Lots of people have regrets about not prioritizing their personal lives.

Sometimes life feels like a nonstop string of lessons we need to learn in order to be the best humans we can be. And much to our frustration, some of those lessons get repeated over and over, and some of our learning comes far later than we wish it would have.

Learning firsthand is often necessary for our own growth, but sometimes we can glean wisdom from what others have learned, especially folks who have been around a while. Older doesn't always mean wiser, but there are some things that age and experience offer that can be useful for younger people to pay heed to.

A Reddit user posted on Ask Reddit, "What's a hard hitting life lesson you learned way too late in life?" and people chimed in with some valuable insights. Some of the answers clearly came from a place of feeling hurt or beaten down, but the most popular answers are little gold nuggets we may have seen but not picked up ourselves.

Here are some of the top answers:

1. It's okay to say "no."

"The importance of setting boundaries and saying no. Turns out, people won't love you more for sacrificing your own well-being to please them. Wish I had known that sooner, would've saved a lot of unnecessary stress and burnt-out moments." – HappyPenguin112

""No." is a complete and perfectly acceptable sentence. I struggle with this myself regularly." – phlostonsparadise123

"If anything, setting boundaries and saying no will earn you MORE respect than saying yes." – Nonrandomusername19

"There are so many benefits to learning to say no. Even just the time saved alone from things that don't serve you." – LilyLove_xoxo

2. Work-life balance isn't negotiable.

"Work life balance is critical, and hustle culture is stupid. The only people who notice all those extra hours you put in at work are your family and friends." – GigabitISDN

"'I work 80 hours a week!' '40s are nothing' Yep. Yep… that’s why your wife divorced you and you never see your kids. Because you put your job over them." – slamuri

"Seriously. I had a CAREER. I trained up within the company, I got certified as a professional in the industry, and I was doing well and was well liked. It was a crazy busy and high paced job though, and I wasn't able to stay on top of it all without giving myself to it almost constantly. Checking emails at home, and even my time off that was time with my family turned into time spent panicking about work and how I will get everything done and make everyone happy.

I couldn't stand it anymore and abruptly left the industry. Now I have a better paying job that is more my speed, a true 8 hour day, and doesn't take any of my personal time. Never let work take over your life; it's just work. All it does is give you the money you need to do life. Don't let it absorb your happiness." – BoobySlap_0506

3. Don't assume everyone will think or react the way you do.

"Quit expecting you from other people." – goddess_of_fear

"I’ve heard it as: Never assume other people’s brains work the same way your brain works. Because they don’t." – Invisig0th

"My version is don’t expect yourself in others. Biggest stress reliever of all time!" – iam_caiti_b

"My hardest time with this is work ethic. I was taught to have pride in every job you do- no matter how small the task, do it to your best ability.

I expect this from everyone around me as it's such a basic premise to do things well and extremely frustrating when someone does a job haphazardly." – Top_Chair5186

4. Stop comparing.

"Comparison is the thief of joy." – assinmysock

"I’d be a lot further in life if I had stopped trying to keep up with the Joneses." – abearmin

"Stop comparing where you would've been if you'd done things differently, with where you are. Just enjoy where you are. :)" – Yet_One_More_Idiot

"Or, as my grandma would say, 'There will always be someone prettier, smarter, richer, etc. than you. Think about what you HAVE rather than what you don't have and you'll be much happier.' She was right." – SweetIcedTea73

5. Just say no to the smokes.

"Smoking isn't worth it." – SweetIcedTea73

"Yyyyep! I'm watching my dad slowly after smoking his whole life. Just avoid that sh*t." – piespiesandmorepies

"Stop for your children. They need you more than you need the nicotine and lung cancer. You've got this." – techzeus

"This is the one folks." – Pun_dimen

What lesson do you wish you had learned earlier?


7 secrets to raising awesome, functional teenagers.

Step 1: Ditch the myth that all teens are sullen, angry creatures.

All photos used here are mine, used with permission.

My beautiful teens.

