9 Immutable Laws of Growing Up

There are a couple lessons that just about any 20-something should learn. I call them the Immutable Laws of Growing Up. They’re laws about how life operates, and while you can violate them, you do so at your own risk.

  1. Be nicer to people – Mean people can make lots of money. Money can even buy you friends. But it’s rare for a mean person to be happy. If you want to be happy, be nice. BONUS: You’ll make a lot of other people happy along the way.
  2. Build routine into your life – If you’re a busy executive or a world traveler or an artist, you need routine. It saves you the mental energy of making hundreds of decisions every day like “What should I wear?” “What should I eat?” “Should I shower now or later?” Routine answers all those questions so you can focus your mental energy on creativity.
  3. Create more than you consume – This is huge advice for a 20-year-old. So many young people are sucked into Instagram or Snapchat or Netflix. They waste hours per day consuming words, images, videos. If you want a great life, however, the secret is to create more for the world than you consume.
  4. Simplify your existence – We live in a time when it’s cool to accumulate a lot of stuff. Another gadget, one more piece of clothing, more furniture. None of that will make you happy long-term. Try this: Go through your room/house and put things that you haven’t used in the past week into a box, including duplicates if you already own one. Put that box away for a month. Anything you don’t take out of the box that month gets donated at the end of the month.
  5. Start a daily practice – Most people overestimate what they can do in a week, but the underestimate what they can accomplish in a year. Consistent effort is the secret to big things. James Altucher recommends trying to get just 1% better at something every day. Maybe that’s basketball, reading, or talking to new people. Whatever it is, start a daily practice where you do 1% better than you did the day before. The principle of compounding effort means you’ll eventually see exponential growth.
  6. Read – Top performers in almost every category read more than their competitors.
  7. Meditate – Top performers also meditate. You decide what this means. Just find time to be quiet.
  8. Sleep – Scientists haven’t really figured out why entirely, but it’s super important.
  9. Be young while you can – Do stupid things. Have fun. Be reckless. Go on that trip. Kiss that girl/boy. Climb that mountain. Sail that ocean (this is my dream)

I’m young like you, so what do I know?

Read my essays on One Life-Changing Habit and How to Get Your Dream Job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *