If you're tired of seeing age as an annoying little troll, it's time to kick those negative thoughts to the curb. By the time you hit 25, you haven't seen it all just yet. You've probably gotten a healthy dose of adulting and are trying to shape your identity in this world. It's complicated, exhausting, and rewarding all in one. To ensure you're living your best life, there are some essential rules to live by that will totally untangle most of those frustrations you've dealt with leading up to turning 25.
The number can be intimidating — especially when we come from such a YOLO-infused time that encourages us to embrace the moment. That's mostly true, but we should also have some guidelines for how we want to confront each day. These rules will not be our attempt to control every single moment, but rather for us to have a say in the way we react to the uncontrollable aspects of life.
Like most things, there are rules to this sh*t. These are your rules, though, and they should be tailored to helping you strengthen the positive outlooks that keep you mindful and present. Everyone's "25 by 25" list will have minor tweaks to their unique selves, but these points are general rules of thumb you should try to practice and keep in mind by the time your quarter-life settles in.
1. Don't Compare Yourself To Other People
With social media and life updates everywhere, it's easy to get dragged in and discouraged by some one else's success. Pay your kudos, and stick to your journey. You are different people on separate paths.
2. Make Time For Your Passion, Even If It Doesn't Pay The Bills
Money, money, money. It becomes the driving factor for everything when you get older, but it shouldn't extinguish your passion. Your passion feeds your soul — and that's what's truly important.
3. Don't Say "Yes" When You Really Want To Say "No"
Saying "no" gives you back so much willpower. It's OK not to say "yes" all of the time. Sometimes, you really just need to reclaim your right to not want to do something.
4. Avoid Believing That You Should've Already Accomplished Certain Things
I'm not sure where this guideline to life started, but you need to ignore it. Nowhere does it say that you need to be a college graduate, own a house, and be married by a certain age. Write and live your own story.
5. Let Bygones Be Bygones
The past is in the past, and the more you dwell on it, the less you're experiencing the present. Forgive at your own pace, but don't wear grudges on your sleeve. They're totally last season, anyway.
6. Know That Close Friends Should Be Quality Over Quantity
Author Sarah Ockler once said, "In your entire life, you can probably count your true friends on one hand." She couldn't have been more true. Having a close-knit group of loyal, genuine friends will bring you so much happiness. They're your golden group, and you wouldn't trade these amazing humans for the world.
7. Keep Away From The Pity Parties
When we're dealing with stressful, crummy days, it's easy to engage with others and talk about how life totally sucks. Doing this gets you nowhere, and it'll keep you on a negative streak. Rise up, and avoid dwelling on any bad vibes.
8. Never Settle For Less Than You Deserve
Settling might seem safe, but it won't be good for you in the long run. You know what you deserve, so strive for that. You know yourself better than anyone.
9. Don't Believe Everything You Hear
Gossip might be juicy at the time, but there's really no validation that it's actually true. Come to your own conclusions. Don't pick your assumptions from the grapevine.
10. Never Be Convinced That You're Dreaming Too Big
Your dream is like a seed planted in your mind and it has no rules to how big it can grow. Those dreams can transcend and expand as much as you want them to. They're yours for the taking.
11. Focus On Your Own Happiness
Aiming to please can get the best of you, and you may forget to maintain your own happiness. Do what makes you happy. You need to be first on your list of priorities.
12. Don't Let Circumstance Depict Your Zen
Sh*t happens. You can't let an uncontrollable situation completely obliterate your right to a peace of mind. You will and can get through it.
13. Stand Up For What You Believe In
You may strongly value your parent's opinions and beliefs, but don't lose sight of your own along the way. Stay true to what you believe in. You're living for you, and not anyone else.
14. Actually Listen Instead Of Waiting For Your Chance To Speak
Whether it's an argument or a convo seeking advice, make sure you're actually listening. Dialogue is the act of two people talking, but you shouldn't just be waiting for your turn to speak.
15. Don't Let Other People's Opinions Depict Your Own Life
Everyone has their opinions; it's their right. Be sure that their opinions never have a hand in how you live your life, especially if you really disagree with them.
16. Don't Be Unbearably Hard On Yourself
It's OK to be disciplined and hold high expectations for yourself, but don't be your own antagonist. You need to be your own cheerleader. You got this, so go for it.
17. Tend To Your Mental Health
Your mental health is so, so important. While you're dealing with the ups and downs of adulting and life in general, be aware of how you're depicting and perceiving things. The mind is powerful.
18. Refrain From Bottling Up Your Emotions
Address your emotions as they come. You're feeling them for a reason, and they have no place being bottled up inside.
19. Create Your Own Definition Of Beauty
It's up to you to create your own definition of beauty, and kick society's standards to the curb. Every person on this planet is unique in their own way, and that's what makes the world so incredibly special. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
20. Avoid Taking Your Frustrations Out On Other People
There's nothing worse than lashing out on someone who has nothing to do with those icky emotions. Address those feelings before you accidentally lay them on someone else. No one deserves that.
21. Apologize When You Know You're In The Wrong
An apology says so much about your character. Of course, no one likes to be wrong, but in life, you will be. Make sure your apologies are always sincere and genuine.
22. Learn How To Accept Failure
Failure is not the enemy; quitting is the enemy. Failure is a sign that you're trying, and it just means you need to stay dedicated and learn from any mistakes.
23. Never Be Taken For Granted
You're awesome, but in your lifetime, people will try to mooch your positive vibes for their own selfish gain. Nip it early on. Good friendships and relationships will never try to eclipse your beacon of light.
24. Trust Your Gut
It's easy to dismiss your gut feeling at times. Trusting your gut will instill more faith in your judgement. That little voice inside your head always seems to know what's up.
25. Stay Humble
Kendrick Lamar said it best, but being humble is a golden quality. You have a clearer perspective when you're humble. It's admirable and contagious.
Living your best life should be at the top of your list by the time you dance into 25. Make your own rules, and fulfill your unique purpose.