I’m 19 and I searched for exactly these answers three years ago.
I was an avid Quora reader and found all the answers I needed through questions like:
“What is something you regret not doing earlier in your life?”
“What habits should I start early in life?”
“What would you tell your 16/17/18/19/20 year old self?”
These questions felt so valuable to me that I implemented most of it.
I let them guide my life.
Here are the top 5 things to do early in life:
- Care about your health FIRST
It may not seem important to you because you’re young and durable. (Yet)
But imagine how your 50 year old self would feel when you can’t walk without back pain anymore.
Imagine getting the cancer diagnosis at 55 because you ate junk all your life.
Imagine not being able to see your grandchildren because you never decided for health.
Think from your future. That’s how you get yourself to care about it.
- Learn from other’s regrets
A caregiver wrote a book called “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying”
You know what their biggest regrets were?
1. Wishing they had lived a life true to themselves, not the life others expected them to live.
2. Working too much
3. Not expressing their true feelings
4. Not keeping in touch with their friends
5. Not realizing earlier that happiness is a choice
Don’t take this lightly.
This is what people mourned about just before dying.
Learning this rung up a bell inside my head and I’m already not letting those regrets happen.
Imagine how fulfilled we’d feel after just a decade of minimizing regret? In fact, minimizing regret is one of Jeff Bezos’ philosophies of life.
You’d feel on top of the world in your thirties. And you’d still have at least thirty more years to live.
You’d be one of the most accomplished people in the world and radiate life energy.
This already is one of the biggest gifts in the world.
- Allow yourself to dream big
School and the general society wants us to fit in. Get the degree, get the job, act like you care about something, and do as others say.
But what if you don’t want that?
What if you want a Tesla by age 24? What if you want to live in a house by the time you’re 30? What if you want to travel the world and be a digital nomad at 35?
You’re young. You have an infinite amount of possibilities in front of you. Don’t let anyone talk down on your dreams and pursue them for the sake of your own happiness.
You can achieve anything if you want it. Even if you fail, you failed well. You became a better human in the process and life rewards you for that too.
If you aim for the stars, you’ll land in the sky. Dreaming big gives you titanic life energy.
- Enjoy your Life (responsibly)
Remember, happiness is a choice. Practice gratitude for the things you already have.
Your bed, the food, your headphones, the sky, the safe streets, the internet and your loved ones. When shit gets hard, this is where you can hold onto.
Happiness doesn’t mean pleasure.
Pleasure is everything short-term. Netflix, Porn, YouTube, Video Games, Drugs.
I won’t tell you to leave these out of your life, except Porn and Hard Drugs. Everything else, it’s on you to find out how much is right.
There’s nothing wrong with responsible pleasure.
Make sure you’re still following your long term goals, because those secure your long-term happiness. Life is a game of short-term and long-term happiness. Aim for both.
- Experience new Things
Our minds all have one thing in common:
We learn most from new experiences. Don’t shy away from them, use them as a leverage for a better life.
A trick is not to think in terms of comfort zone. Leaving the comfort zone is hard, but “Having a new experience for the sake of fun and learning” is much easier.
Thinking in terms of comfort zone puts us into a mental state of anxiety and nervousness.
But asking: “What will I learn from this that later benefits me? Could I even enjoy it?” makes wonders happen.
You might be in your twenties (or even younger) while reading this.
You’re in the perfect moment to read this because your actions will compound in ways you can’t imagine yet.
But if you’re in your thirties, fourties or fifties, you should still do all of it. Dream big, experience new things and focus on your health.
Nobody has ever regretted positive lifestyle changes, no matter when they did it. Whether it’s 14, 41 or 71. You can always decide to live happier.
Because in the end, we’re here for only one reason.
To enjoy live to the fullest and help others do the same.