Day 5: 7 Pieces of Advice
5/30 – Give 7 pieces of advice to a college graduate:
I’m a moron and I didn’t even finish college, so don’t take my advice. But of that same token: listen to people who have done what you want. See what they’re glad they did. Hear about their mistakes…But at the end of the day, just go out and do shit. Jump into the pool with a blindfold on. Make crazy mistakes so you can learn as quickly as you can. School teaches you theory, not action. Take action. Fail. Then move forward.
Bite the bullet and learn all the boring intricacies about personal finance. Build budgeting into your habits so you can eliminate the anxiety of paying your bills and debts. Save and give yourself an awesome cushion in case a pandemic hits, you lose your job, or some surprise expense comes up.
If you have some sort of dream–even if you don’t want it to be your full-time job–fucking do it. Always wanted to be an actor? Audition for a local theatre. Want to try standup comedy? Get your ass up and do a 5 minute open mic. Want to start a podcast/YouTube channel/blog? Sit down, start recording, start typing, and click upload. You don’t have to be the next [insert the best person at your thing here] to get a ton of fulfillment out of pursuing things you’re passionate about. You’ll grow as a person and learn that you can set goals and accomplish things you want.
It blows my mind how many adults do absolutely zero exercise ever. For the love of God, you don’t have to do crossfit 7 days a week or go vegan for the rest of your life…but work out at least 3 times per week and eat mostly clean. Go for runs or walks. Do a 30 minute workout at the gym or at your house. You can Google or YouTube simple, effective exercises that do the job. Eat plenty of well-sourced meats and veggies. Grass-fed proteins and fresh plants. Farmers markets are havens. Avoid soda, sugar, and empty carbs. It may all be difficult and uncomfortable for the first few weeks, but if you just keep at it, you’ll never want to go back. You’ll feel like a human should feel; refreshed, energized, creative, mobile…
We spend most of our time working and being with family and friends. Aside from all of this, find something that is completely and utterly yours. Find your thing. It’s you time. You love and appreciate everything else going for you in life, but I think everyone needs their own separate thing that’s just theirs. Martial arts. Yoga. Movie night. Book club. Piano. Swimming…Something where you can get into a flow state and just be with yourself or strangers who aren’t part of your everyday life.
This one is tricky. We often abide by the sunk-cost fallacy when it comes to relationships. Because we’ve been friends with someone for 10 years, we feel like we must continue said friendship. People evolve, grow, and change their values. It is lovely when two friends evolve in a way that coincides with one another. Those relationships are the strongest. But it doesn’t always work that way. Someone you were best fucking friends with 5 years ago can feel like a total stranger today. Locate the friends in your life who you don’t look forward to seeing, having conversation with, supporting, and growing with…and fade them out of your life. You don’t have to hate them. You don’t have to never speak to them again. For some, a difficult conversation is needed. For others, a simple limitation of time spent with them will be enough. This will NOT be easy. It will be uncomfortable and sad and you’ll feel guilty and like a bad person. That’s okay. Understand that it’s for your own wellbeing, and do it in an open and honest way. If they don’t handle it well, you’ve done all that you could. Wish them well and keep growing.
To end on a positive note, talk to your family members often. If you are lucky to have living parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles…pick up the phone and chat with them. It doesn’t have to be the most profound conversation in the world. But one day, that one relative will be dead; sooner than you would like. When that happens, one of the first thoughts you’ll have is how much effort you put into reaching out to them. Now is your time to take advantage of those opportunities before that sad day inevitably comes.
I’ll cheat and do an 8th: No hurry, no pause.
You don’t have to get from A to Z as quickly as you can, make as much money as you can in the next 2 years, or become the next this or that tomorrow. Enjoy the ride. Take your time. But at the same time, don’t stop pursuing what’s most important to you. No hurry, no pause.