15 Life Changing Tips for the Next Generation

By Taylor Van Arsdale

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and I’ve been wanting to jot down some sage for the next generation. These topics include health and wellness, employment and spirituality. So, here are 15 bits and pieces of advice for those of you non Gen-X’ers. 


1. Get Regular Facials from a Good Aesthetician

This may seem like a silly piece of advice, but trust me, it’s key to keeping your skin healthy. When I first moved to Los Angeles in 1985, one of the first things I did was to research the best aestheticians in the area. I scheduled a facial at Ole Henriksen’s every six weeks. I credit his skin care regimen to helping me keep my youthful appearance. I also recommend Verabella Skin Therapy Spa in Beverly Hills.

2. Remove Your Makeup Every Night without Fail

No matter how drunk or wasted I was, no matter the hour, whether it was 10 pm or 4 am, I washed my face every night. I believe this is essential to keeping your skin dewy and fresh, and it delays the aging process.  I take off my eye makeup with Sephora Waterproof eye makeup remover, I follow that with Klorane Eye Makeup Remover which is a very gentle product with organically farmed, “soothing cornflower.” This is essential to my routine as it gets rid of any excess oil from the Sephora cleanser. Then I take a very hot washcloth and wipe off everything. I follow by cleansing with Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel. I like this product because it reminds me of an Ole Henriksen product that is no longer available. Then I rinse and steam my face with a very hot washcloth for about 5 minutes.

3. Stretch Daily

Some dance moves were always harder for me because I wasn’t naturally flexible. In fact, my dance teacher told me, “There are strong dancers and flexible dancers, and I’ve never seen both in one person.” I was a strong dancer, not terribly flexible. No matter how much I stretched I could only do a split well on one side; and then when I stopped dancing, I stopped doing barre exercises and consequently stopped stretching. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. Trust me on this one.

4. Consistency is Key

As with anything there is no overnight success or immediate cure all. If you start a diet, workout, or a new gig, give it time to kick in but allow it to kick in by being consistent. There are no cheat days.

5. 20 Minutes of Exercise Once a Day

Stay fit, with some sort of exercise. Walk daily, hit a gym, or get a Peloton. It will change your life.

6. Invest in a Quality Pillow
After a year of law school, my neck was shot. I invested in a pillow that cost almost $200 but it has literally been a game changer. My neck, which was already messed up from a car accident, coupled with studying, was so jacked out I could barely turn it. Here is that pillow: Tempur-Adapt PRO + Cooling Pillow Queen Medium Prime SKU# V000248307 $179.00


7. Wear Royal Blue

Psychologists say that royal blue evokes a sense of security and trust. Whenever I went for a job interview if I didn’t have a royal blue jacket (because really, who has anything in their wardrobe that’s royal blue?) I would make sure that blue eyeliner was predominantly outlining my eyes. Remember when you’re interviewing, you are the product. And also, actually be trustworthy.

8. If you Hate your Job/Boss, Get Out.

I held several positions at HBO, one of them was working in film development (yes, I was a D-girl). Although I loved film development, I loathed my surly and moody boss. In the morning, I would put on my makeup, get in my car, and cry all the way into work. Then I’d reapply my makeup in the bathroom and for the next nine hours pretend to be happy. At the end of the day, I would cry all the way home. No job or person should ever make you feel that way. I stayed there way too long for fear of not finding a comparable gig. Quit and find another. Trust that a new door will open when one behind you closes.

9. Your Rolodex is Liquid Gold

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have a high paying job, one that includes a legal contract of employment, make sure you stipulate that you get to keep your contacts. The contacts you bring in, are yours and so are those you acquire along the way. Network like crazy, make friends with everyone, and enjoy the ride.

10. Learn to Read the Room

It took me a long time to get the “bigger picture.” I couldn’t always tell the objective of a particular business meeting. Was it really to get our “marketing on track” or was it for the vice president to suss out who should be promoted? And truth be told, it wasn’t until I started working for myself that I was able to figure this out. When I was in film development we had a newly appointed President of our Los Angeles film department, and many people were concerned that layoffs were looming. Was he going to bring in his team from New York? Who was he going to can? He sensed the tension and called a meeting with all the departments: Development (where I was at the time), Finance, Production, Legal, and Publicity.

