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200 Things To Do Over The Summer Break

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what to do over the summer

Only weeks ago you were all excited about finishing final exams and kicking off summer break. But now you’re already bored out of your mind and sick of your parents.

To help you out, I created a list of 200 things to do over the summer break. This list is so long that I had to go to the doctor for arthritis pain just to finish it. Not really, but it is long.

So the next time you’re sitting around in your pajamas at 2pm wondering what you’re going to do today, remember Brian’s list and bookmark it so you can easily find it.

If you’re that guy or girl, make it a mission to do all 200 of these activities this summer.

200 Things To Do This Summer Break

1. Go to a professional baseball game, major or minor league (sometimes minor league is more fun).

Cost: $$

2. Visit the local zoo (I’m a big fan of lions).

Cost: $$

3. Buy an ENO Hammock and nap in the forest or mountains.

Cost: $$$

4. Go cabrewing with your friends.

Cost: $$

5. Float down the lake on a paddle boat.

Cost: $

6. Get crazy and go skinny dipping.

Cost: Free

7. Sip on your favorite cocktail at a rooftop bar.

Cost: $$

8. Play mini-golf like pre-scandal Tiger Woods.

Cost: $$

9. Get soaked in a water park.

Cost: $$$

10. Attend a church festival to gamble, eat funnel cake, and listen to live music.

Cost: $

11. See your favorite band live in concert.

Cost: $$$$

12. Crash a wedding and don’t get caught.

Cost: Free

13. Make it old school with a drive-in movie.

Cost: $

14. Road trip to a neighbor state for a weekend.

Cost: $$$

15. Build a fire and make s’mores.

Cost: $

16. Wake up early and hit up a farmer’s market to sample everything.

Cost: $

17. Let your mind and body relax as you fish.

Cost: $$

18. Camp outside, but don’t forget to bring your bear spray.

Cost: Free

19. Hike a mountain and snap a hot Instagram picture.

Cost: Free

20. Play golf without throwing a club.

Cost: $$$

21. If you don’t fair well with golf clubs, switch them for frisbee golf.

Cost: Free

22. Join a gym so you don’t get fat in college.

Cost: $$

23. Complete a marathon without walking.

Cost: Free or $

24. Be a kid and stomp grapes, some places will let you drink it after.

Cost: $$$

25. Volunteer for community service.

Cost: Free

26. Spend a few hours on Sunday meal prepping for next week to eat for energy.

Cost: Save money compared to eating out

27. Learn how to cook by trying Pinterest and YouTube recipes.

Cost: Save money compared to eating out

28. Draw some art and drink some wine at a place like Cheers To Art.

Cost: $$

29. Risk your life bungee jumping, just kidding it’s safe.

Cost: $$

30. Visit the aquarium (I’m a big fan of sharks, too).

Cost: $$

31. Skydive and take a glorious selfie.

Cost: $$$$

32. Love your muscles by getting a massage.

Cost: $$

33. Clean out your closet and throw away, sell, or reorganize all the stuff.

Cost: Free

34. Donate or sell all the clothes you haven’t worn in a year.

Cost: Make money

35. Get cultured by attending a theatrical play.

Cost: $$

36. Go indoor ice skating with your significant other, but don’t fall.

Cost: $

37. Email an old professor to see how they’re doing.

Cost: Free

38. Bike ride around a major park or city to get a different perspective.

Cost: Free

39. Attend a free music festival.

Cost: Free

40. Try your luck with blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, and slots at the casino.

Cost: Varies

41. Enter a sand volleyball league to have fun or win it.

Cost: $$

42. Learn some history by walking through your city’s museum.

Cost: $

43. Listen to one podcast episode to start your day.

Cost: Free

44. Update your resume after reading The Golden Resume

Cost: $

45. Party on the infield of a NASCAR event.

Cost: $$

46. Start a side business.

Cost: Free

47. Take a summer class to catch up or get ahead of your graduation requirements.

Cost: $$$$

48. Connect with old high school friends.

Cost: Free

49. Swim in a water hole.

Cost: Free

50. Get rid of a bad habit such as saying “like” all the time, biting your nails, or forgetting people’s names right after meeting them.

