Not that anyone in their 20s would ever ask my advice but here are a few pieces of advice that I have passed down to younger people I talk to. Like everything I say, it’s opinion, but the older I get the more experiences I have to create one.
1. Enjoy your youth. Do things you can only do when you are young. There is plenty of time later to do important things. You can work hard and still vacation like you’re French when you’re young.
2. Take financial risk. You still have time to get it back if it doesn’t work out. It’s the only time in life you can sleep on a couch full time, eat ramen noodles every day, and live on a few hundred dollars a month. At 20 you’re cool, at 40 you’re a bum.
3. Don’t take the beauty of youth for granted. People get more beautiful in many ways as they get older but that young beautiful glow of the mid 20s is a precious thing. Enjoy it respectfully
4. Take a job for the experience and don’t worry about the money. If you are thinking about a career in a certain field take a job in that field. Don’t worry about the pay. Just take the job and learn as much as you can. Under 30, experience is one of the best things you can get. There are many times when I think that a person should save their four years of college money and get practical experience. Depends on what you want to do though. Engineers and physicians have no other choice but to go the education route.
5. Look at the world through your eyes and not through your phone. We all need pictures for memories but the memories you make in your brain only get better with age. When I videotaped my soccer game I scored two goals, but 20 years later I remember it as 8 goals and being carried off the field. And that’s OK
6. Don’t abandon your friends when you get married. Good friends will guide you through life just as much as your kids and spouse. It’s healthy to need some time with other adults. Sometimes to realize that your mistakes, worries, successes are common and that it’s not just you that deal with all the daily things. The stay at home wife especially needs some girl time.
7. Live as close to work as you can. The time wasted driving to work is time you will never get back. I know some people that spend two hours of their day commuting. I realize their are financial and social considerations but time is money. That drive is merged in to your work day and makes an 8 hour day seem like 10.
8. Don’t text and drive. I know it’s a campaign and everyone talks about it but it’s absolutely the most dangerous thing you can do. I feel it’s even worse than drunk driving. I see so many young people swerving all over the road while their texting. They can’t even sit at a light for more than 5 seconds without checking their phone.
9. Learn Chinese. Learning Chinese will open up half the world’s population. Everyone takes Spanish, German, and French. Learn a language that will give you an edge
10. Take care of your teeth and smile. People judge you on your teeth more than anything else. A broken tooth? Must be poor. Yellow teeth, bad hygiene. Crooked teeth? English 🙂 A good smile will open doors so your skills and intelligence can walk in.