It was a packed conference room—our new “leader” was encouraging and assured everyone that at HBO we were “one, big happy family,” and we shouldn’t worry about losing our jobs. Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief. He ended by letting us know that should we want to connect with him about anything “his door would always be open.” When the meeting ended. I went over to introduce myself. Two of his “handlers” got in my way and informed me that he didn’t want to speak with anyone “at the moment,” but I should feel free to schedule a meeting with him next week. Next week we all got laid off.

I knew when I approached him, and his handlers blocked me that something wasn’t right, but I wasn’t reading the room. I simultaneously detested and admired this guy. He didn’t want anyone freaking out, and so, yes, he lied, but he made everything peaceful before the eventual storm. It was genius. He’s still a prick, though.

11. Love Whatever You Do

If you are lucky, you will like “one thing,” figure out what that “one thing” is when you’re young and go after it. If you’re like me, you’ll like so many things you won’t focus on any one of them long enough for one career to take hold. 

Pick the “thing” you like the most, work hard at it, and don’t give up. 

And remember, the advice my mother gave me (that I didn’t heed), “If you can’t excel at one thing, plan on marrying well.”

12. It’s Never Too Late to Pull it Together

If you can make a decent income when you’re young and save even a third of what you make, you’ll be set for the future. If you can’t, then just remember something I heard a little boy ask his mother as they were passing me in the street. “Is it true that anyone can be anything.” To his question his mother replied, “Yes, this is America, and you can be whatever you want.” I loved that she said that to him. It filled him with hope for the future. It was inspiring and patriotic. It’s never too late to change careers or start anew. You can be whatever you want, you just have to be willing to work hard, and the rest will fall into place.


 13. God is real. God is with You. Always.

There have been several times during my life when God has made himself known to me personally. I know in this age of high tech that sounds a little crazy, but honestly, why should it? There are people I know who believe in space aliens. I’ve never seen an alien, but I don’t doubt my friends’ faith in the supernatural. A lot of what I want to say here, I will save for another post, but I consider myself so fortunate and blessed to know God. If you don’t know God, do what a Priest once told me, “Pray for faith to come,” and it will.

14. Trust Your Gut

I honestly believe that intuition is a gift from God. Sometimes I think it’s our guardian angels prompting us to move away from danger. I have been in situations where I was able to extricate myself from a bad element because I listened to that inner voice telling me to flee. Be grateful if you get these little snippets of wisdom—act quickly.

“I heard a voice telling me to flee
The very same voice I always believe
Said, a lot of trouble’s coming
But it don’t have to come to you”


15. Invest Time in Taking Care of a Pet

Anything you do to create a better place for an animal will help you become a better person. If you already have a pet, take (at minimum) 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening to play with your fur buddy. Remember you are their entire world. 


17 thoughts on “15 Life Changing Tips for the Next Generation”

  1. #14 can be literally life-saving in the times we are living in. But #15 was the most unexpected bit of advise — and the one dearest to my heart!! Great wisdom here!

  2. I found this informative, witty, and piety. It covered all aspects of a life that brings forth those small details of taking care that creates big changes towards achieving success. Thanks for taking the time to write. I plan to send it on to others.

  3. As always, your words resonate deeply! I wish I would have had this advice when I was younger and I hope many young readers stumble upon this information. Thank you for sharing!!

  4. Great tips, Taylor! I would add a tip to think about your personal core values and take the time to write them down, know them well, and follow them always.

  5. Sound practical witty advice! I think todays children (And some adults) could greatly benefit from this wisdom.

    Thanks for posting!

  6. Absolutely wonderful article with such great advice! I will send this on to my daughter as she will learn much from this! Thank you for writing this article!

  7. Thank you for writing this Taylor ! As always, such wonderful advice !
    I tend to get lazy on what it is I need to do to stay happy , healthy and motivated.

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