They say youth is wasted on the young. I believe it doesn't have to be. If you look on the internet, hundreds of people older and wiser than you have shared their best tips for living life to the fullest before you hit middle age.
An image of guy regretting
What do you regret?

All you must do is heed their advice. So, I have highlighted some of my favourite insights about maximizing your youth.

Learn to accept and love yourself first!

Scientists say that self-compassion can make you more successful because you're learning from your missteps, instead of just berating yourself for them.

One self-compassion exercise involves treating yourself as you would treat a friend or a colleague who has failed. You might want to say to yourself: "This is really hard right now," or, "I'm sorry you are struggling."

Learn to say no the right way.

It's best to learn this skill now, while it's still relatively early in your career. That way, you can prioritize the people and experiences that are truly meaningful to you.

Here's a quick tip if you're looking on turning down an invitation without seeming antisocial; keep it simple and try using words like: "It sounds great, but I think I'll pass this time."

You can even push back on your boss when they give you an assignment you feel like you can't take on. For example, if you're already overloaded with other projects, national workplace expert Lynn Taylor suggests responding:

"I would be happy to do that project, but what that could mean is that [whatever other project you're working on] will have to be put off until tomorrow, because I was actually going to spend the next three hours finishing that proposal. Would you like me to put that off?"

Take risks!

This is probably the best time to take multiple leaps of faith and learn your lessons the hard way in life. If you succeed, you succeed. If you fail, you have a great story to tell in your 40s. At this age, you will have all the energy, courage and spirit required to rise back. Moreover, you will not be afraid to fail which apparently sets apart successful people from the others.

Guy walking on a rope

Also, don't talk yourself out of doing things you want to do. Don't let fear win. If you want to go on a holiday in Europe, do it. If you want to talk to that hot girl/guy at the bar, do it. If you want to start your own business, do it (please do the research first).

Getting to your 30s and having a string of regrets is going to haunt you.

Learn to negotiate with politeness!

Learning to negotiate early in your career is a pretty big deal. As Business Insider's Tanza Loudenback and Skye Gould reported, "Negotiating your starting salary -- and continuing to negotiate every few years or when you start a new job -- could make a $1 million difference in your lifetime earnings."

If you're worried about spoiling your first salary negotiation, make sure to do your research so you get a sense of the standard salary for your position. And remember, salary isn't the only thing you can negotiate. You can also ask about things like performance bonuses, equity options, medical aid premiums and help on relocating for the job.

Don't rack up debt!

I think most people regret not saving more money and, more importantly, regret racking up debt. Some of it is necessary of course, but a lot is credit card overkill.

Some even regret not traveling more. Once married and with kids, travel gets curtailed. You still go on trips but they are family trips. Take him or her on a couple of big out-of-country excursions before family comes into play!

If you find yourself in a similar situation, consider taking a trip and going on a cash-only diet, during which you stop using credit and debit cards completely.

Don't burn your bridges!

Redditor Rohri Calhoun says: "Don't burn your bridges. Personal, work, whatever. There will be times when you will need to be amiable with people from the past for various reasons and the last thing you need is someone saying 'F--- that guy' because of something petty or stupid that could have easily been avoided."

I think this advice applies especially when you're quitting your job.

According to national workplace expert Lynn Taylor, if your new position is in the same industry or city, there's a good chance you'll run into your former boss and co-workers again. Or, your former boss may talk to your new boss about you if they know each other. So, keep it classy!

Take care of your body!

Here's a regret I came across:

"I wish I had taken better care of myself. Instead, I let my weight catch back up with me, I ignored a few dental problems, and I didn't take care of my finances as well as I should have. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm 31 now, and none of these problems are dire for me, but they're a much bigger pain in the ass to deal with now, compared to how much effort it would have taken to not let them become an issue at all."

A guy running

It generally is easier to manage your weight when you're younger because we tend to be less active as we age. Moreover, we may become less attuned to our bodies' nutritional needs as we get older.

Build upon friendships

Another solid piece of advice:

Build upon friendships. There is more to life than going out every night. Stay at home with close friends and go on adventures together.

With that being said, don't be afraid to end some friendships. Fair weather friends are not worth your time. Stay loyal to those that truly matter and invest your time with them.

Vanessa Van Edwards, a human-behavior researcher, recommends ditching your "ambivalent friends" - such as jealous, undermining, and unsure frenemies - to minimize stress in your life.

I hope these few tips help you to prepare for your 40s and if you have any more, please feel free to comment below! Take care and be safe!

Martin is a digital marketing specialist, a producer and always online. His educational background is Digital and has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. His wife & little girl comes first and in his spare time he really enjoys making music.

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