When I dropped out of high school and took a year off to work on a business full- time, I thought I knew where I was heading. Boy was I wrong!
What saved me was good people who saw something in me that I couldn’t see (my potential). Not long after high school, I was knee deep in lots of business ventures and I had a very successful DJ career.
My early 20’s were well lived and I definitely fit the cookie cutter version of success that you see on all of those entrepreneur blogs where the dude gets out of a Bentley with a tanned colored briefcase and the latest Versace boat shoes.
So, I figured based on my younger years that I’m qualified to talk about how you reach an extraordinary life.
Going through my early 20’s, these are a few things that I wish I known that lead to an extraordinary life:
Whatever you are doing in your 20’s will change.
My early 20’s are 360 degrees different from where I am now. I was a drunk, a brat, incredibly negative and selfish. We all start somewhere.
Wherever you are right now will be completely different in ten years so quit worrying so much.
You’ve got time.
You don’t need to be a millionaire by the time you’re 30. This is shitty advice and not practical. What you need to do is experience life and find out who you want to be.
Being too impatient will stop you from enjoying just how good the now is when your body is young, you don’t have wrinkles, your hair is all there and not grey, you can remember loads of information and you have energy.
Life will become more than just looking after yourself.
Your 20’s start out being all about you. As you move through life, it becomes more about what you can do for others. The quicker you get to this way of living, the faster you’ll reach the nirvana of an extraordinary life.
“Extraordinary life = being associated with something that’s bigger than you and focusing on the needs of others which will ultimately lead to fulfillment”
Show you’re hungry.
Tell the recruiter you’ll walk through walls to get the CEO position. When a mentor asks for a favor which could be your big break, grab the opportunity by the balls and be confident with your ability. Show gratitude and back yourself.
Indecision and lack of confidence is everywhere in society and so if you can give people the feeling that you’ve got your stuff together and you’ll be able to execute, you’ll win most of the time. Sometimes you’ll lose too so don’t fall in the habit of complaining either. Losing is normal.
Experiment on the side.
Your 20’s are about trying things to see what you like and what you hate. Maybe you love working for a big corporate and you have it within you to be CEO. Maybe you can’t stand working for someone else and you’ll end up as an entrepreneur.
All of these outcomes stem from experimenting lots. You won’t know until you try something and analyze how it makes you feel. If it feels good and is congruent with who you are, then go all in. If you lose everything, well hey, you’re still young so it’s no big deal.
I tried something I thought I hated – blogging – and now I love it. Experiment like mad.
Your concept of success will fall off a cliff.
Everyone, when they are young, falls for the idea of success that is money, fame and a good career. This whole philosophy will fall off a cliff when you reach your 30’s. Once you’ve had a small taste of all of this, you’ll see how meaningless it is.
The feelings that come from money, fame and a career that’s all about you will die off quicker than my indoor plants do (I must be doing something wrong!).
The majority of what you see on the Internet does not reflect reality.
The Internet is not fact. The Internet is not reality.
As soon as you come to terms with this somewhat unconventional idea, the sooner you’ll quit thinking everyone is living the good life and you’re not, so you need to work harder – this is not true.
Reality is what you experience day-to-day when you’re not looking at that stupid phone you carry in your pocket. Reality is what you make of it and you are in the driver’s seat.
Disconnect from the liars, fakers, imitators, has been’s etc.
No matter how much you try, if you spend time with these people, then a little bit of them will rub off on you. Reputation takes years to create and only minutes to destroy. Lying, faking, imitating and focusing on the past will not allow you to take any shortcuts.
There are no shortcuts.
“Honesty, integrity and working away at your dream is how you become extraordinary”
Most of the “piss up’s” can be skipped.
Try going to an event that has alcohol available and drink water for the night. Then you’ll see the truth of what’s really going on. People drink to forget, mostly. You don’t need to forget when you’re living a life of purpose. Sure, socialize here and there, but there’s no need to overdo it.
Be smart with your money.
Put some money away into a savings account or index fund. Money will give you freedom later on. Waking up with no money in the bank one day, will give you zero options. There’s going to be a time where you are between careers and you’ll need money to make that smooth transition.
“Money can buy you back time which is the only thing you’ll want more of as you get older”
Your parent’s rules are probably out of date.
Our parents were brought up in an era where it was all about university and owning a home with a white picket fence. In the age of technological disruption, online free speech, unlimited information on the Internet, dating apps and alternative investments, your parent’s advice probably won’t help you.
Your parents are basing their view of the world on when they were young. Living life using the rules of the 60’s and 70’s will make you fail in the age we live in today. Take your parents advice in small doses.
Questions and books form the basis of everything.
That’s why asking questions has become such a big deal. Every self-help book is preaching questions because they work. Questions lead to new discoveries and huge opportunities. The order in which you ask questions and how specific you are will lead to different paths – a bit like a choose your own adventure book.
You’ll also need to read. Reading about extraordinary things will give you the spark of creativity to do the same one day. You have to understand the ingredients of an extraordinary achievement before you can do the same.
Big pivots in life are the cornerstone of something great.
Stuff ups in your 20’s will drive you nuts. You’ll wish they didn’t happen.
As you move through your life, you’ll wish for more stuff ups which is counter-intuitive. This wish usually comes about with the realization that everything good that happens starts from something that probably sucks.
Not getting what you want forces you to go harder at getting what you want. You’ll probably get stuck later in life following the same routine every day. I’ve found that when I break the pattern, I get different results which are far better than what I was getting previously.
Chill the F out.
There’s no need to stress. You’re still young and you have so much to learn. Relax once in a while and stop trying to control every bit of your future. Take a chill pill and reframe from being so serious. Living an extraordinary life takes years, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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