10 pieces of advice to your teenage self
Lots to say here.
1. Anxiety is Fear of an Unknown and Unknowable Future State
And you don't have enough experience yet to know it will work out if you work hard and focus, but I'm telling you: it will work out. -Once you see enough of those victories pile up, you learn you'll have little to be anxious about.
2. Drinking Isn't as Cool as You Think it is
Believe it or not, hangovers really do suck, and acting like an idiot in public or private is never a good move. Get your stupids out now because you'll want to have your game locked up sooner than later.
3. Love is real and important, but you probably haven't found it yet
It's okay to fall for people. Hell, they'll fall for you, too. But, keep it in perspective. Enjoy the time, the learning, the laughs, the moments. They'll fade. There will be more. You will find the future you were dreaming of.
4. Your Hard Work Is Working
That ethic will carry you very well throughout your life. No matter what anyone says about attention, focus, "picking one direction" - do everything you want and do it 100%. It will pay off.
5. It's Okay to Want to Win
Don't feel guilty about wanting to win. You can't sabotage yourself and your pursuits and let yourself be overcome at the last minute. Winning is good. You're a winner.
6. Adults Don't Have a F*cking Clue Either
Everybody is going to tell you exactly how you should live your life because they love you and they want to you succeed, but their brand of success isn't yours. You can safely ignore any advice on traditional career paths, investing, finance, and education. It will be obsolete within about 10 years and it won't even make sense in any context in 20 years.
7. Failure is guaranteed, how you handle it is what makes you who you are
You will fail. You haven't failed too much yet, but it's inevitable. But it won't kill you. It will show you your blind spots and weaknesses. You will erase biases and overcome your own small perspective to develop a broad system to attack life to the fullest. You should try to fail - that means you're learning.
8. Nobody Gets it Right on the First Try
Get over that fast because it's going to hold you back. Being the beginner is all there is in life. You're a beginner every day. You're a beginner at something on the day you die (hint: you're a novice at dying).
9. Being an Expert is Overrated
Turns out, a lot of so-called experts are also full of s*it and will let you and a lot of people around the world down repeatedly. You're on your own, so to speak, so make sure you vet your "experts" before they lead you down a dark path.
10. It's Not All About You and it Never Will Be
That pristine shell of selfishness you feel toward your own destiny will be savagely pockmarked by the constant barrage of the needs of people and the world around you. Throw the shell off and embrace the fact that we're connected and for a good reason. You're still on your own, but you still have to help others. Make sense?