5 Things I Wish I Did Differently at 18 Years Old

by Cam

When I was 18 years old my life was a complete mess. I had just dropped out of high school for the second time, I was depressed and my days were spent playing video games in my parents basement.

Here are five things I wish I did differently:

Now although it’s easy to look back in hindsight and see the things I could have done differently, it’s important to remember that everything I’ve been through has made me who I am today.

And I like who I am today, so I don’t necessarily regret what has happened in the past and instead I’m using this as a reflection if you’re in a similar position that I was.

Just because you can do it the hard way, doesn’t mean you need to do it the hard way. Click to tweet.

Here are the five things I wish I did differently at 18 years old:

1. I wish I had started reading better books.

The main thing I lacked at 18 years old was perspective, and reading better books (or just, any books) would have helped me gain more perspective. Here are five books I would recommend for you.

2. I wish I had started eating healthier sooner.

I didn’t realize how much of an impact what I was eating was having on me until I was about 23 years old. Since then I’ve been able to get rid of all of my acne, my energy has improved and my mood swings are less frequent. All from paying attention to what I eat, amazing!

3. I wish I had been more intentional with my environment.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn

Your environment has a greater impact on you than you have on your environment. Who you choose to surround yourself by is going to have a direct impact on your life. Over the past few years I’ve spent a lot of time building relationships with people who inspire me to be my best, and it’s had a huge (positive) impact on my life.

Consider what kind of friends you want, what kind of values you want to live by, and then go hang out in the environments where these kind of people hang out.

4. I wish I would have used consistency to my advantage.

We all have goals and projects to accomplish, skill to learn, but when we think about how much time and effort it will take to actually get good we become discouraged.

Instead, use consistency to your advantage. If you focus on learning a new skill for 15-20 minutes each day, a few years later you’ll be thankful you started back then. And it only takes a few minutes each day, and we all have time for that.

One example from my life is this past year I started a YouTube channel, and I put out one new video per week. Now I have over 45 videos, my video-editing skills have improved and I have a following that can help me accomplish other goals.

5. I wish I would have traveled sooner.

When I was 18 I lacked perspective, and travel is one of the best ways to get a better perspective. Over the past few years I’ve traveled a ton and it’s improved my life in tremendous ways. The earlier you can start traveling, the better. Work a part-time job, ask your school for grants or options to study abroad. Get creative and find ways to travel, even if you’re young.

So those are five things I wish I did differently when I was 18 years old. And of course, I also wish I would have quit playing video games.

What about you? What are some things you wish you had done differently or started sooner? Share your answer in the comments below.

P.S. If you are still playing games but you want to quit right now, check out Respawn.

About Cam
Cam Adair is a Motivational Speaker who dares you to live a life you're proud of. Watch his TEDx talks on Escaping Video Game Addiction and The Surprising Truth About Rejection. Follow him on Instagram. He is the Founder of Game Quitters, a support community for those who struggle with a gaming problem.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben Brewer January 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Great advice Cam.

I’ve put everything on that list to use over the last 5 years except for the travel part. That’s something I’m doing this year.

Other than that, consistency is something hugely undervalued in a give-it-to-me-now society. I’ve been playing the guitar for just over a year, at 20 minutes a day. And now? I can play songs fairly well. It’s so deceiving and it creeps up on you over time. You look back a year later, and you don’t even remember how you got to the current point you’re at.


Cam January 4, 2016 at 9:38 pm

@ Ben – Thanks for commenting. Where are you traveling to?

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