What I want to do here, for what it’s worth, is to share with you what I would have done differently if I could go back to where you are right now. I don’t regret anything as it’s shaped me to who I am today but if I can share a lesson or two, so you can learn from my mistakes rather than going through them yourself then that’s a win in my books. I want to hit on a handful of things that will fall into personal development, professional development, social development, health and fitness, personal finance and relationships.
I would have done a lot of things differently.
I would have been a student of the game right out of college. What I mean by that is I would have spent a lot of my time learning. This means listening to podcasts, reading, listening to audio books all centered around personal development and learning about myself. What I’ve learned now is that to find your true passion in life, you have to go out and seek it — it doesn’t just come to you. I would sit around day in and day out just dreaming about what I wanted to do but never took the level of action needed to get there.
I would have spent more time writing and journaling. There are so many things that go on in our heads every single day and in order for ideas and strategies to come to life, we need to write, and we need to capture them. Most importantly, we need to review what we wrote down every month. Things will start to come from your mind and cultivate around you.
I would have written down my goals every single day and dreamt BIG. I mean really BIG. Like people think you’re crazy BIG. I didn’t do that when I first graduated — sure I had goals and a vision, but they were 100% in reach and therefore I only took a certain level of action and could achieve them without trying really hard. Now I’m dreaming really BIG and what happens is the action you take to get there is really BIG too. You may never hit those massive dreams, but you sure as hell will achieve more than you would of if you dreamt about the achievable.
I would have used social media for being social, and networking rather than simply involving myself in other people’s lives and being envious of what they had and I didn’t. I would have built relationships on those networks with people that were where I wanted to be. I would have asked them for help and mentorship sooner. I would have given them the opportunity to give to me because people love giving and helping someone grow.
I would have saved first and spent second. Cash is king and when you have liquid cash available to you, you can capitalize on opportunity. Whether that be a business venture, your first home, an investment property or whatever it may be. Having cash allows you to take on additional risk that those without cash can’t take on. You may not know what you want to save for or how you want to invest it and have your money work for you but when that idea or opportunity comes, you want to be ready. There’s two things in this world that make money and that is people and money. And one day you won’t be able to make money, so put yourself in a position so that your money always makes money for you.
I would have focused on my health and fitness obsessively. Not to the extent where I want to be super ripped or anything but to the point where I was in tune with my body. What I’ve learned is that when you feel good and look good, you perform at an exceptional level. When I’ve been at my worst professionally, I wasn’t taking care of my health and when I’ve been at my best, my health and fitness have been a focus. So please, always put your body first so that you can perform at high levels. You only have one body, treat it right.
I would have been more open minded professionally. I spent 7 years in a bubble and though it was the only and best bubble there was. Once I started opening my eyes and seeing what else was out there, I realized there were so many different ways to succeed that were more fun, more profitable and better received by the market place. Always have an open mind.
I would have not cared what other people think. And I mean that. You do you and don’t feel any guilt, shame, embarrassment or anything. If people think that you’re changing, good — you aren’t working as hard as you are to stay the same. In order to get what you’ve never had and always wanted, you must do things that you’ve never done.
I would have spent more time finding the perfect person to spend my life with rather than settling down right away. I would have focused first on what made me happy and second on how I could support them. There are so many people in this world and so much to experience, the time will come to settle down. Don’t go looking for it, just let it happen, be conscious as it is and understand that if your needs are not met, it is not the right person and move on. Listen to you gut, like I should have listened to mine.
I would have gone up to the girls who I thought were attractive at the bar, concert, restaurant, friends house, etc. I would have shot my shot and see what happens. If you’re intimidated by it, good — everyone else is too and if you go up and face your fear head on, you have a shot. If she is standoffish and gives you the cold shoulder, just say “Just wanted to let you know you have something in your teeth since none of your friends did…” and walk away. Always shoot your shot.
I would have faced all my fears immediately without hesitation. In order to gain confidence, you must face your fears and either win or learn from that experience. The only way you can fail is if you give up. If you always learn, grow and continue to take action, there’s no failing in life just learning.
I would have maintained a positive attitude even in the worst of situations. What I learned is that having a positive attitude or a negative attitude is a choice and you can choose how you react in every scenario. When you start realizing that other people have it way worse than you, the petty things that once got you upset, no longer will.
I would have made more time for family and done a better job listening. There are times in my life where I’ve over rotated. Whether that be with business, relationships, depression, drinking, socializing, etc. There are times where I put my family last because I knew they’d always be there for me — until the day comes when they aren’t because there no longer on this earth. I remember to this day that I borrowed a cooler from my Mimi and was supposed to bring it back on a certain day. I missed that day, not thinking much of it. Little did I know that 4 days later she would die and I’d never have the chance to see her ever again. I hate that fuckin cooler.
I would have been more interested than interesting. What I mean by this is that I would have spent more time learning about others than putting the light on me. I would have spent more time helping others reach their full potential knowing that it would come full circle for me too. I would have done a better job being present in these situations and being an active listener rather than finding my way out of the conversation thinking, at the time, that it wasn’t benefiting me at all. I would have impacted so many more lives if I did this differently.
I would have fallen in love with the process of growing rather than being obsessed with the result. When you fall in love with the process and execute that process every day, you get to be happy every day. When you fall in love with the result and not the process, you’re miserable along the way and happy for a second when that result comes, if it comes. Have a persistent — without quit, consistent — every day, enjoyment of your true potential.
At the end of the day, you’re never going to have the perfect plan, the perfect life or the perfect situation but you can always practice perfect planning and execution. Focus on serving others, loving others, but first, love yourself. Secure your mask before helping others because if you can’t serve yourself, you have no chance of serving them.