7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was A Teen
One thing I appreciate so much about life, and being a human being in particular, is that we never stop learning. Each and every week is filled with new experienced, new people I meet, and new things I can learn. Being in my mid 30’s, I have certainly learned a lot already, and I certainly hope that there is still a lot to learn in my life.
Still, I cannot let go of this subtle feeling, that sometimes I wish I had known a few things about life a bit earlier. I think it might have helped me to approach certain things differently, and to actually achieve some of my targets by my mid 30’s, while I am currently still working on them now.
The present builds the future
As a teen, I always had great dreams. But I also had times in my life, where I became demotivated to learn for school, and to get good grades. I was not particularly known as a hard worker. Although I did get my act together by my late teens, I could have graduated with better grades, and potentially get better opportunities in my 20’s.
I have never been strong in finance, and the little bit of money I earned with day jobs, I spent it almost immediately. I did learn a lot about personal finance in my 20’s, but if I had started investing my money as early as possible, I would have been able to build up much more during my life.
I have never considered myself to be a great networker; I rather focused on good friends regarding my social life, and hard work and integrity for my career. Little did I know, that during one’s professional life, who you know is at least equally important as how hard you work. If I had worked on expanding my network in my early years, I might have had many more opportunities to reach out for.
I used to be interested about many things: writing, languages, teaching others, sharing experiences, traveling. I tried to develop into some of these areas, but in the end I was not able to turn these interests into true passions, or to do anything productive with it. I don’t think that going to college to study economics was a bad decision, but my true passion in life I still have to discover.
Passed business opportunities
Due to the lack of passion, and a fear of ‘doing business’, I had missed out on many opportunities which would have enabled me to build up my own business. I had some excellent ideas on importing cellphones when I was 15, and I learnt HTML coding within two or so months when the Internet had just become available to the public. I think I have listened to my parents too much, when they told me to get rid of the idea of doing business and to focus on betting a good job in stead. Building a business is still one of my top priorities in life.
People don’t bite
During my teenage years, I was very introvert and generally hesitant to start conversations with strangers. I have to admit that some experiences in my life did not rather contribute to my extrovert nature, but nowadays I see the benefits of being able to initiate a conversation with just about anyone; you can expand your network much faster, you meet so many new people, it is interesting and joyful.
In my teenager years, I used to compare myself a lot with others; I compared myself with my classmates, or with friends, what they had, did, or didn’t have. Whenever they had something I didn’t have, I wanted it, or it made me unhappy. Later in my 20’s, I learned that continuously comparing yourself to others does yourself no good; what counts in the end is what you get out of life, whether or not your are happy with it, and what you can do to work towards your goals. I truly believe, comparing yourself with others too much will only make you unhappier.