If I could go back in time and talk to myself as younger person I still wouldn’t believe it or even take my own advice but here is some of the things i would probably say…
When you hit your forties.
1. You will still feel like you are in your teens mentally and physically if you have taken care of yourself. So enjoy life. Ride bikes and roller coasters. You can sit on a couch when you are elderly and no longer able to run and jump. In fact, play “kick the can”. See the Twilight Zone show of the same name. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOT6STrnRXk
2. Having kids early is a blessing and a curse. Bad part is the stigma my wife and I (more her than me) put up with in High School as an unwed mother and the financial struggles we endured were hard. Good part is we all grew up together and we are still young enough to have grand kids and maybe great grand kids and enjoy them.
3. Sweating the small stuff only takes off years off your life…So don’t sweat the small stuff.
4. Don’t smoke. Sure it was cool as a teenager but do you really want to hack your head off every night in bed later on in life? Go to a restaurant now and watch for the older smokers. They can’t even finish their meal before they have to rush outside and replenish their nicotine addiction. Is that something you think you would like to have to do? Try on an oxygen mask. If you smoke its a good possibility you will eventually wear one to support your damaged lungs. (luckily I never got hooked on that stuff)
5. No matter how many “friends” you have in school or on some social internet site that’s popular at the time, in reality, if you are a male you will only keep two or three friends for life. You may have several work friends or whatever, but your true friends you depend on from childhood you will be able to count on one hand.
6. If you didn’t fit in during high school, don’t worry about it. All those jocks and hot chicks you knew or heard about in high school that wouldn’t give you the time of day by the time they hit their forties won’t be jocks or hot anymore for the most part. They will be most likely fat or bald or both.
7. Don’t do drugs or even try them. You have no idea how many people I knew that took recreational drugs in high school that have blown their entire lives now as addicts.
8. Do what you enjoy doing in life. Life goes by too fast. If you work at a job you absolutely hate. Get out now. It may turn into golden hand cuffs (meaning you won’t leave because the money is so good) and miss out on something else.
9. Don’t listen to other people that haven’t made their dreams come true. You only live once and you will know yourself when its time to “put up the saddle”. Dare to dream. If you don’t make your dreams come true, Do not blame anyone on that but yourself. You control your own destiny…
10. Cut your on path in life. Be different. We all don’t have to be cookie cutters. Normal is just a setting on a dryer.
11. Save your money. Plan wisely. Seek advice from people that have made money.
12. Don’t be a dick. Pretty much self explanatory.
13. On the other hand, don’t be naive either. You can not trust most people. Accept that and keep your guard up. Some “nice” people will be glad to use you so watch out…
14. Fences “make” good neighbors. Read that again…
15. In life there are usually only “givers’ and “takers”. Be a “giver” and only a “taker” if you really need it. In other words, just because someone is giving something away for free doesn’t mean you got to have it. Someone else can use it more. I see this all the time. A church will have a huge “give away” for poor people and some of the people I know that don’t need it will show up because “it’s free” is their only reason.
16. Do not rely on the Government or welfare to carry you through life. Of course we were on “food stamps” when we had kids when we were younger. Key word is “were”… Meaning we are no longer on it. If you have to use it, use it for a little time as possible. Hold your head up high to when you need assistance but be looking ahead to get off assistance. I see too many people who think they are entitled to everything the Government hands out because its “free”… once again… Use it if you have to but make a plan to get off of it and not ride the welfare wagon your entire life. I have some family that are fourth generation welfare bus riders. It’s all they know… They should think more of themselves.
17. You are not entitled to anything. If you have had a hard life growing up I am sorry for that. But a lot of people have had harder so suck it up and get going. Don’t let the past keep you there and in bondage. I see this all the time. It’s just an excuse to use to fail…
18. Pay your bills or at least try too. No body is perfect but if you lose your house and keep your car payment your priorities are definitely wrong.
19. I recommend going to church especially when you have kids. They need to be grounded. As an adult do not forget John 3:16.
20. Laugh more. Worry Less. I worried too much and didn’t laugh enough in my youth so I am changing that.
part 2 in a few