves for not listening to later: Don’t get in over your head on debt. It will haunt you for a long time. I didn’t listen to it, you probably wont either but I warned you. Remember this moment when you think it wont happen to you.

    Second piece of advice, if you’re going to join the military pick the Air Force or Navy so you’ll get actual applicable skills to the real world and wont die.

  12. Ghost your shitty friends. They are as much of a liability to your health and future as any other malicious factors in your life right now.

    And if you have to ask if they’re a shitty friend, they are a shitty friend. Ghost them. Now.

  13. This is good advice. I’m 40 and have “reset” twice. Starting something new can be scary, but very rewarding. I left a job last year for a different company and am so glad that I did. I took a pay cut for a quality-of-life improvement. I’ve been much happier and my stress levels are pretty non-existent.

  14. Wear sunscreen.
    If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
    A long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
    Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
    Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now.

    Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh—never mind.

    You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
    Until they’ve faded,

    but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
    At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
    How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

    You are not as fat as you imagine.

    Don’t worry about the future
    Or worry, but know that worrying
    Is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubble gum.

    The real troubles in your life
    Are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
    The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

    Do one thing every day that scares you.


    don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.
    Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


    Don’t waste your time on jealousy.

    Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
    The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

    Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults.
    If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

    Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


    Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life
    The most interesting people I know
    Didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
    Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

    Get plenty of calcium.

    Be kind to your knees
    You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

    Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t.
    Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t.
    Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’
    On your 75th wedding anniversary.
    Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much,
    Or berate yourself either.
    Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

    Enjoy your body, use it every way you can—
    Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
    It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

    Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room.

    Read the directions even if you don’t follow them.

    Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

    Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

    Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
    And the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

    Understand that friends come and go
    But a precious few, who should hold on.
    Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
    For as the older you get
    The more you need the people you knew when you were young.

    Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard.

    Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft.


    Accept certain inalienable truths
    Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too, will get old
    And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
    Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
    And children respected their elders.

    Respect your elders.

    Don’t expect anyone else to support you.
    Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
    But you never know when either one might run out.

    Don’t mess too much with your hair
    Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

    Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it.
    Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
    From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
    And recycling it for more than it’s worth.

    But trust me on the sunscreen.

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