Cost: Free

things to do over the summer

51. Mow lawns to pay for the next school year.

Cost: Make money

52. Write in your journal each day of the summer.

Cost: Free

53. Learn a new language and experiment what you’ve learned in a random, real-life conversation.

Cost: Free

54. Search your family history on Ancestry.com.

Cost: $$$

55. Go thrift shopping like Macklemore.

Cost: $

56. Break a Guinness World Record.

Cost: Free

57. Pinterest DIY arts, crafts, and designs.

Cost: Free or $

58. Grab a random fiction book at the library and get lost in the pages.

Cost: Free

59. Play Grand Theft Auto until you commit enough crimes for your liking.

Cost: $

60. Treat yourself to a pedicure, manicure, or facial.

Cost: $$$

61. Order off Chipotle’s secret menu

Cost: $

62. Test how accurate you are with a day of target shooting.

Cost: $$

63. Go Geocaching, and if you don’t know what it is then learn it and do it.

Cost: Free

64. Invite friends to play the escape a room game.

Cost: $$

65. Rollerblade down a hill as fast as you can.

Cost: Free

66. Check the class registration list to potentially upgrade your fall class schedule.

Cost: Free

67. Get a bird’s view in a helicopter ride.

Cost: $$$$

68. Look out the window on a train ride to a random destination.

Cost: $$

69. Let your adrenaline rise with white water rafting.

Cost: $$$

70. Get a part-time job at a coffee, wine, art, or other shop you love.

Cost: Make money

71. Grab a buddy or three to play singles or doubles tennis.

Cost: Free

72. Master your money and begin the journey to financial freedom with the strategies in Freedom Mindset.

Cost: $

73. Experience your city like never before in a hot air balloon ride.

Cost: $$$$

74. Get 10 strangers numbers who you think are hot.

Cost: Free

75. Hit the slopes to do your best skiing, just don’t tear an ACL.

Cost: $$$

76. Scuba dive and try to touch a fish (it’s nearly impossible).

Cost: $$

77. Join Meetup.com and see what comes of it.

Cost: Free

78. Attend a butterfly exhibit, and try to get one to land on you.

Cost: $$

79. Start at 10 pushups before bed and add one each night.

Cost: Free

80. Drink light and hard beers at a brewery all Saturday.

Cost: $$

81. Unleash the kid in you and hit the arcade.

Cost: $$

82. Star gaze in an observatory.

Cost: $$

83. Watch a Broadway show and take in the talent.

Cost: $$$

84. Create a scavenger hunt for your significant other or best friend.

Cost: $

85. Go off the grid for one day without any electronics.

Cost: Free

86. Watch YouTube tutorials until you learn how to moonwalk.

Cost: Free

87. Go on separate lunch dates with your mom, dad, and siblings—and pay for it.

Cost: $$

88. Pedal wagon around the city while drinking beers.

Cost: $$

89. Go antique shopping for yourself or to sell later on eBay.

Cost: $ or make money

90. Take your dog to a dog park.

Cost: Free

91. Saddle up to go horseback riding into the sunset.

Cost: $$

92. Eat ice cream for dinner, just once.

Cost: $

93. Visit California and see what you think of the west coast lifestyle.

Cost: $$$$

94. Grill out with hotdogs, burgers, and or barbecue (especially for the 4th of July).

Cost: $

95. Limit yourself to eating no sugar for a week.

Cost: Free

96. Bake cookies, brownies, and cake for the fun of it.

Cost: $

97. Run a garage sale where you’re wheeling and dealing.

Cost: Make money

98. Go on a picnic to the park with a basket, blanket, and picnic food.

Cost: $

list of activities for the summer

99. Do a hot wings challenge at a restaurant.

Cost: $$

100. Paint your furniture a new color to change up your room.

Cost: $

101. Move the furniture in your bedroom.

Cost: Free

102. Visit your grandparents and ask them stories about their life.

Cost: Free

103. Take a nap by the pool.

Cost: Free

104. Make homemade sushi and feel like a champ.

Cost: $

105. People watch at a public place.

Cost: Free

106. Create your own jewelry and sell it online or to your friends.

Cost: Make money

107. Get a credit card that offers you at least 1% cashback.

Cost: Free

108. Buy an expensive camera and take up photography.

Cost: $$$$

109. Dedicate a day to laughing and do everything that gets you to laugh.

Cost: Free

110. Organize an outdoor 5-on-5 basketball game.

Cost: Free

111. Get out of your comfort zone by taking cold showers.

Cost: Free

112. Get your personal training license.

Cost: $$

113. Join a Bible study and grow in your spirituality.

Cost: Free

114. Practice making different cocktails until you get it just right.

Cost: $$

115. Scrapbook college pictures and add them to your life album.

Cost: Free

116. Call into the radio and talk with the host.

Cost: Free

117. Commit to posting to Instagram once a day and build a huge following.

Cost: Free

118. Write a book and self publish it to come back to school and say you became an author over summer.

Cost: $

119. Offer to work for free to learn from a famous company, entrepreneur, or celebrity.

Cost: Free

120. Improve your speech and writing by learning these college vocabulary words.

Cost: Free

121. Knock down as many pins as you can at the bowling alley.

Cost: $$

122. Create a blog and become 100% more marketable.

Cost: $

123. Make a fruit popsicle by freezing fruits together over a wooden stick.

Cost: $

124. Invest in the stock market and be patient.

Cost: Make money (over time)

