What can you do today to help out your future self?
One Quora thread is full of such contemplations, originally addressed to a 23-year-old physics student but applicable to everybody.
Here are the takeaways.
1. Work on your public speaking skills. It’s scary. Even Warren Buffett used to throw up before giving a speech. But it’s crucial: As you advance in your career, you’re going to need to address groups of people again and again. So you might as well get good at it. — Gerard Danford
2. Learn to program. Computers aren’t going away in the future. So being able to communicate with them is a very good idea, for you career and otherwise. — Sean Clark
3. Listen to podcasts. They let you learn without using any extra time. So when you’re toiling away at chores or stuck in traffic, you can be learning about a staggeringly broad range of topics. — Mohammed Kabbani
4. Take an interest in psychology. It’s the discipline that has the best tool set for understanding our own thoughts, actions, and motivations. In this way, it’s an ally in the pursuit of self-improvement. — Francisco Sáez
5. Pick up an athletic hobby that you can do through the years. Otherwise, the sedentary lifestyle you start in college — and continue into the office — will do awful things to your posture, back, and gut. Your office job is trying to kill you. It’s your job to prevent that from happening. — David Cannon
6. Write down the key points of what you did for the day. This may seem trivial, but it will show how you spend your day. Harvard Business School research shows that as little as 15 minutes of written reflection at the end of the day can make you way more productive on the job. — Stan Hayward
7. Talk to one stranger every day. Strangers = opportunity. Opportunities to make new friends, to get new ideas, to get rid of that fear of talking to strangers, to start a business venture, and much more. Who you know predicts your career, happiness, and health, so expand your network as much as you can. — Ashraf Sobli
10. Find happiness in the process of accomplishing your dreams. Avoid the “deferred life plan.” Instead of “doing what you have to do” now and then “doing what you want to do” at some hazy time in the future, find a way to do what you like today. — Dan Lowenthal
13. Save money. Put a little bit away with each paycheck, and do it automatically so you don’t miss it. — India L. J. Mitchell
14. Drink with old people. They have been there, done that, and have lived to tell the tale. — Ben Hinks
17. Go outside. It’s easy to stay indoors all the time. Go for hikes. Cognitive psychologists have shown that a little “wilderness bathing” can be a tool against depression and burnout. — Stephen Steinberg
18. Get to know people who are different from you. If you’re a liberal, make friends with conservatives. If you’re part of Occupy Wall Street, befriend a banker. If you’re a city mouse, get to know a country mouse. Why? Many reasons, one of them being that we make better decisions in diverse groups. —
19. Date everything. Whether you’re connecting with a person, taking notes during a meeting, or stuffing takeout into the fridge, knowing the date of when something happened is useful in ways you can’t predict. — Dee Vining
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