This week's guest post was written by Chris Flaherty. I'd like to say he learned these things from his dad and me, but I think he came about them on his own. Some of them undoubtedly the hard way. Thanks, Chris.
My advice for young Americans.
1. Stay out of debt. Credit cards and student loans for a communications degree are probably a bad idea for most.
2. Don't go to college unless you have a clear, concise plan for what your degree will do for you professionally.
3. Pick a career that either makes you an extraordinary amount of money or do something you enjoy. Not many of you are going to get both. For those of you who are average (most of you), the difference between the job you hate and the job you love is only about 10k a year. See #4 and be happy.
4. Don't buy things. See things and do things, instead.
5. If you aspire to live in NYC, DC, or LA, do it when you're young. It's pretty easy to work your way to the middle of the country as you get older. It's damn near impossible to go the other direction.
6. Drive your car until it doesn't work anymore. Fix it a few times and keep driving it. Car payments are a terrible waste of money.
7. Pick good battles. You'll find that most aren't worth the effort and stress.
8. If you can't pay your bills, you can't afford to have a pet and sure as hell can't afford to have kids.
9. He's not going to change, much. She isn't either.
10. There's a fair chance you're the asshole. Be self-aware.