Saturday, March 7, 2015

Axiom 59: Advice for My 18 Year Old Self

"A comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth." -Maurice Chevalier

"Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true." -Unknown

I graduated high school so long ago in 1998. While it seems like just yesterday the reality is the years have quickly flown by. I often wonder what I would tell myself and my graduating high school class if I could go back and speak at my graduation. 

While all of my previous axioms to date could possibly be molded into good advice for young people there are a few things I haven't covered yet that are of particular value to young adults just starting out in the world:
  1. Write Down Your Goals. Write down your goals and read them everyday. This will help you from wondering aimlessly through life without a purpose.
  2. Time Flies. Don't put off your goals, not even for a day. Even if you just spend a few minutes each day working towards a goal you're moving in the right direction. Don't wake up at age 40 with regrets of wasted time.
  3. Don't Burn Bridges. No matter how bad things are take the high road. Burning bridges will always come back to haunt you.
  4. Know Your Strengths. Before you drift to far in life without a purpose consider taking a personality test (DISC) or a career aptitude test (AIMS).
  5. Keep an Open Mind. Be open to learning new skills. Be open to hearing all sides of an argument.
  6. Travel. Traveling while you are young expands your mind and helps you grow as a person.
  7. Listen Closely to Those Who are Successful. Take note of the people that are doing things right and emulate them.
  8. Learn Financial Responsibility. Learn to manage your money or you will be broke no matter how much money you make later in life.
  9. You Learn More When Things are Hard. Life is hard sometimes. Think of the hard times as learning opportunities rather than set backs.
  10. Success is a Long Road. You won't become a CEO or manager overnight. It takes years to learn a trade a become successful. Practice patience in your journey.
These things will make more sense the older you become. If you are a young person reading this list I wish you the best. Sometimes there are short term setbacks and gains that make life seem like a game of chutes and ladders. However, you must ignore these and play the game of life with the long term goal in mind. Follow the advice above and the odds of good fortune will be on your side.