Advice from One of the World's Wealthiest Men... and Wisest
I know the article title mentions these tips are for "young people," however, I did not realize the value of self-development until I was in my late twenties and early thirties. Imagine you receive a special meeting with Warren Buffett. Here are ten things he would probably tell you, to help you improve yourself, give yourself better opportunities for success in the future, or just light a fire under your rear-end to get you motivated.
Invest in "you" before anyone else.
Listen, you will probably hear everyone around you telling you to begin investing early. That's a sweet story and marginal advice, at best. Do you want to know how fast those investments can disappear? Quicker than it took you to read these words. Gone. Nothing to show for it all. Invest in yourself. Am I suggesting you bury yourself in debt to student loans before you are 21 years old? Absolutely not. In our current age of internet accessibility, you can learn practically anything you want to, as quick as you want to. Find your passion, invest in yourself through gaining wisdom, knowledge, and never, ever, stop learning.
Break your bad habits early.
What is one habit you need to ditch, right now? For me, looking back, it was spending habits. They were worse than bad. Beyond horrible. As a teenager and young adult I would spend before I had, and borrow to spend more. Break your bad habits early. You do not want to learn every life lesson the hard way.
Hire a mentor.
Finding someone you admire is cute. Many people have their "role models", there is not anything wrong with this. Find an influence in your particular area of interest, find someone to mentor you. Don't be a taker all the time from them either. Your mentor, if you are lucky enough to find someone to pour into you, is there to help you, give back to them, or you won't have them long.
Know your strengths.
"You don't have to be an expert on everything, but knowing where the perimeter of that circle of what you know and what you don't know is, and staying inside of it is all important," Warren Buffett said. Understanding how you are created, what your strengths are, and what your weaknesses are, is one of the most important things you need to know, immediately.
Do what you love.
Warren Buffett once said, "Work at a job you love." Why would a billionaire say this? I believe it is because he understands nothing can bring you happiness if you spend your life in misery.
Never risk the important for the unnecessary.
When you have all of your necessities, do not go out and risk it all for a temporary moment of pleasure, or from a fit of rage. Use good judgement. Use common sense. This seems to be rare these days.
Don't pass up good opportunities.
Sometimes good opportunities come along and we do not realize them. Sometimes, good opportunities require hard work and we ignore it. Don't pass up a good opportunity when it makes you uncomfortable. Most of the time these opportunities will make you a little uncomfortable.
Tick-tock, protect your clock.
The sooner you realize your time is your most valuable asset, the sooner you will begin to protect your time. Listen, you should learn as much as you can about time management, now! Once you manage your time, no, once you master your time, you will be unstoppable. Master your time. Keep an agenda. Protect the clock.
Avoid credit cards.
Seriously. Avoid credit cards. If you take the bait early on, you will find yourself being a slave to a rapidly growing slave-master of debt. Learn to live and pay with cash. If you don't have the cash, don't charge it. Learn the self-disciplines and self-control necessary to master your money early in life.
Kindness is one of the lost arts of our society. Love others. Do we always agree? Of course not. Does this mean we have permission to be raving jerks? Nope. Learn kindness, learn it early, use it often.