These 19 Life Lessons Will Make You Feel Like an Idiot for Not Learning Them Sooner

Ditch the textbooks and generic advice because life’s tough lessons pack a punch and teach you the real and practical stuff that no college course ever could.

A Reddit user asked, “What’s an important lesson you learned the hard way?”

Brace yourself for an introspective journey as we unravel the pivotal lessons learned by these fellow Redditors.

1. Curb Excessive Spending

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Someone commented, “Do not spend like there’s no tomorrow. Tomorrow will come, and it won’t be pretty.”

Someone else added, “I used to say “It’s fine. I’ll earn it back.” I did, but it was painful to get there.”

While it may be tempting to live fully in the moment, it is always wise to strike a balance between living your present life comfortably and planning for the foreseeable future. You never know what emergencies may spring up ahead. It’s always good to have some emergency funds saved, just in case. Better safe than sorry.

2. Choose Your Partner Wisely

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A Reddit user shared the following wise thought, “Never have kids with someone you don’t want in your life forever.”

Another Redditor followed up by saying, “I learned this by being in relationships with men who had kids from previous relationships. After a couple of months, I realized that I started sympathizing more with their ex, and it made me realize I did not want to have children with them based on how they spoke about their kids’ mothers and how unreliable they were as fathers. Made me realize that you never really get to leave your ex behind if you have a child with them.”

3. Make Legally Binding Agreements

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A user left the following comment: “Business promises mean nothing until legal documents are signed.”

To which someone else responded, “Yeah, I learned that lesson the hard way. Never let “friends” borrow money, especially without a physical copy of an agreement. Verbal agreements mean nothing.”

Another Reddit user said, “ALWAYS have your story straight ALWAYS have a paper trail. Anything can happen. Anything can go wrong.”

Do you think the same logic applies to prenuptial agreements in order to protect one’s assets?

4. Trust Your Gut

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Someone shared the following: “If something feels wrong, it likely is.”

To which another Reddit user replied saying, “Twice I ignored that tingling in the back of the brain. Never again. It’s legit. Call it instinct, intuition, ESPN, or just plain old subconscious processing; there is something to it. If you have ever been around a bad person, it’s an obvious feeling. It is far more complex than a base rejection/uncanny response. Do. Not. Ignore.”

Easier said than done for people with anxiety! Our gut tells us EVERYTHING is wrong.

5. Don’t Let Infatuation Cloud Your Judgement

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A Redditor commented, “Don’t let love blind your eyes; red flags are real.”

To which someone else responded, “I hate the saying, “love is blind” because it really isn’t. It’s usually desperation or lust that makes people blind. Being addicted to attention or having someone like them back is what makes people blind and ignore red flags.”

While a Reddit user shared the following quote from the popular Netflix show, “When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”

6. Substance Abuse Is a Bad Coping Mechanism

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A person left the following helpful advice, “Using substances to cope is actually the opposite of coping, and the only thing you can be sure of is the eventuality of everything blowing up in your face.”

To which someone else responded by saying, “It’s like some people will tell you that moving or traveling will solve your problems. It’s true sometimes things like getting a better job or finding friends. However, unresolved internal issues will follow you no matter where you go. There is a fine line between running away from your problems and changing scenery to get better results.”

7. Even if You Do It All Right You Can Still Lose

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A Redditor quoted this iconic quote from Star Trek The Next Generation, “You can go through life and never make a single mistake and still lose. That is not weakness; that is life.”

He further added, “That quote has stayed with me since the twenty-odd years since I first saw that episode, and I think about it whenever I have a “why me?” moment.”

Someone else wrote, “Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Stuff happens, and it doesn’t really need to have a reason. Sometimes you will be the bad guy, and sometimes you will be the good guy. It happens.”

Someone else quoted a wise nugget from the hilarious show “The Office” character Dwight Schrute, “Not everything is a lesson Ryan, sometimes you just fail.”

8. Nobody Is Coming To Save You

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A Reddit user shared a hard-earned life lesson they learned at their lowest point, “Nobody is coming to save you. Get. Off. The. Ground.”

Someone else responded, “This is one of the hardest, suckiest lessons that make you want to throw a fit and wallow the hardest.”

A hard pill to swallow, but the earlier you learn this, the better. While most of us are blessed to have an incredible support system of friends and family, the truth is even our most loved ones cannot save us from our inner demons no matter how hard they try. It is a duty that falls on our shoulders alone, a task that the self must fulfill.

9. Create Backups of Important Data

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One Reddit user wrote, “Backup your data.”

Someone else added, “Cannot stress this enough. I have managed to lose three time periods of my life in photos and videos that I will and never can get back… 3 different instances.”

