Also, before answering the question, I’d also recommend taking everyone’s answers as a grain of salt. Put them all together, look them all over, take what feels right, and leave what doesn’t. You are going to get a TON of biased answers based on everyone else’s thoughts or experiences during life. This is how all ANSWERS work to these sorts of questions. It doesn’t make them wrong but it doesn’t make them right, either. In fact, this is a great lesson I’ve learned. Imagine you’re a self-starter, extremely driven, highly ambitious person. You have a friend or a colleague who has a decent job, moved up the latter a bit, has a home, etc. You ask him for advice, and he says get a good job, pay your bills, climb the latter, etc. Sure, this might be good for his personality. But for yours, it might not be. It doesn’t make his answer wrong. It’s just not right for you. He’s not trying to guide you down the wrong path. But that’s his only experience. He can’t tell you to be an entrepreneur and to take risks because he hasn’t done it.
So with that in mind, here are the answers I gave on Quora, which have become my most popular post on there.
If you’re asking questions like this, that’s good. You’re trying to be a better person. At the same time, don’t go into panic mode like so many young people do. People rush into a relationship because they are afraid to be alone. People settle for a job that might not fit just because something is better than nothing and they are afraid they won’t find anything better. People settle all the time, many times without even trying. You have a tremendous amount of time, especially if you’re only 25.
DO AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
Do as much as you can. I made use of this fairly well in my 20’s but if I had my time back, I’d tell my teenage self, as young as possible, to get involved in EVERYTHING that sparks your interest. Curious about dancing? Take a dance lesson. Curious about acting. Go get an acting role in a student movie. Curious about entrepreneurship? Find one and shadow them. etc, etc, etc. Doing LOTS of things gets harder with age, mainly because of commitments like a job, a family, more and more bills, etc. This is how you find your interests, find your best friends, find your partner, or maybe find a career or business idea. It’s easier to do as much as you can before life gets “busy”. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do things when you’re older. You need to have hobbies. You need to keep learning. Your mind needs it. So whether you can only afford the time to do one thing or ten things, do them and chase your interests down the rabbit hole.
ASK FOR HELP
Don’t just ask one person for advice. Ask 10. Ask 100. Listen to podcasts with stories from successful people. Read books. Read autobiographies. Take your favourite teacher out for coffee. If you want to be an entrepreneur, find one and shadow them. Ask them how they got where they are. If you’re into accounting, go find a good accountant and do the same. Be helpful, don’t be annoying, and start making new friends.
DON’T GET INTO DEBT
Everyone will say this because it’s true. It will wipe you out. How can you focus on life if you have excessive bills to pay. Interest sucks. No one who is actually cool cares what you drive. Anyone who is truly cool doesn’t value themselves based on what they own. Stay out of debt and save.
START AN AUTOMATED INVESTMENT ACCOUNT YESTERDAY
Can’t start one yesterday? Then start one now! Contribute as much as you can each month, investing in something like e-index funds. Research it. I got started using the couch-potato strategy. It’s the best way to ensure some income in your older years without relying on a pension. Even $500 a month can be made into $1,000,000 by the age of 65 if you start young. If you can only do $100, do it. Increase when you can. But start today. It’s the magic of compound interest. I started after I turned 30. I wish I started when I was 18.
GO ON AN ADVENTURE
Everyone should travel or go on an adventure at least once in their lives, if not every week. Whether it’s across the globe or somewhere nearby, go do something that excited you. Whether it’s rafting for the first time, going on a multi-day hike, or jet-setting across the globe, just get out there and taste nature. Feel the thrill. Challenge yourself. Get your adrenaline pumping. Feel your heartbeat.
Work out. Lift weights. Go for a run. Go biking. Go hiking. Sweat. Eat healthy most of the time. Drink lots of water. Do a 12-week fitness program. Streeeeeeeetch.
ALMOST ANYTHING IN MODERATION
I pretty much live by this statement. Food, alcohol, etc. Almost anything can be done in moderation.
ONLY DATE QUALITY PEOPLE (SAME WITH FRIENDS)
Only date people who truly represent quality. I’ve researched what people who are dying think about their life and the happiest ones always married the right person. The miserable ones almost always married the wrong people and stayed married to them. Don’t do that. This is someone you’re spending most of your life with. However, the same can be said for friends. Choose your friends wisely. Life is long but it’s also short in many ways. Don’t waste time with people you don’t truly love to the core.
Plan for the future but enjoy today.
What do you think? What would you add? What would you tell your younger self or someone asking you for life advice?