The old guy here... A lot of people emailed me asking for life advice after I posted "15 career steps"... Pull up your skirt and repeat diver John Chatterton's 8 "rules to live by." He wrote them after serving 2 years in Vietnam as a medic on the front lines, where you almost always got killed.
(And stop worrying about what other people think...)
From the book Shadow Divers:
1) If an undertaking was easy, someone else already would have done it.
2) If you follow in another's footsteps, you miss the problems really worth solving.
3) Excellence is born of preparation, dedication, focus, and tenacity; compromise on any of these and you become average.
4) Every so often, life presents a great moment of decision, an intersection at which a man must decide to stop or go; a person lives with these decisions forever.
5) Examine everything; not all is as it seems or as people tell you.
6) It is easiest to live with a decision if it is based on an earnest sense of right and wrong.
7) The guy who gets killed is often the guy who got nervous. The guy who doesn't care anymore, who has said, "I'm already dead--the fact that I live or die is irrelevant and the only thing that matters is the accounting I give of myself," is the most formidable force in the world.
8) THE WORST POSSIBLE DECISION IS TO GIVE UP