27 Lessons I Know at 27 that I Wish I Knew Earlier

I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger are words spoken by Rod Stewart I truly agree with. Imagine knowing what you know now when you were younger. If I can go back in time and teach my younger self a few lessons it would go as follows:

1. Know yourself better than anyone.

We keep hearing about “following your heart” but sometimes we wonder what the hell that even means.

To me, I think happiness and long term fulfillment is better attained if people assert their personal strengths and passions into a cause they believe in which is why it’s good to know yourself better than anyone else; what you love, what you don’t love, what’s important to you, and so and so fourth.

2. It’s nice being invincible, I mean young...until you’re not.

You start to slowly understand all the reasons why your parents told you about things like warming up before exercising, being careful when you go out or on a trip.

All it takes is an accident or incident to change the whole scope of your future - a little extreme to say but I’ve seen some sh*t!

3. The combination of acting on your gut feeling, or that little voice in your head, and being brave can lead to extraordinarily liberating things.

Doing something you’ve always wanted to do like starting your own fitness company or performing at an open mic show, possibly putting an end to a toxic relationship, or leaving a job you’ve been dragging on for months or years, and booking a trip of a lifetime just takes a few seconds of blind courage.

Literally seconds to decide, book, register, etc. The rest is just showing up.

4. Go out less and save more for traveling and experiences.

You forget about nights out around town but you’ll always remember adventures in foreign lands.

It’s always nice spending time with people close to you in whatever city you deem home but with time it gets to a point where a lot of it becomes repetitive and predictable which for me loses the whole exciting factor.

Making new experiences outside of your habitat is much more memorable.

5. Respect is given or broken based on the level of respect people believe you deserve.

In less complicating words, It’s human nature and instinct for people to put their own personal interest, wants and desires before other people.

We all do it. Whether it’s someone you love who puts drugs over your friendship or if someone who just considers you chopped liver than it’s not on you.

Some will lie, not show up, or cheat you in one way or another. 

Don’t beat yourself up. It’s something to do with that individual and whatever they’re going through. You either bring it to that person's attention, accept it for what it is, or keep them afar.

6.  Invest time and money in yourself, above anything.

Think about how much money you spend on things that don’t really matter. For example bar tabs or materialism are a couple that come to mind.

Bottom line, if you have the option - investing in yourself is always worth it, even if that has to do with taking time off before or after college to go on a self discovery journey.

Even giving yourself a year to turn one of your passions into a career. At least you can look back and say you tried.

7. Discipline and consistency are everything.

Why is it a common trend that some of the most successful people wake up before dawn with a morning routine? It’s a habit of consistency and discipline.

For three months I was able to wake up at 5 every morning with the following routine: read or watch an inspirational video/speech on YouTube, make a smoothie, go to the gym, write down 3 things I’m grateful for, and do homework before heading off to work.

After that 3 month mark I lost my consistency and screwed it all up. It’s all about remaining disciplined and consistent which if done successfully will reflect in all other areas of life.

I think that's what sets a lot of people apart.

8. Don’t let go of yourself, your loved ones, or become comfortable just because you’re busy with work or in a relationship.

That thing you got going on for you may end and you’ll look in the mirror, out of shape, wondering what the hell happened to you and where all your friends went.

It’s happened to me to some extent, might be happening to you or someone you know. I mean lets be honest we all had that one friend at some point in our life who disappeared because of a relationship.

9. Being selfish is good to a certain extent but being selfish without consideration of other people is a sure way to damage a relationship.

I’m guilty for having my DGAF moments, I’m only human but the older I get the more I realize how my actions can impact people who care about me and vice versa. 

If you're stuck in your way and always have a "me first" mindset, would you really blame someone for running off? 

Let's be honest - relationships involve two people and meeting halfway is how to reach mutual agreement, right? 

However, not that I'm married, but I think the proper way in that scenario is for the man to go about 99.99% of the way in order to remain married. 

