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If I had the opportunity to speak to every young person and offer them some advice they wouldn't listen to, here is what I would say to them:

  1. Keep your word. There will be times when your word will be the only thing of value you have. Give it sparingly, but always honor it.

  2. Everyone has a tough path through life. Help people when you can, and when you need help, just ask.

  3. Younger does not mean smarter. Despite what you may think, you don't know everything yet. We'd correct you, but we're smart enough to know you won't listen.

  4. Yes, I know you're different. But so is everyone else, and it doesn't make you special.

  5. Turn the damn music down. Yes, I know. Our parents felt the same way about our music and you'll feel the same way about your kid's music. Then you'll understand why I ask you to keep it down.

  6. Be careful whom you hurt while you're climbing the ladder. Remember, they'll be waiting for you on the way down.

  7. Call your mom and dad. They're not here forever, and I promise, they miss you.

  8. Old friends are the best. But it never hurts to make new ones.

  9. Stop counting days. Use each one the best way you can.

  10. Buy your food around the outside of the grocery store, not in the middle. Most of the real food is around the outside. The packaged stuff will kill you.

  11. Travel when you're young. Do it before life gets hold of you and you can't.

  12. There's always someone smarter, richer, and better looking than you. Get over it.

  13. Make time for you every day. It may only be a few minutes, but check in with yourself daily.

  14. Do the things you don't want to do first. The rest of the day will be much easier after that.

  15. Avoid strong whisky, cigarettes, and loose women. OK. Maybe not the women … and, maybe not the whiskey . . . oh, what the hell. Just go for it!

  16. Whatever it is, do it now, before you can't anymore. Don't wait until you're old to look back and say “I wish …”

  17. Whatever you want in life, you have to work for it. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

  18. Take your time to find the right life partner. The wait will be worth it.

  19. Shut your mouth and listen. You can't learn anything when you're talking.

  20. Keep your mind and your body active. People get old when they stop moving forward.

  21. Family, family, family. Nothing else to say.

  22. The world is beautiful and amazing. Enjoy.

  23. The world is also dangerous and frightening. Beware.

  24. Don't retire. Simply move on to a different phase.

  25. Put the toilet seat down. It will save you a lot of stress.


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