125. Tour million dollar houses to get a taste of the good life.

Cost: Free

126. Change up your hair color or get a different haircut.

Cost: $$

127. Do a photo shoot like you’re a model.

Cost: Free

128. Master the art of smoothie making to be a hit at home and at school.

Cost: $$

129. Stop pretending you’re not a nerd and join a book club.

Cost: Free

130. Shadow a professional in your future field and ask insightful questions.

Cost: Free

131. Get your real estate license and attempt selling houses.

Cost: $$

132. Study up on nutrition to know all the basics of what food is healthy and unhealthy to consume.

Cost: Free

133. Rent out a cabin for the weekend with your friends.

Cost: $$$

134. Paint a fence with some wax on, wax off techniques.

Cost: $$

135. Tone your abs through healthy eating, abs exercises, and hard cardio.

Cost: Free

136. Start planning how to fund graduate school

Cost: Free

137. Build something in your backyard (a deck, patio, or fire pit).

Cost: $$$$

138. Feed ducks at the park.

Cost: Free

139. Start a YouTube channel talking about something you’re interested in or good at.

Cost: Free

140. Write an opinion article in your local newspaper.

Cost: Free

141. Attend a political rally for Trump, Clinton, or Sanders.

Cost: $

142. Reorganize your iTunes into updated playlists.

Cost: Free

143. Learn how to stand on your head.

Cost: Free

144. Test drive a sports car—I love Tesla’s Model S ludicrous mode.

Cost: Free

145. Black out your car’s windows.

Cost: $$$

146. Drink half your body weight in water ounces each day.

Cost: Free

147. Bartend at nights for the money and stories.

Cost: Make money

148. Test your flexibility in a yoga or hot-yoga course.

Cost: $

activities for college summers

149. Fly a kite with a younger sibling or cousin.

Cost: Free

150. Go treasure hunting in neighborhood yard sales.

Cost: $

151. Try everything on the menu at your favorite restaurant from the beginning to the end of summer.

Cost: $$

152. Do your mall cop impersonation on a downtown Segway tour.

Cost: $$

153. Enter The Color Run 5K

Cost: $$

154. Watch old, classic movies (Godfather, anyone?).

Cost: $

155. Utilize this back to college shopping list to be prepared for next fall.

Cost: $$

156. Learn new skills through free online courses at Khan Academy.

Cost: Free

157. Ride a roller coaster and don’t break up like this couple.

Cost: $$

158. Take pictures of your dog wearing different outfits and props.

Cost: Free

159. Start a band with your bros or girlfriends.

Cost: Free

160. Zip line over a forest, river, or valley.

Cost: $$$

161. Make your own guacamole (it’s one of my favorite appetizers with chips).

Cost: $

162. Go through an old collection of baseball cards, dolls, or Beanie Babies.

Cost: Free

163. Go study abroad and develop your emotional intelligence.

Cost: $$$$

164. Listen to as many Ted Talks as you can find.

Cost: Free

165. Swim with one of nature’s smartest creatures, the dolphin.

Cost: $$$

166. On a rainy day, bring out all the old board games and go to town.

Cost: Free

167. Take an IQ test and see where you stack up compared to society.

Cost: $

168. Think big about how you can change the world.

Cost: Free

169. Rent a jet ski for the day and hit top speed.

Cost: $$$

170. Solve a difficult puzzle whether it be online or a physical puzzle.

Cost: $

171. Get up early enough to watch a sunrise and sunset in the same day.

Cost: Free

172. Have people over for a themed party (Gatsby, gangster, black tie, etc.).

Cost: $$

173. Create a top 10 destination list for yourself.

Cost: Free

174. Work on sitting less and standing more by creating a standing desk.

Cost: $$

175. Reflect on what went well last school year and what went wrong so you can improve.

Cost: Free

176. Jump off a cliff with a rope swing into a lake.

Cost: Free

177. Dress up as fancy as you can and go to a classy restaurant.

Cost: $$$

178. Run a social media campaign for a client.

Cost: Make money

179. Research internet pranks and do them to your friends or family.

Cost: Free

180. Buy and rock a hat when appropriate.

Cost: $$

181. (Guys only) Get your face shaved at a barber shop with a knife blade.

Cost: $

182. Make homemade pizza with natural ingredients.

Cost: $

183. Practice one of the most difficult sports: archery.

Cost: $$

184. Pick berries with your family and make juice, jam, and more out of it.

Cost: Free

185. Sign up for a cooking class.

Cost: $$

186. Practice good interview answers with your friends and family.

Cost: Make money with an amazing job

187. Visit a comedy club for a good laugh and ab work out.

Cost: $$

188. Write a letter to your future self about who you hope you become and what you hope to accomplish.

Cost: Free

189. Wash your car in a bathing suit like you’re in one of those music videos.

Cost: Free

190. Read a book one day and watch the corresponding movie the next day.

Cost: $$

191. Discover what your net worth is and make changes to improve it.

Cost: Free

192. Buy a GoPro and do ridiculous stunts with it on the trampoline.

Cost: $$$$

193. Drive the scenic route to work.

Cost: Free

194. If you’re not happy at work, discover why and what would make you happy.

Cost: Free

195. Hire a virtual assistant at Upwork.com to do your busy work.

Cost: $

196. Visit an abandoned house at night and get creeped out.

Cost: Free

197. Toss a frisbee with your dog.

Cost: Free

198. Attend a rodeo and bull riding event.

Cost: $$

199. Update your Facebook profile picture and cover photo.

Cost: Free

200. Write your own summer to-do list.

Cost: Free

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Personal Development

Telling Yourself ‘My Life Sucks’? Try Again

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If you catch yourself saying, “You know what, my life really sucks right now,” odds are you’re delusional. Life is the greatest gift you’ll ever be given—even with its downsides.

