Dear Christopher, I’m writing this to you, my younger self because I know how much you want to succeed. And I see you wandering, wondering and wishing yourself into ever decreasing circles. I can help. Consider this as heartfelt advice and the loving kick up the ass that you sometimes need!
Looking back on the last five years, there’s some things I wish I’d known at age 18. Like college – man that’s such a shitty deal! They tell you it’s an investment in your future. Nope! That’s not an investment, it’s a sunk cost and year’s worth of debt.
And they say you need college to get an education. Nope! Everything you need to know is available online – it’s a few clicks away, and half of it’s free! True, practical knowledge is at your fingertips for a fraction of the cost of a college ‘education’.
Sure you need to learn, and it pays (massively) to invest in yourself, but college – it’s old, it’s a dead end.
Education for the 21st century
So, you want to know what it takes to win at life? What really makes the difference and how to pull it off? Are you fed up with reading other people’s ‘overnight millionaire’ stories and wish you could become that person yourself?
Here’s the good news; you can. For real, not just in some copywriter’s imagination! And it ain’t rocket science. Nor is it particularly secret – you just have to actually DO IT!
I’m talking to you, my former self, in the hope that maybe, in some parallel lifetime, you’ll read it and save yourself a whole lot of time and regret.
It’s your life Chris, you can’t do it ‘wrong’, and only you can define what success looks like to you. But there are some things you should know that will make achieving it a whole lot more likely.
Here’s what you need to do:
Follow your dreams – for real
I’m not talking about some airy-fairy, wishful thinking fantasy. Dreams are real – if YOU make them real.
You have great ideas, flashes of inspiration, thoughts of ‘if only I could…..’ – everyone does. The difference between most people and those living wildly successful, self directed lives is in following through on at least some of those ‘crazy’ ideas.
Christopher – you are not ‘most people’, so don’t behave like them.
Whose life is it anyway?
Look – most people are are not going to start six-figure businesses, build their dream homes or travel the world in luxury – or whatever your current dream happens to be. And it doesn’t matter how off the wall your ideas are. You can do what you want to do.
Seriously, if a guy can build a hugely successful business around his skill of balancing rocks on top of each other, how crazy is your idea sounding now?
And dude – stop with this Waiting To Discover My Life Purpose shit!
Life is here for living and enjoying. The meaning of life is whatever you decide it is. So stop waiting for someone else to tell you what you should do.
Drop the stories – it’s all lies
Everyone has stories Christopher, and you’re no exception. See if you recognize any of these:
I can’t sing
It’s hard to make money
I’m not good enough
I’m too shy
Yes, I can see inside your head – I am your future self after all.
Here’s the thing – none of those are True. Except the singing, perhaps, but then you did stop trying to sing when you were six years old because your teacher told you how bad you were at it!
But they’re just stories you tell yourself. Drop the stories, Chris. Just because your parents or friends told you something, doesn’t make it true. It will be true for you if you keep believing it, but that’s a choice. You can choose a better story.
“I’m not the sort of person who…” will never get you anywhere. Change that story. Learn how to be the person who CAN. Read a book, take a class – there’s no shortage of information, just stop listening to the lies.
Stop listening to (Everybody)
So you want to climb mountains or be an artist, or fly helicopters? But ‘everybody’ says that’s a crazy idea, right?
Who, exactly, ever said that to you, Chris?
Have you found Martha Beck yet? You need to read her book Finding Your Own North Star. In it she talks about the ‘Everybody’ we all have in our minds. It’s what psychologists call “the generalized other” – in reality “Everybody” is just a vague collection of thoughts and opinions and attitudes from friends, family and other random folks.
You need to stop listening to Everybody, Chris, it’s just another form of storytelling (lies) and it isn’t helping you!
And watch who you hang with
What if there are some actual, real, people telling you that you can’t be, do and have all that you want in life? Well be very careful what you share with them.
If you had children, you’d warn then not to hang out with the kids from the ‘wrong side of town’, yes? Because you know they’d be a bad influence.
But who are you hanging out with Chris?
And remember that includes who you’re watching on YouTube, who you read, who you Follow. Are you associating with people who will help you get where you want to go? It matters.
Stop listening to people who tell you how hard it is, or that it can’t be done. Get around people who will support you in achieving your ambitions.
Cut the crap – take action!
What do successful people do that the 97% don’t?
It’s all very well knowing how, and learning how and getting all fired up and inspired and all, but nothing happens until you take action. Am I being too obvious here? Not for some people it seems.
How much of what you know have you put into action Christopher?
Enough with the excuses already
Yes, yes, I know, you don’t have time, you can’t afford it and you don’t know how.
And I’m calling BS on you Christopher.
Listen, I don’t mean to be mean, but you’re telling yourself stories again, and we covered some of this already.
You don’t know how? Well if that’s really true then learn how. Google is your friend. You can learn pretty much anything you need to somewhere online, and most of it for free – no excuse.
Can’t afford it? Hmmm! Bet you can still afford beer, coffee, new clothes, music and many other things that you just ‘can’t live without’ though. But you can’t afford to invest in yourself or your business? Sorry, invalid excuse.
And you don’t have time – that’s an old favorite, isn’t it Chris? Do I need to point out that you do have time to drink beer, watch TV, scroll on Facebook and go to the movies? Thought not.
Pick your priorities
Christopher, you have to let go of the idea that you need to manage your time better. You cannot control time! The one thing you do have control over is what you choose to do with your time. So choose to do the things that matter.
There’s been so much written about this, but here’s the ‘nutshell’ version of success in action:
- In the evening write an ordered list of the 3 most important things you want to work on tomorrow
- The next morning start working on #1 – don’t move on until it’s done
- If you only get that one thing done, it was the most important thing you could have done
Note: If scrolling Facebook or watching TV were not on your list of important tasks – DON’T DO THEM! These things are not likely to lead to your successful and awesome life – sorry and all that, but really?
Expect the best – and ask for it
Now I could get all metaphysical on your ass and talk about reality creation, intention and manifestation, but you may not be ready for that yet Christopher. It will find you when you’re ready.
For now, remember this, from W. Somerset Maugham:
It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept
anything but the best, you very often get it.
Your expectations make all the difference. Expect to succeed. Expect the best, and expect to be helped.
Asking for help is not a weakness!
Yes, you’re a man, and you think you have to know how and be able to do everything without any help.
You will never succeed at anything meaningful without other people. Unless you plan to be a hermit living in a cave for 20 years – and then you still need someone to bring you food!
You need help.
And it’s okay to ask for it. Necessary, in fact.
You love to help people, Christopher, but remember; it works both ways. People would love to help you too, if you’ll only let them. Just ask.
Conclusion: It’s never too late
I don’t know where and when this letter finds you. You may already be at the stage of “wish I’d done…. when I was younger”.
Heads up Chris: You’re younger today that you will be tomorrow!
The internet is full of stories (true ones this time) of 90 year old yoga teachers, 70 year old body builders, 85 year olds taking classes and learning new languages.
It’s never too late.
But why wait?
Don’t make the mistake of waiting until you have it all together. Spoiler alert: That never happens. Sorry!
So when would now be a good time to start creating the life you really want to live?
Go for it! I believe in you.
What you should do now
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