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It's a Long Way to the Top


It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Wanna Rock and Roll

By Tim Rhode



“Ridin' down the highway

Goin' to a show

Stop in all the byways

Playin' rock 'n' roll

Gettin' robbed

Gettin' stoned

Gettin' beat up

Broken-boned

Gettin' had

Gettin' took

I tell you, folks

It's harder than it looks

It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll

It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll”

  • Angus Young / Malcolm Young / Bon Scott (AC/DC)


Besides being one of the most fun songs EV-AH to perform an air guitar solo, this song also represents an excellent metaphor for anyone beginning a new journey in life. Even though the message could be applied to a person of any age, today I’m specifically addressing this post to the young ones out there… the ones still working to find their way.

Through my organization 1Life Fully Lived, I spend a lot of time talking to kids. I have found that many of them have a some-what exaggerated idea of how things will be when they’re out there “in the real world”. There seems to be a disconnect between the equation of the things they think they’ll be given versus the effort they have to put in to earn the rewards they seek. Well, as Bon Scott of AC/DC belted out in the song, “I tell you folks it’s harder than it looks. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll.”

I agree with Bon. But I also remember being eighteen, as my youngest son is now. I remember having a lot of insecurities. But I also remember having big dreams and thinking ANYTHING was possible—well , except maybe dunking a basketball.

You know the saying, “Hire a teenager while they still know it all?” I thought things would be easier than I eventually found them to be. And I know this universal experience is still prevalent today. I can see my just-out-in-the-world son is (somewhat painfully) learning this lesson now. It is a challenge for me, an optimist who likes to see people live their fullest life, to see so many everyday people struggling. I can see the disconnect and want to impart some wisdom to those young ones just leaving the nest.

So I started thinking: if I was Andy’s age, what would I have wanted to know that would help me find my way a bit easier? It is in that spirit that I share my top ten things I wish I knew at age 18.


  1. Find your passion or purpose and follow it with all of your heart.

  2. You get less done in a year than you think, and more done in five years than you thought you would.

  3. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself accordingly.

  4. Seek advice from people who have traveled the path you are on.

  5. Make a long-term “vision plan” for your life and update it regularly.

  6. Find someone to love and REALLY give them your heart (at some point).

  7. Help others along your journey—be a good friend.

  8. You are but a shell of who you are to become—keep growing and learning.

  9. Keep a journal. Take lots of pictures and videos. Chronicle your adventure called life.

  10. Keep your concert stubs (Trust me! I wish I had my Pink Floyd, Stones, Kiss, Frampton, Petty, Seger , Dead, TheWho, stubs from the 70’s! )


So that’s my list. It may not make the road to the top any easier, but I hope one or two of these may resonate and help make the trip a bit smoother for you.

For the more seasoned life travelers reading this, please share this with young ones you know and post your additions to my list in the comments. I’d love to learn from you as well! Rock it to the top my friends!


~ TR

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© 2019 Tim Rhode

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