I'm no expert by any means, but I know I've made my mistakes, and as much as I'd like to stop others from making the same mistake - I know all I can do is advise and hope that they get through it safely.
Let's start with a couple analogies. You're standing by a river and it's rushing so fast past, that all you can hear is the roar of the water. Jump in. Go ahead... jump in. What's the worst that can happen? Oh yea, you could drown.. or get beaten by the rocks. You could be knocked unconscious or sliced open by something in the water. Probably a good idea not to jump in. So, we'll take a walk to the nearby highway. Ooh rush hour fun. Cars are speeding by, weaving between lanes, and are occasionally slamming on their brakes. Go oooonn... run across. Dart through those cars and trucks, and semis and get to the other side? What are you waiting for ... DO IT. What? Oh, you don't want to get run over? Or hit by a truck and smashed into the guardrail? I guess I can understand that.
So why is it, then, that we aren't as protective with our emotions and our hearts? I'm on Facebook (a lot -- a whole lot) and I see a ton of people (and these are not just teenagers) that start to go out with someone and BAM a week later they are IN LOVE and this person is their WHOLE WORLD, etc. After one week. 7 days. Suddenly, they can't live, breathe, or eat without this other person. I try to be happy for them, but all I can really think is .. how well can you possibly know someone after 7 days... and please don't give me the soulmate line. You don't even know this person's middle name, where they grew up, or if they have some kind of bizarre personality glitch that you haven't discovered.
Then, after a month or so -- they break up for one of a myriad of reasons. Suddenly hearts are crushed, souls are clouded and eyes are red-rimmed for weeks. It happens more often than not -- falling in "love" that quickly goes bad fast. And it's not just because the couple is young (I've seen this happen to 30 year olds as well) or that both partners aren't 100% into it. It's because they have an unrealistic version of love trapped in their heads. Relationships are hard, they take work, commitment, and communication. You don't have that 7 days into any relationship - so when you think you're in love, and something goes wrong, the world falls apart.
I am not against relationships (even though I can't seem to find a decent one for myself!), I've seen people so deeply in love that it's amazing and gives me hope. If you ever get a chance to see Cook and Belle perform on stage, you'll see exactly what I mean. I am, however, against jumping in to a relationship too quickly. Slow down - take some time to get to know each other. Learn about your pasts, your future goals, what you like and don't like. Form a friendship for the basis of a solid, stable relationship. Then fall in love, it's soooooo much better that way.
Of course, there are other things that we tend to rush into at times, that can hurt just as badly. Job hopping is a big one. Say someone has a great job - good pay, good benefits, pretty decent boss, etc. Suddenly this person decides that a job as a caretaker at the zoo would be MUCH better -- so they quit their job and apply at the zoo. Six months later, they are still scraping goose droppings off park benches and emptying trash bins. Why? Simple; the person didn't stop and think about the fact that he might need a specialized degree to work as an animal caretaker, or that he didn't have the schedule flexibility needed at the zoo. Granted, he may love his new job -- but in this case, he misses his old paycheck, his old benefits, and the fact that he didn't go home smelling like old hamburgers and bird poop.
There are a hundred other examples I could give (rushing to buy a new house without the right down payment or solid credit, deciding to start a business without researching the market, how you're going to make a profit or find a client base, trading in a decent fuel-efficient vehicle for a grand sports car - to find gas prices on the rise, etc.) but I think you get the idea.
So, the next time you're 30,000 feet up in an airplane and you decide that you're going to jump out and have an epic sky-diving experience. Take some time and think about it. And make sure you're parachute isn't a backpack.
Be at peace with yourself, and you'll be at peace with the world