What I Wish I Knew Before Turning 18

One of my greatest regrets is how I could do so much better if I learned some simple but effective lessons and life skills early on.

Here is a list I compiled of lessons that I wish I was granted by a mentor or through education system. Although I’ve learned this lessons late, they are still very useful and I benefit from implementing them immensely.

So here is the list of most important lessons that I wish I new when I was a teen:


  • There are tree extraordinary skills in regards to learning that can change one’s life:
    • Learning how to learn.
    • Choosing what to learn.
    • Finding best resources to learn.
  • Figure out how you learn best. You won’t enjoy learning if you don’t learn in the way that best suits the way your brain works
  • Question all advice you are given: Most advice is bad advice.
  • Make learning joyful. Learning is both intrinsically rewarding but also the key to greater life satisfaction.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask “dumb” questions. Asking dumb questions makes you smart.
  • Invest in understanding and developing yourself. To understand the world and make it better, you must understand yourself and develop yourself into someone capable of making it better
  • Learn how to listen. You will not be able to understand and appreciate other people if you don’t listen lovingly.
  • Always be open to change your mind. Truth is absolute, while what we consider truth might only be our understanding of it or a believe based on false information.
  • There is great joy in seeking truth, specially that which seems elusive; and to explore the beauty of mysteries of the universe is one of the most fulfilling personal experiences one can attain.
  • Learn to sit alone with your thoughts. Ask yourself questions that are uncomfortable and confront your mistakes.
  • Learn Psychology.
    • Learn about human nature through behavior psychology. Not only it’s beneficial to psychological self-care, but it’s an important life skill.
    • Learn negotiation skills. This skill will have the greatest contribution in your success.
    • Learn Evolutionary Psychology. Learning the root of many human behaviors and biases can alleviate the stress of observing harmful human behaviors and provide greater understanding.
    • Learn Self-Care as it’s the skill that keeps your mind healthy.

Work & Life

  • Burnout is real and truly hurts. And worst of all, even your passions can suffer from it.
  • Sleep is sacred. Sleep recharges everything that makes you extraordinary.
  • Appreciate life & unique experience it granted you. That’s how life becomes meaningful.
  • Live by design, not by default. Life will be full of suffering if you don’t live it on your own terms
  • Discover and use your superpowers. Everyone has different gifts they can unleash for their own and others’ benefit.
  • Learn how to set goals. If you are not setting your goals, your goals will be set by people who don’t have your interests at heart.
  • Learn how to say “no”. To take the path that is defined by societal and family expectations without understanding who you are, and what you want in life is a betrayal of self.
  • Stay organized. A cluttered physical and digital spaces create a cluttered mind and lower focus.
  • Take risks. Most smart people are less successful than others because they don’t take the risks because they calculated it’s risks, and lose the opportunity that is available.
  • Structure and priorities you life into a framework. Work toward what you love, in a adaptable and improvable process.
  • Pursue what motivates you. It’s the key to making a happy and joyful life.
  • Money is a tool. Don’t pursue money just to get rich or successful; it’s a means, not an end.
  • Track your thoughts. write daily, weekly, and monthly reflections and review them. it’s the key to knowing yourself better.

Social Life

  • Cultivate deeply meaningful relationships. Connecting with people is the most rewarding thing you will do.
  • Find and foster community. A loving support system is essential to your development and success.
  • Express gratitude as often as you can.
  • Communication is key to creating shared understanding and cooperation.
  • Your time and attention is the most expensive gift you can give others. don’t waste it.
  • Learn negotiation skills.


  • To Create is divine. Always have something in mind that needs to be build.
  • Build things that empower people. Humanity will only overcome the many crises we face if we radically improve our ability to help people realize their potential.
  • Create value, but don’t depend on external validation.
  • Create a Personal Knowledge-Base (PKM) of life lessons, skills and advice you find useful; Make it your magnum opus. It solidifies your knowledge and can be something you leave for your next generation.
  • Perfection is the enemy of a creator. Always make things that are good enough, then if needed improve and perfect them.

Decision Making

  • Take time to make sense of the world. Your ability to make good choices depends on your ability to understand the environments in which you are making the choices
  • Learn how to think systematically and without biases and fallacies. Independent thinking is the key to liberating yourself; and the key skill that develops it is Cognitive Dissonance.
  • Learn how to judge and avoid false conclusions. that which can’t be judged properly can’t be improved.
  • Master this concepts:
    • Logical Fallacies
    • Cognitive Biases
    • Mental Models
  • Practice Philosophical Razors such as Occam’s razor, Sagan standard, Hitchens razor, etc…
  • Understand Philosophical Schools of thought, then practice them while keeping an open mind. Personally I follow principles of Stoicism in my life, and Rationalism and Empiricism frameworks to understand the world.

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