I'm 30 years old now. I am writing down some shit I learned along the way.
Too many people put off focusing on a career. They want to have fun or "experience the world". This is a crock of shit. I've seen this process destroy people. As you age, your habits become set. Laziness in your 20s becomes settling in your 30s. If you do the work now you instill the discipline required for success later in life.
Find a mentor. Find someone who has reached the level of success you aspire to and talk to them. You can't go seek out Richard Branson or Elon Musk, so be fucking realistic. This is not a formal process. Don't walk up to them and say "Will you be my mentor?", let it develop organically. Ask them questions: How did you go about this? What would you do in this situation? There is much to be learned in life, best to learn from people who experienced it.
It's best to build experience when you have the energy to devote the insane amount of time necessary to get good at something. Older people that you work with are a treasure trove of information. People generally enjoy helping others. It makes them feel good about themselves and the levels they've reached. Win, win.
Emotional intelligence is not taught in schools. In the software development world it is called soft skills. This skill is directly related to your success in any field. Learn the behavior appropriate in situations. Learn to control your impulses. Learn to read people, understand their motivations, and to communicate effectively with them.
How To Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Save a minimum of 10% of what you earn. Question your expenses: Do you really need the big house? Or the SUV? Or to eat out as often as you do?
Seperate happiness from spending money. Financial decisions should be made based on utility, not emotion. Eradicate all debt as quickly as possible. Have at least 3 months of living expenses saved in cash - this is your emergency fund. If your car breaks down, you have the cash saved to get it fixed. If you lose your income you have cash to tide you over.
Invest your money. The stock market historically returns 8% a year. If done correctly investing is a powerful mechanism for creating wealth.
Get a gym membership and use it 3x a week. Try to do something using your body everyday - some pushups, situps, yoga, anything. If you're looking for a workout plan go with Stronglifts 5x5. You can learn to do these lifts appropriately by watching youtube videos.
Buy real food and learn to cook it. Anything that comes in a box or is a processed/prepared food is probably bad for you. Limit the refined sugars, artificial sugars, and carbohydrates.
This world is a beautiful place, but the news is terrible. Limit your intake of the news, so much of it has zero effect on you yet has a tremendous impact on your wellbeing.
Travel if you can. Go to another country and don't just drink the trip away. Observe and interact with other cultures. See real poverty. See animals in their natural habitat, not behind bars at a zoo.
"God helps those who help themselves." - Aesop's Fables
“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” - Miyamoto Musashi
"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." - Marcus Aurelius
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” - Seneca
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." — Friedrich Nietzsche
"Civilize the mind but make savage the body." - Chairman Mao
"Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses - especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else." - Leonardo da Vinci
"The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire
“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” ― Socrates