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25 hard truths people wish they had learned earlier in life that are very insightful

They say life and time are the best teachers. These 25 life lessons that people wish they'd known at an earlier point in their lives are proof.

25 hard truths people wish they had learned earlier in life that are very insightful
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels| Lukas Rychvalsky, Reddit|u/The_Lamemania

Growing up, people often have to go through certain experiences to learn the realities of life. Whether it's love, relationships, cooking, a career or even about oneself, it takes life-changing encounters to learn certain facts. These encounters are not necessarily the only way to learn about life. People would love it if they could skip some of the harsh and ruthless life lessons and just be told truths before they can make mistakes. One would prefer being told to save up for the future instead of overspending and having tremendous financial loads later on. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Giona Mason
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Giona Mason

Whether it's about lifestyle or more profound factors, people would love to learn the easier way or the least be informed so they can prepare for the experience when it comes. u/Flufferfluff called on adults on Reddit, asking them to share bits of truth that could work as cautionary tales or advice for fellow users. They wrote, "What is a hard truth that you believe should be taught early on in life? I’m genuinely very curious about what hard truths you all believe should be taught early on in life, like used as a teaching moment in school or something." People shared vivid facts that can come in handy as life goes on. Here are the top 25 suggestions: 

1. Experience is a treasure 

“No experience is ever wasted. You can always serve as a bad example." -u/DonToddExtremeGolf "Pilots have a saying about being born with a full bag of luck and an empty bag of experience. The goal is to fill the bag of experience before the bag of luck is empty." -u/anomalous_cowherd "I spent 12 years in the military and TSGT Spengle told me, 'The luckier you are the more you've wasted the opportunity for experience. Don't open the 'lucksack' until you've filled your rucksack.'" -u/TrickyShare242

2. Loss is inevitable 

"'Sometimes you can do everything right and still lose.' -Cotton Hill" -u/Vendetta547 "It took me until my first semester of college to realize this. I had one bad course with a bad professor and I was determined to do everything right. I spent all of my time studying, I had the book damn near memorized and I still hardly passed. I’ve always been the 'smart kid' and my effort has always matched my grades, so putting in 100% effort to have it fall flat was crushing and had me reevaluating my self-worth for a long while afterward." -u/Top-Feature9570

3. Bad things are always lurking around

"Sometimes you do not have to have bad things happen to you. There are (many) people in this world who wish you ill and you have done nothing to deserve it. They do not know you and do not want to know you and there is nothing you can do or say to change it." -u/RookieGreen "I rarely wish anyone ill even if they did cause me harm, but I’ve been victimized enough by others to know that it happens with startling frequency. It’s just very human." -u/RookieGreen

4. You can always ask but you won't always receive 

"You can't always get what you want, even if you say please. I'm a preschool teacher and we teach kids that sharing is good. However, we also teach them that if you are not finished with something, you don't have to let someone else use it. And vice versa, you gotta wait your turn, and sometimes you don't even get a turn. That's life." -u/Careless_Platyput_92 "I taught my kids this: 'Ask, and you shall receive' is not always true. However, if you don't ask, then you won't receive." -u/nakedwithoutmyhoodie

5. Respect yourself first 

"At my old job, I would always try to be friendly to people. I would share my snacks and even laugh at stupid jokes I didn't think were funny in the first place all because I just wanted to get along with them. I remember overhearing this guy and this girl talk about how much it made me look stupid. I learned two things since then. 1) Your coworkers aren't your friends and 2) If you try too hard to be liked, people start disrespecting you more." -u/Anilos
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Cottonbro Studio
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Cottonbro Studio

6. There is always a voice and a choice 

"Life isn’t fair, but you have a voice and choice." -u/The_Lamemania "Sometimes other voices are louder and choices may be made for you without you even knowing about it." -u/SwaggerEliite "Voices only matter if people are willing to listen; choices can be so limited that you're stuck with shitty results no matter where you turn." -u/AdaLuvLace "Still have a voice and a choice to make. Never said it was easy or the choices are always good." -u/The_Lamemania

