18–28: Advice

What I’ve learnt in the last 10 years.

  1. Know yourself by asking difficult questions then come up with binary answers to help you make decisions. Do I really want to do accounting? No. Then don’t major in accounting despite whatever justifications.
  2. When in doubt, observe your natural and unconcious behaviour to figure out what your body is telling you. Such as being constantly ‘sick’ or ‘late’ for work.
  3. Find activities to meet someone new every day, every week, or every month and learn something from them. This could be an online k-pop forum or it could be dance classes. Buy coffee or lunch for people to show you appreciate their time.
  4. Be an apprentice by always choosing the opportunity where you can learn the most — money can increase exponentially but time doesn’t. A job that exposes you to various skills will get you further than a job that focuses on just one thing such as number-crunching or writing documents.
  5. Make great art by developing a good aesthetic intuition and believe in quality work. Do your best to do things well and maintain great taste even in the face of opposition. There are too much mediocrity out there.
  6. Accept your struggles and move on. Struggling is universal but it also makes us grow. Life is unfair but you also got to make your own luck, shake it off.
  7. Be ambitious but know your limit. Aim high but don’t go for something that you’re unlikely to reach anytime soon. All geniuses start from somewhere in proximity and make their way up.
  8. You are the _ people you surround yourself with — if you want to be pro, you need to be around pros. Apply to a selective program, competition or travel to places that align with your interest. If you are a filmmaker, go to Hollywood. If you want to be a barista, stay in Melbourne.
  9. Give by teaching, coaching and helping and you will feel more satisfied. Understand your strengths and use it to help your community. Dont wait for superman, everyone can and should give back.
  10. Remember, there’s a favour bank and a money bank. When you’re young, ask others to help. When you’re wealthy, pay it forward.
  11. Invest in yourself first, everything else after. Save money for further education. Property, shares, currencies and gold can go down but your health and knowledge are net positive investments.
  12. Preparation (not failure) is the mother of success. Always come to meetings prepared and switched on and expect others to do the same.
  13. If a problem is complex, break it down into what you know and what you don’t know. Start the analytical process with what you know and seek more information where things are uncertain.
  14. Ask, just ask. If you never ask, you never know. If you never try, then it’s a default ‘no’.
  15. Don’t let emotions take over love. Trust is very sacred, don’t let an emotionally-charged moment destroys the love, trust and respect others have for you.
  16. Always be negotiating. You can never win all the time. Compromise and find win-win opportunities. It’s not always about winning and losing.
  17. Don’t make commitments that you’re not ready for — no matter what society expects of you. This include mortgages, starting a family, large purchases, ‘free lunches’ and anything that is too good to be true, it will come back to haunt you.
  18. Build a great support system when you’re 28. If you don’t have a supportive group of friends that you can go to, you better do it now. Don’t go to the same person for two different purposes.
  19. There are those who are curious, and those who aren’t. Be curious. Curious people have a bias for action — an automatic switch to seek new adventures, knowledge and purpose.
  20. Regret-Stress Minimisation Framework is good for long term reflections and help us to focus on the right things. Will you regret or stress about this issue in 20 years time? When you’re a multi-millionaire? When technology gets better?
  21. Lastly, never let money be a justification to prevent you from doing the things that you want to do. If you don’t have any, be creative and hustle.
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