15 pieces of advice we often receive a little too late in life (a toolkit for changing your life)

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Have you ever noticed how the best life lessons seem to come a bit too late? Sometimes, it’s only after we’ve taken a stumble that we finally get the advice we needed.

But what if we could flip the script? What if we could get those nuggets of wisdom ahead of time?

That’s exactly what we’re going to explore today. We’ve got 15 pieces of advice that people often don’t hear until it’s too late.

Think of this as your toolkit for changing your life. An easy-to-follow guide that’s as straightforward as it gets.

1) Embrace failure

We’ve all heard the phrase “failure is not an option.” But here’s the thing: failure is not just an option, it’s a necessity. It’s through our mistakes that we truly learn and grow.

Instead of fearing failure, embrace it. See it as an opportunity to learn something new about yourself and the world around you.

2) Value time over money

In the rush to build a life, we often equate success with money. But here’s a piece of advice people often learn too late: time is far more valuable than money. Money can be earned, saved, spent, and lost – and then made back again.

But time? Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. So value your time. Spend it on things that really matter to you – be it learning a new skill, spending time with loved ones, or even just taking a moment to breathe and enjoy life.

Remember, time well spent is more rewarding than money well spent.

3) Don’t put off your passion

I learned this one the hard way. For years, I was stuck in a job that paid the bills but didn’t feed my soul. I had a passion for writing, but always told myself it was a pipe dream. “Maybe someday,” I’d say, but that day never seemed to come.

Then, one day, a friend gave me a piece of advice that changed everything. She said, “Don’t wait for someday. If you love to write, then write. You don’t need permission to follow your passion.”

So I started writing; in the mornings before work, during lunch breaks, after dinner. It wasn’t easy and there were plenty of late nights and early mornings. But you know what? I’ve never been happier.

The lesson here is simple: Don’t put off your passions. Life’s too short to not do what you love. If you have a passion, pursue it with everything you’ve got. You won’t regret it.

4) Prioritize health

Often, we’re so caught up in our daily grind that we neglect our health. We skip meals, pull all-nighters, and push our bodies to the limit.

But here’s an interesting fact: According to the World Health Organization, a staggering 60% of our life quality depends on our lifestyle and behavioral choices – including diet, exercise, and sleep.

My point being: Take care of your body. It’s your temple. It’s the only place you can live in. Eat balanced meals, get regular exercise, and make sure you’re getting enough rest.  

5) Cherish relationships

Life has a way of reminding us that at the end of the day, it’s not about how much we have, but who we have in our lives that matters most. We often get so absorbed in our personal pursuits and ambitions that we forget to cherish the relationships we have.

Your family, your friends, your loved ones – these are the people who make life meaningful. They share in your joy, lend a shoulder during tough times, and are there for you when you need them. They are irreplaceable.

6) Keep learning

I remember when I finished school, I thought, “Yes! No more studying!” But boy, was I wrong. Life is a constant learning journey, and every day brings a chance to learn something new.

A few years back, I decided to learn how to code. It was tough, especially since I didn’t have a tech background. There were times when I wanted to give up. But every time I managed to solve a problem or write a piece of working code, the feeling was exhilarating.

That experience taught me that learning doesn’t stop with a degree or a certificate. It’s something we should keep doing throughout our lives.

Whether it’s taking up a new hobby, reading a book on an unfamiliar subject, or simply listening to others’ experiences – every opportunity to learn is an opportunity to grow.

7) Let go of grudges

Here’s the raw truth: Grudges are like leeches – they suck out the joy from your life. They weigh you down, keep you stuck in the past, and rob you of the energy you could be using to build a better future.

We’ve all been hurt, wronged, and let down by people we trusted. But holding onto that anger and resentment doesn’t punish them – it punishes you. It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to suffer.

8) Embrace change

My friend, change is the only constant in life. Since you can’t steer clear of it, you might as well embrace it as your ally in growth.

It’s the catalyst for progress and the doorway to new opportunities. So what if changes bring discomfort? That’s just a sign you’re being stretched, which is a good thing. It means you’re evolving, getting wiser and more resilient.  

9) Celebrate small wins

I’ve always been a goal-oriented person. I set big goals and work tirelessly to achieve them. But I used to overlook my small wins, thinking they weren’t worth celebrating.

One day, a mentor told me, “Every win, no matter how small, is a step towards your ultimate goal. Celebrate it.” It was a lightbulb moment for me.

Since then, I’ve started celebrating my small wins – finishing a tough project, sticking to my workout routine for a week, or even cooking a new dish successfully. And you know what? It’s made a huge difference.

Celebrating small wins has made my journey more enjoyable. It’s given me confidence and motivation to keep going even when things get tough.

10) Stop comparing

Let’s be honest, we’ve all fallen into the comparison trap at some point. Looking at someone else’s life and thinking, “If only I had what they have.”

But here’s the truth: The comparison game is a losing battle. You’re unique, and so is your journey. Comparing it with someone else’s doesn’t do justice to the person you are and the progress you’ve made.

11) Say ‘no’ when needed

Saying ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’ is exhausting. We do it to please others, to avoid conflict, or out of fear of missing out.

But at what cost? Your time, your energy, your peace of mind? It’s okay to say ‘no’. You don’t have to be available for everyone all the time. 

12) Face your fears

Fear. It’s what stops us from taking risks, from stepping out of our comfort zone, from reaching our full potential.

But guess what? Fear is often just an illusion. Most of the things we fear never actually happen. They’re just scenarios we’ve created in our minds. Ask yourself: How many things you worried about in the past have actually come true in your life?

13) Live in the moment

We spend so much time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future that we forget to live in the present.

Here’s a reality check: The past is gone and the future isn’t promised. All we really have is now. Carpe diem! Don’t wait for tomorrow—seize the day, savoring every heartbeat, every breath.  

14) Forgive yourself

We are often our own harshest critics. We beat ourselves up over mistakes, dwell on our failures, and carry guilt and regret for years.

My friend, you’re just human. And as human—you err. Think of each misstep as a lesson learned—a chance for growth, and embrace imperfections as the essence of humanity.  

15) Follow your heart

How many times have you ignored your heart because logic told you otherwise? How many times have you regretted it?

Let it sink in: Your heart often knows what’s best for you. It’s that gut feeling, that instinct, that ‘just knows’. Sometimes, you have to pay less attention to your head and more to your heart. 

Final word to the wise

In the grand tapestry of life, lessons come to us in their own time, each imparting its own wisdom and insight. While some may learn early, others come to understand later, but the beauty lies in the continuous growth and evolution of our journey.

It’s never too late to glean knowledge from the experiences that shape us—for every setback and triumph is a lesson waiting to be learned.

So, let us not be disheartened by the timing of our revelations, but rather embrace the opportunity to grow and evolve, regardless of when the lessons come our way.

With perseverance and determination, we can navigate life’s challenges, armed with the wisdom gained from each lesson learned.

After all, where there’s a will, there’s always a way forward.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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