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Things I Wish I Knew Sooner: Life Lessons Learned (the Hard Way)

By Albulena Murturi


19 March 2024

Things I Wish I Knew Sooner

©️ azerbaijan_stockers / Freepik

We have all been there. Looking back on a situation and thinking, “If only I knew then what I know now!” Hindsight is 20/20, they say. And while we can not rewind the clock, there is knowledge to be gained by looking back at the roads less traveled. This article is your chance to peek into the wisdom chest of experience. These are some common threads in the “things I wish I knew sooner” narrative, hopefully giving you a head start on your own journey.

Things I Wish I Knew Sooner

Here is a long list of things I wish I had known sooner, so you can learn the lessons prior to the mistakes for once:

©️ Freepik

1. Embrace the Detours: Don’t Fear Failure

Life isn’t linear. There will be stumbles, wrong turns, and epic fails. But these experiences, though painful at times, shape who we are and what we learn. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and take ownership of your mistakes. Bouncing back from setbacks builds resilience and teaches valuable lessons.

2. You Are Enough: Ditch the Need for External Validation

We all crave acceptance. But spending your energy seeking validation from others is a recipe for disappointment. Focus on building your self-worth from within. Celebrate your uniqueness, your passions, and your accomplishments. Trust me and give up the need to be seen.

3. Curate Your Circle: Invest in Quality Relationships

The people you surround yourself with have a profound impact on your life trajectory. Invest time and energy in nurturing positive, supportive relationships. Let go of toxic connections that drain your energy or hold you back. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be your best self.

4. It’s Okay to Say No: Boundaries Are Your Friend

Learning to say no is a superpower. Don’t feel obligated to take on commitments that burden you or don’t align with your values. Setting healthy boundaries allows you to prioritize your well-being and focus on what truly matters.

5. The Future You Starts Now: Don’t Procrastinate

Whether it’s saving for a dream vacation or pursuing a long-held passion, don’t put things off. Start taking small steps today towards a brighter future. The power of compound interest applies not just to money, but to habits and choices made over time.

Things I Wish I Knew Sooner
©️ Freepik

6. Embrace the Journey: Savor the Little Things

Life is a beautiful, messy adventure. Don’t get so fixated on the destination that you miss the scenery along the way. Find joy in the everyday moments, nurture your passions, and be present in the now.

7. Listen to Your Gut

Intuition is a powerful tool. Learn to trust your inner voice, especially when faced with difficult decisions. While not foolproof, a healthy dose of gut feeling can often steer you in the right direction.

8. Forgive Yourself (and Others)

Holding onto grudges, especially toward yourself, is a heavy burden. Practice forgiveness, even if it’s a slow process. Letting go allows you to move forward with a lighter heart.

9. Never Stop Learning

The world is a vast classroom, and curiosity is the key to lifelong learning. Embrace new experiences, challenge yourself intellectually, and never stop expanding your knowledge base.

10. Take Care of Yourself

You are a work in progress, mind, body, and spirit. Prioritize your health by eating well, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring you joy. A healthy you is a happier, more resilient you.

11. Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Social media can create a distorted reality. Don’t get caught up comparing your behind-the-scenes journey to someone else’s highlight reel. Focus on your own path and celebrate your unique victories.

12. It’s Never Too Late

Maybe the one thing that I wish I knew sooner that hurts the most is this one. Whether it’s going back to school, pursuing a creative dream, or mending a broken relationship, don’t let age hold you back. Life is full of second chances, so embrace the power of a fresh start.

©️ Freepik

13. Embrace Imperfection

Striving for perfection is a recipe for stress and disappointment. Learn to appreciate the beauty in the imperfections, both in yourself and in the world around you.

14. The Power of Gratitude

Taking time to appreciate the good things in your life, big or small, shifts your perspective and cultivates happiness. Practice gratitude every day, and watch your outlook transform. You need to start to do this as soon as possible. Building this mentality does take time.

This is just a starting point, a collection of wisdom from others. The most valuable lessons will come from your own unique experiences. So get out there, embrace the journey, and remember: growth is a lifelong pursuit.

What do you wish you knew sooner? Please share it with us in the comments.

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Albulena Murturi

An enthusiastic learner rediscovering the joy of writing.