AXA UK research shows 58% of people would advise their younger selves to make better choices for the future
- Research for AXA’s ‘Future You will thank you’ campaign explores how our future selves will thank us for the good choices we make today and reveals the decisions people are most thankful for
- Respondents said they wished they had looked after their physical health more, avoided wasting time on negative people and learned from past mistakes
- Being landed with hefty vet bills and having their home flooded were among the situations where people regretted not taking out insurance
AXA UK research has revealed the advice Brits would give their younger selves, from investing in property as early as possible to taking more photos and not being afraid of rejection when asking someone out.
A survey of 2,000 adults found 58 per cent would love nothing more than to give the younger version of themselves some good tips.
Those surveyed said they would look after their physical health more, avoid wasting their time on negative people and learn from their mistakes.
The top 20 list also included recommendations to save 10 per cent of your wages every month, spend more time with your parents and celebrate the little wins.
But while 67 per cent would offer financial words of wisdom, 82 per cent felt positive knowing every decision they’ve made has led them to the point where they are now.
And the same percentage (82 per cent) wanted to live their life with no regrets.
AXA UK commissioned the study as part of its ‘Future You will thank you’ campaign that looks at how our future selves will thank us for the good choices we make today and reveals the decisions people are most thankful for.
Scarlette Douglas, former A Place in The Sun host and I’m A Celebrity contestant, is taking part in the campaign and discussed the forks in the road which led her to a career in television. She has contributed to an eBook revealing more of these insights from celebrities and the public.
I had been performing in musicals for eight years when I made what I feel was a great decision at that point in my life, which was to move away from theatre and pursue a different career in television presenting.
I finished my last musical in 2014 and in 2015 I landed an amazing job as a presenter for A Place in The Sun – I had my first presenting role on a Channel 4 show.
I’ve now been in television for eight years and if I didn’t take a leap of faith and make that decision to leave musical theatre and pursue television, I would never be where I am now.
The study also found buying a house as soon as possible, getting married and heading off abroad were some of the things people are most grateful to their younger self for.
But when it came to regrets, 39 per cent said they had at least one big one in their life.
Of those, 56 per cent said these were romantically linked, while 35 per cent had health-related regrets.
Others spoke about how they wish they got to know parents and loved ones better before they passed away, although 27 per cent said they had learnt from some of the regrets their parents had experienced.
TV architect George Clarke is also involved with the campaign and spoke about his first home.
When I bought my first ‘grown-up’ house it was a wreck and definitely a building project.
We had to live in it while we did the work bit by bit over the course of three years – it was a major project and at the time we didn't have a lot of money, so it was work, earn, do building work... repeat.
It was a major refurbishment and what made it even harder was our kid was born during the build too. All of it was a big risk, especially a financial one.
The house looked amazing when we completed it, and although we loved it the financial pressure and the length of the build took its toll and we made the decision to sell.
We were very lucky with the sale and we were able to buy another great house just a few hundred yards from the one we’d sold – that project began the journey of setting ourselves up for life.
The research also revealed that dropping a phone down the toilet, having to pay hefty vet bills and having their home flooded were the situations where people regretted not getting insurance.
There was a desire among those surveyed via OnePoll to say yes more often, with peoplevwanting to experience new travel and holiday destinations (46 per cent), new social activities and plans (35 per cent) and new friendships (34 per cent).
Jason Fox, TV broadcaster, former UK Special Forces soldier and Royal Marine Commando, is also taking part in the initiative.
When I left the marines after 20 years of service, I suffered from PTSD and had to learn to look after my mental health.
I realised I could also be useful in the civil world, by showing others that mental wellbeing is a strength, not a weakness.
When I was able to, the best decision I made was to invest in my mental health initiative and organisation ‘Rock 2 Recovery’ to support others in similar situations and help them find their way.
Jason Fox, TV broadcaster, former UK Special Forces Soldier and Royal Marines Commando
Every decision we make impacts our future, from the biggest life choices to the smallest.
The findings show most people are quite happy with the majority of decisions they’ve made, but they wouldn’t be averse to going back and giving their younger self a bit of guidance to influence how things turned out further down the line.
It’s encouraging that so many people say they aren’t living their life with regrets and it’s good to see a real desire to experience new things and push the boundaries, such as visiting far-flung places or trying new activities.
Making sure you’re always covered for every eventuality – whether it’s car, home, business or health insurance – means you can take on whatever life throws at you without worrying about unforeseen consequences or unexpected financial challenges.
Top pieces of advice we wish we could tell our younger self
- Be more confident
- Try not to care what other people think
- Don’t let opportunities pass you by
- Look after physical health more
- Don’t waste time with negative people
- Learn from your mistakes
- Save 10 per cent of your wages every month
- Eat healthily as it will pay dividends down the line
- Go on all the holidays you can
- Invest in property as early as you can
- Don’t just settle for things
- Just relax and enjoy the ride
- Look after your mental health better
- Spend more time with your parents
- Celebrate the little wins
- Take more risks
- Don’t be afraid of rejection when asking someone out
- Always be there for your mates
- Take more photos
- Be disciplined with your time
In July 2012 the AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary businesses came together to form a new single organisation – AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary.
The business offers brokers a more integrated and consistent approach from AXA which is focussed on their needs as a business – whatever the product. AXA Commercial Lines & Personal Intermediary provides underwriting expertise, offering a range of commercial lines and personal lines products and insurance solutions to our brokers and customers. AXA Commercial & Personal Intermediary is part of AXA Group, a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management serving 101 million clients