I’m still in my late 20s, and these lists pop up from time to time. I find most of the lists out there to be offensive, either by their disaggregating by gender in an old-fashioned way or by otherwise seeming to be written by those in their 50s.
Yes, I disagree with the idea of these lists at all (who wants to be told what to do in a cookie-cutter way?), but I felt it would still be a fun exercise to think about what a modern update might look like.
Do you have any suggestions for things to put on the list?
2. Be unemployed (unless you do 1)
3. Have a meme go viral
4. Try an app relating to “the quantified self”. (Whether to track spending, sleep, etc.)
5. Make a mistake publicly on the internet where it will live on forever
6. Realize everyone else does, too, or if they don’t they aren’t doing anything worthwhile
7. Go somewhere. Could be a different country, even just a different part of the country. My friend Casey puts it: “TRAVEL YOUR ASS OFF. You don’t have your entire life to have an utter lack of responsibility if you’re planning to have kids.”
8. Learn about behavioural economics and the mistakes you might make, such as how you may be affected by projection bias. You can easily waste a lot of time being upset about things that won’t matter in time or going the wrong direction because of mistaken beliefs
9. Remember that xkcd comic strip about the value of becoming more efficient at a task? When you’re young, you stand to benefit for a lot longer from any positive improvements you can make. So figure out how to eat well, what kind of things make you happy, etc. Invest a lot of time in learning, not necessarily formally
10. Crowdsource something (or crowdfund – did you know there are even sites now where you can crowdfund your personal travel? Don’t know how well they work….)
11. Outsource something. Learn what you can or can’t accomplish this way
12. Speak with people. It can sometimes help you more than anything else. Relatedly, hang out with amazing people who are better than you
13. Give back. You are what you repeatedly do. If you don’t exercise your other-regarding preferences they will wither
14. One last related point, courtesy of my friend Adam: “Spend time doing what you want to do later: everything you do now determines what you are good (or better) at later. If you spend all your time doing nothing, you will only be good at nothing when you want to be able to do something.”
Thoughts? I feel that with increasing inequality, using your youth well is all the more important, something I bet Tyler Cowen would agree with.