13 actions you can start taking now so that in 5 years you will hardly recognize your former self.
And will perhaps smile when you reflect on that.
1. Introduce yourself to everyone you come in contact with.
Human beings need one another. We rely and collaborate with one another to build societies, buildings, infrastructure, technological advancements, art etc. It’s a fool’s errand to believe that you can become a “better” individual if you do not introduce yourself and the power behind you to the people you will come across in life. For many people, this is a very hard thing to do- especially face to face. In today’s world, we have the ability to communicate with people through digital interface (this interaction still helps you supplant your influence to others in the world). Use these technological advances to your advantages. Make your name known to all.
2. Ask for guidance.
It’s easier to catapult yourself into a space of prosperity when you have someone who has already walked the path you’re walking help you get there. A mentor is probably the best way to get you moving at an accelerated rate towards your long term goals. Again, with technology, this isn’t just exclusive to face-to-face mentorship. There are plenty of digital means to get guidance of where you are going.
3. Seek the opportunity to guide others.
In order to make yourself a true master and professional at a specific trade or craft is to teach others your skills. This is a way to truly solidify the skills and knowledge in your head and spread it into the community. When you do this, you are creating a symbiotic loop of growth within the community you are a part of or building.
4. Work your tail off in the micro.
Do you want to write? You’re going to have to write everyday. Do you want to act? You’re going to need to take intensive classes to help build your skill. Do you want a girlfriend? You’re going to need to practice talking to every girl in front of you. If you want to change your life over the next five years, you are going to need to be a production assassin during the micro-daily grind. You are going to need to put in copious amounts of work in order to fully build your enterprise.
5. Remain patient in the macro.
Too many people (especially members of my generation- millennials) want to see the results of their work instantly. We have grown up in a time where we can get every surface level thing at a moment’s notice- sometimes, with just the push of a button. Things that really truly matter, however, like work satisfaction, joy, fulfillment, and relationship growth take time to nurture and mature. They also take struggle to fully be appreciated. You cannot have prosperity without struggle- this is true by definition.
6. Write down your goals.
When we write things down, we make things real. When you write down what you want to achieve and where you want to be in a given amount of time you make the thought of such and the action to get there real. Thinking about things and dreaming will only give you a short-term pleasure of grandeur and hope. When you make it real you raise the stakes. When you raise the stakes, you can either attempt to conquer the feat or wallow in despair. Choose the former.
7. Benchmark your life and your progress.
We all need to “check in” with what we’ve been doing on this journey we all call “life.” Too often do we find ourselves going through stretches of time- sometimes months if not years on auto-pilot. We drudge through the rigamarole of the daily grind and end up years later not knowing how we got to this spot. How do we counteract this? By periodically benchmarking our progress. Well, how does one benchmark? I find the best way to achieve this is by journaling. When I jot down my thoughts of where I used to be, where I am, and where I want to go I can reflect on what I need to pivot with and what I am doing right.
8. Forgive yourself and forgive others.
You cannot move forward if you are holding onto resentment. You will never be free from the past if you have some emotion holding you prisoner to some moment in time. In order to move forward and make yourself better 5 years from now you need to both forgive yourself and forget other people who may have wronged you.
9. Embody the philosophy of Nike.
“Just do it” might be one of the best marketing slogans of the last 100 years. It also is a great philosophy to embody. Just do it. When you feel you should talk to that girl, just do it. When you feel you should turn off the TV and read your book, just do it. When you feel you should actually get up off the toilet and stop scrolling your instagram feed, just do it. This takes copious amounts of practice to recognize your mind has been rolling on auto-pilot for perhaps hours but when you can “tap in” and tell yourself to just do it, you will make small decisions throughout the day and over the years that puts you ahead.
10. Get ample sleep.
We’ve all met plenty of people who when they tell us their age we immediately think something along the lines of, “damn. I thought you were going to be at least 5 years older than that.” Think about the people who tell you they’re 30 and you thought they were 36 or 37. These people look bad for their age. A big cause of this is over work and lack of sleep. People age when they aren’t getting their proper rest. You extrapolate this over an average life span of 80 or so years and you might end up losing some time off that life.
11. Optimize your diet.
Especially in the morning. Too many of us eat high sugar, high carbohydrate breakfasts (cereal, pancakes, waffles, muffins, potatoes, etc). What this does is spike our sugar levels through the roof first thing in the morning. We then crash come lunch time and to raise our energy levels we eat yet another high sugar, high carb meal. A high fat, high protein diet will help burn fuel slower thus giving you steady energy levels throughout the day (yogurt, avocado, eggs, bacon, nuts etc). When you have constant energy levels you can carry your productivity for a steadier and longer wave throughout the day which will carry though the week, through the months and through the years.
12. Leave or get fired from the job you hate.
In my personal experience, I was fired. At first, it was one of the scariest experiences of my life. I thought all hope was lost. My Ego was telling me I was a failure. I was losing confidence. After I had some time to reflect on what happened, it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I was idle. I wasn’t moving forward and wasn’t experiencing satisfaction with the role. I was living dogmatically through some script of what was “right” in terms of my professional life. I tend to think now, when I was fired my adult life really started. This was 5 years ago and since then I have found other professional careers, started my writing career, started my entrepreneurial endeavors and really found joy in my choices.
13. Leave your toxic relationships.
At first take, most people will think this is in terms of a romantic partner. Definitely leave your romantic partner if you aren’t feeling fulfilled or worse are being manipulated. This bleeds however, into other relationships in life. I realized I needed to leave my family and move thousands of miles away from them in order to fully develop into my ideal self (and I have an amazingly special relationship with my family). I realized I needed to sacrifice being close to them in order to not resent them. This is with friends too. I have friends where I felt we weren’t moving and growing together and we have since gone our separate ways.
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