HOW TO SUCCEED: 100 Life Lessons For Millennials

Our kids are millennials. Ipso facto, this blog post is dedicated to them, as so many of them are. Let’s start with some of the more obvious suggestions…

  1. Don’t eat Tide Pods. It’s kind of like drinking bleach & sniffing Pam – a REALLY bad idea.
  2. Try not to succumb to peer pressure. This is going to be tough, really tough. Really, really, REALLY tough. Like Kanye West embarrassing himself AND someone else at an award’s show, it’s bound to happen no matter what you say.
  3. Try to find smart, ambitious, honest, down-to-earth friends so that the peer pressure they subject you to is less idiotic – refer back to number 2. You can only hope the worst someone says is, “Hey, you should join math league with me. You really should.”
  4. If the police are chasing you for some reason, don’t run. You might get shot, and in case you didn’t know, getting shot is bad. It’s worse than dropping your smart phone in the toilet. Trust me.
  5. Don’t do drugs. You could get addicted faster than Kim Kardashian can spend money, and that could cause you MAJOR problems.
  6. Try to save some money & as soon as you have enough, invest it. That doesn’t mean buying four more pairs of Yeezees. The first pair was a waste – Charles.
  7. Get a part-time job while you’re in school. It’ll help you with number 6 so you don’t have to steal it from your mother’s wallet.
  8. Don’t sleep with anyone you couldn’t imagine as your baby momma or daddy. You will be tempted, but if you are, just imagine the most embarrassing episode of Maury Povich or Dr. Phil with you as the guest.
  9. Run less, lift weights more. It’s easier on the joints, and no, you’re not going to look like the hulk. This applies to guys AND girls.
  10. Try to avoid being the smartest person in the room. How can you take over the world if the most important thing you know is that denim on denim is not necessarily a fashion faux pas?
  11. Understand: you are never too good to do something well, meaning that even if you can solve the problem of global warming, do your best at taking out the garbage. It’s just a good habit to form, like wiping after you go number two. Nobody likes a poopy pants, especially when they are twenty-five.
  12. Don’t smoke cigarettes. Once you start, it’s VERY hard to stop, and while you may view it as cool now, trust us, having a tracheotomy isn’t.
  13. Breathe before you speak. It will give you time to rethink that asinine comment you were about to make.
  14. No, you can’t always have what you want. Stop whining. You sound like Gwyneth Paltrow and people question her validity as a human.
  15. Know that you are NOT dumb, you are learning, just like everyone else on the bloody planet.
  16. Not going to university is like being naked – you need a really good reason if that’s what you are going to do, like you are going to work at orphanages around the world for a few years instead and/or you just ran out of a burning building and didn’t have time to get dressed.
  17. Ramen noodles – while SUPER appetizing – are not the best for you. Eat an egg (or two) instead.
  18. Stop blaming others for your problems. Always ask what YOU could do different to make a situation better – always. Even if someone backs into YOUR car at the mall.
  19. Be OK with not knowing. You will never have an answer to every question, and you’ll go crazy (like Tom Cruise) looking.
  20. Make helping others something you practice. Especially during times of stress, it’s good to take the focus off yourself, and help someone else. Old folks homes are good places for this. It will remind you to cherish every day, and somebody gets a checkers’ partner. It’s a win, win.
  21. If you do a favour for someone, don’t expect anything in return. It may not come right away, but what goes around, comes around, like in that Justin Timberlake song. Just ask Britney.
  22. You are what you practice most, like if you spend all day every day eating crackers, you’ll just get REALLY good at eating crackers and probably fat. Neither of those things is in such high demand. Pick something that is.
  23. The best way to deflate nay-sayers is to agree with them. #savage
  24. Whatever you say you are, you are. 
  25. Don’t litter or be wasteful. Pretend you care about the planet even if you don’t right now. When you are forty, you will.
  26. Don’t drink and drive, “smoke” and drive, take drugs and drive, or drive and do dumb things. Cars are weapons. Every mother and father out there wants you to know this, and all that wisdom CANNOT be wrong.
