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Nearly every life stage comes with its share of struggles. For old people, it's failing health, for the middle-aged, it's the realization they aren't invincible, and for young people, it's the fact that they still have much to learn. Here are five life lessons young people usually learn the hard way, but they shouldn't have to.
Young people are at the stage of life where they've learned to be competitive. Whether it's with siblings or in the world of sports, competitiveness pushes them to try harder and to strive for greatness. But at some point, that competitiveness comes at a cost: fear of failure.
Some people go through life never understanding the true meaning of failure. To never have experienced failure is as impossible as perfectionism. We all feel disappointed in ourselves at some point. Taking that failure and turning it into a learning experience makes the failure a gift.
It's okay to fail. Everyone does it because everyone is human. When it's not okay to fail is when you can't take the cause of that failure and turn it into an opportunity for broadening your understanding of being human.
Related to life lessons for young people:
Peer pressure is an extremely potent tool. Advertisers know this which is why Nike's "Just do it" campaign saw so much success. Everyone's doing it, so you should, too. But is "it" something you should really be doing?
Peer pressure can lead to some of life's biggest regrets. The better path to take is the path less traveled--the path that you've created for yourself. If you feel that morally, personally, or socially, something that someone is pressuring you to do is wrong, walk away and never look back. It's likely the person trying to take you with them will have to live out their regrets without you, or from a more positive angle, your strength in saying no persuades them to do the same.
Unfortunately, credit is something young people establish before they fully understand the consequences. After all, a credit score is just a number. While it is just a number, to be more precise, it's a number that represents financial freedom. Financial freedom represents your ability to access cash to acquire the lifestyle you desire.
If you don't make timely payments to your creditors, that number gets lower and lower. If you bail on making payments at all, you can count on that number being destroyed and it can take years to build it back up. The important thing to know is keeping that number high will make life a whole lot easier on you. Ask anyone who's ever struggled with bad credit.
Don't choose or stick with a career where the only benefit is monetary. Happiness is more important to your life than money. This is another one of the lessons people go through life never realizing, and they never find true happiness either.
If you're raising a family and working a demanding job, that job needs to be worth the time it's requiring you to spend away from your family. Hopefully, you're developing a cure or solving hunger at a job like that. A job like that to put money in the pockets of fancy CEOs? Never worth it. You're selling your soul and it will take and take. You might have a big fancy house, but you'll never be home to enjoy it.
Choose a career where you know you have the potential to make a difference. And when you leave work at the end of the day, don't let it follow you home. Developing your family will be your greatest achievement in life--unless you're developing a cure or solving hunger.
Life has so many lessons there's no way to ever fully recognize them all. What you can do is listen to the people who have passed over the bridges before you. They have wisdom to share, and they want your opportunities to come at a lighter price. Life will always be a struggle, but it should never have to be more difficult than it needs to be.
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