10. Open your mind and soul to the world you’ll be surprised how much it guides you to a better version of yourself.

I think it was somewhere in the past year or so where I started caring less about what people think or worrying about what I say or do and just taking steps towards showing my peers what I’m all about.

Whether it’s been blogging or just being open about experiences with life you start attracting like-minded people and opportunities that are more aligned with who you are and what you love.

11. Read more books than you watch TV Series.

I just think of it this way - you probably have something you’re striving towards in your career or a certain area of life.

There’s a 99.99% chance someone who you want to be like has written a book or article sharing how they succeeded in the same thing you desire.

Reading that person’s book is equivalent to basically having dinner with that person to pick their brain. Read more.

12. You may regret some of the things you do but at the end of the day the damage has been done so find the positive in it and move on.

Have you ever been in a situation where you look back far after it’s happened and realize how embarrassing you sounded? Man, I have handled some situations so poorly looking back.

I've had my emotional breakdowns, said the wrong things in interviews or just acted way out of line in a situation. Whether it was saying something maliciously to someone I cared about or acting recklessly with little care of repercussions.

Almost every single time it’s been because I wasn’t in control of what was going on inside. I let my feelings get the best of me.

As I do consider those moments low points I also take them as opportunities to improve. Once you master your emotions, you’re a much more powerful person.

13. Don’t waste energy with things outside of your control.

Instead, focus on improving things within your control.

This touches the same points on the previous lesson but the idea is whenever I found myself in a downward spiral the only things that made me feel better was focusing, balancing and maintaining my Mind, Body, and Soul.

Examples include education, exercising daily, sleeping well, being grateful, spending time with loved ones, eating healthy, prayer, mediation, volunteering or giving (donating) and following passions.

14. Listen more by understanding what is being received, ask questions if confused, and remember details - especially names.

I’ve been pretty terrible at remembering names. Literally one ear out the other.

If you’re like me you’re thinking about something else or just not focusing but with practice if you start to take mental notes when people introduce themselves and actively listen, interactions can be much more successful. 

Personally, I’m really impressed if someone remembers my name or something about me I mentioned in a past conversation with them. Sometimes I talk to people and don’t expect them to remember small details but the ones who do leave an impression.

15. Boost your communication and confidence levels by taking classes that force you out of you comfort zone (ex: improv class, toastmasters, etc..)

- not only will you have a story to tell but you’ll break down personal barriers by putting yourself out there.

16. If you aren’t sure how to handle a situation, take a step back, and ask yourself if you have time before making a decision, if so use that time to regroup your mind before moving forward.

Have you ever been in a job interview or lets even say a conversation with someone you’re dating and whatever you say or do may risk everything?

I’ve been offered a job or been in conversations in the past which I felt pressured into and made the mistake of going down a rocky road. However these situations could’ve been avoided by just asking for more time.

When you feel pressured into something you aren’t thinking straight.

It’s important to assess the situation and regroup your thoughts if that option is available.

17. Some things you firmly believe in now will change as you grow older so always keep an open mind.

You may say you don’t believe in marriage or having kids but find yourself married with kids 10 years later.

Maybe you might get in a fight with someone close to you because you highly disagree with something he or she is doing only later to do the same thing with the same effect.

Now you’re just a hypocrite. Always keep an open mind, perspective, and view from different eyes.

18. Understand the difference between chasing and persistence.

I think above all, stop chasing people who don’t want you. Or maybe they did want you but you’ve scared them away by acting out of desperation and neediness.

It’s so damn exhausting.

I’m easily guilty for this. Instead, just do you and focus else where like enjoying the moment you’re in with your friends or yourself or whatever you’re doing.

Attract instead.

If someone finds you interesting and wants to figure you out then by all means.

You’ll be told “no” a lot of times in life but know when to come back or when to try again which requires patience. Maybe even a different approach.

