Someone I’ve come to know over the past several years asked me for some advice for his teenage son.
I wrote this post so he can get my mindshare about this, and other teens can use it.
- Explore everything that interests you.
- Try working on each of them and learn more about each other. Go deeper into things that hold your interest.
- Pick 3-4 or 5 things and go deep on them to a varying degree.
- During this time, try and find things that make time fly and that you love doing. If you find just that one thing, consider yourself lucky.
- Identify what problems need to be solved in each of those areas, and see if you can come up with a solution to any such problems.
- Learn to work on big problems because that’s where you make the most significant impact, and the big opportunities also lie. You will make mistakes, and that’s alright.
- Connect with other people learning about and doing exciting things in the fields you are interested in.
- Travel widely. It is a great way to meet new people, open your thinking, and expand your worldview.
- Learn to develop your thinking because if you don’t do it, you’ll always be a follower of other people’s opinions.
- Study hard and smart. Read Cal Newport’s How to be a straight-A student so that you can get into a good college. Ace it when you are. It will help you later in life, irrespective of whatever someone tells you.
- Find people who are doing well in the areas you are interested in. Find ways to meet them and work with them. If you can’t directly work with them, take a course by them or listen/watch their content if they post it publicly.
- Built a good work ethic. Show up on time, and do what needs to be continuously done.
- It’s alright if you are the odd one out among your friends. People who follow a different path may not understand that well because others live their lives based on an old template.
- Work on becoming good at communication. Learn to write and speak well. Learn how to embed storytelling in your day-to-day conversations and get good at sales and negotiation.
Lastly, know the world is your oyster. You can be whoever you want to be. Don’t let a lack of imagination and action limit you. So let your imagination fly and support what you dream with consistent action.