Though I’ll admit there have been times in my life where I could relate to that negative attitude because, as much as I wish I was, I’m not always grateful.

For example, I specifically remember being suspended for a week during my senior year of high school basketball.

It was a little embarrassing. I didn’t get to see my friends on the team at practice or go to any team activities. I wasn’t able to play in games on a team I worked so hard to make. And the suspension relegated me from the starting lineup to the bottom of the roster when I came back—I had to earned the coach’s trust again, so he said.

That felt like the end of the world to an 18-year-old kid. I definitely said, “My life sucks,” a few times during that leave from the team.

When in reality, my actions didn’t make me an angel on that team. My reckless behavior got the best of me with the coaches and contributed to my sucky situation.

Plus, I had no clue how good I had it if getting suspended from a basketball team was the worst thing that happened. Other people my age were struggling with homelessness, hunger, and abuse. Apparently I thought the sun revolved around me.

The takeaway here is life didn’t suck during my basketball crisis, my actions leading up to that suspension and my mindset during the experience were the problems.

If I fixed either of those, I wouldn’t have gotten suspended for one, and I would have saved a ton of wasted energy and stress.

Whatever Sucks, You Can Change It

If you were hoping to get some sympathy here—I’m sorry but this is not the blog for you.

Because even if life is supposed to be fair—it’s not—how does complaining about something make it any better? How does that help you recover and move forward?

Exactly, it doesn’t.

Whatever is currently the part of your life that sucks, you can do two things: change your actions and/or have a better attitude.

If your job sucks

Dislike your job? Put in the work to go on a job search to land a better position that’s more aligned with your passion, pays more, or is closer to home. If you’re not qualified or don’t have the experience, bust your butt to improve. For those who stay at a job they hate for an extended amount of time, you have no one to blame but yourself.

An attitude switch would look like self-talk saying, “I know this job isn’t my favorite, but think about the experience and connections I’m getting. Or at least I can pay my bills because of it—some people would gladly switch places with me.” Finding a little good, even if it’s not a dream job, is the goal.

If your social life sucks

Anyone who doesn’t have as many friends and weekend invites as they want is simply not making enough effort. You need to introduce yourself to more strangers and reconnect with old friends. When you increase those introductions, you’ll find things in common and boom—friendship. Or just get a dog and you’ll have a new best friend right then and there. The only one impeding your social life is you.

You can also flip your mindset. I, for one, value quality of friends over quantity of friends. That’s one way to look at it. And the less friends you have can is sometimes good since you won’t be dragged to as many events you’re not interested in. Always consider the positives of a situation.

If your money situation sucks

Getting your money right comes down to thousands of small decisions that add up. If you’re in a bad place financially, I’m willing to bet you’re not saving enough, paying down debt, and investing extra money left over. It all comes down to your daily money decisions. Besides saving more, you need to seriously start reading about personal finance. Knowledge is not only power, it’s wealth.

If you have a bed to sleep on, food to eat, and clothes to warm yourself every single day, just remember that millions of people across the world are worse off than you. Consider people in rural Africa, Asia, and India, or the homeless in your city, to stop feeling sorry for yourself. And watch this video to feel rich when you’re broke.

If your romantic life sucks

Look at your actions first. Try meeting guys/girls at different locations than you usually do if you’re striking out. Ask one of the friends you trust to set you up. Experiment dating a guy/girl who isn’t normally your type. The key is different activity to get a different and better result: a parter you trust and love.

As for mindset, it’s key to understand the goal shouldn’t be to date for the heck of it, but to understand yourself and date the right person who makes you happy. Realize also that there isn’t just one guy or girl out there for you—but thousands of people find you interesting. Be confident in who you are and have faith you’ll meet the right person.

If your living location sucks

Like I’ve heard the saying before, “You’re not a tree, you can move anytime.” There are plenty of ways to improve your location. Go on a job search for a position in your favorite city. Save up money to make the big move if that’s the problem. Or stay put and travel more often to limit the amount of weekends you spend at home.

Maybe it’s best to stay put and change your attitude. Consider the idea that living at home, or in some particular city, is the best financial move in this season of your life. Think about how this process of building up your financial resources, before you can move to your favorite city, is teaching you patience.

If your family sucks

Finding it tough to build a closer relationship with your parents or siblings? Maybe it’s you. Try giving them the most kindness and patience you can muster. At least you’ll feel good knowing you made a serious effort to love on them better. And when you have your own family you can fill it with so much love that your kid always feels known and cared for.

As for attitude, you need to realize that you don’t get to pick your family. But be thankful your dad and mom conceived you, at the very least, you know? Without them, there’s no you. So they must have done something right.

If your physical body sucks

These actions are obvious. Start eating for energy and hit the gym if you’re tired of looking like a noodle or a slob. No one can improve your body fat except you. Plus, start getting enough sleep and living a healthy life in all aspects to train your mind and body to be discipline around temptation. That’s how you improve your physical appearance.

Mentally, whose body are you comparing yours to? Does your body actually suck? Or is it not perfect according to the media’s impossible standards? Maybe your body is good you just think it’s bad for the wrong reasons.

I hope in each case you saw how life doesn’t suck. You can change it through actions and attitude.

Make The Most Of The Present, You Only Got One Life

how-to-improve-life

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” – Henry David Thoreau

It’s insanity to worry about the past and unhelpful to get carried away by future anxiety that may never happen.

You’ll be healthier and happier when you focus on doing your best this very moment.

What’s crazy about this world is that the treasure—each moment—is hidden in plain sight. It’s right in front of us every day, just few of us notice.

It’s the air we breathe through our lungs, the ability to open our eyes and see, and the touch when hugging a loved one. Over time we take them for granted when we’d be best off cherishing the special moments of each day.

I’m making a more conscious effort to make the most of my one life, are you going to join me?

And before you click away, skim these two blog posts for a few tips on how to do that:

If you take those two challenges seriously and actually do them, they can change your entire perspective on life.

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Personal Development

18 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I Was 18

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You ever want to go back in time? I do, and if I could, I’d tell myself 18 things that would have helped me live a more peaceful and happier life.

The discomforting issue is I’m certain the people around me, definitely my parents, already told my teenager self most of these lessons. But I didn’t listen.

I guess it’s true that some things you just need to learn for yourself.

Anyway, now I’m 24 years old and 6 years removed from my cocky, anti-establishment attitude that got me in a world of trouble, such as: getting detentions every other day in high school, getting suspended twice from the varsity basketball team, and getting two misdemeanors for disrupting the peace.

I’m wiser from these mistakes and on a mission to save a kid like myself from the hard-hitting consequences of being young and reckless.

Please be aware I don’t claim to know it at all, hardly the opposite. Though I’ve learned some valuable lessons and if it helps 18 year olds or anyone of any age out there live better, I did my job.

These are the 18 things I wish I would have known as a young guy who thought he know it all but didn’t know anything.

1. Make mistakes, not permanent damage to your future.

Like Frankie Ballard’s country song goes, “How am I ever gonna get to be old and wise. If I ain’t ever young and crazy?”

You can be crazy as long as you’re not idiotic and ruin your future with a bad decision you can’t ever get back. Got it?

There’s a big difference between a mistake and irreconcilable damage. One brings positive fruits like experience, wisdom, and knowledge, the other toils bad fruits like stress, loss of future opportunities, and a ruined reputation.

Getting in a minor car accident, breaking team rules, and missing your shift of work are all mistakes.

Drinking and driving, cyberbullying, and sexual assault, are all risks of permanent damage to your future.

Have fun. But be smart in the process.

2. Not every authority figure is right but not all are wrong, listen to the wise.

I got the first half of this part right, but I applied it across the board to every authority figure. If you were my teacher, principal, coach, friend’s parent, it was basically game over for me listening to you.

My mentality was whoever tries to put limits on me is only getting in the way of my fun. There’s no way I’m listening to those old farts.

Little did I know at the time that wisdom does come with age and not every authority figure should be ignored.

Looking back, my mom spoke the truth in so many areas when it came to spiritual, relationship, and family topics. I just didn’t internalize it until I had to learn the hard way for myself.

If you’re already an angel at 18 ignore this one. But if you’re a bad kid like me then the truth is not everyone is out to get you. Listen to the good ones.

3. You’re not your stuff, find meaning in who you are.

The media and big corporations will do everything they can to convince you confidence comes from the things you own, not who you are.

That’s a lie. Please resist the urge to put your value in your things.

For one, there’s always going to be someone who has more than you and it’s a tireless game where you end up short in the long run any way you play.

Two, you’re an amazing, unique individual that has incredible talents to offer the world. Though you only get in your own way if you put the focus on your stuff and not your innate gifts.

Love yourself. Learn about what makes you special. And most importantly, put meaning in who you are now and the person you want to grow into as you mature in age.

Putting your identity in material items leads to emptiness, where finding the best version of you leads to fulfillment.

4. Relax, hard things always pass over time.

As a youngster it’s easy to get carried away by an unfortunate circumstance. The dramatic part of your brain will think this negative situation is permanent, impossible to solve.

Truth disagrees. It’ll tell you that time is always moving forward. So your worst days are only 24 hours. Your worst weeks are only 7 days. And your worst years are only 365 days. Then you get to start fresh.

If you’re having a hard time getting the attention of someone you like, feeling homesick at college, or failing to get the jobs you worked hard for, relax and remember all difficult moments will pass.

Hang in there and don’t ever give up on life. The good news is strength comes from overcoming the struggles life throws at you.

5. Your body is not invincible, so don’t act like it.

As a high schooler I’d do ridiculous things with my body that were both out of control and deserved far worse than what actually happened. Reason being is I thought I was invincible.

For example, I’d get into road rage with fellow drivers and throw water bottles back and forth at each other while going 80 MPH on the highway. I’d get into physical altercations with friends far bigger than me where I wasn’t going to win no matter what I did. And I’d go days without sleeping on the weekend just for the heck of it, only to fall asleep behind the wheel in the middle of the night.

Did anything send me to emergency room or the grave? No, but I every easily could have lost a limb or my life by acting this way.

Don’t put yourself in excessive danger when it comes to your freedom or ability to live, it’s plain and simple not worth it.

6. You can really do whatever you set your mind to.

There are going to be external and internal naysayers all around telling you why you can’t do something. But they’re all wrong if you set your mind on doing it.

I had teachers in high school say I’d never amount to more than a prison inmate, along with our negative forecasts on my life. But I used that as motivation and proved them wrong to put together one of the best college careers they’ve ever seen.

And if brilliant people can make incorrect predictions about the future like the ones in that article, so can your parents, teachers, and the doubtful part of you about your life.

Do you want to walk on a college Division 1 football team with the goal of playing? What about reaching 1 million YouTube subscribers? Or what about making a full-time living from your Instagram profile? Truly nothing is impossible, especially with the internet these days.

Follow the process, keep the faith, and trust that you can achieve what you set out to—no matter how long it takes.

7. School is a game, learn how to master it and you’ll always win.

I struggled to get by in high school but graduated summa cum laude at the top of my class in college. What was the difference?

Everything changed the moment I figured out that school is all a game to be won or lost. Once you master the game, classes don’t change for the most part so you can repeat what you learned and come out on top in every college class going forward.

The entire process of taking notes, writing papers, building relationships with teachers, and studying for tests has rules and ways to score points if you know what you’re doing. No class is scary after you see the light.

This is a shameless plug because I’m confident in the material: Order my book How To College to learn how to game the school system and come out on top.

8. Find work you’re on fire about.

The average person spends 45 hours a week at a job they honestly only show up for because they need the paycheck. That’s miserable to trade time for money every working day of your life.

Screw the idea that you should do what your parent’s think you should. Don’t listen to the people-pleaser part of you who considers choosing a career to impress other people. And forget about picking a job for the money.

It sounds weird since this word is almost always used in a negative connotation, but be selfish about the career you pick. Find work you get fired up just thinking about and are filled with passion when you do it.

When (the keyword is “when) you pull this mission off, you’ll get the ultimate reward of doing what you love every single work day. You can’t top that!

9. Friends come and go, but family is forever.

Look, you’re 18 and are convinced you’re too cool for school. I get it. I was there.

The reality is you wouldn’t be much without your parent’s, their love, and their financial support.

So when you’re off at college, give your mom and dad a call every week. Take them out to dinner when you go home for some quality time.

Also, make an intentional effort to hang out with your siblings.

These are the people who have your back through thick and thin, so don’t ignore them when life’s good. It might be weird at first, but eventually you’ll cherish the time together because when you get older life gets busy and there’s less time to go around.

10. Treat people with kindness, everyone has their own problems.

You know a perfect person out there? There’s no such thing. Everyone is battling with a big or little issue in their walk of life—especially at 18 years old.

The prettiest girl in school might be severely depressed. The best athlete in the school might get physically abused at home by his dad. Or the kid with the perfect GPA has to perform under intense pressure to get an ounce of affection from his parents.

Not to mention the pain you can’t possible imagine that causes self-harm, eating disorders, or suicidal thoughts in your peers’ private hours.

There’s not a single person without dysfunction in their life. It’s a broken world.

Please don’t add to their problems. Instead, make their life easier with a kind act or words of encouragement.

They’ll feel loved and you’ll feel better about yourself in the process.

You can’t make the entire world a better place on your own, but you can improve the lives of those around you one by one.

11. Make the most out of your money even when you don’t have much.

In high school and even college my stupid mindset was, “Why make smart money decisions now, it’s not like I have much money anyway.” My friends held the same viewpoints as I, too.

What I missed out on is getting a head start with my money.

When my summer job and graduation money went towards Lacoste button downs, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and Jordans, it could have bought stock shares of Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook.

Those growth stocks with a mix of compound interest would have made me significantly richer. At the very least I could have saved it to pay down college debt or hold onto for a more forward-thinking purchase.

The lesson here is what financially doesn’t look like much as a teenager, can become the booster shot to a future of financial freedom you can’t even dream about at your young age.

Why wait to make solid decisions, you know?

12. Growth is 100% possible and comes from where you focus your energy.

Hey kid, you can grow in any direction you choose to. As a plant can grow wide or tall, you can in any quality of your life.

Want to be funnier, better at piano, more muscular, fitter, smarter, more energetic, better dressed, or any possible quality you can think of? Focus on it and progress is guaranteed to come.

The point is you’re not limited or stagnant in the person you are right now. You can develop in any area you choose. Take courage in the fact that you’re not stagnant.

It’s truly a human miracle that we can choose to grow in an area and actually make it happen.

13. Invest time to your mind, body, and spirit—you only get one of each.

It’s easy to only think as far as the weekend when you’re young. What’s better for you to realize is that life’s long and you only get one mind, body, spirit. Treat them right.

Just cause you don’t have an assigned book to read doesn’t mean you should never pick up a book again. The benefits of reading are second to none. Not to mention the moment you stop learning is when you stop living.

Just cause you’re done playing sports doesn’t mean you’re done working out the rest of the year, in college, and going forward. You can directly help your brain chemistry feel happier thoughts by working out.

Just cause you don’t have to go to church anymore since you’re in college, doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest to be spiritually bankrupt. Think about who is your creator and why did he create you?

Plus, the single best way to combat all the crap that life throws at you is to be mentally, physically, and spiritually strong. What isn’t a weakness internally, can’t be exploited externally.

14. Go work hard, and you won’t face regrets from things you could’ve controlled.

The luxurious life of relaxation as an 18-year-old with limited responsibilities is nice, until it catches up on you in the form of bad habits.

The college freshman who comes home from class and abuses their freedom by taking a three-hour nap every day is the same one frustrated about why they’re struggling to pass their classes. They regret not putting more time into studying.

That’s not it. They build the habit of needing a nap after any mental work so they come home from their first real world job at 22 and nap, but make no progress on their fitness goals. They regret not going to the gym more often.

Regret comes from knowing you could have done more but you didn’t put in the effort for some reason. I’m telling you the way to cut down on regret is to work extremely hard in all facets of life.

It’s much easier to dismiss things out of your control. But if your laziness contributed to a bad result, all the blame is on your shoulders. Why do that to yourself?

15. Your big ideas aren’t crazy, they’re creative.

The world is full of Negative Nancy’s who try to put your ideas down by calling you crazy.

What you need to learn is that only small people, or insecure friends, who are afraid of change will knock you for being creative. Don’t let them.

When they call you crazy, internalize that as a positive sign you’re being creative and thinking big.

Go out and try to create a human-looking robot. Design a new type of shoe that no one has ever thought of before. Or craft a rare recipe that goes against conventional cooking wisdom.

The world is your oyster to experiment with, as long as you enter the lab and get creative.

16. Life is long, have patience about reaching your goals.

Many young adults want to be a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, teacher, now! They’re like let’s go already. I certainly felt that way.

The only problem is you’re at least 4 years away from doing what you actually desire to do as those positions require a college degree at least, and many times graduate degrees.

What’s the solution? Patience. It’s not what you want to hear but it’s what you need to hear.

All good things take time to prosper. You need more knowledge, experience, and maturity to navigate successfully in your career. If you started now, you’d fail mightily and be turned off forever from it maybe.

Plus, this build up time is often a lifesaver because it gives you time to find a career more suited for your desires.

I’m the perfect example of that. First dead set on being a corporate lawyer, I jumped the ship to become an entrepreneur. You can imagine how thankful I am for the time that allowed me to make that switch before it was too late.

17. Be grateful for everything you have.

Here’s a cold, hard fact: Your life is pretty great in comparison to many parts of this world.

Your perception will change when you realize millions of people would do anything for their own bed, a warm meal to eat every meal, or the opportunity to go to school.

If you’re like my 18-year-old self, you’re more worried about your social media likes than life’s basic needs.

Please, for the sake of yourself and the people around you, heed my advice to be grateful for everything you have.

Whether it’s in the morning, during the day, or before bed, I encourage you to thank God for a few things you’re grateful for.

This activity will help you stay balanced in today’s society and hold onto a peaceful equilibrium each day.

18. You choose your own happiness.

Happiness is what it’s all about right? Young adults like yourself chase sports, education, success, family, friendships, fame, money, exercising, and all areas of life for the ultimate goal of happiness.

But you don’t need to chase all of that to find what you’re looking for. Here’s the secret: Choose to be happy.

While it’s similar to the previous lesson on gratitude, it’s different in a sense.

It’s scientifically proven that humans can change their attitude to be happy. The sole act of attempting to be happy will help you become more joyful. Isn’t that wild?

Then when you couple this attitude with healthy decisions to surround yourself with people you enjoy, allow yourself to laugh at the odd elements of life, and focus on good things in your day, your life is happy.

