Posted on 3 mins read

I turned 30 this year. Here are 15 things I’d tell my 15-year-old self if I could.

  1. Don’t take advice from someone you’d hate to be like. Someone who gives you advice, even cautionary advice, is recruiting you to be a little more like them. If you don’t want that, it’s okay to ignore them.
  2. Awful people are their own reward. It’s okay to stand up for yourself but it’s also okay to move on and leave jerks to their misery.
  3. Let people make little mistakes. McDonald’s messes up orders, customer service lines get backed up, people forget to put things on their calendars. Look after your needs but remember that not all mistakes need to be corrected. Letting things go can be just as satisfying as a few dollars of store credit.
  4. Stop worrying about if you’re masculine enough. Nobody’s paying you to be a man all the time.
  5. Let people make friends with you. If someone awesome asks you to hang out, don’t waste time trying to play it cool. Say yes.
  6. You won’t prove anything by being miserable. If you hate what you’re doing, do something else. You’re probably more committed to it than anyone expects you to be.
  7. The only thing worth feeling guilty about is treating someone poorly.
  8. If you want to eat better, forget about diets and nutrition labels; focus on variety. If you want to exercise more, forget about the way you look; focus on enjoying yourself.
  9. It’s not your job to be a full-time realist. Idealize a little.
  10. Don’t let fear make your decisions. Ask yourself, “what would I do if I wasn’t afraid?” Fear is there to protect you from harm, not experiences.
  11. No relationship, group, or organization is above criticism. If you’re part of something you don’t feel like you’re allowed to criticize, break up with it.
  12. Emotions aren’t stupid. You have them for a reason.
  13. You’ll only do two things reliably: the thing you have to do and the thing you like to do. If you’re not a runner, it’s because you don’t have to run and don’t like running. So bag it and do something else.
  14. When making unplanned remarks on the record, follow two rules: keep it positive and stick to the facts.
  15. Nothing is gonna fix everything. A book won’t fix everything. A hobby won’t fix everything. A new perspective won’t fix everything. Being smart won’t fix everything. Investing won’t fix everything. A relationship won’t fix everything. A gadget won’t fix everything. A mentor won’t fix everything. If it seems like it’s gonna fix everything, put up your walls and hold onto your wallet.