“Ridin' down the highway
Goin' to a show
Stop in all the byways
Playin' rock 'n' roll
Gettin' robbed
Gettin' stoned
Gettin' beat up
Gettin' had
Gettin' took
I tell you, folks
It's harder than it looks
It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll
It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll”
Angus Young / Malcolm Young / Bon Scott (AC/DC)

Besides being one of the most fun songs EV-AH to perform an air guitar solo, this song also represents an excellent metaphor for anyone beginning a new journey in life. Even though the message could be applied to a person of any age, today I’m specifically addressing this post to the young ones out there… the ones still working to find their way.

Through my organization 1Life Fully Lived, I spend a lot of time talking to kids. I have found that many of them have a some-what exaggerated idea of how things will be when they’re out there “in the real world”. There seems to be a disconnect between the equation of the things they think they’ll be given versus the effort they have to put in to earn the rewards they seek. Well, as Bon Scott of AC/DC belted out in the song, “I tell you folks it’s harder than it looks. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll.”

I agree with Bon. But I also remember being eighteen, as my youngest son is now. I remember having a lot of insecurities. But I also remember having big dreams and thinking ANYTHING was possible—well , except maybe dunking a basketball.

You know the saying, “Hire a teenager while they still know it all?” I thought things would be easier than I eventually found them to be. And I know this universal experience is still prevalent today. I can see my just-out-in-the-world son is (somewhat painfully) learning this lesson now. It is a challenge for me, an optimist who likes to see people live their fullest life, to see so many everyday people struggling. I can see the disconnect and want to impart some wisdom to those young ones just leaving the nest.

So I started thinking: if I was Andy’s age, what would I have wanted to know that would help me find my way a bit easier? It is in that spirit that I share my top ten things I wish I knew at age 18.

1. Find your passion or purpose and follow it with all of your heart.

2. You get less done in a year than you think, and more done in five years than you thought you would.

3. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself accordingly.

4. Seek advice from people who have traveled the path you are on.

5. Make a long-term “vision plan” for your life and update it regularly.

6. Find someone to love and REALLY give them your heart (at some point).

7. Help others along your journey—be a good friend.

8. You are but a shell of who you are to become—keep growing and learning.

9. Keep a journal. Take lots of pictures and videos. Chronicle your adventure called life.

10. Keep your concert stubs (Trust me! I wish I had my Pink Floyd, Stones, Kiss, Frampton, Petty, Seger , Dead, TheWho, stubs from the 70’s! )

So that’s my list. It may not make the road to the top any easier, but I hope one or two of these may resonate and help make the trip a bit smoother for you.

For the more seasoned life travelers reading this, please share this with young ones you know and post your additions to my list in the comments. I’d love to learn from you as well! Rock it to the top my friends!

~ Tim Rhode

Author's Bio: 

Tim would tell you that he got off to a slow start. After growing up in the rural town of Portola in Northern California and barely graduating high school, Tim Rhode found himself at the age of 25 working as a grocery clerk with two young children to provide for.

He eventually found his “niche” selling real estate; and from 1986 to 2000, he sold over 2,500 homes and from 1997 to 2006 he invested in over 100 properties. Tim focused on saving money, keeping his expenses low, and playing solid “financial defense” which allowed him to basically retire, and he was financially free at the age of 40.

Not wanting to play hike, bike or ski all day, Tim threw his energy into his true passion: helping people thrive and live their most fulfilling life. He founded the nonprofit 1Life Fully Lived to help people of all ages gain the tools and skills they need to thrive and also co-founded GoBundance, a high-level mastermind, with David Osborn, Pat Hiban and Mike McCarthy to help healthy, wealthy, generous people lead epic lives. We have a women’s tribe now!

Tim has also authored numerous books and has been featured on a variety of podcasts and media outlets. He now lives near his children in the High Sierras with his wife and dog.​

You can connect with Tim at www.TimRhode.com.