  27. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep as often as possible. Jennifer Aniston says so. Among other things, it’ll make you look younger, and that’s never bad.
  28. Don’t waste time on uncertainty. If you are “stuck”, take action, however small. One step will lead to another, which will lead to another, which will lead to another, etc. Consider Drake. He started on Degrassi (otherwise known as “the bottom”), and look where he is now.
  29. Understand that suffering and pain are parts of life. Finding a stress reliever that doesn’t fry your brain or destroy your liver is preferable for you AND for anyone who might have to wipe the “I’m so messed up now, I can’t even look after myself” drool from your face.
  30. Be nice to animals, underprivileged, vulnerable, and/or old people. Karma is watching.
  31. Life is short. Stop getting so freaking upset about every…single…thing. Who cares if the barista gave you a macchiato instead of a latte? Nobody needs such ridiculousness anyway.
  32. Pick your battles. Very few things are REALLY worth fighting for. Except Wolfie’s hairline. We ALL want that to succeed.
  33. Make yourself useful and as necessary as possible. If you don’t, you WILL be replaced. Everyone is expendable, and every business owner wants you to know this.
  34. Always try to put yourself in other people’s shoes. This will give you perspective and make you more understanding – almost like the Pope, but probably more like an altar boy, if you’re lucky .
  35. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Nobody else does. In fact, no one else really cares about what’s going on with you at all – except your mother. She cares.
  36. Avoid drama and toxic people. Life is naturally – think earthquakes, divorce, heart attacks, etc. – hard enough. You don’t need anything extra.
  37. Learn the difference between inconvenience & emergency, and act accordingly. “Inconvenience” is like when that expensive shampoo you ordered online has run out. “Emergency” is when your brother lights the house on fire.
  38. Appreciate what you have even if you are not completely satisfied. You always need something to strive toward otherwise you might as well be dead. Also, you don’t want to come off as a jackass.
  39. Happiness is a choice. It is.
  40. Live to serve.
  41. Always put yourself first.
  42. Try not to sleep with every person you meet. You might get lesions in unwanted places.
  43. Explore romantic relationships with more than one person while you are still young. It’ll give you context… and memories [wink, wink].
  44. Life is complicated. Get used to it.
  45. Once you get your own place, make sure you buy a flashlight and a plunger. 
  46. ALWAYS answer your mother’s texts. 
  47. Learn to drive a standard transmission. It may come in handy later in life. Or maybe it won’t with the way they are building cars these days. Either way, it’s sexy.
  48. Finish what you… Fill in the blank.
  49. Don’t believe in or follow a doctrine just because someone (including your parents) tells you it’s true. Ask questions, and do your own investigations. This is part of what makes you, you. And if someone says “do NOT leave the compound or else” or “they’ll be serving blue Koolaid later on”, do your best to escape and fast.
  50. It’s OK to be socially awkward. Kristen Stewart is and she’s pretty popular.
  51. Quality over quantity for most things (especially shoes and linens).
  52. When choosing a partner, use both your heart AND your head to make the decision. You could end up like Amber Rose otherwise, and she’s a female with no hair. Ever wondered why? Stress [cough, cough].
  53. Don’t put naked pictures of yourself on the internet – ever. Does this even need explaining?
  54. Own up to your mistakes, and apologize when necessary. It’s called “adulting”.
  55. Make sure your shoes fit, or anticipate having bunions. Ask your grandma what that’s like.
  56. Nobody has it all figured out – especially not James Franco – so don’t feel bad.
  57. Embrace your individuality. Imagine a world with seven billion Charlie Sheens. Jesus.
  58. You ARE the 5 closest people to you, but you knew that one already.
  59. Act like you are supposed to be there.
  60. Dress for the job you want. 
  61. Whenever you are asked to do something, always do a little bit more. 
  62. Make sure you smell good. 
  63. If your parents are freaking out about something, there’s probably a good reason for it. You may want to reconsider your behaviour.
