1. Money = freedom. I like to think of money as fun tickets and a means for the freedom to pursue what you really want to do. Learn to appreciate that making money gives you the gift of time. The more time you have to work on what you’re best at, the better the long term return. The best thing you can do is marry what you want to do and find a way to profit from it. I wish I had saved more when I was younger so I had enough money such that I would have never have needed to get a job in the first place. Invest early!
2. Everything can be learned. Want to be a writer? Programmer? Weight lifter? Long distance runner? Artist? They’re all skills that can be learned by anyone. If there’s something you want to learn, hit the books! I was fortunate to have learned this basic idea in high school, but would have benefited from understanding it at an earlier age.
3. You don’t need to go to college and get into debt to learn how to do things or to get a job. I fell into society’s trap that I needed to go to college to be successful. You don’t. The caveat is you must be very fucking self-motivated for this to work otherwise, most people aren’t IMO and need something like college to prod them into action.
4. Real friendships/relationships are not one-sided. If you’re doing all the work in the relationship, take a hard look at that person to decide whether or not it’s a genuine friendship or friendship of convenience. Nourish the genuine friendships and cut the one-sided relations ASAP — they’ll drain you. They’re toxic. I’ve wasted far too much time on people who weren’t invested in me.
5. Time matters. Think hard about what you’re doing with it. I’ve spent endless days on World of Warcraft in my mid-20’s and there is a lot of time there I wish I could get back. I still play video games, but in a healthy moderation.
6. Life is a series of hopes and expectations, which tend to be very high. Anticipation for getting a thing/experience is always MUCH more enjoyable than it actually will be. Lower your expectations and you won’t be disappointed, even better is to not have expectations and just sort of go with the flow.
7. You may think you’re smart, but be humble. There’s always someone smarter than you. Listen attentively to everyone, especially try your best to learn from elders, even if your gut instinct is to tune out what sounds to be mad ravings.
8. Don’t flagellate yourself when you fail, especially in school. School matters very little in the grand scheme of life. I used to stress out a lot about grades and school. The failures endured in life are blips, ripples in the pond of life at the macro level.
9. Shut the fuck up. Stop talking. Learn to listen more…take a good 2 second pause before speaking after someone else has appeared to have finished speaking. More often than not, they haven’t finished.
10. Be yourself. Some people won’t like you and that’s fine. It’s their loss. Don’t compromise your core values for anyone.
READERS: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger? I’d love to know, as would others. Please let me know in the comments.