My Quarter Life Crisis – Things I Wish I Had Known Earlier in My Life

My Quarter Life Crisis – Things I Wish I Had Known Earlier in My Life

Written by Mark

Topics: Uncategorized

This is a post I wrote for the Life Lesson Series that I was invited to participate in by Abubakar Jamil.  This series offers a wealth of knowledge through the thoughts and reflections of over 75 insightful people.  I offer mine here.

My Quarter Life Crisis

The age of 25 is around the corner as my “quarter life crisis” takes place.  There’s been a complete shift in my value and belief system.  When these changes started happening, some people I knew joked that I wasn’t supposed to be having these life altering thoughts yet.  That I wasn’t supposed to be questioning my life path until my mid life crisis much later in life.  It’s too late though, the cat is out of the bag.  My quarter life crisis is here, and I’d much rather it happen now than later.  I’ve compiled a list of things I wish I had known earlier in life, because they could have greatly and positively influenced my life.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Failure is not something to be afraid of.  If I’m not failing then I’m not taking enough necessary risks for success and pure awesomeness.  If I don’t fail, then I’m being safe.  I’m being complacent, and this lack of failure is failure in itself.   If I fail I’m on the right track.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  – Thomas Edison

You can’t please everyone.

There are enough good people in the world that you don’t have to waste time on the bad ones.  Some people are crazy.  No matter what they will never be pleased.  I used to try and please everyone even if it meant casting aside a piece of my own soul.  I’d tell myself that it’s not worth giving up even the tiniest infinitesimal quantity of my personality to make someone like me.  They like me for me or they can take a hike.  There really are so many incredible people in the world!  Be loyal to the good ones, and don’t be afraid to purge the bad ones.

Time is a currency that appreciates in value and simultaneously decreases in quantity over the course of your life.

I’m still young, but it’s only recently I have begun to understand this, and organize my life in a way where I value and cherish time.  It feels good to grasp this now, because I used to be on a life path where I would have learned the meaning of this all too late.

Following your dreams is worth every risk

Safety isn’t safe, and risky really isn’t so risky.  Following my dreams is worth it.  Dreams are pure awesome.  Pragmatism has its place, but its okay to put pragmatism in its place.

Stop watching TV now.

I haven’t really watched any TV in about 5 years.  I don’t own a TV.  I don’t have cable.  I think TV is one giant waste of money and time.  I would tell myself to stop watching TV immediately.  I’ve never been more productive and had more free time to spend time with the people that I want to, and do the things I enjoy since going cold turkey from the tube.  The earlier in life I could free myself from the tentacles of the evil machine, the better.

Learning a language is one of the most incredible and life enhancing skills possible

I started taking Spanish because it was required in school.  My mom and grandfather in particular particularl told me how important another language was.  I didn’t take that seriously until years later.  After studying abroad in Spain and Argentina, traveling to Colombia, Mexico, hosting tons of Spanish speaking Couchsurfers, and having a Puerto Rican girlfriend, saying that Spanish has enhanced my life beyond my wildest imagination is an understatement.  I’m now on to French, and taking lessons with a private tutor.  I wish my younger self could see the ridiculously amazing benefits and life altering explosion of possibilities from learning another language.  Epic.  Just epic.

Your parents are incredible

They want the best for me.  They are my greatest allies in life, and want nothing but what they feel is right.  They hold me in the highest regard and have the most earnest and genuine intentions.

I do not have regrets in life.  I don’t believe that having regrets helps anything.  The past can’t be changed, only the future can.  However, sometimes it’s nice to think and reflect.

Ask yourself

  • What things had you wished you’d known earlier in life?
  • What things do you think you will wish you’ll tell your current self now in 10 years?
  • Of those things you think you’ll tell yourself in 10 years, what are you doing today to change the reality so they don’t become a wish?
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21 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Excellent post. Thank you for sharing these worthwhile lessons with us Mark, through the Life Lessons Series. :)

  2. Awesome post Mark. Life lessons are to be shared and stolen. I retweeted this. Have a happy Tuesday!

  3. Vic Dorfman says:

    Dude, Mark, totally. On everything! 😉

    The parents thing..

    I think back on some crazy ups and downs with my folks.

