Here is an extra few ideas I thought about mentioning in my article about stuff you should know graduating from high school. I wanted to mention them but I figured they were dramatically off topic. Instead of trying to make a full solid article out of them I figured it might be better just to make a quick list.
Here’s the list:
Make Mistakes But Not Big Ones
Mistakes are a good thing.
Mistakes are a sign that you’re trying something you don’t completely feel comfortable with. Spending time on those kinds of things is good because it’s the only way you’ll ever improve yourself. As you get older and older you’ll notice more and more people giving up on taking risks but risks aren’t a bad thing. They’re how you can improve your life.
Life is not school. Red marks don’t go in any permanent record 99% of the time. (Sure… criminal record perhaps but other than than severe situations, you can make mistakes.)
Of course, there are mistakes that you don’t want to make.
Whenever you’re questioning whether or not you should take a risk, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” and “What are the odds of that?”
If the worst that can happen is you dying then you might want to reconsider having a chance of making that mistake.
In fact, if it could dramatically change your life plan for the worse then you should probably not be doing it.
If, on the other hand, you just risk embarrassing yourself then it’s probably worth giving a shot.
Don’t Be Broke
This probably won’t surprise you but being broke sucks.
Just having a small savings of a couple thousand dollars (yes… that’s small) can dramatically improve the quality of your life. It’s the difference between your car breaking down and leaving you stranded for a month or two and being free to get it fixed.
Do what you need to do to get a savings account with some money in it. Work longer hours for a while. Eat less food for a while. Sell stuff that you’d rather not sell.
Every time that savings account drops you do everything in your power to refill it immediately.
This is the difference between your life being controlled by circumstance and your life being controlled by you.
To build that savings you might want to consider the idea of paying yourself first. Whenever you get money, the first thing you do is sock away 10% of it for yourself. After that you pay your bills or buy new stuff. This ensure that you’re always treating your savings seriously.
Sleep Is Not Overrated
Sleep is unbelievably awesome.
Seriously, it’s not until you start getting busy every second of every day that you realize this. The more busy you are, the more you need sleep. You can literally feel the difference through every minute of the day when you’re pushing yourself.
You can only push yourself so hard when you’re low on sleep. With the right amount of sleep you can maximize the efficiency of your day and feel awesome while you’re doing it.
Life = Work
Life is work. Work is life.
No that doesn’t mean you have to go to your job 70 hours a week. That just means that life is a job in itself.
Not doing your work at your job doesn’t mean you instantly lose your job in the same way not doing you work in life doesn’t mean you instantly die.
If you don’t do your laundry, you will end up suffering for it. If you don’t eat, you will end up suffering for it. If you don’t earn the required money to pay for what you want, you will end up suffering for it.
Life requires work.
Sure… there is the alternative of sitting around and staring at a screen for 24 hours a day but you’ll notice that slowly becomes work in itself. Complete laziness usually ends up being just as bad as working a bad 9 to 5 job.
Life needs a purpose. Without it, you won’t be living (even if you are still breathing.)
Compounding Interest Can Be Cruel (Make friends with it early.)
This is another financial point worth realizing early on. Failing to get this point early enough could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
There is a likely misattributed Einstein quote saying compounding interest is one of the greatest inventions in history. I’d certainly understand that… particularly if it’s getting paid to me. The reality is, most people understand it as one of the worst inventions.
There is an old story about the inventor of the game Chess.
Supposedly the emperor of China was so happy after learning about the game he offered the creator one wish. The creator of Chess requested 1 grain of rice for the first spot on the Chess board. Then 2 grains for the second spot. Then 4 grains for the third. He requested double for each spot on the board. The emperor quickly agreed.
Anyone that knows about compounding realizes how crazy that number actually is. The emperor agreed to 18 trillion grains of rice (which naturally the emperor could never actually pay.)
Compounding is nuts.
Small numbers can become huge numbers fast. How relevant is that to your life?
Every single loan you take out you’re going to be expected to pay it back with compounding interest. You’re going to pay the loan back plus the compounded interest. More interestingly, in my opinion, every investment you make can pay you compound interest back too.
The earlier you learn to take advantage of compound interest, the better off you’re going to be. Learn about it. Take advantage of it and don’t let it take advantage of you.
That’s the list I’ve got for you. If you learn these five things early then you’re going to end up dramatically better off.
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