BE AN INDIVIDUAL
Make a difference, have your own ideas, if your only goal is to get along you’ll be left behind.
GET AN EDUCATION
Mostly in school, but travel and summer stuff helps too. Kids should not be allowed to stay home and graze in front of the TV or computer all summer. It’s when you’re not in a school situation that you learn the most, about people, about life. Summer camp could be the happiest and most productive months of my life.
Only a fraction of the front page of the newspaper appears in a half hour news program. Take your choice, NYT, WSJ or WaPo. Hopefully two, with the WSJ as one. The WSJ is a far cry from what it used to be, but it still represents the right wing view. You want to know how the other half thinks. And it’s not only newspapers. Magazines, blog posts… Be a generalist and a specialist. Know what’s going on in the world, but also dive deep in a certain area. You want to be able to have a conversation with anyone, which will garner respect, esteem and opportunities.
For your brain more than your body. Exercise clears out the detritus holding you back, it evens you out, allows the inspiration to seep in. Find something you like to do and do that. Don’t think you have to go to the gym. If you don’t like what you’re doing, you won’t do it.
No matter what it is. Most people can’t. If you do, you’ll go to the head of the class, believe me. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is key. And it’s the little things that count, don’t delegate, do them.
LEARN HOW TO GET ALONG
But don’t do so at the price of your identity/personality. Groupthink is your enemy. And anyone with a brain and an opinion who expresses it will have haters, they go with the territory, they’re a badge of honor.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Don’t respond to the haters. Know that most kerfuffles end quickly. They want to drag you down, don’t let them.
Most people don’t, but those who do get ahead. A nurse practitioner I see at UCLA learns Spanish on his hour-long commute.
NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU
They’re too wrapped up in themselves. Our society is incredibly narcissistic.
DON’T OWE MONEY TO THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap, the interest is high and there’s always a day of reckoning. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Unless it’s food or shelter.
You don’t want someone to show off, you want someone who is fiscally responsible, listens to you/is compassionate, and will care for you when you get sick, which you will.
DON’T HAVE KIDS IF YOU’RE NOT GONNA SPEND TIME WITH THEM
They are not possessions, they are complicated individuals, if you don’t have time for them, don’t have them. However, we are just animals here to reproduce and there’s a lot of satisfaction in having children.
SEARCH FOR MEANING
Without it your life is worthless. Doesn’t matter if it pays or not, you’ve got to have something to live for.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
You’ll make mistakes, waste time, just dust yourself off and get back in the game.
FEEL FREE TO CRITICIZE
Despite the online bickering, too many people are afraid to have a viewpoint. Specialize in holding contrary opinions in your head simultaneously, the spoils go to those who can split the hairs, who can see the truth.
PLAY THE LONG GAME
That tattoo is gonna fade. Your body is gonna change. Do you want to ink yourself forever? If you do, go for it. But see the long term consequences. Today’s rebel is tomorrow’s complacent adult. If your goal is just to rebel at the system, the joke is on you.
EVERYONE FEELS INADEQUATE
Don’t beat yourself up.
GO TO THE DOCTOR
We’re fallible machines. You’re gonna break down, it’s just a matter of when. Don’t be too proud to see the doctor, especially for that which is not visible. Statins could save your life.
BEWARE OF THE TOUCHY-FEELY
There are false prophets and those who will lead you into the wilderness. The government is not out to get you, science is your friend. Funny how the educated follow junk science and the poor don’t. Beware of fad diets, beware of all health scams.
USE BIRTH CONTROL
To prevent pregnancy and disease. If you think it can’t happen to you, you’re wrong.
DON’T TAKE ILLEGAL DRUGS
Or overdo legal ones. No high is as good as real life. Self-medicating is a torturous road that can end in death, and believe me, you don’t want to die. Experiment at your peril. Drugs are not cool, despite what everybody tells you.
PRAY TO GOD BUT DON’T BELIEVE IN HIM
If your religion is cultural, if it keeps you part of a tight-knit group, great. If it tells you what to do and how to behave because some guy centuries ago laid it all down, ignore it or run.
YOUR DREAM WILL DIE
Just find another one.
Have relationships, but know that bad ones can cripple you for life, and the only people who get over them quickly are those who are lying.
HELP YOUR BROTHER
It could be you next.