Advice For My Younger Self

With the start of the new year, I gave myself a goal of reading more. In part because I really enjoy reading and learning and because at 32, I’m still trying to figure out what to with my life.

The first book up was Tim Ferris’ Tools of Titan’s (amazon affiliate link). I’m keenly interested in learning about the tips, tricks, processes, and other little nuances people have used to attain success (and happiness and contentment) in their lives. I also like looking for ways to implement and adapt those ideas to help me.

While reading, I came across the piece below, where Ferris talks about writing a short story in which he gives his younger self some advice. I liked the idea and figured I’d give it a try.

“Several hours of conversation later, this stranger turns out to be my future self. I ask him for advice and he gives me the benefit of his 20/20 hindsight.”

Hindsight is 20/20 and while 32 year old me still doesn’t know a lot, there is some advice I’d share with a younger me. Here it is:

  • Keep exercising: We used to have a six pack. A great one at that. Believe me when I tell you it’s much easier to keep it than it is to get it back after you’ve lost it. Plus, the more you exercise, the more crap food (like pizza, cheeseburgers and fried stuff) you can eat.
  • Stop Caring About What Others Think: People are going to have opinions no matter what you do. Some will be positive and encouraging. The majority won’t be. So, as long you’re not hurting yourself or others, go for it.
  • Figure Out What You Like By Doing A Bunch of Different Stuff: Take advantage of being young by doing things that interest you. Like music? Take a DJ course. Interested in Photography? Do late night photo walks with other photographers. Interested in finance? Work as a bank teller. Life is too short to spend it trying to figure out what you like. Use this time to figure it out by doing as much as you can. It gets harder to take these chances the older you get.
  • Don’t Stress: This has been our biggest problem in life. Shit is going to happen constantly so acknowledge it, let it bother you for a little bit, and then let it go. It’ll save you from going insane and a virus you aren’t supposed to get until you’ve retired. Trust me.
  • Be Positive: I know this is one of those easier said than done things, but fake it til you make it if you have to. Like I said above, shit is always going to happen. Your attitude will determine how you handle those things, how they affect you, and how others see you. Besides, the world is already full of a bunch of fucked up shit, no need to make yourself feel worse.
  • Don’t Settle: In work, relationships and life. If you’re not feeling something don’t settle because “it could be worse” or “it’s not that bad” or “there’s nothing else left to do.” You’ll regret having done so and it will come back to bite you in the ass later. Watch Steve Job’s commencement at Stanfurd if you need a push with this.
  • Don’t Procrastinate: It took me two days to write this post. Don’t do this. Sit down and do things right away when you can. Don’t let them linger. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram aren’t that important and if something important does actually happen it’ll take over all of your feeds. You really aren’t missing anything, I promise. So yeah, get shit done. This may be the most important piece of advice I give you.