How much money would someone have to pay you to give up the next 8 years of your life? How much would they have to pay you to not be able to enjoy or take advantage of your early to late 20s? A million? 10? More? Come up with your number in your head.
I have been posing this question to my friends recently. They are an active group for the most part, and most of them strongly value the potential that the next 8 years holds. They typically gave me a number around 10 million dollars, but more often than not it is a far greater number.
Now think about what job you want for your adult life. Me, I want to write for National Geographic or open a restaurant. What do you want to do? Now think about how much money you are going to make working that job. I can tell you in absolute certainty that I will not make 10 million dollars in my life.
So if I value the next 8 years of my life at 10 million, and I am not going to make that much money in my life, why wouldn’t I take full advantage of every single day?
Unless your price for giving up the next 8 years of your life is really low, or you plan on making massive amounts of money in your life, I encourage you to look at your life right now and reexamine your priorities.
If you don’t reprioritize your life, you might end up not taking advantage of your next 8 years. In my case, I would be giving up more than I will make in my entire life. What is the point of the money I am going to make in my life if it is worth less to me than the next 8 years? And knowing that, it would be an utter waste to not live life to the fullest.
This is a call to life. Look at your life and start living folks. Appreciate the days you have now and take full advantage of them. Go somewhere new and experience a culture that isn’t yours. Try new food and learn new languages. Try new activities and climb new mountains, whether literal or hypothetical. Improve yourself and live.
If you don’t feel like going to college, don’t go. There are so many paths to your future. It doesn’t have to be high school to college to job to wife to house to kids to retirement to death. There are so many ways to go about your future. Work seasonal jobs. Work abroad. Find volunteer programs. Teach English abroad. Meet people who are taking advantage of their 8 years and be inspired. More often than not you won’t find these people in the classroom. I wish someone would have told me 4 years ago that I didn’t need to go straight to college, it would have saved me a lot of stress and money and I would still be in the same spot I am now.
Take risk. Put yourself in a position where it is possible to fail. Whether it is moving to a ski resort in a van or taking a running jump across a stream that might be slightly too wide for you to get over. If we live in a world of comfort, a world devoid of risk, we don’t push ourselves. Everyone likes to be comfortable, but comfort breeds complacency, and complacency ends with us waking up as a 60 year old wishing we did more with our lives.
Wake up and smell the roses. You are living such a valuable life and you are in such a valuable time of that life. Take advantage. Don’t wake up when you are older and wish you did more when you had the ability and opportunity. All you have to do to be a millionaire is realize how valuable your life is to you and to live it to the fullest.
Have a good day and a better life.
-Me, on top of a mountain in Breckenridge, CO. Find your mountain.