Things I Wish I Knew In My 20’s – Inez Lanns
By Inez Lanns
As I slowly inch toward 40, I’ve been reflecting on life. I realize that I have been blessed with a very wonderful one, but also recognize I could have saved some time, money and resources if I would have known some things when I was younger that I now know. Let’s go over just a few of those life lessons.
#1. Other people cannot make you happy.
True enough there are people who come into our lives that contribute to our happiness for various reasons. They may be the best of company or possess qualities you can learn from them. They may give you lots of money or material things. Whatever it is, the things that they do bring about happy feelings and memories that can be life impacting. But another person cannot make you happy. You must be happy with yourself in order for the joy to be lasting and not circumstantial. True happiness comes from within.
#2. College counselors are knowledgeable but may not have all of the answers.
College counselors are a fantastic resource and many do a great job at what they do. However, if you are not sure of what you should really be doing they can only work as far the information you give them. When I finished all of my general education courses, I thought that I wanted to be a teacher. I thought that it was the military wife friendly thing since we moved around a lot and would be a good career to have as a mother because then I could be on vacation when the kids were out of school. Those were good reasons, but when it comes to what I am really meant to do, these were not good reasons. When I was in my junior year of college I began to realize that this might not be the best career choice for me. I went to my college counselor and was advised to simply finish the degree since I was so close to completing it. During my senior year, I had to spend time in a classroom and at that point I knew that teaching elementary school children was not what I was called to do. Once again, I went to my counselor and was told to finish the degree. I was told it was good to have the degree and that many people don’t work in fields that they went to school for. Needless to say, I never went into teaching, but I did spend a lot of time studying to teach. It was true I obtained one of the degrees as the counselor recommended, but had I taken time to realize my heart’s call, I could have made better use of my educational higher learning opportunity to obtain a degree in a field I loved and would do even if no one paid me.
#3. Taking the job that offers more money may not be the best choice.
Money is a great thing. It affords us a comfortable lifestyle and allows us to purchase things we need and desire. It is wonderful when we are able to move up the ladder. However, more money should not be the only reason for taking a job. There are other things to look at, such as the benefits package and also what type of working environment it is. Taking a job that is more money but mentally wears you down and keeps you stressed out isn’t worth the money. Working very hard for money and things but never having time to enjoy them isn’t worth it. Working so much at the expense of greatly damaging or losing your family and important relationships is not worth it. More money isn’t worth less peace of mind. If you work really hard and make an abundance of money but wear your body out and are sick when you retire, you won’t be able to enjoy it. If you lose your family for the sake of money, you better have a lot of money for good senior citizen housing and care because it takes an investment in love for people to want to care for you when you are old and sick.
#4. Exercise and eating healthy are a much better means of having energy then drinking coffee.
When I was growing up, I played sports. But when I became an adult, got married and on my own I no longer worked out. I think that I became so busy parenting and moving with our military family from place to place, that I did not think about the long term importance of committing to exercising regularly and eating healthy. Did you realize that many of the foods that we eat contain certain chemicals that can produce energy or cause us to be sluggish, cause tumors or increase our antioxidants? A good rule to follow is if you can’t pronounce that ingredient or it has initials in bold, don’t eat it. Not only is eating the right food and getting regular exercise the healthier way to get energy, the energy also lasts longer. Caffeine and energy drinks give a temporary boost – a very quick up that also has a very fast down. Another way to be in good health? Regular exercise. When we work out consistently we will have more energy and also find it easier to get up in the morning.
#5. Long term lasting benefits/legacy outweigh temporary rewards.
I have learned that the things that end up having lasting results are the ones that take longer to get. Quick fixes don’t last forever – that’s why they’re quick! Diets and pills can cause a person to drop weight quickly, but once they stop taking that pill or stop that diet the weight comes back. Fast money doesn’t always keep producing more, but good investments produce good returns. Many times when sounds too good to be true it really is.
#6. The people that are meant to be in your life will be there.
People come and people go. Different people have different experiences to share with you or things you may need to impart in their lives. Sometimes we would like to have people in our life who are not meant to be a part of the best purpose and plan for us. Those we expected to always be there sometimes have to go, but the ones that are really meant to be there will weather the storms, stand the test of time and be there. It goes with the saying that God doesn’t always give us what we want, but He always gives us what we need.
Inez Lanns was born and raised in Ventura County. She currently owns an Internet Marketing & Communications business called Inez Knows. She also writes on her blog on her web site: www.inezknows.com.