7. Second chances are important

"Give people second chances; don’t be afraid to ask for one yourself (but teach the kids how to). For the former, the internet is polarizing people so much that discourse and nuance are thrown straight out the window. Don’t be like that. And for the latter, learning how to apologize and make amends is a skill, not many people try to learn, but it’ll help you learn a lot while keeping the valuable connections you make throughout life." -u/123maikeru

8. A consequence for everything

"Actions/choices have consequences. Own the consequences."-u/user "Sometimes inaction has consequences." -u/user  "Inaction is in itself an action. Is choosing not to do anything and it will have a consequence accordingly. The thing is, every type of action in the world/universe has a consequence."-u/OkAvergae4212 "A hard truth a lot of people struggle with is that hard work won't always be rewarded as much as you hope it will, but laziness will always be punished far more harshly than you think it should." -u/user

9. Respect is crucial 

"If someone makes a different choice to you, it does not mean they think your choice was bad." -u/TypicalNebula3227 "Recognize that almost everything another individual does to express themself has zero impact on you and your life. life is short." -u/Uniqueusername82D "When my kids say something is 'not normal,' I ask them to define normal and then ask them who decides what is normal. Everyone is different. There is no normal just what society decides they want to be normal. I don't want to be normal." -u/Rdrner71_99

10. Death and loss comes unexpected

"It would be nice if some effort was made to teach the younger kids how to deal with the inevitable death of their parents and other elder loved ones. It happens to most of us, but some earlier than others." -u/Chad_Hooper "We grow up thinking our parents are superheroes, that they are infallible. We put them on a pedestal, only to realize as we get older that they are just humans like us, and one day they will perish. We hope that it is in the distant future, but for some of us, that doesn't happen. It's a hard thing to process at any age, but starting early helps in the long run." -u/druid_king9884
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Cottonbro Studio
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Cottonbro Studio

11. Everyone matters

"You are no more special than the billions of other people in the world. They all have their own stories just like you do." -u/nkfish11 "That said... You should still strive to be the best version of yourself. It's so easy to fall into the trap of feeling like a drop of water in the ocean, but you're still you, fighting your fight. You just have to learn that the story of you is for you and not everyone else." -u/czarrie

12. Focus on yourself 

"No one will care more about you than you. Know yourself and start advocating for yourself early on. Watch after your health, the people you surround yourself with, your job, it’s all going to affect you so much. Also, don’t try to find happiness through your partner. Have your hobbies and joy, and add them to your party. Don’t make them responsible for it." -u/StarryEyes007 "Trust me, it can always get better, and always get worse. It’s what you do that makes the difference." -u/SpadfaTurds

13. Redirection is hopeful 

"I did have a lot of support and frankly got very lucky in a lot of ways with my trajectory, but it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't essentially blown up my previous incarnation, and that was scary as hell and unpleasant but better than continuing on a track that I'd realized was wrong for me. There's nothing wrong with reevaluating the path you're on and deciding to try something different or start something new, and it's never too late, either." -u/medusaseld

14. Own your happiness

"Don't make your happiness about anything external. Could be your partner, money, fame, power, etc. If you're internally sad, you're always gonna be sad no matter how good your life is externally." -u/Ambitious-Owl-8775 "If you don't take ownership of your life, other people will take that ownership for you. And on average they will make the choices for you that are to their benefit, and not to yours. Letting yourself be weak is not a good thing. Also, to the extent that you reject the parts of yourself you are ashamed of or find hard to acknowledge, they will own your fate." -u/Still_Cat1513

15. Money isn't magical

"The basics of money management. Because throughout your life, money matters. It influences every aspect of your life. Money management. If you do not have much, you should be able to manage it! If you have a lot, you should be able to manage it." -u/pickedwisely "I feel like a lot of people engage in magical thinking about money. I know quite a few people who have inadequate or no retirement savings because they lie to themselves about finances." -u/nyli7163
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Karolina Grabowska
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Karolina Grabowska

16. Adults don't have to and do not have it all together

"Adults aren't always right, and they're often as confused and clueless as you are. This includes your parents, so seek second and third opinions when planning any significant life choices. Older doesn't automatically mean wiser."  -u/Grouchy_Reflection97 "You don’t have to follow their advice but listen and maybe you can learn some things without having to experience first hand." -u/favoritemistake  "I’d say I’m more clueless now than when I was a child. At least as a child, you have someone to talk to and ask questions. As an adult, I’ve got Google, Reddit, StackOverflow. Results may vary." -u/UniquelD89

