Things are never what they appear.

None of us were designed for what we’re doing with our lives but at no point does the confusion reach such a peak as in those years at the cusp between childhood and adulthood.

Pretty much all your worry will be useless. It won’t help you. It’s not any fun and it won’t make anything more interesting and it won’t even help you get the things you *think* you want, let alone what you really do want. The only real dangers (and in truth there are fewer every year) will be the ones you’re unprepared for. Either you never thought of them or you’ve never seen them before. But the worry is useless. Even knowing that with certainty won’t make it go away, most likely.

So while you’re stuck in worry land I do have a little advice on how to pass the time. Observe the heck out of things. If you remember nothing else that I say, remember this:

And when you think you understand something you’re only one layer deeper and that illusion will be shattered too when you hit the next layer. The most interesting thing in the universe is life and the most interesting living things are people and you can never understand them enough, it seems to me. One of the most interesting things is how commonly and thoroughly people fool themselves and if you watch a lot and think a lot you’ll get some idea what’s really going on, inside yourself, and inside other peoples heads. Not that this will do you much good, it’s just interesting as heck. It might save you a few pointless detours but you’re bound to rack up lots of those anyway, and if you’re not then you’re just standing still or you’re not paying attention to where you’re going.

I can think of a few useful things to practice. Physical athletic training is fun but way overrated. Which means you’ll have to train yourself (you’re not likely to find any good coaches) in the powers you’ll really get a lot of use out of. Kindness, respect and courage are entirely unnatural things to do so you probably won’t find any good examples, you’ll just have to make them up. But these things carry tremendous power. Really unbelievable. A lot more power now with communication progressing. For example, if someone is openly hostile to you, fighting back with open total kindness and respectfulness can slice them down like the raw meat they are. It’s not easy, all their anger has to pass right through you without you even feeling it. That’s where the practice comes in. When you do it wrong with a bigger classmate, it’s just practice for a foolish teacher, when you goof it up with a foolish teacher, it’s just practice for a bad boss. When you blow it with a bad boss it’s practice for a big business deal. When you blow it in business negotiations it’s practice for a bigger negotiation.

Every failure is practice for when it will really count. There’s always a bigger game going on somewhere. There’s always another zero you can add onto the end.