I’ve always considered myself to be like Peter Pan. Age has no bearing on what I think of myself or anyone else for that matter. While the numerical value that age gives us is pointless, the experience and lessons are definitely not.
Thinking about all the things I did up until I was twenty, here is the wisdom I would share with myself:
1. You’ll be special one day
You’re not going to discover the thing that will make you significant in your own mind until later in life. Have faith in knowing that if you try to be a good person each day, and you work on your craft (whatever that is), you to can be special one day just like those people you admire.
You might become:
– An astronaut
– A ballroom dancer
– A spiritual, traveling, explorer
Anything is possible, and that’s all you need to know for now!
2. Your beliefs and interests will flip 360 degree’s
What I thought about religion, writing, family, and health have all completely different meanings now that I’m older. It’s almost like someone decided to flip every belief I had upside down to see what would happen. Whoever did this is a pure genius I say.
I used to hate writing and think my dad’s passion for it was stupid, now I agree with him and think it’s the greatest tool on Earth to inspire a new generation. There’s the proof right there.
Alcohol is like cancer for your body. There are other ways to get the same high that booze gives you and I’ll give you a clue: it’s called life. Get high on life, not substances.
Excessive drinking occurs when you try and escape your current reality. Rather than escape, learn to improve yourself every day and find out what’s holding you back. If you do this, then booze will become the last thing on your mind, and the first thing on your quit list.
4. Cool kids
At twenty, it’s all about who the cool kids are. Get around them, be like them, dress like them, and be a douche like them. The reality is that they are only cool for a particular point in time. Fighting drunk people in the street is not funny when you’re thirty, with two kids, and a career or business to think about. Think about people long-term and ask yourself if you will grow old with them.
If the answer is no, then there are better people to surround yourself with who can soak you in the luscious juices of life.
This one’s a must for you. Look under every rock, and into crevice, until you find that one thing that makes you get chills down your spine. That one thing that makes you wake up at 4 am in the morning like your older, wiser self.
At a young age, your passion will not have fully formed. What looked like a dream to be a DJ at 16, may morph into a dream to start a business in the music industry when your 30. Everything happens for a reason, and you’re never fully going to understand the connections between different events in your life.
Chase the feeling you get when you do something you love, and forget all the elements including what people think of your passion.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the events of your life and forget to love. Love with someone else is what will make you feel incredible. Don’t be fooled into thinking the single life, or the “having lots of partners life” is the right path: it’s not.
Loving your significant other is one thing, loving everyone around you is another. Doing both is what will bring you real happiness, not the fake happiness that your gym buddies pretend to demonstrate.
7. Fear not
You’ll learn over time that we’re all fearful, scared, little humans with more failures than successes. Overcoming fear leads to growth, and growth will make you feel superhuman. Fear is the only thing that will hold you back.
If you believe in your fears, then life is going to be very hard for you. You’ll struggle to be happy, and you’ll treat others poorly as a result. Insist on proving your fears to be incorrect, and spend time doing these scary tasks as often as you can.
“Fear are the stories your brain tells you to F%&K with you”
8. Time vs. money
TV, the Internet, movies, and all the fakepreneurs will tell you that money is important. It’s not. Time is what you need to value because it’s the one thing you can’t get back. When given the chance, ask for more time instead of more money. Instead of a pay rise, ask to work four days not five.
9. Say yes and don’t think
The hard questions will come your way all the time. When asked if you can learn to kite surf, say yes. When asked to join a startup that has a bold new idea, say yes. When asked to speak in front of loads of people about your passion, acknowledge the fear, accept it, and say yes.
10. If it feels right, say yes.
The outcome of what you think could happen is never the same as the reality. The best results come from the boldest decisions that you allow yourself to make.
The only thing that will stop you in your tracks is sickness. You’re not invincible, and neither is Harry Potter. If you put rubbish in your body, then you will get sick. That’s a guarantee.
Refocus your mind to understand that good food equals more energy to do the things you love.
You’ll one day realise that ownership only makes you happy for about 3.1 hours and then you’re back to your old paradigm. Pick a car that doesn’t pollute, and other than that, who cares what you drive.
As soon as you buy the newest phone, they’re already building something to replace it. You can never have the latest technology so stop trying.
The clothes you wear are important to show who you are, but you don’t need a new outfit for every single occasion. No one remembers what you’re wearing because there so focused on all the things in their own life that they don’t want to go wrong. If someone does care, then you should drop them off your friend’s list right away. They’re teaching you how to fail at life.
You’re not entitled to anything. You have to work for everything you have, and that’s where all the fun and beauty is. Your mind has to grow, or it will get sick in the form of anxiety or depression. Nothing is owed to you other than what you reap, and even that’s not guaranteed.
The value you create for others is where you should focus your time.
14. Start out, build it up, lose it all, start again, repeat
You’ll definitely have times of prosperity and despair. This is the story of our lives. Watch any movie, and you’ll see the same pattern of starting out, building, losing it all, and then starting again. Be prepared for this fact of life.
Get excited about what it’s like to continually fail, grow, fail grow, consistently. This process is where I got all the wisdom I need to give you this advice in the first place. Now young padawan, it’s time for you to learn this wisdom for yourself.
What advice would you give? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
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