(Alex Mathers of Medium.com)
I’m writing this on my 38th birthday. It’s a time to reflect. I am compelled to pass on a little about what I now know…
- Focus on becoming useful.
All this stuff about finding happiness and doing what you’re passionate about is a distraction.
Focus on building your value to the world. Sure experiment with lots of stuff first, but gradually begin focusing on being great at less.
Happiness will spring out of your sense of contribution.
- Start putting money aside.
When it seems like you have all the time in the world, saving money seems pointless.
But you will thank your younger self for putting away a little cash into a savings fund — because that shit grows and accumulates fast.
Create that account, then make it impossible to take money out.
- You don’t need ‘fixing.’
Ignore people who say you need to work on your issues.
There’s nothing wrong with you.
Thinking you have baggage and trauma keeps you in fear and limits you.
Instead, focus on creating experiences, making others happy, and building cool things.
- Don’t become dependent on stimulants.
I always say that the less you need, the freer you are.
Stimulant addiction plays a major role in this, and will severely limit yourself, even seemingly inconsequential and ‘accepted’ forms of stimulation like porn, sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and video games.
Enjoy them occasionally if you need, but never get dependent.
- Focus on making others happy.
We live in a narcissistic culture. You must fight against this hubristic trend that will inevitably lead to its downfall.
You will win, regardless of the chaos, when you let go of yourself and focus on improving the lives of others.
- Start becoming exceptional at one thing.
While everyone else is running around trying hundreds of things and never getting good at any one thing, you’re different.
Diversify your experiences and your skills yes.
But don’t sacrifice becoming a master at any one thing in the process.
The world lacks focused expertise, whether in fixing cars, marketing, plumbing, writing, or sales.
This will get you far.
- Trust no one, but be gracious.
Trusting no one doesn’t mean you’re a sociopath, it means you protect your time, energy and resources.
You needn’t grow bitter.
You can be pleasant and courteous, but you can never assume trust from anyone. That’s ok.
Humans aren’t perfect, but you must remain rational and careful at every step.
- Stop stopping.
Few are capable of finishing what they start.
They get excited about some novelty, but the excitement soon wears off and they’re on to the next shiny thing.
Reps in anything will compound.
So you must find strength in staying with boredom.
Consistency is then inevitable, which lies at the heart of true success.
- Don’t make decisions that could trap you for decades.
If there’s a chance you could make a very costly decision, avoid making it.
If you’re willing to deal with the worst possible outcome, then by all means, go for it.
But if you understand of what you’re getting into is even 5% hazy, steer clear.
- Train your body.
Getting healthy shouldn’t be a habit you start in your thirties.
It begins now.
Not only will your older body thank you for training and eating well, but you will spend your twenties feeling x4 better than everyone else.
You will also gain a massive advantage over your hungover and anxious comrades.
- Leave home.
If leaving your hometown or country makes you nervous, that’s even more reason to do it.
Travel shaped my character like little else, and I’m so grateful for spending most of my twenties living overseas.
You aren’t free if you can’t stomach the idea of being geographically flexible, especially in this chaotic world.
I’ve collected adventures and friendships across the globe, and this serves me and the man I am today.