    Whether it was my dad making me sign a no-more-pot-smoking contract or my mom smiling and just letting me be when she found the ripped out playboy page whilst cleaning my room when I was 12.

    You’ve gotta appreciate how they try to shape you into a decent person in their own way despite any misgivings you may have about them.

    Which leads me to one addition I’d like to offer:

    Forgive everyone (including yourself) so you can let go of the past and move on.

    A very dank post, indeed!

    Buenas Ondas Wei,

    • Mark says:

      Vic, parents do have their ways of trying to shape us. Some go about it in completely selfish and ridiculous ways. Mine didn’t do that. I’m lucky to have the parents I do. They are the most wonderful people in the world. But you’re right, even when we don’t agree with them, there’s certain things that must be let go to move on, and live and enjoy life.

  4. Vic Dorfman says:

    p.s. Whatcha lickin’ there, sir?

  5. Brilliant post and it took me a while before I believed some of the things you mentioned. BTW – I think Vic noticed it as well but that photo is rude as! LOL ( maybe me and vic just have dirty minds)

  6. Tony Ryan says:

    “Time is a currency that appreciates in value and simultaneously decreases in quantity over the course of your life.”

    This one is SO true. I too am on the verge of my 25th birthday and this particular lesson hits home when you’ve come to the hump of your twenties. It feel like 6 months ago I was in my dorm room back in college. It’s insane how fast my life has passed before my eyes.

    I think people in the 25+ age range become susceptible toward blindly following their peers into some MAJOR life decisions (i.e. pre-mature marriages, pursuing unfulfilled careers, etc) Those are BIG decisions that and can really affect how your thirties and forties are ultimately spent. That’s why it’s important for younger guys around this age to make conscious decisions on what they want out life and start pursuing it…


    Great post man, keep up the good work!

    • Mark says:

      Hey Tony, happy early 25th birthday! It’s crazy how time flies! There’s all these assumptions of how we are supposed to live and act. They aren’t questioned until way later after a large percentage of life has been “lived”. I say long live the quarter life crisis!

  7. Farnoosh says:

    My favorite: Your parents are incredible.
    Mark, thanks for writing this for us and for being so young and so wise – please stay this way and be a role model to others in your age range…!

  8. Biljana says:

    Hey Mark! I completely agree with the “stop watching tv now” section. I realized this when I started visiting my family back in Europe, my grandparents didn’t really see a point in owning a tv. At first it took some time to adjust but after a while I realized that I turned all of the tv watching time into being active outside and spending quality time conversing with my family. I realized the memories I had made were much more meaningful than keeping up with my shows. That was one lesson I carried back home with me, realistically the only thing I was missing out on was “who got kicked off of dancing with the stars.” Personally I’d like to experience my life rather than watch other people live theirs!

    • Mark says:

      Hey Biljana! Fight the good fight! Stay strong against the infernal television box! Thanks for sharing your story. It is a real example of how your life was enhanced and fond memories of your family were created instead of ones watched on TV.

      “Personally I’d like to experience my life rather than watch other people live theirs!”

      Well said Biljana!

  9. Nina says:


    Thanks so much for this piece! I’m also in my twenties, and as I was reading it a voice in my head kept saying, “Yes! Oh my gosh – yes! I totally agree with that too!”. Being a 20-something is so weird – kind of like a ‘tweener stage when giving and getting advice seem equally strange. Thanks for putting your life lessons in a non-cliche and totally genuine way. I’ll definitely be passing this along!


  10. I honestly have no idea of the things I wish I learned earlier in my life. I joined cross country back in high school and realized I was always going to fail at things, I wasn’t fast, I wasn’t fast at all. But I still said to myself, if every bone in my body breaks then it’s all worth it. I knew I wasn’t going to be the fastest person alive, I just went with it.

    I don’t agree with the family one. We must come from different families. I plan on writing a post like this. Thanks for the life Mark.

    • Mark says:

      Jonathan, you definitely embody a quality sense of perseverance. Failure is ok. We learn so much from it. Are you glad you just went with it and stuck with cross country?

      My family has been great. Not everyone is lucky to have such a thing, but there were times when I was younger and didn’t realize it. I wish you the utmost success and happiness in your life journey and path.

  11. Howdy Mark, what is it that you really want to do?

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