Sometimes, I get a bit sentimental and mull over how different my life would have been, if I knew what I know now when I was younger.
With age and experience, comes wisdom. And you know, wisdom is never, ever overrated. A lot of tears, sweat, emotions, money, and effort would have been saved and better directed, if only I was wiser 10 years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, life has been quite kind to me- In my mid-30’s and considered as an accomplished professional, with a thriving career and a beautiful family.
Life can only be lived forward and the best thing you can do with your what-if’s is to turn them into life lessons. So here I am, sharing these pieces of wisdom that came a bit late, but nonetheless, can still be applied in this decade of my life and beyond:
1. Know yourself and embrace your uniqueness
When you start working in the real world, you would discover facets of your personality that you didn’t know before. You would learn what you enjoy and detest doing, what challenges you and what bores you.
You might even realize that your passion is in an altogether different field from your current profession. Do not be alarmed and do not turn a blind eye to what you unearth about yourself.
Do not aim to blend in, because you are unique and what makes you different is what you can offer the world- if you develop it in the right way.
Find out where you excel and cultivate it. If you are afraid of wasting your time in starting all over again, imagine your wasted life and dreams in staying in the path where you feel uninspired.
2. Write down your goals and invest in them
Many younger people just cruise through life, believing that life will take them where the wind is meant to blow.
In case you are still not clear on what you life’s calling is, that is okay. But make it a habit to write down your goals- even the smaller ones. Then focus on your goals.
Review how you use your money and your time- are they aligned with what you want to achieve? Are you getting closer to your targets with each passing day, month, and year? Remember: what gets measured gets done.
Evaluate yourself periodically and adjust your sails if you need to. Train yourself to always have an objective, and to strategize how to get from Point A and to Point B, and you will build your resourcefulness- a much-needed life skill.
3. Develop your discipline and character
Be more concerned about your character, rather than your reputation.
When you start venturing into the world outside the walls of your learning institution, your values, principles, and choices will be tested- many, many times. With each instance that you stand firm for what you believe in, the stronger your character will be.
It won’t be easy- you might have to sacrifice some relationships, career growth, financial opportunities, and convenience in the process… but in the long run, it will be worth it. Your character is one of your most important assets- as it defines who you are.
4. Use your time and money ‘freedom’ wisely
Ah.. my 20’s! Some of the best years of my life belong to that decade. I had money, time, and independence.
But unless you plan to stay a bachelor or bachelorette forever, those freedom years will eventually end. You will get married, start a family, buy a house, have adult responsibilities- and do not make the mistake of thinking that you will cross that bridge when you get there.
Because the best time to start securing your future family’s future is in your 20’s- cause this is the time when you do not have much bills to pay yet. Utilize your resources productively.
Learn life skills and expertise, invest your cash and make it grow, try to have additional and preferably passive sources of income. Your salary might be enough for you for now, but trust me: raising a family is expensive and you are going to wish that you had the head start of several years to help stabilize your cash flow.
Get a life insurance- and have the peace of mind that your family (spouse, children, aging parents) will be well-provided, should anything happen to you.
Do not be lazy and do not let your money be lazy, as well. Earn money and make money earn for you- investments earn bigger interest compared to a bank’s savings account.
Reputable insurance companies, such as Manulife, have options that include life insurance and investments in one, so you can get both easily.
Call your financial adviser or contact us here to learn more.