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People are sharing ‘hard-hitting’ life lessons they wish they’d learned earlier

Sometimes life feels like a nonstop string of lessons we need to learn in order to be the best humans we can be. And much to our frustration, some of those lessons get repeated over and over, and some of our learning comes far later than we wish it would have.

Learning firsthand is often necessary for our own growth, but sometimes we can glean wisdom from what others have learned, especially folks who have been around a while. Older doesn’t always mean wiser, but there are some things that age and experience offer that can be useful for younger people to pay heed to.

A Reddit user posted on Ask Reddit, “What’s a hard hitting life lesson you learned way too late in life?” and people chimed in with some valuable insights. Some of the answers clearly came from a place of feeling hurt or beaten down, but the most popular answers are little gold nuggets we may have seen but not picked up ourselves.

Here are some of the top answers:

1. It’s okay to say “no.”

“The importance of setting boundaries and saying no. Turns out, people won’t love you more for sacrificing your own well-being to please them. Wish I had known that sooner, would’ve saved a lot of unnecessary stress and burnt-out moments.” – HappyPenguin112

“”No.” is a complete and perfectly acceptable sentence. I struggle with this myself regularly.” – phlostonsparadise123

“If anything, setting boundaries and saying no will earn you MORE respect than saying yes.” – Nonrandomusername19

There are so many benefits to learning to say no. Even just the time saved alone from things that don’t serve you.” – LilyLove_xoxo

2. Work-life balance isn’t negotiable.

“Work life balance is critical, and hustle culture is stupid. The only people who notice all those extra hours you put in at work are your family and friends.” – GigabitISDN

“‘I work 80 hours a week!’ ’40s are nothing’ Yep. Yep… that’s why your wife divorced you and you never see your kids. Because you put your job over them.” – slamuri

“Seriously. I had a CAREER. I trained up within the company, I got certified as a professional in the industry, and I was doing well and was well liked. It was a crazy busy and high paced job though, and I wasn’t able to stay on top of it all without giving myself to it almost constantly. Checking emails at home, and even my time off that was time with my family turned into time spent panicking about work and how I will get everything done and make everyone happy.

I couldn’t stand it anymore and abruptly left the industry. Now I have a better paying job that is more my speed, a true 8 hour day, and doesn’t take any of my personal time. Never let work take over your life; it’s just work. All it does is give you the money you need to do life. Don’t let it absorb your happiness.” – BoobySlap_0506

3. Don’t assume everyone will think or react the way you do.

“Quit expecting you from other people.” – goddess_of_fear

“I’ve heard it as: Never assume other people’s brains work the same way your brain works. Because they don’t.” – Invisig0th

“My version is don’t expect yourself in others. Biggest stress reliever of all time!” – iam_caiti_b

“My hardest time with this is work ethic. I was taught to have pride in every job you do- no matter how small the task, do it to your best ability.

I expect this from everyone around me as it’s such a basic premise to do things well and extremely frustrating when someone does a job haphazardly.” – Top_Chair5186

4. Stop comparing.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – assinmysock

“I’d be a lot further in life if I had stopped trying to keep up with the Joneses.” – abearmin

“Stop comparing where you would’ve been if you’d done things differently, with where you are. Just enjoy where you are. :)” – Yet_One_More_Idiot

“Or, as my grandma would say, ‘There will always be someone prettier, smarter, richer, etc. than you. Think about what you HAVE rather than what you don’t have and you’ll be much happier.’ She was right.” – SweetIcedTea73

5. Just say no to the smokes.

“Smoking isn’t worth it.” – SweetIcedTea73

“Yyyyep! I’m watching my dad slowly after smoking his whole life. Just avoid that sh*t.” – piespiesandmorepies

“Stop for your children. They need you more than you need the nicotine and lung cancer. You’ve got this.” – techzeus

“This is the one folks.” – Pun_dimen

What lesson do you wish you had learned earlier?

Source: Upworthy
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