8 things I would tell my 20 year old self

1) Get Uncomfortable. Learn how to Conquer Fear
There are many types of fears you will face in the future and you must learn to conquer them. Otherwise, you will just struggle as hard as possible to go to the safety net of false sense of security, which has a risk of collapsing anyway.
False sense of security leaves you senseless. I watch my friends trying to sense again by buying faster cars, more expensive watches and in the end, even building Legos. It’s like taking on drugs, you will take more each time trying to reach that same level of sensation of the first time but never get there again.
But fear gives you back your senses. When you are susceptible to the ups and downs everyday, you feel life already and you don’t need any of these. What you need is to focus on getting back up again when you are down.
There are many stories of people targeting stability but in the end, their world collapsed so the best way is to learn to deal with fear and change. It is actually not as hard as it sounds, you just have to go and do it.
Do you prefer the false sense of security or insecurity but the courage to handle that insecurity?

2) Make Decisions and Take Actions that Minimise Regrets
Avoid the easy way out if you know you will regret it later.
I watched a friend recently retiring early so he could do a part time or less stressful job, drive his son to school everyday and have more time to himself and his family. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is tempting for me to follow especially when things get rough and my mental power starts to wane. However, I know I will probably get bored after 2–3 months and wonder what if.
My drive is to be the best possible version of myself and help as many people as I can. If I can strive to do that everyday then I know I will not regret even if I only get to live till the end of today.

3) Try as Many Things as Possible to Find your Passion
Try to do many different things so you get to know yourself and what your true passion is. You will know it is the thing if you reach the stage of Flow, ie, not knowing time has flown past doing it.
At 20yo, it may actually be video games, chatting online. If that’s the case, do some research and see if people have made a career out of it. Think about if you really enjoy doing it or are you doing it so you could get away from something else. Be more specific as well so for example, identify what genre of games do you like to play or what topics you enjoy chatting about.
Once you have identified what you want to do, do things that will get you there not just university courses but talk to people that are already doing it and learn from them instead.
Don’t do it for the money because you only live once and it is difficult to compete on something that is not your passion in the modern world. Even in the case of you becoming successful, you don’t want to spend time complaining how miserable your life is when you are earning multiple times the median household income.

4) Be Yourself. Don’t try to be someone else or Just Follow
Because the person you are following most likely have different backgrounds, different goals from you and so they are driven differently and what eventually make them happy may not make you happy.
Learn how to care about yourself and not others. No one cares.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – https://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck

5) Set a Specific Financial Goal then Invest in Yourself
We are all trying to reach financial freedom. It helps to set a specific financial goal in dollar amount. The financial goal is a function of the capital invested and return generated. For example, if you would like to have a million dollars. You could invest $10k in capital and if you get 100x return then you have reached your goal.
Investing in yourself has the highest return and lowest risk profile possible out of all the investment vehicles you have available to you right now. Just imagine what can you invest that has the potential to 10x let alone 100x.
By investing in yourself I don’t mean university courses, which are means, but also self improvements, mindsets so it can be books or self development programs. The book, Think and Grow Rich is a good place to start.
Simple arithmetic also implies that the more capital you invest, the less return you require on reaching your financial goal. And because of compounding, the more capital invested, the higher return as well. And when you are younger, you have more time to compound as well as reach the financial goal so invest early.
One may change the financial goal over time like after getting married or having children but the analogy is that reaching step 69 will help you much better plan for step 70 and beyond than when you are still at step 1.

6) Reach out and Find a Mentor
You have reached this far of your journey with what you know so you need to find someone that you aspire to be to work with. You need to know their mindsets, daily routines.
Don’t just listen to your mother.
You will need to reach out to more than your current social circles to find mentors.

7) Be more Picky on Friends
Check who you are calling and messaging with the most. Don’t just hang around people that share your values.
Be more assertive and talk to people that you don’t relate to as well but you find to be successful. They will teach you more than you can imagine.

But still learn to be kind and treat others with respect especially those with perceived lower social status. This mindset will help you in life because your success relies on others and it also keep you in a grateful and abundant state.

7) Try as Hard as you can to Dream as Big as you can
This is probably the single most important factor.
If you want it hard and bad enough, your sub conscience mind will lead you there eventually.
I know because I came from the future and I am sorry to tell you, your dream is not big enough right now.
Doing the things mentioned in this article will help with this.
Learn the concept of moonshot.

8) Learn to Take Risks 
Because not taking risks is taking risk in itself.
The reward of stability is overrated but its downside underestimated. Vice versa, the reward of being courageous is underestimated.
You may know this already but don’t know what it actually means and how to apply because there are actually tangible harm if you don’t do it well or you may just not learn the lesson.
That’s why finding a mentor is important.

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Categories:careers, personal growth

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3 replies

Trackbacks

  1. I Stopped Listening to my Mother – The Banking to Startup Diary
  2. I was Consumed by Fear today – The Banking to Startup Diary
  3. Applying Ray Dalio’s Principles – The Banking to Startup Diary

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