You go along with the checklist. You follow the rules. And you find that you still can’t “make it.”
Replace “you” with “me,” and that’s where I am now.
You see, I did the pre-approved, Boomer-sanctioned thing: College. Grad school. Safety. Security. Don’t rock the boat. And I still have to get a second job.
I’m not against working hard. But it is kind of depressing.
Perhaps “disillusioning” is a better word. But I’m telling you, this is why I do not find it irresponsible to warn as many young people as humanly possible to explore alternatives to college.
It’s another reason why I warn people away from law school as much as humanly possible.
Law school provides you with some of the most unmarketable skills in one of the least-demanded fields.
Every instinct telling you to go to law school? Listen to it, and then do the opposite.
The same goes, generally, for college.
Look, I’m no self-improvement guru. I don’t have everything together. But I can tip you off about what not to do. Why make the same mistakes someone else did?
- Bust out of that cage of safety and take some risks while you’re young enough to undo them. Not everything can be fixed. But a lot can. Take calculated risks and don’t be a wimp.
- Don’t be afraid to tell your parents that they might be wrong. They want what’s best for you, but sometimes they may be operating under an outdated paradigm.
- Don’t go to law school. I’m serious about this. And in general, avoid college if you don’t need it. What you get out of it really isn’t worth the time or money.
- Get resilient. The cliche is true. A failure is only a failure if they don’t get back up. Learn to learn from mistakes and don’t let them define you. Trust me on this.
- No one care about you the way you think they do. You are not the star of a movie. Seriously. Other people aren’t sitting their judging you, and even if you do flame out in spectacular fashion, most people won’t remember you by dinner time. Use this to your mental advantage by ignoring them.
- The old rules don’t apply. The checklist life isn’t going to cut it. Your job will be automated or outsourced to a cheaper foreign replacement. Your employer wants to fire you yesterday. Don’t have blinding loyalty to them and think like a shark: Always be moving ahead to the next opportunity.
- Use the Internet to your advantage. This is a gift. If you’re not working some kind of side-hustle using the Web to your advantage, what are you waiting for?
- Be skeptical of everything touted as a good. Especially if it’s some new, innovative thing. Whether it’s some gadget or politician or career path or new trendy super-food (whatever the hell that is), remember: SOMEONE STANDS TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY FROM IT, AND CHANCES ARE IT’S NOT YOU.
- Have fun. Or at least try to. Life is hard enough, so try to get some laughs in when you can.
From failure comes wisdom. Take advantage of both my failures and my wisdom and pay it forward.
And check out my Instagram here.