I occasionally get asked by mothers of young children what the secret is to raising great teenagers.

My initial response is that I have absolutely no clue. My kids are who they are IN SPITE of having me as a mother. (The young moms don't find that answer too helpful.)

Really, the first thing that I will tell you is to disbelieve the myth that teenagers are sullen, angry creatures who slam doors and hate their parents. Some do that, but the overwhelming majority do not. Every one of my kids' friends are just as happy and fun as my kids are, so I know it's not just us.

Teenagers are incredible. They are funny, smart, eager to please, and up for just about anything as long as food is involved. They have the most generous hearts and want desperately to be loved and validated. They are quirky and messy and have the best sense of humor.

rules for teens, raising teens, secrets, privilege

Bright smiles on the couch.

All photos used here are mine, used with permission.

So, here is my list of "rules" for raising teens. These are the secrets we have found to be successful.

1. Love them fiercely.

Love everything about them, even the annoying stuff. Love them for their actions AND their intentions. Let them know in word and deed how much you adore them. Daily. Love their wrinkled shirts and Axe-body-spray-covered selves. Love their bad handwriting and pimpled cheeks. Love their scattered brains and long limbs. All these seemingly insignificant details are an amazing, magical process at work. It's like being witness to the miracle of a diamond mid-formation. All this imperfection is going to one day yield a responsible, serious adult. A loving husband and father. Or a wonderful wife and mother. It's a privilege to be witness to such glorious growth.

See your teenagers as a privilege, don't see them as a burden. They're more perceptive than you can imagine. How you feel about them will be no secret. So just love ‘em.

2. Listen and pay attention.

When they walk in the door after school, you have a precious few minutes when they will divulge the secrets of their day with you. Be excited to see them. Put down the cell phone. Don't waste this time making dinner or taking a phone call. Look them in the eye and hear what they are saying. Make their victories your victories. Be empathetic. It is really hard to navigate high school and middle school. Don't offer advice at this time unless they ask for it. Don't lecture. Just listen. It makes them feel important and valued. We all need to feel that way.

3. Say yes more than you say no.

The world is forever going to tell them no. For the rest of their lives, they will be swimming in a stormy sea with wave after wave of "you're not good enough" and "you can't do this" crashing down on their heads. If nothing else, I want to be the opposite voice in their lives for as long as I can. I want to instill in them the belief that they are not limited and they can do anything if they're willing to work hard enough for it. I want to be the YES, YOU CAN in their lives. I want them to leave my house every day feeling invincible.

4. Say no often.

You need to say no to experiences and situations that will set your child up for harm or unhappiness. Don't let them go to the parties where they will be forced to make a choice about alcohol at age 16 in front of their peers . Don't let them stay out until three in the morning with a member of the opposite sex. Be the parent. Set up rules for their safety, both physical and moral. You would think this rule goes without saying, but we have known a shockingly large number of parents who don’t.

5. Feed them. A lot.

And not only them, but their friends too. These bodies are growing and developing at an astonishing rate and need fuel to do so — most of which they prefer to be loaded with processed sugar and hydrogenated-something-or-others. When their friends know your pantry is stocked to the gills with treats, they will beg your kid to hang out at your place. This allows you to not only meet and know their friends, but to keep an eye on your teen as well.

6. Don't sweat the small stuff.

When living with teenagers, it can be so easy to see the backpack dropped in the middle of the living room as laziness. Or the bedroom scattered with dirty clothes as irresponsible. Instead, and before you open your mouth to yell at them, put yourself in their shoes. Find out about their day first. Maybe they are feeling beaten down, and they just need to unwind for a minute and tell you about it. Ignore the mess for a bit and put your arms around that big, sweaty kid and give him a hug. Talk to him about his world. Find out what he did, wants to do, and dreams of doing. THEN, and only then, ask him to pick it up and put it away.

That being said, do I completely ignore the state of my boys' bedrooms all the time? No, I do not. But I pick my battles, and I pick the appropriate time to fight them. Once every seven to 10 days or so, I tell them their bedrooms need to be picked up. Which they do happily because it's not the running loop of a nagging mom. They know when I ask, it needs to be done.

