Lessons Life

25 Short Lessons from 25 Years of Adulthood

Photo by Christopher Pierznik

When does adulthood begin?

Scientists say that, biologically, adulthood doesn’t truly begin until 30, but socially, culturally, and legally, it’s 18. You’re free to leave the nest, make your own decisions (and mistakes), and take control of your life.

I turned 43 in March.

It’s not a milestone birthday by traditional standards — we Americans love numbers that end in fives and zeroes — but if 18 is the age when we become adults, then that means I’ve been a grownup for a full twenty-five years. A quarter-century.

While it often still doesn’t feel like it, I’ve compiled a list of twenty-five things I’ve learned in the past twenty-five years.

  1. No one is too cool for anything
  2. Time seems to accelerate with age
  3. As Marcus Aurelias said, “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself”
  4. If you can load a weed whacker string, you can accomplish anything in life
  5. Anger has never improved a situation
  6. College may be the best years of your life but trying to extend them is a fool’s errand that could even diminish your memories
  7. You can’t out-exercise bad eating habits
  8. You can’t out-earn bad spending habits
  9. When you have a child you realize your parents didn’t know anything more than you do; give them a break — they were just doing their best
  10. Make reading a habit
  11. Enjoy the hell out of your 20s
  12. Discipline, rather than doing whatever you want, is true freedom
  13. Stop delaying that vacation or special trip for practicality — there will always be another home improvement project to do
  14. Cooking ingredients can be approximated; baking ingredients cannot
  15. A genuine “thank you” goes a long, long way
  16. Intellectual curiosity will separate you from nearly all of your peers
  17. There’s so much negativity in the world (especially online) — celebrate what you love rather than criticizing what you don’t
  18. Your time is worth much more to you than it is to others — protect it zealously
  19. It’s never the right time or financial situation to have a child so just have the child
  20. Worrying about what others think will destroy your mental well-being
  21. Raise the deck on the lawn mower — avoiding rocks and exposed tree roots is worth having slightly longer grass
  22. Communication is key, both personally and professionally
  23. Nostalgia can be a curse
  24. Happiness is something only you can give yourself; no one or no thing can give it to you
  25. Play the long-term, like Naval Ravikant: “All returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest”

Bonus: Your choice of spouse/partner will have the biggest impact on your life.

See you in another twenty-five years!

Christopher Pierznik is the worst-selling author of nine books. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Find more of his writing at Medium and connect on Facebook. Please feel free to get in touch at


By Christopher Pierznik

Christopher Pierznik is the author of 9 books and has contributed to numerous websites on a variety of topics including music, sports, movies, TV, personal finance, and life. He works in corporate finance and lives in northern New Jersey with his family. His dream is to one day be a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s