  64. Learn to be confident, not arrogant. You are NOT better than anyone else, just different, Jennifer Lopez.
  65. Be brave and try more stuff, except attempting to pat a baby grizzly bear in the wild. That’s just plain stupid.
  66.  Open the door for people.
  67. Develop a good handshake. 
  68. Look people in the eye when you speak to them. 
  69. Boys, you should pull up your pants. Wearing them all “rad and low” like that forces you to walk funny, and walking funny will ruin your knees. You may not care now, but you will when you are fifty and you can’t even sit down on the toilet without pain.
  70. Learn self defence. I can never hurt to be a little like Wesley Snipes in Blade. If you don’t know what or who that is, look it up.
  71. Good relationships should build you up, not break you down. Seriously, do you want to be like Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna? No, you don’t. That relationship was messed up.
  72. Babies are a lifetime commitment, worse than a tattoo. If you’re not sure if you are ready to be a parent, get a gerbil. They only live for a few years, and you’ll get to see who feeds it and cleans its cage.
  73. You can’t please everyone. It’s pointless to try.
  74. Not everyone will like you. It’s pointless to care.
  75. Don’t cheat. Karma, remember?
  76. If you think you are having an allergic reaction, get to the hospital quick. No matter what you’ve heard, a Red Bull and some Polysporin won’t help.
  77. Don’t be a jerk.
  78. If you are ever feeling intimidated, just imagine that person naked, or with an “It” or “Jigsaw” mask on. That should help you to feel better, or scared shitless. Either way, it’s helpful.
  79. Admit your weaknesses. Nobody can make fun of you that way. Except Will Ferrell. He can make fun of anybody.
  80. If it makes you scared, you should probably do it. Don’t stick your head in a lion’s mouth though. You should be scared of that to the point of avoidance.
  81. Don’t be afraid of failure. You need it to grow.
  82. Respect your parents, even if you think they are stupid. One day, they’ll likely be babysitting your children and/or house-sitting while you’re away. Payback is a bitch, for real. And they have more life experience and probably more money than you. Take that in.
  83. Have a “yes” attitude – you want to be the person others think of when an opportunity comes up.
  84. But don’t be afraid to say no. 
  85. Listen more, talk less. Don’t be like Amanda Bynes on Twitter.
  86. School is important – if nothing else, you learn to do things you don’t want to do. Can you say marriage? Parenthood?
  87. Don’t drink soda, or energy drinks. Diabetes isn’t a gameshow for dogs. It’s real and it’s brutal.
  88. Stand up for yourself. 
  89. Hard work beats talent any day. But if you have talent AND you work hard, bonus. Bruno Mars.
  90. Learn to cook. It’s better for your health and will save you money. And it almost always impresses a first date, unless you are courting Paris Hilton. Then you’d better just take her out somewhere absurdly expensive. Hot chocolate and cinnamon toast isn’t going to cut it.
  91. You are not entitled to anything. Not even government-subsidized eyeglasses and dental care. Sadly.
  92. Build a strong foundation of knowledge. Read classic texts like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, anything by Malcolm Gladwell, and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. William Steig is a genius. He actually is.
  93. Little things add up. Calories. Debt. Dirty laundry. Useless emails. And then you end up on an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive and you lose all your friends.
  94. Find a job you actually like. You might start off as a human scarecrow, and end up an ostrich babysitter. Don’t worry if you interests change over time. This is normal. It wasn’t when we were young – we were expected to pick something and suffer through it until retirement. But you don’t have to. It’s called progress.
  95. No matter how much you love someone, don’t let their dreams replace yours. Seriously.
  96. Smile more. 
  97. Be active everyday if you can. 
  98. Be yourself.
  99. Obviously you aren’t going to listen to all or any of this. Reading it over and being aware is good enough at this point.
  100. It’s OK to do things twice. In fact, expect it. Especially reading this list. 😉

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