I have been around and learned a few things the hard way. Here is a checklist to help you out, especially for the younger sherbros. No one is perfect. Failure is not falling down, failure is staying down. These simple yet hard to master concepts have saved my live in the long run. For experienced sherdoggers please add what you think I missed. Are you in an abusive relationship? GET OUT NOW. Some people are blinded by love or can’t notice their situation. If you don’t foresee yourself with this person in the future, leave now. It won’t get better, it will get worse. Debt is slavery: don’t get into debt unless it’s for an asset (house, investment opportunities, education). Liabilities will sink you further (car, vacation, girlfriends unless you get married). Job vs Career. Focus on careers, not temporary jobs. Jobs are small gigs that pay rent for now, flipping burgers, etc. Focus on big picture career. Want to open a restaurant? Flip burgers in the place you will own one day. Want to be a computer programmer? Start a gig online with fiverr or elance, etc. Focus on white collar jobs, not blue collar jobs. There are only so many hamburgers you can flip. Don't stop getting an education: keep the brain, connections and skills sharp. Never become obsolete. The best investment you can make is in yourself. Even if it’s an evening certificate in coding or plumbing, just do it. Stay away from drugs and alcohol: Save your money and your brain cells. Your mind is your biggest asset. Don’t throw it away. Don’t get peer pressured because your friends are doing it, they will respect you more if you treat your body like a temple. Drugs and alcohol are for the weak. (When people pass out, there is great temptation to take their wallet and girlfriend). Don’t gamble: The house always wins. It’s not called taxes for the foolish for nothing. An ex-army buddy of mine now lives in the street because of gambling. Incredibly sad. Don't be a single dad: it’s incredibly difficult. Your kids deserve better, you deserve better. Oh yeah, and she will take half if not all your shit. Own, don’t rent: Own a home, don’t rent and pay some asshole landlord equity so he pays off the property then you have nothing to show for it after many years. Same for a car, try to buy it out right second hand instead of pay ridiculous interest. If you buy a new car it loses 20% of if’s value as soon as you roll off the lot. Get an accountant: unless you enjoy hours of mulling through forms. If not accountants will eventually change you hundreds of dollars in back taxes you neglected for years. It’s inevitable like going to the dentist. Not only that, but you may make a mistake and get audited. Ugh…the worst thing ever. A couple bucks a year for an accountant is an amazing investment. Even if you are a student, get one going. Save 10% of your income now: you don’t want to be living out of a cardboard box in your 70s. Save regardless of how much you make or you will be screwed for retirement. It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you save. Pay off your credit card in full every month: no excuses, you are shooting yourself in the foot. By not paying off on time, you are doing two bad things at once: Damaging your credit and at the same time increasing interest you have to pay. Insane. If you can’t don’t use it. Like drugs, it brings you into an abyss. Get a hobby/sport: It will make you smarter, stronger and overall happier. Pick something you enjoy and excel. The only limitation is yourself. I recently got a blackbelt in BJJ, the journey changed my life. Far more powerful than any drug. Cut down on video games: what a colossal waste of time. If you really need it as down time because you have nothing else to do, time it and stop after 30 minutes. When you are 40 years old and bald you will say where “did the time go”? During that gaming time you could have learned another language and been fluent by then. You don’t need religion, believe in yourself: Use critical thinking and logic instead of mythology and superstition. Fatalism and laziness go hand in hand. There isn’t a shred of evidence to justify religious beliefs. What do you think about Jehovah’s witnesses droning on at your door about their delusion? Exactly. That’s what your religion is like to everyone else. LOL at a group of priests who never get married and don't pay taxed then try to tell you how to raise a family and what to do with your money. Religion is antiquated and dangerous. Look up the Socratic method of reasoning, you will win every argument. Read a book everyday before you sleep: Books are kryptonite for idiots. Preferably non-fiction since the truth is stranger than fiction. Get and edge on life, be smarter, stronger and learn something new every day. START NOW! PRINT IT OUT AND CHECK THEM OFF AS YOU GO. Good luck!