7. Stand back and watch the magic happen.

teens, adults, education, parenting

Having a funny picture taken.

All photos used here are mine, used with permission.

If you let them, these glorious creatures will open their hearts and love you more fiercely than you could possibly imagine. They are brilliant, capable, strong spirits who bring with them a flurry of happiness. They are hilarious and clever. They are thoughtful and sensitive. They want us to adore them. They need us to adore them. They love deeply and are keenly in touch with the feelings of others.

They are just about the greatest gift God gave to parents.

This article was written by Christie Halversson and originally appeared on 08.20.19


6 too-real comics show what happens when work gets too heavy

Finding a good balance between working and relaxing can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be.

Image courtesy of College Humor

A reason to be late... tasty treats.

Everyone gets antsy about their jobs sometimes.

Maybe you notice you're less motivated than usual. Maybe you acknowledge that you're no longer going the extra mile, and you're not quite sure why. Maybe professionalism is a term you've long since forgotten.

For many of us, the struggle can be so, so real. That's why Willie Muse wrote these all-too-relatable comics for College Humor, illustrated by Karina Farek.

These six funny comics perfectly illustrate what a typical first day at your job looks like versus the 101st day:

1. Who doesn't look at at least one viral video a day?

music, work, employee rights, jobs

To tune or not to tune.

Image courtesy of College Humor

2. You suddenly find the time to fit in a breakfast sandwich.

breakfast, fast food, time

How do you miss out on a breakfast quickly served?

Image courtesy of College Humor

3. You go from wanting your boss's approval to hating his or her guts.

boss, employee, friendship, community

Getting to know your coworkers...

Image courtesy of College Humor

4. All the details that were once so important become nuisances.

job requirements, nuisances, work vacation

An evolution in responsibility and ethics?

Image courtesy of College Humor

5. Your (lack of) motivation can take you from hero to zero — quick!

motivation, work-life-balance, career

When an opportunity evolves into a responsibility.

Image courtesy of College Humor

6. And you most certainly DO NOT want to end up like this.

advice, labor, qualifications

Getting on the right side of fear.

Image courtesy of College Humor

Let's be real: These comics are funny, but they also aren't ideal.

In a perfect world, we'd all have jobs that still look and feel like Day 1 on Day 101. And one of the only ways to get there is to intentionally strive for a life that's full of work-life balance. We really do have the power to not let things play out like this.

What can we do?

At a most basic level, we can make sure we're getting enough sleep, eating well, and doing at least a little exercise. We also shouldn't underestimate the benefits of detaching from computer screens and smartphones every once in a while. Plus, we can also minimize our stress levels by not multitasking and instead concentrating on one task at time.

The most overlooked advice for maintaining a healthy work-life balance is to actually take time off.

Disconnect from your daily work routine. Make a conscious effort to recharge.

Perhaps if we dedicate more time to enjoying life outside of work, there's more of a chance that we'll be on Day 1 for months, feeling grateful for our jobs rather than impatiently waiting for the clock to strike 5. Let's get to it!

This article originally appeared on 10.25.16


Werner Herzog motivational posters are the best thing on the internet

The director with a cult following gets a tribute fit for guidance counselor office walls.

Werner Herzog inspirational art, FRIENDSHIP.

Looking for a little inspiration this afternoon, but don't actually want to be uplifted?

Well, then get a boost from the solemn Teutonic prose of legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog via the genius Tumblr project Herzog Inspirationals.

Take comfort and advice from the man for whom getting shot in the gut was NBD as you learn about the humble simplicity of the chicken or the inner life of birds.

harmony, common denominator, theory, tenet, logic

Universe is not harmony.

via Werner Herzog Inspirationals/Tumblr

thinking, truth, point of view

Eyes of a chicken.

via Werner Herzog Inspirationals/Tumblr

This article originally appeared on 09.18.17