I Just Turned 40! What I’d Tell My 20-Year-Old Self

Published on December 14, 2020 by

A virtual 40th birthday celebration and sharing of wisdom that I’d tell 20-year-old self if I could go back in time. This should be a fun time, and perhaps even a useful and informative time. Whether you’re 25, 35, or even 75, I think you can benefit from some of these tips!

1. Don’t be overly concerned about sticking to a “life plan”
Be open to opportunities as they come up
You don’t have to stick to you childhood answer of “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

2. Get out of your comfort zone
Growth comes from being out there… and some of my best experiences were out there
But not too far out

3. Start public speaking earlier
This was out of my comfort zone as an introvert
But being comfortable being on camera also comes from being comfortable being on stage

4. Get in to an exercise habit early… and don’t listen to “eat everything on your plate”
I lost 40 pounds once I started exercising… and eating less. Not depriving myself, just eating less of existing portions. 2 / 3 of my burrito, half of my fries.
I should have started surfing earlier!

5. Be a skeptic of offers that are “too good to be true”
Not everybody’s motives are genuine.
Be careful of whom you take advice from. They might not be qualified.

6. Negative role models are just as important as positive role models

7. Smile, and say thank you, and give a compliment when it’s warranted
A little bit of positivity goes a long way!

8. Don’t prepared for a “job” – prepare to change, evolve, and learn new things
The only thing constant in life is change
Many of the jobs that exist today, didn’t exist 20 years ago.
Who knew social media manager would be a thing?
I would have told myself to go “all in” on Youtube when it launched… but there was no way to know that then

9. If you enjoy your work, it won’t be so bad
People often say “If you enjoy your work, you don’t work a day in your life” — it’s not true
As soon as it becomes “work” it’s something you have to do… then people don’t enjoy it
But it doesn’t have to be bad!
Take work risks early in your career — Less “worries” like a house, spouse, kids

10. Don’t work a job just for the retirement
That’s a surefire way to not enjoy what you’re doing… and just a way to hope you enjoy the payoff after 30 years. That’s a long time.

11. Travel more + It’s OK to travel solo
Didn’t really start traveling until I was 24. When I was in school I was really focused on school. And only school. But I could have taken some trips during the breaks.
Always have a “next trip” planned

12. Do a foreign exchange
Ocgirl did this and really enjoyed it

13. Went for lifetime elite status more strategically

14. Be deliberate about staying in touch with your friends (check in at least once a year)

15. Don’t try to “win” arguments for the sake of winning
You often don’t win anything other than the other person conceding.. Usually winning an argument you end up losing because that person holds a grudge. Think about what the outcome is before you enter an argument.

16. From Dave Ramsey: Successful people don’t win at life because they have a magic pill or top-secret information—they work at it for years. Successful people reach their goals by taking small, intentional steps toward those goals every day

17. Don’t buy cheap stuff
Don’t buy it just because it’s on sale
Cheap airlines (different than cheap tickets)
Cheap luggage (Rimowa)
Cheap computers
Cheap video equipment
Cheap shoes
Cheap socks

18. Don’t feed the trolls
And don’t let them get you down
There’s always going to be haters


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