Another person wrote, “All data in existence falls into one of two groups; data with a solid backup and data not lost yet. Learned it the hard way.”

10. Credit Card Debt Is Not Worth It

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A discerning Reddit user shared, “Don’t spend more than you have. A credit card is tempting to use, especially when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but you’re just borrowing from yourself in the future. Then when you’ve already spent a lot, you get into the mentality of “Well, I’ve already made it this far; spending a little more won’t hurt.”

They further added, “For all the minimum payments and interest charged, you’re better off taking as much cash you can spare from your paychecks, setting it aside, and using that when you need it.”

11. Learn To Be Okay With Making Mistakes

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Someone shared the following interesting thought, “Learn to live with mistakes. You will make them and will continue to make them, so keep learning from them, and don’t expect yourself to be above anything. Never stop learning.”

Someone else wrote in reply, “Couldn’t agree more. Striving for perfection can cause paralysis; that’s why you should always aim for progress over perfection.”

12. Love Cannot Overcome Incompatibility

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A user commented, “Love does not equal compatibility, and love is not enough to overcome incompatibility.”

Someone else shared in response, “This! I was in a relationship when I was very young. We truly loved each other, but we were not compatible at all. I’m so thankful that I recognized it and took steps to move on and let him move on as well.”

She further added, “I’ve been married to the love of my life for almost 30 years now, and I would never have met him if I’d stayed in the previous relationship. Don’t stay because you’ve been together for X years. That’s a sunk-cost fallacy. Don’t waste years of your life unhappy just because you’ve already spent years unhappy.”

13. Keep Your Relationship Issues Private

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A Reddit user said, “Don’t talk about your relationship issues to anyone besides a therapist or a third party. Especially not to your family.”

She further added, “After having small arguments with my boyfriend at the beginning of our relationship, I would tell my parents or my best friends, and they would demonize him. Took 2 years for them to like him after I finally stopped coming to them with our stupid issues, and one of my friends doesn’t even talk to me now because I’m still with him.”

14. Not Everyone Has Your Best Interests at Heart

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Someone wrote, “Not everyone is a good person. Some people actually want to see you fail. Stop oversharing. These nasty people will use it against you.”

Someone else added, “I still haven’t really learned this, and I’m 43. People ask questions to get ammunition against you specifically! You might think the questions are just small talk or innocent, but they are not!”

Sending lots of love to anyone dealing with toxic people in their surroundings.

15. You Cannot Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want To Be Helped

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A Reddit user shared the following insight, “Don’t help people who don’t listen. My friend was in an awful relationship with a guy. He would only use her for stuff, verbally abuse her, and sometimes even physically.”

She proceeded to add, “My friend would tell me all of this, and every time I told her to get out and run, she’d always make excuses. I tried so hard, and it was also starting to take a toll on me, and eventually, I just learned to not say anything. She continues to be in toxic relationships, and I’ve just learned not to try and help her because she doesn’t listen.”

16. Wear a Helmet

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One Redditor wrote, “Wear a helmet when riding a bike or a motorcycle!”

Someone else added, “I know a couple of folks who’ve died this way. Very young, and very abrupt death. Wear the helmet.”

Another person shared, “Married to an X-ray tech, and a friend bought her son a skateboard. Wife asks if she also bought him a helmet and knee and elbow guards because she x-rays a lot of those injuries. Friend says she didn’t because her son is “careful.” Then she asks how many of those injuries my wife sees. The answer was 10 or 12….a day.”

17. Love Isn’t Unconditional

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Someone wrote, “Except for my mom, nobody will love me unconditionally.”

To which another person responded, “Most adults struggle with this. Adult relationships are always conditional.”

Another person added, “I actually prefer my love conditional and reciprocal, though reciprocal is a lot harder to find than conditional.”

Someone else responded, “Definitely. I don’t want someone who would love me even if I turned into a psychopath. That isn’t healthy. Love has to be maintained with mutual kindness and respect.”

18. Do Not Lie on Your Resume

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A Reddit user wrote about people who lie on their resumes, “Don’t over promise and under deliver, be realistic and honest about what you can and cannot follow through with. Your word/promise means nothing to other people if you keep on not living up to your words.”

While everyone boasts and exaggerates to a certain extent on their resumes, blatantly making up skills that you don’t possess to secure a job is always a bad idea.

19. Never Stay at a Job at the Expense of Your Mental Health

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Someone shared, “Staying with a job you are unhappy with just because of the money or insurance will never end well for you. Your misery at work will likely carry over into your personal life. If the source of the unhappiness is your work/life balance, you may find that choosing work over your personal relationships only makes it worse.”

We could not agree more. Staying at a miserable job just for the money is not a lifestyle anyone can sustain in the long term. It takes a toll on your mental and physical well-being.

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.