When you were little, you probably had dreams about what you wanted to do when you grew up. You may have thought about your career, your family, your house, and your education.
Only you can make those dreams a reality, and only you can ruin those chances for yourself. With just a few moves, you could easily derail your life. Beware of some of these common mistakes that young people often make.
1. Drunk Driving
Visiting a nightclub or bar with your friends is a great way to let off steam, but if you find yourself hammered, call a cab rather than hitting the road. DUI charges are serious, and if you accumulate multiple charges and convictions, you could lose your license, lose your job, or even end up in jail.
“The reason that a DUI is such a serious charge is because to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol is to put yourself and everyone around you on the road at risk,” says an article from The Jeffcoat Firm, a law firm in South Carolina. “You could end up responsible for serious injuries, great property loss, or the total devastation of taking a life. You should expect the consequences to be harsh if you engage in this behavior, even if you don’t happen to cause any injuries.
“As soon as you’ve been charged with the crime, you need to contact a good drunk driving lawyer to walk you through the process,” the article continues. “Your goal will be to get the best possible outcome, which may be as severe as losing your driver’s license or receiving a jail sentence.”
2. Smoking or Doing Drugs
Smoking and doing drugs are dangerous pursuits that could have dramatic consequences. You might think it’s harmless to indulge just once, but the National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates that about a quarter of people who try drugs once will become addicted, and the rates are higher for smoking.
Addiction to drugs and tobacco can put you on a path that could potentially disrupt your life from here on out. Both are disgusting, life-threatening habits that can make holding a job and living a long, healthy life much harder.
3. Not Saving
For Americans, failing to save money -- even for retirement -- is a huge failing Research from CNBC shows that 65 percent of Americans save little or nothing. What’s worse, half will probably struggle come retirement.
“The average American has less than $5,000 in a financial account, a quarter to a fifth of what you should have, and those aged 55 to 64 who have retirement savings only carry $120,000 -- which won't last long in the absence of paychecks,” the survey reports.
“With a steady, significant share of the working population saving nothing or relatively little, it’s virtually guaranteed that they'll be unable to afford a modest emergency expense or finance retirement,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate told CNBC. “That amounts to a financial fail.”
4. Refusing to Forgive
Isn’t it nice to have friends and family who help us out when we’re having a rough time? Unfortunately, holding a grudge can deprive you of the blessed relationships you’ve built over a lifetime.
Forgiveness can release a lot of that tension. On the other hand, willingness to forgive doesn’t mean you must allow the person back into your life.
If someone’s hurt you badly, it might be time to cut ties with him or her, but finding it in your heart to forgive will also set you free.
5. Constantly Complaining
According to science, complaining is bad for our mental and physical health. When we’re constantly focused on the negative, it can be difficult to find satisfaction in anything.
Challenge yourself to seven straight days of no complaining and see where it gets you. In addition, be careful who you spend time with. Complaining friends can drag you down too.
“When we see someone experiencing an emotion (be it anger, sadness, happiness, etc.), our brain ‘tries out’ that same emotion to imagine what the other person is going through,” says Steven Parton, author and psychological expert, in an Inc.com article.
“And it does this by attempting to fire the same synapses in your own brain so that you can attempt to relate to the emotion you’re observing,” Parton continues. “This is basically empathy. It is how we get the mob mentality.
“It is our shared bliss at music festivals,” he adds. “But it is also your night at the bar with your friends who love, love, love to constantly [complain].”
6. Choosing a Career You Hate
It can be hard to find a job we love, but pretty easy to find one we hate. When you’re not happy, don’t prolong the situation. Quit your job as soon as circumstances allow, and find one that makes you happier.
This may require further education. Thankfully, there are many credible online options if you don’t live close to a great school. You might not love the idea of going back to school but think about the possibilities once you graduate and find your dream career.
7. Dwelling in the Past
Everyone has some unpleasant memories they wish to forget, whether it’s an embarrassing moment or something more serious. It can be difficult to get over the negatives you once experienced, but it’s vital to do so.
Dwelling in the past makes it very difficult to progress. Make a conscious effort to focus on the here and now. If necessary, see a therapist to help you work through your problems. The future is only as bright as the present.
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