When you turn 18 you take your first breath of real freedom. You can officially do anything you want which includes watching Breaking Bad all day, getting a job, or backpacking through Europe. Whatever your plan is, most likely it isn’t strategically mapped out to maximize your development and success… which is normal. The truth is, whatever your dreams are right now or what they’ll turn into… you are 18 years old and have the whole world in front of you. You can do anything you want – don’t let anyone tell you differently, ever. Confucius once said “He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right.” These are 18 things that will greatly help you along the road to success…
1. Question everything
School, politics, the economy, Hollywood, Nicki Minaj, your town, your job, your values, what everyone is telling you to do, what you think you should do, etc. Question it all. Getting answers begins with asking questions. We live in a peculiar little world. Think and question everything.
2. Don’t make dating your #1 priority
Your eager and energetic mind should be focusing on getting to know and bettering yourself first. Don’t chase someone around who doesn’t make you feel amazing about yourself. Don’t waste time in a half-ass relationship. Dating is cool if it’s not an end-all, be-all but getting too wrapped up in silly relationship can take you away from ME TIME… the most important time at your age.
3. Understand the difference between college and education
Many young students spend their time in college aimlessly drifting around, partying, and on Netflix because that’s what everyone else is doing. This game plan doesn’t work in the new economy/new America. If you want to get an education – fantastic, but know exactly why you are doing so. Don’t just go because all your buddies are going, making the decision to go to college involves some very deep and personal thinking. Debt is a disease, so be careful of how you acquire it(more on that later). Going to college does not mean you will gain this divine knowledge of how to become successful and what the meaning of life is. Remember there is a difference between going to college and becoming educated about the world around you.
Traveling to another country, or even another city is scary – but it is absolutely one of the best ways to grow and gain perspective, which is ultimately more important than anything. It can be cheap too… it costs less to live in most countries than to live in the US. There are endless opportunities here, it just takes some funds and desire. A wonderful book called “the Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris is a perfect model on traveling the world or within the country.
6. Read & Run
Keep your body and mind in tune. Running matters because it’s a metaphor for things – you get that little voice in your head that will tell you to stop… tell you that you’ve ran enough and that you’re tired. Push that voice away and ignore it. That same voice will appear many times throughout your life, during the hardest of times… running everyday is constant practice in combating it. Reading is important because so many smart people have written things specifically for YOU to learn from. From relationships to money, there isn’t one problem that you will face in life that someone else has not already solved and wrote about. Read and Run.
7. Your family’s advice is outdated
Unless your parents are self-made millionaires they are most likely giving advice with dust on it. It’s not their fault, they’re a baby boomer and they are completely out-of-tune with what it’s going to take to be successful in this New place. Go to college, get a good job, get married, and have a retirement plan was great advice in the 60’s… absolutely terrible advice now. The sooner you stick your chest out and make your own decisions – the sooner you make a few mistakes and learn.
8. Work ethic is everything
There is a Chinese proverb that says “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Laziness is a learned trait. No matter your education, life circumstances, or what you had for breakfast this morning – you can always create an advantage by being unwilling to be outworked… and if you’re track record isn’t the best, who cares? Start now! The past is only there to teach you anyways. You will gain respect from your peers and great confidence in yourself. Work hard.
9. Think independently
Think for yourself. Nevermind Fox news, your off-beat uncle or your drinking crew – wrap your mind around a situation and come up with your own theories. You are really smart, I promise. There are only two dominant political parties because people choose to follow them. Things aren’t just republican or democrat; black or white. You might be following option A or B so closely that you cant see the alternatives, just remember take a step back and Think.
10. You have your whole life to be awesome-er
Please do not listen when they tell you this is the best time of your life. Being broke, confused and dependent on others IS NOT the best time of your life. A recent study from Men’s Health Magazine shows that men actually hit their prime when they’re over 40… just one example. Life gets better whether you are 15, 25, or 50… always know your best days are ahead.
11. Money is freedom
Who ever said “money is the root of all evil” never had any… Love of Money is one evil and certainly not the root. Money is a problem that needs to be solved. Money buys time, the more money you have the more freedom you have to spend with your loved ones, doing things you want. If you learn how to manage your spending now, you’ll have a massive advantage later on. Pick up a good book about how money works, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is a great start.
12. Find a mentor
This can be tricky, but find the right person and it’s Gold. It’s much easier to learn from someone else’s mistakes than from your own… and you save years of anguish doing so . Your mentor will stay with you for the rest of your life. Find the smartest guy(or girl, or woman, or man) around you… because the more time you spend with them, the more knowledge your brain will soak up.
13. Choose a job wisely
No matter how great your vision is or how it will change the world, you will most likely need funding. There will be a time where you will have to find a job. Choose a job not for an hourly wage but for what skills you will learn from it. I know this is tough sometimes and I’m not saying ignore the money – but long term, the skills in your arsenal are what will make you a well-rounded asset. When your looking for a job think of what can you learn, not how much you will make. Waiting tables might pay twice as much as working that intern gig, but the professional dialect, networking and sales skills you’ll learn are absolutely priceless down the road. Think about it.
14. Debt is a disease
Debt is slavery. Cut up your credit cards. Debt takes away prosperity and time from your future. You want people owing you money, not the other way around. Avoid debt at all costs, literally.
15. Write it down
Remember when your 7th grade teacher told you to write down your goals? Yeah, she was right. Make a list that consist of EVERY possible thing you want out of life, from running a marathon to becoming a billionaire. Be completely unreasonable. Leave the list somewhere you’ll see it all time – try and look at it closely once a day. Your subconscious mind starts to take action towards your goals once something is on paper, it’s a scientific fact. Your mindset will grow strong … “What am I going to do today to get one inch closer to accomplishing my Big goals?” will be a natural state after some time with this. It’s huge, write it down.
16. NOBODY believes you
You’re a madman and a day dreamer. Get this in your head now. Nobody believes you… this is one of the hardest steps. People resist what’s out of the ordinary by nature, so doing things differently draws its fair share of critics. Inside, they think “why don’t I have the courage?” Their doubt and negativity is a reflection of THEM, not you. Don’t let ’em get you down. You know what’s crazy? Bending a piece of forged metal and flying thousands of miles across the Atlantic ocean, but that didn’t stop the Wright brothers.
17. Circle of success
It’s hard and uncomfortable but you can find people that are just as hungry, unreasonable, determined as you are. The 5 people that you see the most are the biggest influences in your life. These 5 are as far as you will grow mentally and financially. It’s tough, but you have to do it. Rid yourself of negative people – everyone. You are too important. When you find the right people you’ll soon realize you are capable of so much more.
18. You don’t know sh*t
“I am wise because I know that I know nothing” – Socrates. If there’s one thing you take from this little list – this should be it. If one of the smartest guys to ever live said it, you can be damn sure it applies to you(and ME!). Get this in your head now. You don’t know anything. Once you humble yourself to come to this realization the universe will open its doors to you. The moment you can accept that you are clueless your mind will begin to experience, learn and think in ways you have never imagined. You can learn something from everyone you encounter in life. When you think you are hot sh*t your mind is closed to learning, experiencing, creating and thinking. Accept your own ignorance and you are on the Path.
Reading, understanding and applying these 18 things will help you exponentially. Every millionaire, billionaire or self-help author ALL preach these same principles! Do you think there is a reason for that!? Because it works. Your dreams are reachable – think outrageously. Walk alone, be bold, open yourself up and you will become a lion in this world. Go get it.