Our lives are often a result of the influential experiences we encounter, and in my case each significant event played a role in creating the trajectory of my life’s ambitions. If I could go back to my 17-year-old self, I would tell him these three pieces of advice:
A goal realized is a goal defined.
Regardless of your aspirations, until you put them on paper they will always be a figment of your imagination. As scared as you might be to set a defined goal because it then becomes easy to identify the failure in hitting that target, you have to be willing to take that first step of privately or publicly stating, “This is where I hope to be one day in the future.” It’s only through clearly outlining where you hope to be that you’ll find yourself pushing harder than ever before to get there.
Surround yourself with those who make you better.
Young adulthood is a challenging time. You’re constantly surrounded by many different kinds of people. Making friends and finding where you fit in is both exciting and daunting. Surrounding yourself with those who support your growth, rather than those who will criticize it. Consistently spend your time around those who teach you, inspire you, and challenge you to become the best possible version of yourself.
Being you is more important than being cool.
There are so many different points in life when you’ll be faced with attractive and appealing opportunities that may not be totally in line with your values. This is especially true in your teens and twenties as you’re just beginning to really discover yourself. Deep inside each of us lies a core of values and beliefs. These should always be the things to guide you in your decisions. Listen to them and have faith they will not steer you wrong.
While there are many mantras to live by, I think these three are an essential place to start. These truths serve as guidance throughout the many decisions and crossroads that you will inevitably face ahead. To read more lessons and advice like this check out the New York Times Bestseller , “The Promise of a Pencil” below.