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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Advice for young people...

I am now in my 60's and find myself single once again.  Being retired, single and finding that I have more time now to reflect on life (past, present and future), I would like to make some observations to possibly help others one day.

1.  I now know that getting old sneaks up on you.  It seems like just yesterday I was in high school, or University.  When you are younger, you think you have all the time in the world, but in effect, time travels far more quickly than you realize.  Make every moment count, and concentrate on good relationships rather than bad.  Keep your good friends close to you and your family even closer.  They are your support.

2.  Take care of your body while you are young.  This means exercise, eating well and drinking lots of water.  Be aware that any injuries sustained in your youth will be amplified in your later years, so stay away from extreme sports.  A broken leg suffered in a biking accident at a young age can seem like nothing immediately after healing, but can be extremely painful when you are 80 years old.  And there is nothing worse then dying too soon because of stupid decisions or poor health habits.

3.  Start saving a percentage of your salary at a very early age, if not for your children's education (even if you are too young to have/plan for children), but for your retirement.  The Government does not look after the little people in retirement, just the politicians and their friends.  Now whether you should hide your money under the mattress or invest, sorry I can't advise you on that.

4.  Learn how to balance intelligent money management with personal entertainment.  This means be frugal in your daily living, but make sure to put aside something for enjoying yourself.  Hopefully your entertainment doesn't include too much alcohol, and make sure to stay away from dangerous social drugs.  Try buying groceries on sale and in bulk and freezing them for later use.  This can save thousands over a lifetime.

5.  Get enough sleep so your body can protect itself from virus's and disease, and in the worst case scenarios, you have the energy to recuperate from them. I know this may be difficult for University students, but time management is important, and you have to allow time for rest.  It will actually make you smarter.

6. Education, education.  Don't just settle with Grade 12 graduation, go to College or University and get a degree. This will not only open up many career doors for you, it will give you the leverage to make substantially more money over your lifetime.  Unless you are one of the lucky ones that knows in grade school what they want to be when they grow up, higher education can supply even more career ideas.

7.  Don't fall for the 9-5 trap unless it is your decision alone.  If you want to be a business person and support yourself, do it.  If you want to work a little, save up and travel, do it.  Of course your parents may not agree with this, but what do they know anyway?  Just because society teaches and trains you as cattle doesn't mean you have to follow your family and friends to the slaughterhouse.

8. Treat everyone, and that mean's everyone with the respect and dignity you would expect to receive from them.  You are no better than anyone else, and the sooner you realize that, the better.  We are all given a certain amount of time on this earth, and the one certain thing we all face, is death.  Poor people die as well as rich people.  Just because you may have more money or better looks than someone else doesn't mean you are 'special'.

9. When you get older, your mind continues at basically the same speed as always, but your body tends to slow down a little.  Don't give in and let it.  Keep exercising and eating well, and most importantly, keep acting and feeling young - and you will be.  Whoever said we must grow old gracefully was out to lunch.

10. Plan to leave a legacy for your children.  I know this is hard when you haven't had any children yet, but it is important.  If we don't pass anything down to our kids or friends, who exactly will remember us?  And make your legacy a positive one so people don't remember you as an asshole.  I'm writing books about my early life for my children, but not everyone has this desire or ability.  Just make sure to leave something or some memory behind.