The Magic of Life: 20 Lessons I Wish I Learned Earlier

September 19, 2023

The Magic of Life: 20 Lessons I Wish I Learned Earlier



Love, relationships, careers – life is filled with magic. But this magic can be confusing. Looking back, there’s so much I wish I understood earlier. Certain lessons could have saved me time and heartache. Now, I want to share these 20 life lessons I wish I knew at 16. Hopefully, they will provide value and perspective to others sooner than I got them.


Start Something Epic Before You Feel Ready 


When I was young, I thought I needed all the skills first before starting big projects. I wanted to wait until I was perfectly prepared. But we’re never 100% ready for epic things. You gain confidence through creating. Don’t wait to feel “ready” – start writing, making videos, putting yourself out there. You learn by doing.


We’re All Winging It


Early in my career, older professionals seemed so confident, while I felt lost. What I realized is we’re all winging it, making it up as we go. Those “having it figured out” were just covering insecurities. Knowing this would’ve prevented putting people on pedestals.


Good Problems Force Growth


I used to avoid problems and seek comfort. But challenges bring fulfillment. You want good problems to expand your skills and creativity, like starting a business or raising kids. Don’t run from problems – embrace them.


Develop Genuine Curiosity 


I used to view relationships selfishly and transactionally. But it’s rewarding to develop real curiosity about people – their stories, dreams, struggles. Ask good questions, and listen intently. Your connections will be richer.


Time Goes Faster As You Age 


When I was young, time crawled. Now, the years fly by. Appreciate the present, don’t wish it away. I remember rushing to be an “adult.” Now, I’d give anything to be a kid again. Don’t take time for granted.


Let Go Of What You Can’t Control


I spent years stressed by things I couldn’t control – the economy, politics, opinions. Life gets simpler when you focus just on what’s in your power to change. Accept the rest and move on.


Failure Teaches Well 


I grew up terrified of failure. Now, I embrace it as essential to success. Each failure provides lessons. Some you can only learn by failing. Don’t run from failure – learn from every mistake.


Comparison Destroys Joy


On social media, comparing lives leads to feeling inadequate. But what you see isn’t reality. Stay focused on your path; don’t worry about others. Your only competition is your past self.


Experiences Bring More Joy Than Things


I thought possessions brought happiness. But physical things provide fleeting joy. What lasts are experiences – traveling, creating, spending time with loved ones. Cherish memories over materials.


Fun Should Be Non-Negotiable 


Fun and leisure used to take a backseat to hustle and achievement. That’s unhealthy. Build fun into life, not just after work. Carve out time for recharging activities. Don’t leave self-care dependent on finishing work.


Time Outside Is Vital


I grew up indoors – TV, computer, videogames. I didn’t appreciate the need for outdoor time. Spending time in nature is vital for health. Get outside daily – walk, hike, observe. Don’t underestimate fresh air and greenery.


Wait On Emotions To Fade Before Deciding


I’d often act impulsively without thinking when emotional- angry, sad, or lonely. But emotions are temporary, even if they feel permanent in the moment. Don’t make big decisions when overwhelmed. Wait for the feelings to shift.


Gratitude Makes Life Richer


I took blessings for granted and focused on what I lacked. This made me dissatisfied. Cultivating gratitude changes perspective. Appreciating good things makes life feel like a gift. Keep a gratitude journal. Train this muscle.


Worrying Is Pointless


I spent years anxious from excessive worry about unlikely scenarios. Worry can’t prevent bad things; it only steals peace. When worrying, gently shift focus to the present.


Time With People Trumps Money 


I sacrificed time with loved ones to focus on my career. Chasing promotions won priorities. In hindsight, time connecting is more precious than money. You’ll never wish you spent more days at the office. Relationships matter more.


Share Experiences 


When I was younger, I didn’t always share cool experiences. But joy is amplified when shared. Telling stories keeps the delight alive. Give others joy secondhand through storytelling.


Slow Down and Appreciate the Journey


Achievement used to be about the endpoint. I hurried through life to reach my goals. Now, I know the importance of appreciating the process. Life isn’t a race; it’s a journey to soak in.


Silence Your Inner Critic


My inner critic was a major source of unhappiness. Now, I quiet self-judgment and speak gently. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. Talk to yourself like a close friend – with patience and compassion.


Perfectionism Is Self-Sabotage


I held myself to unrealistic standards and felt like a failure when I fell short. Perfectionism sabotages. Have high standards but embrace imperfection. Done is better than perfect. Focus on progress over flawlessness.


Keep An Open Mind


When I was young, I thought I had it all figured out. Closed-mindedness stunted my growth. Stay open and challenge assumptions. The learning never stops.




These lessons are just a sample of what I wish I had known sooner. Better late than never. Passing this wisdom to others is what matters. My message to my teenage self: life is a rollercoaster. Embrace the journey. Grow and challenge yourself. Focus on connections over trophies. Take moments to appreciate beauty. What lessons do you know now that you wish you learned earlier? It’s never too late to adjust mindsets and habits. The important thing is keeping an open mind.