Answer by Feross Aboukhadijeh:
In no particular order…
1. Prioritize learning.
- 10,000 hour rule ()
- Start early
- Read a lot. 2-3 hours a day, at least
2. Don’t talk about doing stuff. Do stuff.
- The world is full of so many talkers, and so few doers.
- Too much planning is as bad as no planning.
- “Posting about your plans is shadow of Done” ()
- Make stuff while your brain is young and fresh. The brain gets slower as you age.
3. Figure out what you like. Try to become the best in the world at it.
- If you start early, you will have time to change your mind.
- Don’t worry if it’s not “prestigious” or won’t make you a lot of money. If you’re good at it, you’ll make it prestigious.
- Read “How to Do What You Love” by Paul Graham
4. Experience stuff.
- Watch epic movies/books/music
- Go on adventures (road trips, travel to other countries)
- Talk to interesting people and really LISTEN
5. Spoil yourself on the stuff that matters.
- Eat well, sleep well, drink (water) well
- Buy a good bed (you spend ⅓ of your life in your bed)
- Buy a good computer (since you will spend so much time on it)
- Similarly, good chair, keyboard, mouse, etc.
6. Ignore the opposite sex until you are 20.
- Middle school / high school romance is pointless
- Or, if that’s too broad a statement, then at the very least don’t feel bad if you don’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend before age 20. You’re not “missing out” — in the grand scheme of things, it’s not very important.
7. Work hard to get into college.
- In high school, try to get all A’s — even when the class is unpleasant.
- University is such a formative experience, you’ll make lifelong friends and business partners, and learn a ton about yourself.
- ^ You’ll want to do this at the best possible school you can get into.
8. Don’t worry about your grades.
- Once in college, don’t worry about grades (caveat: unless you plan to go to grad school, especially law or PhD programs, or apply for a competitive job)
- Optimize for learning and personal happiness
- Find time for side projects
9. Be genuine. Be nice.
- Being a generally nice person will make you so many awesome lifelong friends
- Being genuine is freeing since you can just be yourself with everyone you know — you won’t have to worry about keeping lies straight in your head
10. Learn to delay gratification.
- Ability to delay gratification predicts future success ()
- Those who succumb to pressures and do what’s immediately satisfying miss out on later satisfaction.
- Ex: Kids in high school who partied every night are bagging groceries at Safeway now, while those who delayed that “fun” for just a few more years get to work at their dream job for the rest of their lives
(This is all just my own opinion. I’m not trying to make a value judgment on anyone else. This is just the advice I try to follow every day.)