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34 Tips for Your Younger Self

34 Tips for Your Younger Self
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    In January, we asked you what advice you’d give your younger self as part of our regular We Ask, You Answer feature.

    There was plenty of great advice—and a lot of catharsis, it seemed—and we’ve collected some of the best tips for you here.

    1. Don’t worry about the future.

    2. Follow your passion, even if it does not pay very well. If you are good at what you do and love your career choice – the money will eventually follow.

    3. Now is the time to establish good habits for life in every area; they might take a lot of hard work to form, but it’s worth the effort and missed television.

    4. Listen more, listen better, pay attention and remember! Many people have been there and done that and can save you some headaches—but only if you listen.

    5. There are some narcissistic whackjobs and bitter people in the world who will make your life a misery and who are so firmly embedded in their own version of reality that they’ll never change. Should you have the misfortune to encounter such a person, in whatever capacity, don’t hang around any longer than you absolutely need to.

    6. If you get an idea that inspires you, act on it immediately! The best ideas are often the first to fade from memory, or get put on the backburner indefinitely.

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    7. Pay more attention to advice from adults. Or, pay less attention to advice from adults.

    8. Keep playing, laughing and having fun, don’t get too serious!

    9. When you’re planning your college major, don’t just think about the classes or subject matters you like most. If you want to climb the management chain, take management classes, not just marketing classes!

    10. Don’t go out to eat so much; put the money in a high-interest account instead! Self-control with your money means freedom to live the way you want to live down the road.

    11. Beyond just saving, learn to manage money now so you won’t make so many stupid mistakes later or develop nasty habits.

    12. Don’t stress about relationships. If it works, it works, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

    13. Be more assertive! Be more spontaneous.

    14. Tell your parents and grandparents you love them. You don’t know how soon they will die.

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    15. There’s so much you don’t know, but you have such a great opportunity to keep learning. Never, ever stop learning.

    16. Never ever stop asking questions about how the world works. Make “Why?” your favorite one.

    17. Go to a state university. Going to a private college isn’t worth the extra money.

    18. Learn about maintaining optimum health while you still have it. Get started with healthy eating and exercise young, so you don’t spend half your life worrying about weight, blood pressure, heart attacks and all sorts of weight-related problems.

    19. Don’t be afraid to ask people for things you want if the worst outcome is that they say no.

    20. Get over it and kiss the girl!

    21. Don’t stress out all the time. It will eventually take its toll on you in various forms.

    22. Have fun while you can. Go out with your friends. Plenty of opportunity is going to come your way.

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    23. Stand up for yourself once in a while. People will respect that.

    24. Don’t just save on take-out. Save 10% off the top of every paycheck and do not touch it until you retire.

    25. Be prepared for your life to change. Realize that the relationship you thought you had is going to end. Don’t let what is happening paralyze you with fear.

    26. Be aware of life-altering decisions when you’re young. Think seriously about having kids because they will dramatically change your life.

    27. Expand yourself, even if you are sure where you are going. Learn something totally unrelated to your passion. Visit a place you wouldn’t normally go. A flexible mind and attitude will take you very far and allow you to handle the uncertainties in life.

    28. Make your life your passion. Don’t get stuck being defined by your job. Start a website, get your name out there, volunteer, teach.

    29. You’re (probably) not going to die next week. Figure out what you want to do with your life. You don’t want to be 37, broke, unemployed, and still living in your bedroom at mom’s house.

    30. Don’t put off being happy. Don’t be the person that says, “I’ll be happy when…” Happiness is only found in the present. Now, today. Try to find some happiness in the journey of life—don’t think about the destination. It’s just a wooden box.

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    31. Do all the crazy stuff. Take the risks. They’re totally worth it!

    32. Whatever you do, believe in yourself. You have untapped potential, and you will accomplish everything you have dreamed about. No one has the right to tell you can’t do something great in your life. Don’t allow them to justify their mediocre lives by destroying your dreams.

    33. Improve your skill set. Learn a foreign language. Learn a martial art. Learn web design. Learn piano.

    34. As for the best piece of advice anyone had to offer: take a piece of paper. The lottery numbers for January 1998 are…

    You can check out the unedited list of tips in the original We Ask, You Answer column. All in all, Lifehack readers left 60 responses. Thank for taking part and sharing your retrospective advice!

    Unfortunately, retrospect is something that comes too late to be of much use to ourselves in the past—but your experience may just help another reader avoid the mistakes that you found yourself making throughout your life.

    More by this author

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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