I don’t normally time travel.
Today I want to. I’ve heard several people talk about what they would tell their 20 year old self if they could go back in time.
I’ve never done this exercise because I didn’t see any value in it. What’s done is done, right?
I’ve changed my mind. I think it allows you to think about what you value and to concentrate on activities today that follow those values and not waste time with anything that doesn’t. So here goes.
1. Fitness – Diet is 85% of the equation. Eat lots of meat and veggies and cut out carbs on non-workout days. Once or twice a week do a sixteen hour fast. Concentrate on body-weight exercises; pushups, pullups, chinups, squats, planks, handstand pushups, lunges, jumps, mountain climbers, burpees, janda situps, hanging leg raises and bicycles. Do these only three times per week and interval training two days a week with two days of rest. Do lots of stretching and mobility exercises every day. Measure and log everything.
2. Mental Health – Avoid negative relationships and hang with positive people. Keep stress out of my life as much as possible. Sleep 8-10 hours per day. Think positive thoughts. Meditate – it’s not crazy.
3. Career/Education – Don’t go to college. Move to California and pursue a career in music. Be relentless. Don’t back down. You will make it. Don’t worry if you have to struggle for a few years. Hard work, persistence and networking will get you there. Hang with people smarter and more successful than you. Meet as many people as possible. Travel the world. Master playing music, writing music, listening to music, learning music business. Read 100 books per year.
4. Useful Skills – Read and write daily. Study vocabulary and grammar. Learn to be an expert at sales, marketing and negotiating. Don’t be afraid to talk to people – the downside is not bad. Manage your emotions – stay mellow in hot situations. Form good habits.
5. Relationships – Opposites don’t attract. Find someone like you and that likes what you like. Hang with positive successful people. Maintain contact with family, friends, business associates; don’t lose touch. Reach out to one stranger per day until it is comfortable to do so. Find someone older than you that has done what you want to do and form an apprenticeship or ask them to mentor you. Find people you can learn from. Help someone else every day. Always think of something positive to say to another person when you are talking with them. Laugh and make others laugh with or at you. Don’t give up on people; remember why you love them and not why they drive you crazy.
6. Financial – Start saving early with small amounts that you won’t spend. Open a self-directed Roth IRA. Avoid debt as if it were a deadly disease. Start several small businesses to form multiple streams of income. Learn and read about finances. Don’t risk more than 2% on any one trade. Monitor your finances and watch your net worth grow. Don’t overspend on the big items like cars, houses and education. Protect yourself with good password protection, insurance, shredding financial information and good computer backups.
7. Lifelong Dreams/Goals – Pursue these relentlessly. Avoid anything that distracts you from your dreams. You love music. You want to be in a successful band that goes on a world tour. You love writing; write music and books, write every day, learn your craft. Start businesses, as many as possible. Keep going till you find ones that are successful and then start more, use the internet to help you. Don’t neglect your health. It is possible to be in great shape your whole life, not just when you are young. Travel the world, see what is out there, explore different cultures.
8. Spiritual – Grab on to your faith and never let it go. Study and memorize scripture. Support those who make it their calling to go into the world to spread the Word. Pray daily for guidance, not all prayers will be answered how you want them to. Find a great church to fellowship and worship in.
After writing this post out, I realized how solidified my values are. Each category was easy to write. Do I still have some topics that I don’t have the answer to? Yes I do. There are things I have learned in this life and there are things I won’t know the answer to no matter how much or how long I research, I just have to live by faith that it will work out.
I recommend you do this exercise too. Keep it with your lifetime goals and review it annually.