Whether you’re in your twenties or fifties, you’ve probably figured out that, contrary to your eight-year-old self’s dreams, life doesn’t somehow suddenly become perfect once you’ve graduated, gotten a job, a promotion, a family or even when you’re retired and trying to spend the last of your days as if they were your first. There’s always a jump scare of a surprise around the corner, ready to cause us to stumble and make mistakes as we figure out how to overcome the hurdles life brings.
And when you’re still stuck in that first stage of adulthood, when the joy of landing your first job fades away, and your apartment is leaking for the nth time, it’s a lot more difficult to avoid making mistakes and creating bad habits that creep up on you while you’re unaware of the damage they cause. What were once harmless crutches that allowed you to get through the day with a little less stress can actually stunt your emotional growth and self-esteem in the long run. While there are an infinite number of bad habits we could possibly possess, but these seven habits are probably the most obvious ones so many of us struggle with on a daily basis, sometimes without even knowing it.
1. Apologising too much.
These days, it’s almost too easy to blurt out a “sorry” for everything under the sun. “Sorry, was caught up with work,” and “Didn’t see your text, sorry,” or even a, “Whoa, sorry, didn’t mean to be offensive or anything.” While it’s great to be able to swallow one’s pride and offer an apology, the meaning starts to get diminished the more you overuse the word and realise that, rather than actually being apologetic, it becomes more of a placating gesture designed to get someone off your back for your mistakes.
2. Always running late to everything that isn’t a work meeting (and probably being late for that, too.)
It stops being cute the third time you flake out on your friends for brunch. Being late isn’t fashionable; it just shows how irresponsible you are and how precious little regard you have for other people’s time. It only takes a bit of effort to be at least punctual for a coffee, and while your friends may or may not show their appreciation for that, at least you’ll know that on some level, you’ve just managed to achieve a higher level of bettering yourself.
3. Being in denial of aging.
I for one hate it when a guy feels like he can’t ask me my age because of that silly old perception, “You never ask a lady her age.” While it is a matter of personal opinion, the truth is that we all age and we’ll get older by the day, and short of freezing our bodies for a century, there’s nothing that’ll stop that. However, when you finally accept that aging is a natural, unbeatable process, you can use that understanding to be able to live a life that’s even fuller rather than just being blown by the breeze, directionless.
4. Checking all of your social media feeds every five minutes.
As a somewhat socially awkward person, I am incredibly guilty of this. Whenever there’s a lull in a conversation during a meal, or waiting in a queue, or even just trying to do some work, I’d inevitably open up my phone and as if on autopilot, open up two to three apps and mindlessly scroll through my feed. And then I’d do it again in another five minutes, as if so many things had changed since the last time I checked. It’s a habit that I’m trying to shirk because one, it really decreases my productivity levels and two, it’s a crutch that stops me from being able to fully experience life without my hands being glued to my phone.
5. Staying up late all the time.
I’ll be honest; about half of the habits of this list are ones that I’m trying to get rid. Whether it’s a night out with friends or frantically trying to finish a work project before the deadline, staying up late only encourages a habit of procrastinating and dumping your current responsibilities to the future you that’ll suffer the next morning with heavy eye bags and a great desire to stay in bed for the next ten hours, further procrastinating and wasting the day away.
6. Constantly saving for the next short-term thrill instead of for retirement.
It is incredibly liberating to be able to choose what you can do with your own money, but that also means you need to be responsible in regards to where that money goes. And sometimes, it too often goes into “rewards” for a great commission or a promotion or even just being able to work through the week without taking a sick leave. Instead of buying that new bag or saving up for yet another getaway, that money will come in really handy instead when you’re limited by the constraints of age and unable to escape retirement.
7. Being unable to ask for help.
Whether it’s fear or pride, or some other emotion that hinders us from being able to ask for help from our peers, it’s still something that we need to move past. The world isn’t as jaded as we might seem to be and help is there, even in the unlikeliest of places, whenever we may need it.