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People Over 50 Are Revealing A Personal Truth That They Hope Younger People Realize Sooner Than They Did

"When you're old, you finally realize it was true all along."

They say youth is wasted on the young, and whether or not that's true, there are certainly plenty of things you only realize later in life. So Redditor u/h-gotfred asked, "To you redditors aged 50+, what's something you genuinely believe young people haven't realized yet, but could enrich their lives or positively impact their outlook on life?"

1. "Everybody messes up, but it's what you do after the fact that matters."

2. "I heard a saying once that has proven to be very true. When you're young you constantly worry about what everyone else thinks of you. When you're an adult, you stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of you. And when you're old, you finally realize that nobody else was thinking about you all along."


3. "Focus on experiences, not things. When you look back at the years you remember good times with great people and also visiting great places or attending important events."

A backyard birthday party.

4. "Unless you don't mind hearing EEEEEEEEEEEE all the time day and night, use hearing protection in loud situations. Tinnitus is a bitch."


5. "Being thin is not the end all, be all. Eat the piece of pizza and order the dessert. I wasted so much of my late teens and early twenties obsessing over my weight and caloric intake. And the thinner I got, the more I hated myself."

6. "You might not want kids or be able to have kids, and that's okay. Never let anyone tell you you're making a mistake or will have regrets if you choose not to have a baby."


7. "Stop thinking that life is about being the most productive person you can be. Find interesting hobbies that make you feel good and are good for you. Your soul deserves to experience that."

A woman using a pottery wheel.

8. "Every skill takes determination and practice to master. I have seen young friends and relatives try something and give up because 'they weren't very good at it.' If you keep up with that mentality, you'll never be great at anything."


9. "Read for pleasure every single day."

A woman reading on the couch from above.

10. "Honesty is the most powerful tool you can use to define yourself. Admit your mistake, frankly and honestly. The truth always comes out in the end no matter how big or small and it doesn't get better with age. You can give back something you steal and you can help those you hurt, but once someone brands you a liar, it's all you will ever be."


11. "Nobody else ever thinks about the things you did that you found embarrassing or cringeworthy. The only one who remembers those moments is you, and you shouldn’t let them define you to yourself."

12. "The habits you get into during your 20s and 30s are going to be damn near impossible to change, so make those habits good ones."


13. "Travel while you're young. I am so glad I did this. Travel opened my eyes to so many things that I carry with me today. My only regret is not traveling more when I had no responsibilities."

14. "Take care of your body. Exercise, keep your weight reasonable, and keep the 'bad habits' in moderation. It really does make a difference later in life."


15. "Wear sunscreen! When I look at my 50-year-old upper chest (frequently exposed to the sun in my youth) compared to my 50-year-old belly (which has always been clothed and covered because I have never liked two-piece swimsuits), I can't believe the difference."

Mother rubbing suncream on daughter at the beach.

16. "Comparison is the thief of joy. Stop comparing your looks, whether your successful, or your happiness to anybody else's."


17. "Invest in your health by regularly exercising. My wife and I got into running when we were in our twenties, and it has been a big part of our lives ever since. I'm 63 now. We don't do anything crazy (no marathons, strict training plans), we just pick a route, go at our own pace, and have fun. Not only has this hobby kept me physically active, but it's also been great for my mental health and managing stress. You don’t have to set unreasonably strict requirements for exercise goals, just do the best you can. 40 years later and you’ll really thank yourself."

Two runners jogging together into the distance.

18. "The best dating advice I ever received was from my mom when I was going through a bad breakup. She said 'all you’re doing when you’re dating someone is learning about the other person. You are learning qualities that you want or don’t want in a partner. And you get to learn about yourself while doing it.' Trust your gut. If you notice a red flag, there’s a reason for it. It seems so simple and obvious, but hearing it out loud really put things in perspective when I felt like my world was caving in."


19. "Learn to let things go. Don't hold grudges. Don't get angry when you're stuck in traffic. Don't feel the need to correct dumb people. Don't stress about the weather. Don't go to bed angry with your spouse. Just let it go."

20. "My advice is just to generally stop thinking life is going to go a certain way and try to be more open-minded to how your life may unfold. I never could have dreamt up my life as it is now, but it's so much more 'me' than the path I was on."


21. "The right person will bring out the best version of yourself. If you find yourself shrinking around them, compromising your values, or trying to be someone you’re not, it’s not the right person."

22. "Get off social media or spend less time on it. Even if you don't quit social media entirely, consider taking it off your mobile devices. Too much time spent on these platforms destroys your attention span and misrepresents how 'awesome' other's lives are. It does no good."


23. "You are not obligated to keep toxic people in your life. At the end of the day you've got to take care of yourself, which includes making sure you are surrounded by people who love and support you. The people you keep should make you a better person. Let go of those who make you feel insecure and bring you down."

24. "A wise teacher once told me 'what makes you strange or odd when you are very young, makes you interesting and distinctive when you get older.'"


25. "Marriage and relationships should be fun and happy. Life is hard and things get tough. Find someone that makes the bad times easier, not harder."

26. "Lots of people will tell you what they think about you and what you should do, and what you shouldn’t do. Not everyone’s thoughts are worth consideration. Don’t take criticism from anyone who you wouldn’t also go to for advice."


27. "Not everything that you disagree with deserves an argument. Pick your battles and let trivial things slide."

28. "Sometimes being alone is better than being in the wrong company."


So, what advice do you wish you learned earlier in life? What do you wish you could tell your younger self or others? Tell us in the comments!