This may be the greatest discovery in this list: Happiness is within your grasp at any second you choose.

P.S. The subtle hint behind all of these 18 lessons is to keep your head up. You’re going to turn out just alright. Trust me!

Related: Why You’re More Successful Than You Think 

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Career

Life Tip: Never Take Anything Good For Granted

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Have you ever had something really good in your life, until you took it for granted and lost it? What a horrible, miserable feeling, right? It’s the worst.

I know from experience.

My senior year of basketball still leaves a sour taste in my mouth thinking about it.

It’s strange though because it started out good, like really good.

After thousands of hours of insane dedication to practice my basketball craft and improve my shooting, dribbling, passing, defending, and rebounding, I reached a dream of mine: make the starting lineup for the St. Xavier Bombers varsity basketball team.

Not only that, my first game of the year couldn’t have been better considering I only played 14 minutes the entire game. The stat line below proves it.

brian-robben-basketball-stats

And we won the game by 23 points. Everything is going smooth, until it wasn’t.

From the next game through the last game of the year it was all downhill.

Let me explain.

The Lost & Final Basketball Season

Let’s just say I was a different guy in high school. Now I’m all motivated and focused on building my businesses and leaving a legacy.

But the 18-year-old Brian was all about wreaking havoc and having a good time above all.

To express himself at school or during basketball team activities, he’d go as far as he could to toe the line of breaking the rules for pure laughs and excitement. Often he crossed the line.

Here are some of the reckless things I did during that basketball season:

  • After receiving a hard foul when driving to the basket, I stayed on the ground and racked off 5 push ups before shooting foul shots
  • On the bench during a pre-season game, I grabbed my phone and sent a tweet out to my Twitter followers explaining what I just did (tweeted during the game)
  • Ruined team pictures by putting a 3 goggles sign on my thigh, so the school had to retake them a week later
  • Stormed the refs locker room after a frustrating overtime loss when a bunch of questionable calls went against us
  • Put a teammate in a headlock during a shoot around hours before a game
  • And a lot more crazy stuff

That’s not close to all of the bad-boy moves.

I don’t know if you realize this, but it’s hard to play solid basketball and stay in the coaching staff’s good graces when you’re messing around whenever you can. It doesn’t work out well.

take-basketball-for-granted

That’s why it’s to no shock looking back that I got suspended twice. The first time I had to sit out two quarters against our biggest rival. And then I was suspended a full week from the team later in the year.

Not to mention a bunch of other disciplinary issues and conflicts with coaches that I don’t have time nor want to discuss.

It all boils down to the fact that my antics sabotaged my final year of basketball.

After the season ended, the problem was I couldn’t go back in time to stay focused on basketball and give it my 100% again. That ship had sailed. The opportunity was gone.

So I had to, and now have to, live with regret when thinking back to that year and what could have been.

But regret about not appreciating the game of basketball isn’t the only thing I received from that experience. It’s the unforgettable lesson: never take anything good for granted.

Fortunately I learned this lesson at age 18, not 48.

Never Take It For Granted

Thanks to my failure that year, I developed a wiser perspective to appreciate the good things in my life.

So now I know never to take my work, my company, my clients, my health, my friends, my family, and life in general for granted. Regret is the worst feeling out there so I want to live in a way that eliminates it.

Where maybe if my senior year basketball season went smoother I’d never have learned the full extent of that lesson. Who knows? Maybe something far worse than a disappointing basketball season could have went down.

But because of the outcome I get to hold that experience in my back pocket going forward. I turned a scar into an advantage.

Although it’s always cool for me to flip negative experiences into positive ones, it’d be even better if I didn’t have to learn the hard way.

Truth is you don’t have to be a dummy like me.

I don’t know what your “it” is (I can guess it’s your family, friends, faith, career, pets, house, teachers, and country). I do know you need to never take it for granted if you want what’s best out of your life.

Also, don’t forget to appreciate the little things that come and go during the passing days.

It could be your peaceful commute to work where you’re alone with your thoughts. It could be the Monday morning cup of coffee you can afford without thinking about. Or it can be your place’s proximity to the beach that other people would kill to have.

Never taking life’s big and small gifts for granted is a big step to living the good life.

And there’s another reason to have this mindset: you don’t want to mess around with regret.

Regret Is Brutal, Eliminate It

Regret is the worst feeling out there in my opinion.

Sadness sucks but you can become happy again. Anger isn’t fun but you can eventually relax and get over it.

But regret, there’s no way to reverse it and recover. It sticks with you the rest of your life. That’s why it’s brutal.

Your only solution is to do your best job to eliminate it at all times by both being super grateful for what’s good in your life and staying focused to keep it going well.

If you are unappreciative and lose focus, there’s sometimes no going back from there. Your fate is often sealed once the moment ends.

I want my life to be filled with as little regret as possible. That’s part of the ingredients for a great life, in my humble opinion.

Don’t you agree? Please join me in this effort to never take anything good for granted.

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