Looking back to our teenage years can be a very cringe worthy experience. The show Inbetweeners seems to be less like a comedy and more like a sobering reflection.
Unfortunately we can’t go back in time and give ourselves a big slap but for any other 18 year old or men in their early 20’s they can gain some insights from those who have awkwardly trudged before them. So if I could use time travel I would go back and give my 18 year old self this list, then punch him (myself) in the face.
Learn how to mange money effectively
In this life money is very important! Money is freedom, learning how to manage it is paramount. The quality of life will be directly impacted by your financial decisions. You need to learn how to manage debts, save for growth assets, learn how to put your money in multiple accounts and balance your money so you can have a good life style. It is also important that you don’t get into any substantial debt while you are young. No one is impressed by the Subaru WRX you bought with a $60 thousand loan (at an interest rate of 16%).
Buy shares instead!
Everything has consequences
Everything you do has consequences and those consequences have consequences. No one gets away with anything. You might think that no one has noticed you rocking up late to work or that you whinge constantly about your job. Guess what, everyone notices from your co-workers to your boss. Every thing you do affects not just the people and the environment around you but also your reputation. You can almost be forgiven for bad decisions when you are young but as you get older stupid mistakes are less excepted by your peers.
There’s a guy who lives near me who the only constant in his life is his drinking. I have watched him as his life has spiraled down out of control. After asking him about his drinking he shrugged it off in a nonchalant fashion. He should be attacking that vice (most probably addiction) with everything he has before he crashes at rock bottom.
The Rational Male
Your whole life you have been fed an inaccurate picture of the opposite sex. There are many reasons for this but the idea of liberalism has not helped. The problem with the equality mindset is that people tend to forget the nuances of human beings. Men and women are incredibly different from one another. Every man needs to know the abstract ideas of ‘Alpha male’, ‘Beta male’ and hypergamy. In it’s essence it is the understanding that we are animals with millions of years of evolution behind us, that evolution has shaped everything we are and it cannot be undone in a short time frame.
Just so you know, the girl you’re with now that you got with at high school, you won’t be with her in 2 years time, probably not even in 1 year. It is not the end of the world but the beginning of a new one.
Don’t worship false idols
For many of us growing up in the modern age there is certainly a void that was once filled by church, community and an obvious path to follow along. Many of us have fallen prey to hedonism, ideology and total nihilism about everything. These things will create chaos in your life but will give you the allusion of meaning and control. Make sure you read many of the old ‘classic’ books, keep an open mind, rely on facts/reason over emotions and be skeptical of what other people are selling you.
I recall my teenage years when I actually looked at Sid Vicious as an idol. He was definitely not a person to emulate in any way shape or form.
Don’t use self destructive mindsets as an escapism or as an excuse
This can also be self deprecation. This is the thought process where by you give yourself an out. You fail at something so you think ‘we’ll I’m a loser anyway’ or ‘what does it matter in the long run’. Success is a hard to attain, it usually takes multiple attempts before you will gain a victory. If you suffer from depression, self destruction appears to be a good hobby. Self destruction is not a good hobby, it just sinks you further and further down the pit.
If you’ve had a rough week don’t go out for a 2 day bender. You will not feel much better at 3 AM with half a kebab down your trousers and the chick you picked up pissing in the gutter next to you. You will certainly not feel better the next day. Look at why you had a rough week, do you hate your job? Do you hate a situation? It might be time to change a few things in your life.
The long term aspects
When we were teenagers we barely saw past the upcoming weekends piss-up. What’s the pub we were going to? Who was coming out to drink and we would say to ourselves “man this weekends going to get messy”! Well there is a time for fun, but you will find that the pages of a calendar will turn over a bit quicker than you will realize. Before you know it your 28 and writing on some blog! So this is important, save money! It may only seem like peanuts now but saving up over the years, those peanuts will turn into piles of cash!
I have many examples of friends who have saved since they were young and now they are in their late 20’s and they have over $100,000 in shares. Do you want to be in that position? Or do you want to be flat broke paying off that damn Subaru?
Competency is important!
This is almost as important as money. Mastery is the key to unlocking fortunes. Our societal hierarchy is primarily founded upon competency. Work to be the guy that others can depend upon to fix or complete a task. You will notice your standing will go up in society, amongst your family and amongst your friends as you become more capable as a person. Competency at your job, at your finances, your hobbies and at life in general.
At your work or Uni look at who people defer to when they have a problem. You will see they always defer to the more competent individuals (or the individuals they perceive as competent).
Nearly everone is winging it
As mentioned above competency is very important. Not everyone has mastery of a job before they occupy it. Apply for a job or position that is a little out your depth, you may just get it! Then you can work your ass off becoming competent at it. When you were younger you believed that the government is run by NASA, that your bosses boss knows everything. Many times in life you will find that no one is at the wheel. With this in mind it is important to take leaps at opportunities that are just slightly beyond your reach. If you get the position, then work your ass off to become competent.
The first time you attempt any thing new you will be damn near useless but you learn a hell of a lot on the way. Don’t suffer from malaise as you watch your colleagues get promoted over you. Take a shot at that position. Compete with them because you are probably just as capable as them.
Goals are Fucking important!
Sorry for the profanity but I wish to hammer in this point. Many people in life just bumble about expecting life to happen to them. You need goals not only to point you in a direction but to tell you where you stand in relation to achieving those goals. At 18 you might have no idea what those goals may be (just like picking your future job). Just pick some goals! Whatever sounds good to you now. The more you do, you will not only gain experience but you will work out what you don’t want to do.
I remember a conversation I had once with a friend told me that they don’t need goals. They would rather see what life had in store for them. To me this is like going fishing. He was just putting his fishing rod in the public swimming pool without any bait expecting a big catch. Perhaps it would be better if he knew what fish he was trying to catch, what rivers those fish swam in, what type of bait they like, what time of year they come, what time of day they eat. You will not catch anything without pursuing it.
Ditch Video games if you spend a significant time on them
If you are playing video games to fill in time, you are wasting your time. We have all been there. Months of our lives poured into Fallout 3 shooting ghouls and slaving, for what? I can’t use those Nuka-Cola bottle caps in real life! If games are keeping you up until midnight or you are blowing off friends to game then throw that console out. If you are making money from gaming then that is a different story.
To any 18 year old reading this, take heed. These points will improve your life in the short term and in the long term. You will be surprised the amount of adults who have still not figured this out.
If your are struggling or would like to clarify a few points feel free to email us.