Life Advice for Young Men - 19 Things You MUST Know
Your 20’s are an important age.
You’re done with school (for the most part). You must make plans for what will happen next now. More importantly than anything, It’s time to cast off the notions that you are a child and need to be provided for.
You need to accept that your previous life as a boy is over – utterly – and move forward with confidence into becoming a self reliant, self aware, hero of your own story.
I have no regrets.
I do wish my own family guided me better as a young man and believed in me a bit more to instill the confidence every boy needs to be successful.
If by some stroke of technological revolution would enabled me to give guidance to my younger self, these are the 19 things I would tell a 19 year old me:
1) You will have to forgive people in your life.
No one comes from a perfect family. As a grown man I know now that peace of mind above all else is the main, long term goal of every person. The greatest obstacle to peace of mind however is anger followed up by blame.
Learn to forgive in order to live fully in the present. The people you must forgive are:
Your parents – Living or dead. They did their best. At the very least they gave you life. You are not a child nor are you a victim. Drill that into your head and forgive.
Idiots who have cheated you, stolen from you, done bad to you.
Pity people like this. That’s what they deserve (not your anger) because they don’t have the skills to be successful. Your previous relationships that did not work out.
Yourself – A past you is always more immature and less developed. Don’t beat yourself up to much on the dumb, cruel or bad things you did. Make amends by being in top form in all aspects of your life.
2) You have to be really good at what you do. No exceptions.
Your ability to work and deliver results is the basis of how valuable you will be in a market economy. That means, you have to be really good at what you do in order to command a high income for your services.
That means, your dumb ass doesn’t go to school for accounting just because you want to get a job where you can get a high salary or attempt to become something you perceive as cool like a graphic designer if you’re not 100% sure that you can be world class in that career field.
If you fail to heed this advice what will happen is pretty simple. You will be fired from your accounting or finance job because you’re not good at it and are competing with people really have a nack for that sort of work.
You will be a mediocre graphic designer with no clients, struggling to find work because you did not take into account that NO ONE CARES about your GPA or your degree once you’re done with school. It’s all about results. End of fucking story.
3) You’re always self employed.
Begin to think of yourself as a sell employed because you are. You always work for yourself and even if you have a job, that job is simply a reflection on your skills and what the market is willing to pay for the service you offer.
In another way, you’re the CEO of your own personal services corporation, and you’re out in the market offering your services to the highest bidder which in turn is your current employer.
Your goal should be to do something wonderful with your talents, skills and abilities. Develop your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
4) College is good only if you’re elite or the career you want requires it.
Outside of these reasons, college is too much of a financial gamble if you’re young, penniless and clueless. Best to take a year and just figure your future out a bit (a gap year, hey like those smart Europeans). One thing is for sure, you will have a massive amount of debt to pay back and if you’re a fool of an accountant or a mediocre graphic designer then good luck!
Skip college until you have a specific goal.
Now I speak as an American from an American perspective. Education is so valuable just from the fact that you’re enriching your mind… but until it becomes less of a business where you graduate with a small mortgage, you need to be very careful as to not make a huge financial mistake.
You could always look at attending school in Europe too.
5) College does not guarantee money
Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you “become” a lawyer or a doctor or whatever you will be set for life. Go back to point 2. You have to be good at what you do. If you can’t be world class at it for whatever reason. You’re not willing to put in the time and effort or perhaps you don’t have the IQ, talent or skills then give up and do something else.
College does not guarantee money. It puts you in debt first and foremost, it may give you the right connections if you go to a good school and it’s required for certain professions. But money is not something you get by going to school automatically.
The real truth is that making money is 100% up to you and your abilities and your ability to market yourself. You don’t need a degree to do this. In fact, would’t it be better to learn the skills needed to make money without a job instead of learning how to make money only at a specific career field?
An alternative to this is to also simply learn a trade. Why are trades so bad? My brother is an electrician. He does not have a 4 year degree, but is happy, finds purpose in his work, makes 65k+ a year and can have a life while being useful to society.