1. Health comes first.
For most of my adult life, I neglected my health — I ate like crap, I barely exercised, and I drank my face off.
I may have been alive, but I sure as hell wasn’t living.
Most days I felt miserable, filling my time with activities that would distract me from the physical and mental aches, pains, and fogginess.
To make a long story short, if you neglect your health long enough, sooner or later it comes to bite you in the ass. Learn to make it a priority and you’ll be much better off.
- Learn how to eat nutritious foods.
- Avoid fast and processed foods.
- Learn to relax and unwind.
- Ease up on the booze.
All of these things don’t take (too) much effort, but the returns are extraordinary.
Your health determines your mood, your energy, your productivity, and so much more. If you’re healthy on the inside, chances are you’ll have a happy and healthy life on the outside, too.
2. It’s OK to be selfish.
Most people think being selfish is a bad thing. Fuck those people. It’s OK to be selfish. In fact, you need to be selfish if you ever plan to take care of others. Turns out those airplane safety messages had it right all along…
“Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
What they’re really saying is: You can’t help others unless you help yourself first.
Being selfish means…
- Following #1 above and putting your health first.
- Saying “yes” to things you love.
- Saying “no” to activities you hate.
- Refusing to hang out with people who don’t make you feel good.
- Choosing relationships that aren’t outwardly focused on your partner all the time.
- Chasing a career for your own personal reasons — not your parents’.
Exactly how important is being selfish?
Think about the most important thing in your life right now. Maybe it’s your dog, or your family, or wife, or boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever. Now imagine how they’d feel if you were no longer around.
If you aren’t selfish — especially with your health — you might not be around long enough to be there for those that matter most.
3. Basic finances.
We live in a world driven by money. However you feel about that doesn’t matter — what does matter is learning how to manage it to survive.
Those who are really good at it don’t merely survive, they make lots of money, ball out, and can live comfortably without ever having to worry about money again (damn that sounds nice, doesn’t it?).
Those who are really bad at it might not make rent next month and may end up on the streets. Or, they might end up living paycheck to paycheck, not saving anything for retirement, and working to pay the bills until they grow old and die. Yikes.
Learning basic personal finances is probably the most essential skill you can learn as a young adult. Grab a book such as I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi to quickly get up to speed.
I have no affiliation with Ramit — I just think his book is awesome and nails its purpose. It’s short, easy to understand, and provides a system anyone can implement.
There are lots of other books on the matter too, so pick one up and get to work.
For the tl;dr on personal finance:
- Secure an income.
- Always look for ways to increase your income.
- Pay yourself first (i.e. put away money in savings for emergencies and retirement).
- Budget for bills.
- Spend using what’s leftover.
- Always live within your means.
There’s much more to it than that, such as what to do when you’re in debt, or how to invest, but books and mentors can teach you all that more than I ever could here.
4. Self-education is invaluable.
Believe it or not, the best investment you can make isn’t in stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, or even cryptocurrencies. It actually has nothing to do with finances at all.
The best investment is the one you make in yourself.
An investment in yourself could be:
- Learning a new skill.
- Improving a current skill.
- Picking up a new hobby.
- Reading books.
- Practicing a craft.
If you never stop learning, you never stop growing. Now, you might be asking yourself how you can use this to get ahead in life.
Someone who continues educating him (or her) -self stands out among everyone else. He will perform better at his job. He will know how to negotiate raises better. He will know how to interview for better positions.
In short, the self-educated person struts through life with an uncapped max level. His character keeps gaining new skills and abilities while others might tap out at level 99 or even 50, 20, or 10.
Which type of character do you plan to be?
Invest in yourself for the long haul and the returns will blow your mind.
5. Most people are shitty.
No matter how many people this post reaches, most people won’t do a damn thing about it.
They won’t take care of their health.
They won’t practice healthy selfishness.
They won’t learn how to manage money.
And they certainly won’t invest in themselves.
For the vast majority of the world, it’s much easier to float through life going nowhere. Why? Because it’s comfortable. Lots of people spend their whole lives avoiding any sort of struggle. In fact, some people go to great lengths to avoid it.
People would rather spend thousands of dollars visiting doctors to solve their problems when most of the time they could be avoided by making healthier choices. It doesn’t make any sense, but that’s how the world works.
You know how important all those things up above are, and you know exactly how rare it is to find in others. That’s why you take care of yourself, and you seek out others who live life similarly.
Find good friends and keep them around.
Spend time around those who make you feel the best.
Surround yourself with these type of people, and I guarantee you will go far in life. These are the people who want to succeed. And they want to see you succeed too.