When I was 10 years old it seemed like everyone at age 15 had it all figured out. But when I turned 15 I realized that no one at age 15 had anything figured out. Including myself.
So when I was 15 it seemed like everyone at age 20 had it all figured out. But when I turned 20 I realized that still no one at age 20 had anything figured out. Including myself.
And when I was 20 I thought everyone at age 30 had it all figured out. But when I turned 30 I realized that no one at age 30 had anything figured out. Including myself. Especially myself...
So at age 30 I finally started to understand that no one has anything figured out. Ever. No matter whether you're 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 years old. No one has anything figured out. Some people are just better than others at faking it.
But that's ok. Not knowing and having nothing figured out is what makes this whole thing a lot more interesting, fun, adventurous and mysterious. That really is the only thing that helps me to keep the ball rolling. Every single day. No matter if I score or I if get punched in the face...
# WILL I EVER ARRIVE?
I can still remember when I graduated from high school and thought “That's it. I will never have to learn anything in my entire life again. I've learned everything there possibly is to learn in this life. Now I'm just going to sit back, relax and enjoy the show.”
And when I graduated from university I thought the exact same thing. "Ill never have to learn anything ever again. I'm done with learning. I have finally arrived. There really can't be anything left out there for me to learn."
And then I started my first real job. And after almost two years at that job I realized that this was probably the first time in my life that I might have reached the point where I won't learn anything new anymore.
That's when I decided to quit that job. That's when I decided that I never wanted to be done. That I never wanted to arrive. Just like someone a lot smarter than me once said...
“Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.”
I didn't want to die at age 25..
# SAYING NO
Is probably the hardest but also the most important skill to learn...
# WHAT AM I?
I still don't really know what I am. Or who I am. Sometimes I'm a writer. Sometimes I'm an entrepreneur. And sometimes I work with other people. I love to travel and see other places, cultures and eat all kinds of different food.
When I was 18 I thought that by now I would have settled down, have a stable job, drive the kids to school every morning, do all of this grown up stuff and do things that I don't really enjoy that much just to be able to afford the lifestyle that everybody else told me to live.
At age 32 I spent almost an entire year in South East Asia. Doing none of the above. All I had with me was a carry on backpack with less than 10 things in it. I had 3 outfits. And two of them included a singlet and all of them included shorts. The only thing I needed to be able to work and do grown up stuff was my laptop...
So what am I? Who am I? I'm mostly just myself. And that's something I would never have thought possible when I was 18 years old. It's never been easier to be yourself and do the things you want to do.
It's a lot easier than it was 10, 20, 30 or 40 years ago. But don't get me wrong here. It's still hard. Very, very hard. But it's possible. And it's never been easier to be yourself than today.
We only got that one life to be ourselves.
And I think it's worth a try.
We owe it to ourselves...
I thought failure stops around age 30. But I had to realize that it never really stops. And when it stops, it means that I stop trying. That I stop experimenting. It means that I stop learning. That I stop reinventing myself. And the world around me..
I thought by age 30 things would get easier. I thought relationships would get easier. Life would get easier. People would get easier. But it turns out that the older you get, the more complicated everything gets. Unless you decide to make it easier.
But this doesn't happen automatically. You've gotta work hard for it. You've gotta decide and actively avoid people who suck all the energy out of you. You've gotta do less of the things you don't really enjoy doing. And this is hard. Really hard.
And instead you've gotta try everything you can to spend more time doing the things you enjoy doing. And spend less time with people you don't enjoy being around. It's the only way to make life easier. With less drama. And other meaningless stuff.
You can make your life as easy as you want it to be. But you've gotta be willing to pay the price. Everything has a price. I prefer my life to be as easy as possible with as little friction as possible. So I can focus on the things and the people I really want to focus on.
Our time here is limited. Very limited. Make sure you don't too much of it with people you don't like doing things you don't like...
# WORKING HARD
“I'm not smart. I've just done many stupid things that didn't work.”
It doesn't matter how much or how little you know. Or how smart you are or think you are. Because none of it really matters. The only thing that really matters are the things you've actually really done. The things you've experienced. And not just the things you've read in a book. When you go from just reading about something to applying that something in real life. Real life is a whole different story. Real life isn't theory. That's why I sometimes think that the smarter people think they are, the harder they'd have to work. Simply because you might feel that you already know it all. But you never know anything, until you actually really do it...
