18 THINGS I wish ... when I WAS 18 (2)

Did you get the first 8 things I wish someone told me when I was 18 in the previous article? 

It was written by Marc Chernoff and I love their reality. Here is a recap as you get to read the other twelve that makes up the 18 things I wishsomeone told me when I was 18.

Commit yourself to making mistakes, work hard, invest in yourself, explore opportunities, focus on a career, tell people what you think, make swift decisions and embrace change. Now let us examine wishes 9 - 18 of the 18 things I wish someone told me when I was 18.

9.       Don’t worry too much about what other people think about you
For the most part, what other people think and say about you doesn’t matter.  When I was 18, I let the opinions of my high school and early college peers influence my decisions.  And, at times, they steered me away from ideas and goals I strongly believed in.  I realize now, ten years later, that this was a foolish way to live, especially when I consider that nearly all of these people whose opinions I cared so much about are no longer a part of my life.  Unless you’re trying to make a great first impression (job interview, first date, etc.), don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way.  What they think and say about you isn’t important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.
10.    Always be honest with yourself and others
Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless. 
11.    Talk to lots of people in college and early on in your career

Talk to your bosses, colleagues, classmates, social club members, other students outside of your social circle, teaching assistants, career advisors, friends, friends of friends; everyone!  Why?  Professional networking.  I have worked for three employers since I graduated from college (I left my first two employers by choice on good terms), but I only interviewed with the first employer.  The other two employers offered me a job before I even had a formal interview, based strictly on the recommendation of a hiring manager (someone I had networked with over the years).  When employers look to fill a position, the first thing they do is ask the people they know and trust if they know someone who would do well in the position.  If you start building your professional network early, you’ll be set.  Over time, you’ll continue talking to new people you meet through your current network and your network’s reach and the associated opportunities will continue to snowball for the duration of your career.
12.       Sit alone in silence for at least ten minutes every day
Use this time to think, plan, reflect, and dream.  Creative and productive thinking flourish in solitude and silence.  With quietness, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep within yourself, and you can focus on mapping out the next logical, productive step in your life.
13.       Ask lots of questions
The greatest ‘adventure’ is the ability to inquire, to ask questions.  Sometimes in the process of inquiry, the search is more significant than the answers.  Answers come from other people, from the universe of knowledge and history, and from the intuition and deep wisdom inside yourself.  These answers will never surface if you never ask the right questions.  Thus, the simple act of asking the right questions is the answer.
14.       Exploit the resources you do have access to
The average person is usually astonished when they see a physically handicap person show intense signs of emotional happiness.  How could someone in such a restricted physical state be so happy?  The answer rests in how they use the resources they do have.  Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has 25 Grammy Awards to prove it.
15.       Live below your means
Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Always live well below your means.
16.       Be respectful of others and make them feel good
In life and business, it’s not so much what you say that counts, it’ how you make people feel.  So respect your elders, minors, and everyone in between.  There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected.  Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.  Supporting, guiding, and making contributions to other people is one of life’s greatest rewards.  In order to get, you have to give.
17.       Excel at what you do
There’s no point in doing something if you aren’t going to do it right.  Excel at your work and excel at your hobbies.  Develop a reputation for yourself, a reputation for consistent excellence.
18.       Be who you were born to be
You must follow your heart, and be who you were born to be.  Some of us were born to be musicians – to communicate intricate thoughts and rousing feelings with the strings of a guitar.  Some of us were born to be poets – to touch people’s hearts with exquisite prose.  Some of us were born to be entrepreneurs – to create growth and opportunity where others saw rubbish.  And still, some of us were born to be or do whatever it is, specifically, that moves you.  Regardless of what you decide to do in your lifetime, you better feel it in every fiber of your being.  You better be born to do it!  Don’t waste your life fulfilling someone else’s dreams and desires.

But above all, laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change.  Life is too short, yet amazing. Truly, I wish someone have told me these 18 things when I was 18. What about you, what else would you have wished to be told when you were 18? Leave your response in the comment section for all of us to learn.
Marc Chernoff


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