There are many major decisions in life where you should consult the wisest people you know. There are other, profound things you need to do on your own.
Here are ten things you should trust to nobody other than yourself:
1. Go to the college you want to.
Never go to a college for your parents, your teachers, or your advisors. Find the place that is right for you, and dive in head first. Those four years will define the trajectory of the rest of your life. Consider this deeply.
Acquiescing to the choice your parents make for you will never work.
2. Live alone.
When I started out, I didn't' have enough money to pay my rent and live the way I wanted to. So I found creative ways to save. I would make my own coffee, and lunch. These little things helped me learn about how to live in the real world, on my own.
You will never be able to learn how to save money or manage your lifestyle without paying your own rent.
When I was a junior in college I spent a year studying in Belgium. I visited fourteen different countries that year. I also lived in London for a year later as an adult. I was able to see the world. Travel expanded my previously myopic view of the world and gave me wide perspective.
So pack up and hit the road.
4. Choose yourself.
I adore the writing of Jame Altucher. When he wrote the book Choose Yourself, it stopped me in my tracks. I had never heard anyone encourage choosing yourself. Choose your own mental health. Choose our own physical health.
Learn to love and honor your body, soul, and mind. James is a genius. Follow his advice.
5. Choose your career/or business.
You don't have to quit your day job. Start something small. The confidence and sense of accomplishment that it gives you are second to none.
6. Continue your education.
I don't mean getting an MBA per se. But, if that's what interests you, go for it. I mean continued education about life. Reading books (or listening to audio books like I do) have been my life college.
I read about forty books per year this way. These books allow me to grow intellectually, spiritually and as a human being. The books have made me a better business person, husband, and father.
7. Choose your friends.
The older I get, the more I see that I have a low tolerance for small talk. I don't want to hear about the weather, your complaints about the election or who cut you off on your commute.
The people I'm drawn to want to go deep. Really deep. It took me more than forty years to figure out I don't have to spend time with people who don't stimulate my mind and my spirit. I recommend you don't either. It's a waste of everyone's time and energy.
8. Choose your lover.
When I met my wife a friend asked me why was she "the one." I blurted out that she reminded who I really was. If you can find someone who makes you feel like your true self. You've won.
Nobody else on this planet can tell you who that person is. Not your parents, not your friends or siblings. Nobody.
9. Forgive yourself.
I work with many young entrepreneurs and executives. They're driven and inspiring people. They're also very hard on themselves. I understand this. I see this behavior in Myself too. I also understand that it's damaging to my mental health.
So I encourage you to be more gentle with yourself. It's ok that you messed up. Fix it, say your sorry, and move on.
10. Find your purpose.
Think about the things that excite you. The projects where you fall into a flow state. If you continually pursue these activities you will get yourself into a constant state of joy.
When you're in a state of joy, you're following your purpose, and not just follow your career path. How cool is that?