# SOCIAL PRESSURE
Kills dreams. Ambitions. And people. Just like I said earlier. The only person you should try to please is your 80 year old self.
I don't know what my purpose is. Or what I'm passionate about. But I realized that being passionate about finding my passion and my purpose is already a good start. As matter of fact that's what has driven me to do all of these things? What things? All things...
I never reached any of my goals. I missed all of them. Every single time. But that's ok. I just keep going. That really is the only way...
"It's never too late to be who you say you are!"
I worked, lived and traveled all over the world with a carry-on backpack with just 3 outfits in it.
The most valuable thing I own is a $300 laptop.
I never had a place of my own.
I never bought any furniture in my life.
And at one point I decided to I write a book about what I've learned.
And today you can get a free copy of it.
Click here to claim your copy now (it's free, for now)...
# INPUT – OUTPUT
The more you put in, the more you'll get out of it. And this applies to pretty much everything. Work, relationships, friendships, everything. The less you're willing to put in, the less you'll be able to get out of it. There is no shortcut. There is no growth hacking. The only way to make it work and to get the results you want is to put in the work that will produce the results you want. And that's usually more time, work and energy you ever thought possible...
# GETTING IT RIGHT
I never get anything right at the very first time. But I got used to it by now. Because I realized that not getting it right is part of the process of getting it right. But you've gotta make sure that you don't give up when you're not getting it right. Because not giving up is the only way to maybe getting it right some time in the future. But again, there's no guarantee for anything.
# YOU CAN'T
Many people will tell you that you can't. And it's probably true. You can't.
You can't do it if you do it their way. If you do it like it's always been done. That's why you've gotta do it your way. That's why you've gotta find your way. Figure out what your way is.
Here's the thing...
New ways of doing things never work. Until they do. Just like old ways of doing things always work. Until they don't..
I thought by now I'd have figured out how to deal with procrastination. Turns out I didn't. I had the whole day to write this right here. And right now it's almost midnight. Again! And it's not like I had to do so many things today. I just found dozens of other things to do. So I did those things first. And now I'm struggling to write this...
I always thought talent was the most important thing. But it's not. Persistence really is the only thing you need. Because persistence will lead to skill. And talent rarely leads to skill. Because talent makes you arrogant. And lazy.
Here's why persistence is so hard...
We have way too many options. And the more options you have, the harder it is to stay focused and to be persistent. If something doesn't work right away there are always millions of other things to do. So we tend to give up early. And do something else. And never really finish anything.
On the other hand, the less options you have, the more you'd have to focus and the more persistent you'll automatically be. Simply because you don't have any other options. Persistence really is a lack of options...
The only person you're competing with are the voices living inside your head. And no one else...
Everybody tells you that you can't be selfish in life. That you have to think of other people first. And it's true. But the problem is that when you always put other people first, when you don't take care of yourself, you will never be strong enough to take care of others.
The only way to help others is when you're strong. You can't help anyone when you're weak. It just doesn't work. So the only way you'll ever be able to help anyone is to help yourself first. To be physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially healthy. That's the only way to ever be able to help other people to also become physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially healthy.
The more you're willing to sacrifice, the more you might be able to gain. The bigger the risk you're willing to take, the bigger the potential outcome. But there's no guarantee for it. There's no guarantee for anything. There's just a possibility. But no guarantee...
# FOLLOWING YOUR OWN PATH
Is it going to be worth it?
Is it going to be worth it to follow your own path?
I don't know.
Ask me that question in 30-40 years...
You can never have enough of it. But not because it allows you to buy things. But because it allows you to buy yourself some freedom.
Some freedom to do the things you really want to do. It allows you to buy yourself some time. Some time to learn new skills. Some time to invest in yourself. Some time to help other people. To invest in other people.
Money is not for buying things. Things don't make us happy. Money is for buying ourselves some time and freedom to do the things that make us happy...
Everything we thought was safe isn't safe anymore. Everything our parents, teachers, professors or society told us to do because it was the safe thing to do isn't safe anymore. And if it still seems safe it probably won't be safe anymore tomorrow. But who knows? No one knows. Because nothing is safe anymore...
No one destroys your dreams. The only person who destroys your dreams is you. By not working on them. By not putting in the work. By using other peoples opinions as excuses for not trying. For not putting in the work. For escaping failure...
#IT DOESNT REALLY MATTER
Most things in life don't really matter. All of the things I just wrote don't really matter. That's why I'm going to stop right here. Because it doesn't really matter....