I saw this excellent blog post - "What a High School Student Learned from Paul Graham" - and I was really impressed with the author. He sounds like he's going to kick lots of ass.
I commented on his site, and I like how this comment turned out. Here you go -
Impressive, very good attitude. Godspeed in your endeavors.
A quick thought - don't wait for permission in any area of life. It's rarely that people will throw open the doors to you. Most forms of adventure and worthy causes and prestige can be walked into with a small amount of money as long as you're willing to try.
It costs maybe $500, max, to get a basic scubadiving license, and it's one of the most enjoyable things you'll ever do in your life.
If you can save up $3000 (and you can, it's not hard), you can travel the world for very cheaply on that. If you haven't traveled internationally, start doing so, it'll change your life. Do everything you can to keep your rent number down, don't buy junk, research a lot, and eat cheaply including at grocery stores. You can absolutely travel through most of the world for a few months on $3k, including airfare, if you're careful and spartan about it. Do it now while you don't have obligations, it's good to do in the summer between classes. Bring a laptop and you can work on your startup.
Go into the highest end department store in your city. Look at stuff, touch it, feel the material, maybe try something on. Go for it. No one's going to invite you. Once or twice per year, they'll have a sale where things are 70% off. You can probably get another voucher or coupon too, so you'll be able to buy a $1200 jacket for $250 at that point. Having clothing like this helps when you go to meet a banker. I started in business young, and wearing $4000 worth of clothing will help you look older than 19 or 21 or however old you are. You'll eventually be able to pick up $4k worth of clothing for $500 or less, but you need to start learning about quality stuff now. Again, don't wait for permission - it ain't coming. Go try some stuff on.
When you inevitably overdo it, burn out, and fall off a cliff, fundamentals are the way back. Exercise, good diet, time in nature, and trying to keep a normal sleep schedule. Fundamentals are the way back after getting lost. Also, ask random people for help. "I'm XYZ young years old, admire you a lot, and could I have about six minutes to ask a very quick question for advice?" will open lots of doors.
Your attitude is great, and you sound like you've got the makeup and awareness to do fantastic amounts of stuff. Godspeed, I think you're going to do awesome.
If anyone needs details on how to do more of these things - scuba, travel, dressing high end on low-ish money, fundamentals, or reaching out to people - let me know in the comments or email me. I recommend reading the original author's post too, it's sharp stuff.
Yep, I'm interested.
The link to the original poster just gives a blank screen, however.
Any advice on world travel would be appreciated. I think a lot of people would be interested!
I definitely agree. If one just leans back and waits what falls into ones' lap stagnation is the usual consequence. At some point one just has to decide to get out there and confront oneself to all kinds of things, to attain experiece, to grow. People can't do that for you.
What I do think is important, however, is the environment in the sense in that it can support or inhibit. When it encourages you to try things out, to make sense of the world on your own, to read and to learn, it is very different when it has a it-doesn't-matter-anyway attitude.
Something I find quite disappointing is the way students often behave in class. They don't read their texts, thus they cannot discuss properly, wherefore the courses become boring and the students stagnate instead of grow. That's the worst for those students who actually want to... but are weighed down.
They first have to develop the will to work on their own, read and discuss even if only with the professor. Hopefuly then the others will follow. But if everyone would be reading and discussing, the discussions would be so much more lively and productive.
But such things don't happen a lot, at least not where I am. It doesn't matter if it's class, or work... one has to decide to do something, and if the environment isnt responsive, continue to push, maybe a little harder, or change it.
Sooner or later, change will happen. Just push the status quo around a little.
I've been theorizing on this.
For most people, their emotions move in cycles. It's not always so predictable as the image, but there's going up and going down.
During normal life, you do normal life stuff.
But I think the lows and highs call for different approaches.
I think the people who pre-ordered for Haiti have had enough time to read the book, so now it's time to make it available to everyone.
You can buy the book here at Amazon!
In case you're new to the site, I haven't had a regular condo or house in 4 years or so, and have been traveling around the world and around the US. Life Nomadic a really practical guide about efficient traveling -- experiencing a LOT while spending relatively LITTLE. It has everything from travel stories I didn't publish on the blog to packing lists. If you broke it down, about 1/3 is life outlook sort of stuff, 1/3 is stories (maybe a bit less), and 1/3 is take-action-now howto advice. It will change how you travel, one way or another.