Top 10 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self

Darren over at Problogger has a contest going on for those of us who love making lists. Even if you don’t, it’s well worth checking out. His site is also full of great tips about blogging and making money online, whether you’re a beginner or experienced.

So, without further ado, here’s my own contribution:

Top 10 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self

1. Don’t be afraid. Most of the things you’re afraid of are either completely overblown or extremely unlikely to happen. There are no monsters under your bed, but later you’ll find one in the next cubicle.

2. Live for now. Find things to enjoy about life right now that make it worth living. Things won’t magically get better without your effort. Stop fantasizing about how great it’s going to be in the future and smell the roses while you’re there.

3. Don’t waste time. You are NOT going to have more time to do things you want to do in the future. Get that idea out of your head. The next time you’ll find yourself having all the time you need in a day, you’ll be looking for your liver pills and complaining about your bursitis.

4. Chase your dreams. Don’t dismiss your deepest desires as pipe dreams. Take a good look at them and think about what you want out of life. Just about everybody is telling you to take the safe path and get a safe, boring job. Don’t. Safe, boring jobs suck.

5. Do what you want. Stop doing what everyone expects you to do and start doing the things you want. No, this doesn’t mean you should be a jackass. Be smart and straightforward and don’t be afraid to speak up about what you want.

6. Finish college now. It doesn’t matter what you get your degree in. Trust me. Most of the time, no one cares. Besides, college is much more fun when you’re young and single. Again, trust me on this.

7. If you spend money now assuming you’ll have plenty later, you won’t. Everybody thinks they’re going to make a ton more money in just a few years. You might, but you’ll have more than enough expenses to eat up every bit of it and more. See, there are these things called credit cards…

8. Set goals. Make plans for what you really want to accomplish. Write them down and stick with them. It’s worth it to spend a bit of time hashing out the things you really want. Don’t worry, you can always change them as your life changes, but they’ll give you something concrete to shoot for.

9. Do something every day to work toward your goals. Don’t let a day go by without having contributed in some way to the goals you have set. If you want to be a writer, write a sentence on a napkin with spaghetti sauce. If you want to run a marathon, at least get your lazy butt up and stretch.

10. Choose your battles. The world is NOT your enemy. Remember that when everything seems set against you. The world simply doesn’t care. Don’t view everything in terms of us against them. Don’t argue when it does more harm than good. People won’t think you’re smart or funny, they’ll just think you’re a jackass.


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18 Responses to Top 10 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self

  1. Jersey Girl says:

    I hear you about the money one, but something I had to tell myself was…
    There will ALWAYS be bills…they aren’t going to get up and walk away one day!

    It was a good feeling to just accept it.

  2. Shadows Edge says:

    Love this list! Something to tell every young person – even though most of them probably won’t listen the first time around!

  3. Mama Duck says:

    Ah, you probably wouldn’t listen tho… Our list is up if you’d like to look… have a great day!

  4. Rick says:

    Great list. But of course, as ShadowsEdge said, you wouldn’t listen. You may make new, better mistakes though. Fortunately, that’s half the fun of life.

  5. Ray says:

    Thanks for all of the comments. I’ve been too busy checking out all the cool links!

  6. Leroy Brown says:

    #3 – Wiser words, I cannot think of. Time is our most valuable resource, period.

  7. Ray says:

    Thanks, Leroy. I was convinced when I was younger that I would always have time to do what I wanted later on in life. Now I know better!

  8. Chris says:

    Love the list, I wish I would have applied many of these earlier, especially ‘not caring what others think’ and ‘chasing your dreams’.

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  11. kats kerplat says:

    inspirational, that was just the kick up the arse that i needed to begin my dream. First goal achieved by sending this comment, onwards and upwards. Thankyou, thankyou thankyou

  12. ray says:

    Glad I could help!

  13. Jim says:


    I just started blogging today. Set up a site and left my first message. It is uncanny how in many places it maps to this list. However, I am waiting till my next post to give my view on life or the “anti-message” to the post I started with. I am glad that I found this site.

  14. ray says:

    Hi Jim. I’m glad you found my site, too. One of the greatest things I’ve found about blogging is that I get to meet new people from all over. I hope you’ll find some useful and interesting things here and return often. Congratulations on your new blog. I’m looking forward to reading more of what you have to say.

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  17. This is a great list and very inspirational. The points are down-to-earth and true. Like #7.

    I love making lists, too!

    This is a great site and I will be returning regularly.

  18. ray says:

    Hi! That’s one of my favorite points, too, and one that I think is vitally important. If more people used this one common sense idea, it would save an enormous amount of hardship. Thanks for your comment and I look forward to hearing from you again!

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