A happy person wants 10,000 things. A sick person wants just one thing. Desires are clouding your mind, be aware of their effect. Desire is suffering. – Naval
Is it too cliched to write letters to your younger self? Have you read way too many of them already giving the same advice to everyone? Do you think you are reading the same things over and over again?
If yes, have you ever considered going back and implementing any of those lessons in your personal life to become a better self. I am writing a letter too, to my younger self today. I hope it is useful for you. You could consider it as advice, reflection to almost a decade lived or a piece junk. It is up to you.
If I was a 20 year old again, i would love someone to give me the following advice.
Learn from Success
Speak to plenty of experienced and successful people. Consider meeting people from diverse backgrounds. This will give you perspective on how to live a meaningful life. Some advice may be good, some may be bad. Do not forget to put filters while considering them. You will definitely end up with some life altering advice.
Read a Lot
I am sure everyone has to say the same thing. Honestly, 20 year olds do not know this. They really need to understand how books can change your view about the world. Read a lot. Once you’ve read enough. Spread your knowledge. There is no greater joy on earth than the joy of teaching.
Start Saving Early
The earlier you realize the power of compounding, the wealthier you will retire. The shelf life of money spent is very small. The shelf life of money saved is quite long. Money will give you options to consider multiple interests in life. It will simply give you the freedom to say “Fuck off” to whoever you want to.
Make Friends to Last Life Long
Focus on making friends for life. You do not want to be friends with someone today and someone else tomorrow. Consider making friends who will stand by you in your bad times. It does not matter if you have less than five friends, try to make real ones. There is a lot of fake everywhere already.
Avoid Sugar, Oil and Everything White
This is the best advice you will ever get. Its hard. Very hard.
Learn Life Skills
Scott Adams gives a detailed list in his book . Reproducing it here.
Public Speaking. Psychology. Business Writing. Accounting. Basics of Design. Conversation. Overcoming Shyness. Second Language. Golf. Proper Grammar. Persuasion. Technology. Proper Voice Technique.
Explore Plenty of Career Options
Do not follow the footsteps of your older siblings or cousins. You need to figure where your interests lie. It is okay to waste a few years to figure what works for you.
Life Is Not Easy
Saying it bluntly. Life is not easy. As you grow older, you will have more responsibilities. You will face hardships in life. You will see your loved ones falling ill. Dying. Prepare yourself for everything. Emotional hardships will be greater than physical strain. However, do not get stuck. Keep moving on.
You have gained nothing by so many misfortunes, if you have not learned how to suffer – Seneca
Settle Based on Circumstances
Each of us have a different role to play in life. You would be in a situation where you have to support your family for day 1. In such cases, seek to achieve financial freedom. You can do whatever you want when you do not have the burden of supporting your family.
You could be independent from day 1. Free to do what you want. In that case, seek to maximize learning. Money will eventually follow.
Some Rules for Life
Reflect a lot. Avoid sins in all form. Smoking, drinking and drugs. Avoid anger. Workout a lot. Play a lot. Smile a lot.
Spend a lot of time with your family. You do want to repent later. Family should be your priority. Always. There is no point in accomplishing anything in life without anyone to share it with.
Always be patient. Good things in life come late. Always.
Seek meaningful relationships. Mindless partying, animal sex, and alcohol will only ruin you.
Some Advice on Wealth Creation
If you want to create wealth, focus on your savings rate rather than your returns. The savings rate plays an important role in your wealth creation journey in the first decade or two of your life.
You could be an entrepreneur. You could create wealth for yourself and for others.
Both the routes are tough. You could consider either.
Always Consider Risks
Risks are inevitable. You would want to take only those risks which would not kill you. All you have got to do is survive. Tread carefully.
Reality doesn’t care about winning arguments; survival is what matters. – Nassim Taleb