Skip to main content

A Young Person’s Guide to Life

I enjoy writing about a wide variety of topics that draw upon my decades of life experiences. I hope you enjoy reading my articles.

Having long since passed the ripe age of fifty, as I reflect back on my life, I want to guide young people to help them avoid the many pitfalls in life that inevitably lie ahead of them. I have learned many lessons during my more than half-century on Earth, some painful and some common sense that I failed to follow for some reason or another. My point in writing this “young person’s guide to life” is to lay out what I think can help young people enjoy a prosperous and healthy life. I wish I could tell my younger self these things, but since time travel is not currently possible, that is something I cannot do.

Set goals and have a plan to carry them out

Set goals and have a plan to carry them out

My Advice to Young People

Since many people don’t bother reading entire articles these days and I think this is important advice to convey to young people, here is a quick bullet list summary of my young person’s guide to life.

  • Think of Life as a Game and Set Clear Goals to Achieve Success – Taking a broader view is important to succeed in life. As a young person, think of your life as if it is a game. Like a game, your life should have certain realistic achievable goals. The choices you make in the game of life, many made when you are young, can help you succeed in achieving your goals. Of course, there are many factors that ultimately determine if you are successful at achieving your life's goals from your drive and determination to just plain luck or some of the advantages you were given by birth.
  • Define What Success Means to You – Some strive for material success, while others strive for success via other avenues, such as becoming an accomplished person in a line of work that may offer limited material rewards, working to solve a problem that plagues mankind, or simply serving other people in some capacity. Whatever your definition of success is (and it may change over your lifetime), it is important to be honest with yourself when you are young regarding how you define success in your life, so you can set clear goals and make the right choices to achieve your goals.
  • Do Not Be Codependent on Anyone Else for Your Own Happiness – Being happy is something you need to achieve on your own by making smart choices and creating a happy environment around yourself. Don’t be codependent (rely on others) to make you happy. Other people have their own agendas, even if they are good friends, and cannot be relied upon to make you happy.
  • Make Big Decisions Carefully and Weigh All Factors – Big decisions such as where to go to college (or whether to go to college), what career to pursue, whether to accept a job, whether to date or marry someone, where to live, etc. should not be made too quickly or for whimsical reasons. Make big decisions carefully and weigh all of the potential impacts of your decisions. Not only will these decisions have a huge impact on your life going forward, but they will also impact your health and happiness as a human being in a major way.
  • Don’t Be Too Trustful of People – I grew up as a generally optimistic person who inherently trusted people. A big mistake. Unfortunately, there’s a dark side of human nature and many people will take advantage of you if given the opportunity. Trust is something that needs to be earned over a long period of time. Keep in mind that some people are manipulative and put up a façade of trustworthiness. Be leery of people until you have known them for a long time and have developed a true understanding of their nature.
  • Things Will Get Better If You Are Going Through a Rough Patch – Life is going to have its rough times when you lose confidence, feel depressed, or are just looking for meaning in life. Always remember, things will get better. It may take some outside help or making some changes in your life, but never lose hope. If you take corrective actions, things will get better over time.
  • Pay Attention to Health as a Key to Success – Maintaining good health is both important physically and psychologically to live a successful and happy life. Exercising regularly, eating a well-balanced diet that avoids fatty and processed foods, ensuring you obtain proper nutrition, and sleeping soundly are very important for your health and well-being. Nutritionally, taking Vitamin D supplements is important to ensure Vitamin D levels are maintained during the dark fall and winter months when we don’t get enough sunshine to naturally produce Vitamin D. This common vitamin plays an important role in boosting the human immune system to help it prevent common respiratory illnesses such as colds and the flu during the fall and winter months. Avoiding illnesses will not only make you feel better but will also improve your chances of success as you maintain a clear and healthy mind.
  • Learn About Investing and Start Saving Money – One of the things schools and parents sometimes fall short on is teaching kids about financial matters and the importance of saving money for future needs. Like it or not, understanding how to invest and save money is important to your success and happiness during your life. Take the time to learn about investing and saving, and start saving and investing early, since the sooner you start, the more you’ll have as you grow older.
  • Spend Free Time Reading – The easiest way to expand your knowledge of the world, exercise your mind, and improve your vocabulary is to read. Traveling is also a great way to expand your knowledge of the world and become a better human being; however, reading is a lot less expensive than traveling and can broaden your outlook on life tremendously.
  • Humility, Compassion, and Good Manners Go a Long Way – What good is material success in life if you’re an arrogant, miserable, and rude person? I hate to break it to you, but no matter how much you try to rationalize it, your existence on Earth isn’t any “better” than anyone else’s existence. Always keep in mind that we all enter and leave this life the same way. Use the time in between by being a compassionate, well mannered, and modest person. Your good vibes will rub off on others and make the world a better place. You will be a much better and happier person in the long run if you treat others with respect and decency. You may even unknowingly save someone else’s life if they’re close to giving up on humanity by reminding them that there are good people in this world.
Positivity is important to be happy and successful in life

Positivity is important to be happy and successful in life

ADVICE TO MY YOUNGER SELF - Powerful Motivational Video for Students

Do You Have a Life Plan Poll

Put together a life plan to be successful at the game of life

Put together a life plan to be successful at the game of life

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 John Coviello


Liz Westwood from UK on October 17, 2020:

This is an interesting plan. I am witnessing so many younger people seeing their life plans being blown off course at the moment. Testing times for everyone.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 15, 2020:

This is real good. I will go through the notions with my youngest.