17. The going gets tougher 

"Your teachers at school are paid to tolerate and humor you. In the real world, people will not be." -u/SnooPeripherals1914 " I’ll add that teachers are often asked to tolerate shitty behavior or even violence towards them. Teachers are asked to give passes for late or slapped-together work." -u/DaemonDesiree "The working world is not going to be so lenient. In the real world, you're paid by the tangible value you provide, regardless of how much you 'could have' provided." -u/MellowMute

18. Healing takes time 

"The actual hard truth is that healing probably won't be sudden or complete. Most people who are deeply hurt by something are going to be working on that for years, if not for the rest of their lives. A lot of people just refuse to work on themselves because it's too much work. Healing is a lot of work, and it's difficult, and it requires a level of self-reflection and honesty that most people aren't comfortable with. It's still worth it and much better than the alternatives." -u/user

19. Life is never fair

"Life is mostly about picking up the least bad options rather than picking the best option." -u/mrbluesky8 "If you expect a great level of fairness all the time you will go crazy. Just do what you can." -u/Dor1000 "Life is not fair, but the second you start allowing people to treat you unfairly, they will start walking all over you. Have respect for yourself and advocate for yourself despite the objective unfairness that appears in other ways." -u/N-neon

20. You don't always know everything 

"There is always, always something you don't know. About people, about situations, about everything. If you knew that thing, it might make all the difference in your opinions. Also, don't trust your snap judgments." -u/synestehsiatic "Just because you heard both sides of the story doesn't mean you heard the truth." -u/MrShineHimDiamond "My favorite professor used to say, 'Never trust another and only trust yourself 50% of the time.' This one line saved my butt more times than I can count." -u/jensmith20050002
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Nathan Cowley
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Nathan Cowley

21. Everyone's dealing with life differently 

"It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own experience and feel like no one has ever felt the way you do, or could have it worse. But then you see others enduring circumstances much worse than yours: illness, suffering, unimaginable tragedy. And you may feel guilty, for having self-pity when others in the world are having an objectively more difficult time. You can hold two seemingly opposing ideas in your mind at the same time: yes, their situation is horrible, but in its way, yours is, too." -u/BeMyLastKrispyKreme

22. Take the criticism only if you can take the advice 

"If you wouldn’t take someone’s advice, why take their criticism? I mean this about a specific individual. For example, bullying. I mean this to say you wouldn’t go to the bully for advice, their words don’t hold value, and they aren’t trustworthy. So if you wouldn’t take their advice, why internalize their criticism?" -u/photoboomer612 "The same could be said for a hyper-critical parent or family member. There are always going to be people like that. Natural consequences are a b***h." -u/photoboomer612

23. Don't let regret stay 

"Regret is pointless. Learn and move on." -u/The_Only_Pixie "Regret shouldn’t always be looked at in a negative light. It’s a reminder of a lesson you’ve learned and won’t forget." -u/SpadfaTurds "Regret is useful in the moment, but pointless longterm. It's important to acknowledge regret and where it comes from. But take that as a lesson and move on - and do better when the moment arises again. Regret is a good internal mechanism to steer us into improving ourselves. If we didn't have it entirely, I think we'd be much worse off."  -u/Orchidlake

24. Keep going 

"Plain and simple: People suck. The world is cruel unfair and unjust. Someone will be awful toward you at some point. And the best way through it, is. Keep going. And eventually, you'll come out the other side, and be better for it. Wish my 14-year-old self would have heard this over and over." -u/NinjaofLeWaffles "People will stab you in the back and abandon you even if you're the nicest, most caring person in the world. If you want a friend who will love you unconditionally, get a dog." -u/DeathSpiral321

25. Not everyone will like you 

"Be ok with being disliked. I am such a people pleaser and tried so hard to make friends and be liked. Just made me feel really bad about myself. But now I realize, I don’t even like everyone. I don’t want to be friends with that many people and I have a small group of friends who love me for me and that’s all I need. I tell my daughter when she says that another child at school won’t play with her or doesn’t want to be her friend that it’s okay." -u/pirate_meow_kitty
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Liza Summer
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Liza Summer

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