The Aspects Of Life I Never Want To Lose Sight Of #WhileIm22

I am not a billionaire and I’ve never been on the cover of Forbes. In a word, I’d say I’m “average.”

However, as average as I am and will probably continue to be, I like to believe I still have some good insight on life. In fact, I think all seemingly inexperienced members of youth can offer some of the best advice out there.

Humans have huge aptitudes for learning, but we also forget a lot. We might lose sight of our silly sides and our wild sides. We might forget about people who used to make us laugh. We might even — it pains me to say this — grow up, solely because society tells us to do so.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t all aspire to become the same prototype of success and influence, so why don’t we listen to more advice from the Average Joe who is, simply put, in love with life? You know, the ones whose fame spreads only as far as their high school baseball games or their yoga improvements or their pictures hanging on grandma’s fridge.

Here’s a list of things of which I hope to not lose sight #whileIm22 — even in the face of society’s exclusive definition of success and influence:

Never enter the real world -- not entirely, at least. Responsibility should never cancel out fun. You’ll never get any younger, so don’t let life’s byproducts get in the way of life. Despite what your graying hair may communicate, road-tripping is sometimes better than the quickest route and waking up hungover can be an excellent indicator of a good night.

Success is not paired with wealth alone. Individual influence is equally important as mass influence.

When Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” he couldn’t have been more correct. One of the most powerful things a person can do is define what success means to him or herself, and then strive toward that definition.

As you change for the better, encourage others to do the same.

Connect. Not just on LinkedIn or Facebook, and not just to get ahead in your career. Connect because all we have in this world is each other. Remember that every person you meet knows something you don’t and someone before you has already experienced every emotion you are navigating. Chat with bartenders. Reach out to your elders and to those who are younger than you are. Connect because you never know how much the other person might need it.

Be present. Unplug from social media, phones and computers every now and then. You shouldn’t have to convince someone with the words, “I’m listening,” as your head is pointed down at your dancing thumbs. Whatever it is can wait. Be with the person who is in front of you.

Get your priorities straight. Do your best to sink the final cup at your fraternity’s reunion beer pong tournament, but don’t do so if it means you have to miss your dad’s birthday dinner. Find time to go fishing with your bros despite how busy you say you are.

Call your mom and tell her you love her. Tell her that you are so appreciative for everything she’s done for you.

Celebrate whenever there is an opportunity. Dress up for Halloween and hang mistletoe at Christmas time. Do a touchdown dance because your date went well. High-five someone just because it’s Friday. There is always an opportunity to celebrate something. Sometimes, it may be difficult to identify an occasion, but like Dave Matthews sings, “Celebrate we will because life is short, but sweet for certain.”

You’re never too old for anything. You’re never too old to make mistakes or to be afraid. Learn how to skateboard or speak French or do yoga or travel to the other side of the world. It’s never too late to do something you’ve never done before. Nothing goes with you when you die; don’t forget to make splurges from your savings.

Be kind. Buy a Starbucks gift card for a friend who’s having a bad week or make a surprise visit to someone you haven’t seen a long time. Send a care package to your best friend’s little sister who just started college.

Take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. It might get harder to do this as you grow older, but this just means you must put in more effort to keep it a priority. If you’re unhealthy, you’re likely hurting those around you. Exercise more, quit drugs and alcohol and meditate for peace. If you’re looking for change, it has to start with your behavior.

Recognize that we, young people, possess wisdom. Don’t lose sight of this and give messages to others, despite your mediocre résumé and lack of experience. While it is important to listen to “successful” and “influential” people, share thoughts, as a reputable, regular, happy person in this world.

Listed above is what is important to me #whileIm22. Advice comes from a multitude of places and there is no single age that should qualify someone to give or receive more or less advice than another.

What advice do you want to share with the world? What makes you, Regular Joe, happy? What have you learned in the short lifetime you have lived thus far? What’s important to you? Let me know, and use the hashtag #whileIm22.

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