Advice from my 18 Year Old Self

This is my advice to myself that I wrote on my 18th birthday. Looking back on this makes me smile.

  1. Follow your heart.
  2. Kindness is the most valuable asset in the world. It’s also free.
  3. You say “I” too many times a day.
  4. Be gutsy. Be bold. Be awesome.
  5. Work you’re passionate about doing never feels like work.
  6. Blame is toxic and whining is annoying. Forgive. Take Responsibility. Shut up.
  7. Everyone has an incredible life story. Ask, listen, and learn.
  8. People are inherently good.
  9. Embracing new challenges is scary, but so is everything worthwhile.
  10. Sharing good books is wonderful. When you finish one, leave a note, and gift it.
  11. Having heroes and mentors is the best way to learn. Never be ashamed of admiring someone.
  12. Rush head first into new ideas. Ideas are nothing without action.
  13. Laughter heals. Joy is contagious. Excitement is energizing.
  14. Giving is more rewarding than receiving.
  15. Success is unlimited, not a pie that you need to grab a slice of before it runs out. Personal success doesn’t have to mean taking some from someone else. Helping others succeed does not hinder your own success.
  16. You don’t need permission to live the life you love.
  17. The choices we make define our lives.
  18. Transparency is key. Honesty and integrity are everything.
  19. Beware of aiming to please. Stay true to yourself.
  20. Hand written thank you notes. Always.
  21. Questioning things like a child saves us from being drawn into belief in lies.
  22. Insecurity is a huge waste of time.
  23. Flexibility and open-mindedness are important aspects of happiness… and sanity.
  24. You won the lottery being of birth. You never had to struggle for clean water, electricity, education, or safety.
  25. Opportunities breed more opportunities. Success begets more success.
  26. Don’t be afraid to fall flat on your face.
  27. Reaching out to successful people is not as scary as it seems. People are just people. Remember that.
  28. Price is not the same as value.
  29. When work is more interesting than watching TV, you know you’re on to something.
  30. Letting go is necessary to move forward. It is also one of the hardest things to do.
  31. Selfishness and selflessness have the tendency to overlap.
  32. Learning something new is never a chore if you’re excited about it.
  33. Lots of people claim to strive for an extraordinary life but, when push comes to shove, they are too afraid to act. Don’t be like that.
  34. Everybody wants different things. Assuming they want the same things as you is egocentric.
  35. Possessions weigh you down. You don’t need as much as you think you do.
  36. Genuine interest in other people cannot be faked.
  37. Scars are excellent keepsakes. They are proof of risk-taking or clumsiness, both of which you can learn from.
  38. People who look at things and mutter “not impressed” are vain and stupid. Seeing the excitement in the little things is part of a life well lived.
  39. Be an explorer and fully immerse yourself in new environments.
  40. Respect is the essence of a great relationship.
  41. Never be neutral. Never shove your ideas down someone else’s throat, either. Find, and use, your voice.
  42. Your problems are not unique. Someone, somewhere, is going through the same thing. You will both get through it.
  43. Everyone out there can be as remarkable as they choose.
  44. There is no such thing as the perfect time or perfect place to do something. There is only right now, so dive in.

I’m not sure what else I would add to this list now. Probably, something about humility, being open to new ideas, critically examining your own work, and defining success for yourself. Also, that the one book a week thing you started was a really good idea.

What advice would you give yourself?