“You can only go forward by making mistakes.” Said British fashion designer and couturier, Alexander McQueen.

What a thing to say! Humans are born to make mistakes, learn from them, and then move ahead. And indeed, youth is the best period of life to make mistake as we have time to let go, energy to move on, enthusiasm to try newer things, and curiosity to experience more.

But, do we all make the same mistakes? Or, are there some mistakes (just like road bumps) that we all end up making? Though, we all like to believe that everyone’s life is different and we advocate individuality, but there are many common mistakes that all young people end up making. Perhaps, that is the way of life and this is what makes us empathic towards each other.

It makes one wonder what are these common mistakes that young people makes and Quora, the popular Q&A forum, has the answer to this. In fact, people have loads to say about this and every single comment provides some interesting insights about life and young minds.

Here are some of the insightful answers to, What Are The Most Common Life Mistakes Young People Make?

Blogger, investor, and author, James Altucher, takes a very practical approach to answer this question. According to Altucher, there are many mistakes young people make and here are two of his very interesting points among many others.

#Having an opinion:

Altucher gives couple of examples, like, ‘What opinion can you possibly have? Global warming? Ok, good luck changing the world. War? Ok, good luck stopping the $200 billion defense lobbying industry from having war (sic).’ Then at the end he says, ‘Do what YOU love to do today. Surrender to the results. The more you surrender, the more results there will be.

The way you solve the world’s problems is to solve your problems. Then trust.’


Among other things Altucher has this to say, ‘Like when you’re 19 years old and you want to talk about the status of your relationship. There is no status. You’re 19. Guess what. Even if you’re 50 you don’t need to talk about it. Treat the other person nice. Then your status will be good. If you hit the person you are living with then your status won’t be good. Talking won’t do anything.
This holds for most things’.

Joao M B Pinheiro gives his opinion from male’s prospective and here is what he thinks are the common life mistakes of young people.

1. Obsessing on success (leads to short term thinking which prevents young people from having a calmer life and realising they have 50 years of career ahead of them. i.e. getting rich fast)
2. Overdoing alcohol (because it’s something new to them, relatively easy to obtain and prone to peer pressure)
3. Believing every girlfriend is “The one” (this leads to heartbreaks which triggers a whole lot of different emotions and stupid attitudes. only time will tell which girl is the one, taking things slow and avoiding full time devotion helps.)
4. Overconfidence (thinking they know more than older and more experienced people, usually, leads to disappointment. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take risks on their own (they should), but listening to Parents, friends and esteemed advisors doesn’t hurt)

Another Quora member who is in his early 20s, Joseph Mutie, has also pointed out couple of mistakes.

#Eating a lot of junk

At such a young age, health should be paramount because if you are not healthy, you won’t be able to work, study and execute your responsibilities as required.

#Failing to exercise

I would combine this with the point above. Keeping fit is very important and no one needs to start spending time in hospitals from a young age.

#Comparing themselves to their peers

The fact about life is some people will always be better than you and others will always be worse than you, it is okay. Accept it.

The problem about comparing yourself with your peers is, you start getting jealous, develop a low self esteem, low confidence and generally you will think your life sucks.

#Believing everything they see on TV

The other day my little cousin surprised me when our cable paid TV was cut off and she couldn’t watch Keeping up with the Kardashians and she got so mad about it. She thinks it is real, yet they act and present us with what they think we want to see. When she learned it is acted, she now has little interest in it.

#Living life the way their friends think they should be/Spending more than they earn/Living beyond their means

Even older people do this mistake. Have seen many young and as well older people take a loan to buy a car just because their friends think they should be driving even when it is clear that owning a car will be beyond their means. This is not limited to cars but to all other secondary needs like latest gadgets, entertainment systems e.t.c

#Spoiling relationships/Not creating good relationships/Dating wrong people

I don’t think anyone can have a complete happy life without being in good relationships with their spouses, family and friends, workmates e.t.c. I think nobody would want to invest in the wrong gf or bf if they knew they would divorce one day. It is right to date the right people.

#Failing to develop a set of skills

Young people should spend most of their time developing new skills and gathering new knowledge which will help them in their career, be it professional or not.

#Doing drugs and alcohol.

I don’t think that this needs any explanation. Drugs and alcohol will ruin your life.

#Failing to dream

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams as Eleanor Roosevelt once said. No one will ever come to help you achieve your dream, you have to work on it because very few people will actually believe you in your early stages.

#Depending on help too much

I have seen so many young people who depend on their parents too much to the point they become a bother to the parents. If you got your parents to pay for your university fees and even bought items for your new apartment you must be lucky because others have had to do that on their own by balancing demanding part time jobs and class work.


I can’t count the number of people who I lost trust for because of their lies. Lies ruin relationships and trust. It costs nothing to say the truth and being honest.

Rahul Kunatala has this to say,

1. Not Reading Enough
2. Consuming More Than Creating
3. Not Learning The “Art Of Selling”.
4. Gossiping

Here is another thought post by Mark VandeWettering.

#Being in hurry. To find the right person, the right career, the right job. When you are young, you want it all to happen all at once, before you even have a chance to figure yourself out. Take your time.

#Thinking that love is a feeling. Love is a choice, and a commitment. It’s something you do, not something you feel. Trust those who act like they love you, not just those who say that they do.

#Drugs and alcohol can be addictive, which means that they will make you do things you normally wouldn’t do. Pay attention and be cautious with them.

#Living to work, instead of working to live. Never pass up a good thing.

#Cynicism. If you think you can’t make a difference, you probably won’t. There is no margin in being a cynic.

#Thinking that your parents aren’t as human as you are. And taking them for granted: they won’t be around forever.

Soma Mohapatra Dash, a writer and editor, writes about two categories of mistakes and here they are:

Following are the most common mistakes:

1. Not doing any mistake
2. Not taking any chance
3. Not risking for higher goal
4. Not being focused

Following are some more serious mistakes:

1. Relaying on willpower for long term change
2. Attempting big leap instead of baby steps
3. Ignoring how environment shapes behaviors
4. Trying to stop old behaviors instead of creating new ones
5. Blaming failure on lack of motivation
6. Underestimating the power of trigger
7. Believing that information leads to action
8. Focusing on abstract goals more than concrete behaviors
9. Seeking to change a behavior forever, not for a short time
10. Assuming that behavior change is difficult

And, this writer ends up by saying, “The worst mistake is making a mistake and trying to erase it and thus hide it forever.”

Story Inputs: Quora