1. Don’t just talk about doing stuff, go and do it
In the world there are so many more talkers then it is doers. It is ok to plan things roughly but too much planning will get you to not do it at all. Or you will make it too predictable, and while you are young, not many things should be predictable. If you decided to go somewhere new or do something that you always wanted – just do it (sound like Nike’s commercial, right). Try to avoid thinking far in the future, the more you delay it, the smaller the chances are to doing it for real.
2. Try to figure out what you like as early as possible and then become the best one at it
By starting early you can always change your mind if somewhere on the way you realize it is not for you, but on the other hand, if you choose right you will have a great advantage regarding the experience. Don’t think how much money it will bring you, or what other people would think about it. If you get really good at it, everything will bring you money eventually, and people will always talk. When you chose one thing, the same thing will lead you to others expanding your horizons so don’t worry that you will miss on the other things by choosing something at an early age.
3. Use every chance you get to experience new stuff
Read good books, watch good movies, listen to good music. Take road trips, go to other countries, learn about different cultures. Hang out with interesting people who have things to share. And do all of these things as much as you can. When you get older you probably won’t have enough time. Never think about money as an obstacle. Good things don’t cost money. When in ten years you look back on some interesting trip you will not remember how good the hotel was, you will remember interesting people and events. If you find a friend who wants the same things nothing will stop you.
4. Don’t think just about today, try to appreciate the delayed gratification
Some scientist claims that ability to delay gratification can predict future success. If you focus only on immediate satisfaction you will miss on later one. One of the most basic examples would be kids in high school. The majority of those who partied every night ended up on low paid jobs, while the kids who thought about the future and made small sacrifices ended up on their dream job. Of course, this is not a rule but there are many examples that prove this. You should always have fun, but take some time that you will invest in the future yourself, and with years that time will pay off big time.
5. Practice being creative
By this, we don’t mean art only. There is a lot of ways of being creative, and those skills will pay off someday. If you like engineering, chemistry, biology, computer sciences, or traditional arts – every one of these areas has a lot of room for creativity. Sketch, build, invent, write a new program, draw, sculpt, model, the important part is that you create something new with your own hands and thoughts. Like, Steve Jobs created a computer with nice fonts because he used to learn and practice calligraphy. The most important part is for you to learn the creative process, and that process will be usable in many situations later in life.
6. Learn to accept failure and rejection like a completely normal thing in life
Success is only a small part of life, everything else is trying, failing and rejections. Albert Einstein wrote more than 250 papers and he is famous for just one of them. Be prepared to fail a lot of time in life without taking it too personally. They say that successful people failed more times than unsuccessful even tried. And that is what differentiates them. The whole point is that you realize that failure is an integral part of life, that you should analyze and think about reasons you failed so you can do better next time because that is what it is all about – failure is learning.
7. Date a lot and make a lot of friends
Date a lot and date different people. Even the ones you normally would not hang out. This way you will learn a lot about yourself, and later on, when you wish for a steady relationship, you will know exactly what you need. Be friends with as many people as you can. This way you will develop your social skills and learn a lot about people. Also, you will create the nicest memories for the rest of your life. Friends are a very important part of everybody’s life and even if one of them disappoints you, don’t give up on others.
8. Don’t try to fit in at any cost
When in school a lot of children really just want to fit in, but when you stop doing that you will discover your true self. Stand out from the crowd, be a little different. Never let anyone pressures you to do things you don’t want. Many started to drink or use drugs in high school just to fit in, just to feel like part of the squad. Try to avoid this. It is better to be unpopular for four years than in rehab for the rest of your life.
9. School is mean not final goal
Never go to school just to praise your diplomas. That is not the point, school is just a means to reach the goal, and the goal is a job or a career that you really won’t so that going for work can be a joy instead of suffering. Elementary school is for you to learn basics, high school is there to prepare you for college, and college will get you your dream job. If you find joy in craft or some other job that does not require college, then don’t go. Don’t let society pressure you to spend years in a place you don’t want, or you won’t need it in the end.
10. The power of good habits
Never underestimate the power of habits. You have probably seen how people fight to get rid of bad habits, well the same thing is with good habits. Once it is established it can last for a lifetime. At the beginning of developing a habit, it seems hard but when you master it, it will become so normal to you that you will forget about the beginning. If you devote some time to create good habits, later in life you will be grateful for persisting in it. They say that usually, it takes about 21 days of repeating something for it to become a habit. So try it.