I recently stumbled across a letter that a 32-year-old guy wrote to his 18-year-old self. In it, he gave some advice to the teenage version of himself that the 32-y-o version wished he had known way back when. I thought the letter made a lot of sense, so I sent it to my 18-year-old son with the following cover message.
"I know you don't always think I know what I'm talking about, but hopefully you'll listen to a total stranger."
Here's the advice.
Advice to 18-year-old me:Here's my son's response.
Hit the gym. Just because you’re not the best looking guy doesn’t mean you should give up on being attractive. Weight lifting will help you build confidence and increase your testosterone level so that taking risks literally becomes in your blood.
Cut off the television, internet, and video games. Pick a hobby such as music, writing, languages, sports, or something else that interests you and dedicate one hour per day on it. You’ll be a beast before you even hit 21, where it’ll not only make a positive contribution to your life, but give you the option to take an alternative path.
Read at least two books every month. You don’t know shit about life right now. Hell, you still won’t know a whole lot even when you turn 30. Keep yourself sharp by tapping into the brains of others through their work. Writers have spent hundreds of hours to create books that distill all their knowledge or experience in an easily digestible format. Take advantage of that, and watch your conversational skills increase as a result.
Stop being concerned about what other people think of you. They don’t really care about you. They are so wrapped up in their own insecurities and what you think of them that you’re wasting your energy worrying about impressing them. Be yourself, take risks, try new things, and learn from your mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing enough.
"If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing enough."
Got it. Make more mistakesSmart-ass kid. He's driving me to drink...