In school we learned, or at least we were taught the required curriculum. This was true for K-12 as well as college. But there are some things which everyone should know how to do that they didn’t focus on as much as they should. My list of 35 things they should have done a better job at teaching us in school consists of money, communication, attitude, philosophy, leadership, entrepreneurship, human relations, and every day things we all need to know.
1. Never spend more than 70 percent of every dollar you make.
You have to have some kind of guide line/budget and 70 percent is a number that I have found works for people. Sure this number will change the older you get and the more money you make, but by sticking to this percent early in life will set you up for later in life.
2. What to do with the other 30 percent.
Take 10 percent and donate it. If you get in the habit of donating and giving back you will always do this and it gets you in the habit early in life. Then take the next 10 percent and save it. Take the last 10 percent and invest it. Invest it into something that generates a return.
3. Stay out of debt.
We all know this but we didn’t talk about it to the depth that we should while in school. Find a way every time to pay with cash, never borrow money.
4. Become Genuinely Interested in other people.
When you become genuinely interested in others it shows. The other person sees that you care about them and want to know more about them.
5. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
Sure we all think that we do this. However, think about the last time you were in a disagreement with someone, maybe it was your spouse or a colleague at work. You were probably more focused on being right than trying to honestly see things from their point of view. When you try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view it shows that you care about them.
6. Listen more than you talk.
Think about the last conversation you had with someone, who talked a lot. When you let the other person talk more you develop a better relationship with them. Most people love to talk, let them do the talking and just listen, you never know what you will learn.
7. Pay cash if you can.
Rich people have enough to pay cash. If you can pay cash you can usually negotiate your terms and a better deal.
8. Profits are better than wages.
Being that I am motivated by money this would have made sense to me. Earning a wage, especially a high wage is great, but when you own something and you can earn a profit from it is better than wages. Whether it is your own company or you have equity in a company, profits are always better than wages.
9. Get into the habit of spending 30 minutes a day exercising.
Sure in school you have gym class. But as you get older you have to make this a priority in your life. Nothing can happen if you don’t have good health.
10. Find a mentor.
Talk to people that do what you would like to do and spend lots of time with them learning from them.
11. Read more books.
Never stop reading books. After you get out of school you can read the ones you want to read and not the one you have to read.
12. Soon, the people in your high school won’t matter.
They should tell you that the people you are in high school with will most likely not matter to you 5 years from the last day of high school. Lebron left Cleveland and won two championships.
13. Pick one area that you can become extraordinary in and never do anything else.
Decide early what you want to be great at. Then put all of your eggs in that basket to become the best in it.
14. Keep a journal.
Take notes of the lessons and the wins in your life in a journal and then look back on them for future guidance on how to have more wins and less lessons.
15. Do whatever you can to get exposed to sales at a young age.
The skills you learn as a sales person will prepare you for everything in life. All organizations need people who can sell, so you are always marketable and the skills you learn as a sales person will serve you well in almost any other position you attempt to work in as well.
16. Don’t ever try to impress others.
The only person that matters in life is you and your family. Be the best to yourself and to them. Don’t try to live up to what other people want you to be.
17. Time is more valuable than money, you can earn more money, but you can’t earn more time.
We all have 24 hours in a day, use your time wisely and be sure to invest your time into something worthwhile.
18. Fail as quickly as you possibly can.
Try as many things as possible early in your life, even if you fail. The more failures you have, the more opportunities you have to find out what you want to do and enjoy doing it.
19. While making decisions think about the impact of that decision 1,2,3 or even 5 or 10 years into the future.
All decisions have consequences and costs associated with them. The more you can think about how the decision affects your future, the better decisions you will make in the present.
20. Develop your personal brand.
Decide early on who and what you want to be and then live your life accordingly.
21. Your network is one of your most valuable possesions.
Meet lots of people and maintain those relationships, you never know when you may need those relationships.
22. Check the oil in your car.
Unless you were born with a silver spoon, you will need to know how to ensure your car has enough oil so you can keep it running.
23. Learn how to cook on the grill.
Eventually you will want to have people over for a grill out, and then you won’t want to kill anyone with undercooked food.
24. Learn how to changing a flat tire.
Never get stuck with a flat tire. To change a tire is easy to learn and everyone eventually has a flat tire.
25. Don’t be a complainer, ever.
I have never been around anyone who likes to be around someone who likes to complain. If you want to be a person people want to be around, don’t complain.
26. Always do more than you get paid for.
Never do just what is asked of you, but always do more. This will allow you to be different because most people don’t do this. You will see the benefits in your career and in your income.
27. Ask for what you want.
Some people just never ask, so they never get anything. Getting into the habit of asking even when you know you won’t get what you are asking for, allows you to create the habit of asking which is the skill that is important.
28. Never post pictures online when you have been drinking.
This didn’t apply when I was growing up, but it does now more than ever. Put your smart phone away if you have been drinking, nothing good ever happens with your phone while drinking, unless you are calling for a ride.
29. Seek excellence in everything you do.
Sure we all learned that we should always do the best we can do. But excellence is different, excellence makes you better than average. Don’t be average.
30. Find out what your strengths are.
I remember teachers saying that I needed to focus on developing some of the areas I was weak in. Identify your strengths and passions as soon as you can and focus on them.
31. Give credit to others.
Nobody likes someone who takes all the credit. Even when you have done something to be recognized for find a way to give credit to someone else who helped you get there.
32. Get to your point across.
Considering most people have a 9 second attention span, getting your point across in any interaction is critical. Don’t take too much time to make a simple point.
33. Use people’s names.
Use a person’s name whenever you can. At the restaurant, the bank, and anywhere else. This requires you to ask for their name and remember it. Remember that a persons name is the sweetest sound in any language to that person.
34. Tip correctly.
Yes, there are percentages in any business that you should adhere to. My advice is always tip for the service you received. If it was great service, tip more than normal, if it was average service tip an average percentage, and if the service is bad, ask for a manager. You are doing the business a favor by telling them.
35. Know that fear is just an emotion.
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” – Steve Jobs
I think this quote sums it up on how you should approach your fear.
Now that we know these things we have to put our knowledge into action. How are you going to start applying these 35 things they should have done a better job at teaching us in school?
Featured photo credit: Why didn’t I learn this? via thingsiwishiwouldhavelearnedinhighschool.com