I'm 35 now...still feel 20. As of the last couple years I can say I'm mostly happy. I make $80k/yr...over $150k/yr household. I live comfortably, but
money isn't everything to happiness. I was a dreamer at 20...big time. I was shooting too high, which faced me with goals I simply wasn't ambitious
enough to achieve. I'll break down my story a bit and hopefully you can learn from my 'rights' and my 'wrongs'.
I did OK in High School, but got senior fever...almost didn't graduate. This killed my chance to get into the college I wanted (I wanted to be a car
designer). Instead I went to Jr. College in hopes I'd find a new direction. I really wasted time there. I went to work for my father at the age of 23
(something I swore I'd never do). He had a small business, that seemed like a lot of work for a little payback. I gave it a chance, thinking at least
the experience could help me. Luckily I became a big asset to the company. I excelled in Engineering...something I must have inherited from my father.
The company became more successful every year, in part due to my advancing our designs and improving efficiency. It turns out I'm really good at this.
I only wished I'd not wasted time at Jr. College and started working right out of HS.
That's all fine and dandy that I got lucky with a job that was handed to me. I make decent money, but that doesn't mean I don't have my regrets. I
WISH I had not fooled around in HS. I WISH I had gone to the school I dreamed of. I would feel so much better about myself following my dream. The
money helps, and now my complete family depends on me so I have no choice to continue what I do.
I made the mistake of marrying a girl I only knew for 1-1/2 years at the age of 25. It turned ugly quickly. She was an abusive alcoholic. My uncle
died around the same time and we were very close. I got divorced. I tried some drugs. I had sex with lots of women, but I could not find peace. I am
not religious and did not seek counseling. Again, I got lucky and someone saved me. I'm engaged to the girl who found me in that state. We've been
together 5 years and we have a baby boy about to be born any day now.
The biggest thing I've learned over these years is HOLY # time goes by very, very fast. I've been at the family company for 13 years now and it still
feels like only a year to me. Time goes by, I look in the mirror and that's the only way I can see a change. I miss the young days, but appreciate
what I have now. I've changed since my 20's. Reality will do that to you.
So my advice?
I say, focus on either 2 things. Get a degree, or start working at a company you can move up in right out of high school. Don't waste time because it
goes by too fast. Friends are important for your emotional sake, but don't put them before your career. Most of your friends right now will not be
around once you're over 30, and the ones who are you'll hardly talk to. With jobs and kids and bills and politics and family...it's hard to make the
time for friends.
Don't let a woman's beauty blind you. Marry a sweet girl. If she's pretty, then that's just a bonus. You want someone faithful. The same goes for the
20 year old girls out there. Have your fun when you're young and appreciate it. Realize you only get one time to have this.
Love your parents (if they're around). They went through a lot of work to get you here. Family is extremely important as you get older so don't burn
I want to quote Darkblade71 for my ending here as this is GREAT advice when it comes to work ethics. I completely agree with what he says here and I
believe it's helped me in my success and the success of my Fiance.
I think the most valuable advice I can give you when it comes to work is this:
ALWAYS take pride in your job, no matter how crappy it is. Do it to the best of your ability.
Do the jobs with your employers that no one else wants to do, it is a fast track to better wages
and supervisory/management positions.
Never tell someone you don't know the answer, tell them you can find out or send them to someone who can, but never say you don't know.
Never say "It's not my job"
If you have the opportunity, do your job, and then everyone else's job if they are not done yet.
You can be fast and efficient, but work on fast first.
Always remember, the day/shift does end eventually,no matter how stressful it can get in whatever you do, always keep in mind that it will be over
edit on 5-3-2014 by Battlefresh because: Added quote