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“If you don’t have confidence, pretend like you do.”

“[…]By going through the motions you will eventually gain it.” — L. Lee

“Think really seriously before having children.”

“[…]Having kids can be a huge expense, milestone, and disappointment. Aaaaand there’s the other side too…” — Bill Dred

“Trust your first instincts.”

“[…]Often our instincts pick up on things before our brain can sort out what might be happening. If you instantly feel suspect, off, worried, or scared in a situation, trust that. Don’t let your brain or others talk you out of it. It really is better to be safe than sorry.” — L. Lee

“The people who were problematic in your life at age 20 will NOT improve with age.”

“[…]There are a few exceptions to this, but not many.” — Don Bonser

“You won’t find perfection or utopia.”

“[…]There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ spouse or a ‘perfect’ life. How much time do you want to waste searching endlessly for The One? (And, by the way, give up the silly notion that there is one person for you. That’s childish fantasy.)” — Douglas Dea

“Saving a little money out of every paycheck is a RIDICULOUSLY GOOD idea.”

“[…]If I’d saved a dime out of every dollar that I’d ever earned, and if I’d just put those dimes into buying safe low-yield bonds, I would have been able to retire when I hit 50. If I’d saved a nickel out of every dollar, I’d be pretty well off. SAVE MORE, SPEND LESS!” — Anthony Malikowski

“Your body feels fine at 20. It won’t at 50.”

“[…]Things fall apart. You most likely will have back problems. Your teeth will go bad. Your eyes will change. Your hair will gray and fall out. Take care of yourself! Be careful! If you avoid abusing yourself too much, your body will last longer. Don’t smoke or do drugs. Don’t drink heavily.” — Douglas Dea

“Inside every old person is a young person who’d like to get out.”

“You’re not yet old at 50, but you’re far closer to the ‘other’ side. You start to realize the value in the life experiences of the 70-, 80-, and 90+-year-old crowd. They were once young and they were once as strong as you are now. They did things that mattered. Many of them still do. And some of them have the stamina to match you, yet.” — Don Bonser

“Your grandparents and parents will pass sooner than you think. Love and respect them and learn from them while you can.”

“YOU have to MAKE things happen for yourself.”

“[…]Don’t rely on chance or good fortune to make opportunities. Make that call. Find out what you have to do. Contact someone who can point the way. Volunteer to get some experience if you have to.” — L. Lee

“Don’t let the fear of flying limit your travel.”

“[…]The more cultures you learn about the better your outlook of the world. Also, flying is a great adventure!” — Julie Mansell Curnick

“Being kind is the most important thing.”

“[…]Intelligence, wealth, strength, talent, position and power… all that is good. But niceness is best. Having a good, friendly personality and taking care of people is critical.” — Douglas Dea

“Often things are the opposite of what you perceive.”

“[…}That handsome man or beautiful woman might be very lonely. That person who belittles you for who you are, might be jealous of you. That person who talks too much, might have nothing of value to say, but the quiet one might be filled with unbelievable insight.” — L. Lee

“When a loved one passes, your life then becomes more valuable as you are now a guardian of their memory.”

“[…}It’s now up to you to make their memory shine brighter for the world to see. You are even more valuable.” — Pascal Barre

“You’ll realize that you can’t change the world. But if you can change it for just one soul, you will have succeeded.”

“[…]How can you do that? The ways are many. Help a child, whether yours or someone else’s. Hire someone and give them a chance. Adopt a dog or a cat. Go vegetarian. Volunteer. Smile at people who are exiting a store as you’re entering. You get the idea. You have the greatest gift to offer in the entire world, whenever you choose to… you. And by age 50, if you’ve done some things right, your presence in the world is more valuable at age 50 than at age 20, because you’ve touched more lives.” — Don Bonser

Answers having been edited for clarity.

21 Things Fiftysomethings Wish Twentysomethings Knew

“Inside every old person is a young person who’d like to get out.” H/T Quora

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