Mary Schmich penned the article “Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young” many years ago to which my Sunscreen Song Tribute is derived from.
Following the release of my video on Timothy Ferriss’ blog, a lot of people asked me for some life advice. The truth is, just like Tim wrote about himself in his book, I’m not dirty rich nor do I wish to be. I’m actually still on the path and don’t believe I’ve made it … yet(*).
I drive a 12-year old Honda Civic which I mostly maintain myself. My sister-in-law gives me homecuts (albeit very good homecuts). I’ve never owned a dishwasher, though I fantasize once in a while about having one in the distant future. Instead of dinner and a movie dates, I choose “cost-efficient” dates such as going to public markets, having impromptu picnics, and surfing vintage thrift stores.
However, I will readily admit that I have planted the seed, and I am on a very good path.
Like one of the other featured people in Tim’s post, soultraveler3, who travels around the world with her family on 25,000 dollars a year while her daughter plays the violin at each hop, I just don’t want to die with my song still in me.
I also feel that it’s pretty easy for people to write about their successes after they’ve made it, so I think it would be an interesting change for people to be reading from someone who’s only on the path to “making it”.
I’ve pretty much lived my life in reverse. As a young, single dad many years ago, I was unwillingly forced to grow up very fast until it I couldn’t handle it any longer. Then, a miraculous thing happened – I looked within myself and realized I was creating my unhappiness. I realized I was the source of frustration - and in short, that was the start of how I became younger as I grew older.
Hopefully, I haven’t let good advice be wasted in my youth, so here is my advice for those who dare to aspire, for those who want to get younger as they grow older, from my youth to everyone of all ages:
Don’t worry about what other people think of you. It’s mostly in your head. You will be criticized and mocked (often by the ones closest to you) when you go out on a limb, but that is where all the fruit is.
Follow your intuition. Men, this is particularly relevant to you since we tend to look at things too objectively.
Be okay with failure and rejection.
Be okay with losing friends who don’t support your new direction. You will attract the right people into your life if you stay focused and on track.
Recognize the small successes for what they are – a seed planted for something bigger.
Stop judging others or yourself. Give other people the benefit of the doubt. In current terms, don’t be a hater.
Do one thing every day that scares you. Mary Schmich wrote this in her article. Lululemon reusable shopping bags have this written clearly on them. I wrote about my experiences trying this concept out too.
Keep your mind active and always be learning something. Be a lifelong student. Be nice to beginners (newbies, noobs), because if you make the lifelong learning habit, you will always be a “noob” at something. More importantly, be humble.
Don’t concern yourself with being right (and making others wrong). More often than not, it’s better just to be happy.
See your problems as either challenges or preferably opportunities. I will admit that this is harder than it sounds yet it is so important. Looking back on my life, I wouldn’t trade any of my so-called problems for the world, as they’ve taught me so much and brought me to where I am. From them, I’ve learned acceptance, understanding, compassion, courage, and so much more. Change your perspective and soon enough, you’ll be having good problems (e.g. Who should I ask out tonight – Betty or Veronica?)
Let go. Accept the things you can’t change. What you don’t accept will eat you up on the inside, and will synchronistically age you on the outside. I’ll repeat it again - Let go.
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. On the other side of fear lies freedom.
Celebrate your successes or achievements, but don’t let them inflate your ego. Your accomplishments do not make you a better person than anyone else.
Stay fit. Your body is the most important possession you will ever have in this world, so take care of it with that in mind. If you owned a Maserati, you wouldn’t put low octane fuel into it, so treat your body likewise.
Give value to other people. Don’t think so much about what you can get. It will come in due time, when you least expect it.
Lift with your knees.
Do what you love. Working hard or working smart doesn’t mean much if you don’t love what you do. Again, focus on giving value. It’s a reward in itself. Steve Jobs said it best: If you haven’t found (what you love) yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
Simplify. Don’t accumulate too many things. They only tie you down and clutter your mind.
Look for similarities in other people, rather than differences.
Create an action habit. The Law of Attraction doesn’t work without some action.
Take responsibility for your own actions. Stop blaming others for your circumstances.
Review your goals.
And of course … above all else, wear sunscreen
(*) The notion of “making it” or “success” is purely subjective. To some people, I may have made it. To others, no. Like I mention in the post, always be a student on the path. Enjoy the journey, not the destination.