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LETTER TO MY 16-YEAR-OLD SELF (1986)

June 22nd, 2017

As I was talking to my 16-year-old son who is trying to become a college athlete (and beyond), I started reflecting upon what kind of advice I would have given myself at the same age, if I could go back. Here would be my top pieces of advice:

  1. Success is not easy, and staying successful even harder, the quicker you understand this, the quicker you get there… and hopefully stay.
  2. There is always someone that will be better than you or work harder than you, what will you do to catch up and pass them?
  3. Excuses are for losers, period.
  4. We are all narcissistic and selfish deep down, but humility will get you more followers and supporters.
  5. Just when you think you have given it your all, give more…
  6. Treat all women with respect always, they are someone’s daughter, sister, or mother.
  7. Your brain is a muscle, exercise it and use it, it will serve you longer than any other muscle in your body.
  8. Nothing productive for your life happens after 11PM, it’s ok to be the first to leave the party.
  9. Everyone at the top level has talent, it’s character and perseverance that sets the elite athletes apart.
  10. The guy who will take your job just did one more rep than you, this should be on your mind every day.
  11. The vets who want to play poker with you, they just want to take your money.
  12. Become a leader by lifting those around you, not stepping on them. Negative people suck.
  13. The cool kid always smoking weed in high school is still smoking weed and talking about high school.
  14. Respect all of your elders, they have knowledge to pass on.
  15. Two ears and one mouth, live your life recognizing this ratio. The less we say, the smarter we all sound.
  16. When you lose, be gracious and quiet, when you win, say even less.
  17. You are not invincible! Wear your seatbelt and NEVER drink, (or text) and drive!
  18. Thank people who help you along the way, and let close ones know you care, those small gestures mean the world to them.
  19. You will learn your most important lessons from your greatest struggles. Embrace them and meet them head on. Know when you’ve learned the lesson, then turn the page with this wisdom.
  20. Have fun, life is too short! Live it to with no regrets…

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