I actually don’t remember a lot of the blur that of this exceptional decade in my life, but I do remember a few things I should have known. Here they are.
1. It’s worth it. Investing in yourself early in your 20’s has huge advantages down the road. So, eating inexpensively everyday and suffering it out with a few roommates can free up some seed money to invest in a really bright tomorrow. It’s much harder to scratch up some extra change to invest once there are kids, a mortgage and that unexpected car knocking noise.
2. You have plenty of time. You always have time to live in the moment. The frantic way in which I approached every project, adventure, and relationship was because I felt like life was too short to miss out, or fall short on. Every moment was a fleeting one, so I seized the day and got busy enough to look up and years had passed. I got so busy trying to live, that I often missed to point of it.
3. Hustle. Have a big dream? A massive, earth shattering dream? Do it. Don’t wait until the time is right, make it right. Stay up late, work nights and weekends (your body can handle this now). It might not work, but now is the time to find that out so you don’t keep wondering forever.
4. Kiss the girl. Getting caught up in the moment is what youth is for. I hesitated too often and can still remember a few times where not taking the leap left me wondering “what if?” It’s not just about that few second pause when you should be leaning in, it’s about being ready, and OK with putting yourself in situations where failure can be a bit embarrassing, but victory can be so much more. Be ready to take that leap. You’ll never regret trying something; only missed opportunities.
5. It’s not that important. I distinctly remember moments in time when it felt like the current crisis was going to be the end of me. It was so dominating in thought that I lost sleep, I got angry with friends, and I just wasn’t able to see the big picture. I know it sounds cliche to use words like that, but stepping back and realizing that any speed-bump in life is about as important as a picture window on a submarine in the long-run. This frees up a lot more time to focus on what’s important, like friends and sleep. It won’t be like this forever.
What would you tell your 10-year younger self?