19. Do you without expectations from others.

My buddy always used to send me the Gestalt Prayer anytime I didn’t understand what to do in a situation with matters of the heart or if I would beat myself up over a girl or someone who just wasn’t meeting me half way. 

Google it (Gestalt Prayer). 

You may see it as a bit corny but judging off my "cliche article of lessons learned" you can easily categorize me into that stereotype, you know the "head in the clouds" type who reads motivational quotes and Elite Daily articles quite frequently. 

But anyhow, If you’re in any way the same (which I think you are if you’ve gotten this far in the article) it may help you as it did for me!

20. If you’re afraid of doing something, jump at the opportunity. 

Whether you do good or bad the results are exhilarating.

Will Smith once said in an interview how he had an obsession with doing things he fears.

If he feared something he had to do it. It's how he pushed himself to new levels.

21. If you choose your major right in college then you already have a head start on everyone else who’s trying to figure out life post college.

Personal advice: pursing a field of specialization gives you more value as a job seeker opposed to something broad.

For example accounting degree vs. business major.  In my opinion, it's better to offer a specific skill than a broad knowledge.

22. Find a trusting mentor, coach, or someone to guide you - especially someone you want to be like.

Yes, a lot of people make it on their own but I think they owe it to someone or something they envisioned to replicate.

For example in fitness training with someone who has the same exact physique, level of strength, accolades, or whatever it is you're striving is the most ideal situation above all.

He or she will push you and help you towards your ideal body and achieving all personal goals than doing it on your own.

And in a way that goes for everything.

23. The power of asking: If you never ask, you’ll never know.

My friend always has the courage to ask questions I wouldn’t dare to ask.

You know those situations where you feel awkward to ask someone for a favor or whatever..

- well my boy doesn’t get those feelings and has been led to amazing opportunities (dream job, date, pieces of advice, answers and adventures) just by asking people questions some of us are hesitant of asking.

24. Instead of complaining, find solutions.

We’ve all been behind on work or in a situation with our team in which we’re completely out of sync to achieve a common goal so we bicker, moan or whine.

Instead of doing all that negative stuff which only creates more problems.

Step back and identify the problem. Then find ways to resolve it.

For example, I've been meeting with my drummer two or three times a week to practice for a gig we plan to play but recently got into a small bicker due to how fast the show was coming up and how far behind we were in terms of preparation. 

You can sense the frustration because of little things said here and there but when we brought up the real problem that was causing all the negativity, we realized we need to practice more times a week or reschedule the show for a later time which is ultimately what happened. Thank god for using our brains. 

25. Don’t take life too seriously.

Remember to make light of a situation any opportunity you have to do so.

I get caught up sometimes in my outlook on life but for the most part I would say I mess around a lot, especially with people.

Go prank a friend. Now!

26. Say hi or talk to strangers.

Basically the exact opposite advice our parents told us when we were kids.

I always pay attention to the social butterfly types, especially at work.

They say hi or strike up a conversation with anyone whether they cut the silence of an elevator ride down or striking up a conversation in the cafeteria.

One of my friends impresses me because he is exactly that type who just knows how to talk to anyone and draw people in.

If I’m line with him at the movies or shopping for shoes at Foot Locker I expect to meet at least 5 new strangers and sometimes make some new friends in the process!

27. Turning Twenty Seven sounded old as shit when I was younger but I don’t understand why I felt that way.

Life has barely even started in a lot of ways and for all the “youngins” worried about entering your mid or late twenties I can reassure you that it’s actually a lot nicer.

In my opinion I think your thirties will be the start of some of the best years to come.

When you’re young you’re still trying to figure everything out which can be a pain in the "arse" at times. 

Personally, each year for me has gotten better because I’m honing more into who I am as a person and I just think that’s normal for a lot of twenty something years olds because a lot of us are still exploring (not that growing ever stops) but it’s a nice feeling how your perspective on life gets bigger and bigger as time goes by.