Life does a great job of teaching us lessons the hard way. Sometimes we look back and wish that maybe we’d done things a little differently. “If I’d known then what I know now…” is something that plagues most of us as we get older and wonder how different life could be if we’d only known certain things when we were younger. Have you ever wished to talk to your 20-year-old self, what would you say? What would you want to tell yourself at 25, what about your 30s?
You’re not alone in feeling this way. I will be the first to admit to doing this! I wanted to share some of the things I wish I did when I was in my 20s that I feel could’ve helped me and my family in the long run. My hope is that no matter your age, it helps, teaches, and equips you to make a change today.
1. Continue to Educate Yourself.
I say this all the time because I think it is one of the most IMPORTANT things to understand: learning never stops. It doesn’t matter if you have your dream job, you’re a business owner, a student, a parent, or a coach, whatever you may be doing in life you should always continue to learn. Even after college, you should be putting effort into bettering yourself and gaining more knowledge. You need to educate yourself spiritually, financially, for your family, and for your business. Our world is constantly changing so we must constantly be learning in order to keep up with it. One of the best ways to do this is by reading. You should always have something to read with you that can help you grow as a person.
2. Invest in Yourself
You also need to be willing to invest in yourself and learning new skills in order to grow. You can do this through online courses or workshops or attend conferences for your special interests. Choose skills that will improve yourself and will be worth the investment. The only way to make yourself better is to ‘hold your feet to the fire,’ to get in there and DO the work. You won’t change and improve without effort, and bettering yourself has a high return investment, so finding ways to acquire new skills will definitely be worth the money.
3. Apply Knowledge and Do.
Like I said before, you can’t improve yourself by standing by, you have to DO the work. Make a plan and take action! Something that I say all the time to remind myself and the people around me to not be passive is “don’t meet about the meeting, don’t plan the plan.” You shouldn’t waste your time procrastinating on how you will achieve things, you should be focusing on the steps to take for success. Mistakes are inevitable and will trip you up, but that’s okay! One of the best ways we learn is from our mistakes, so if you mess up, you can take what you’ve learned and do better the next time. It is better to take action and learn from failures than to never even begin.
4. Serve People
Something I wish I’d done more when I was a younger businessman is knowing to always give people more than what they think they paid for. Now there is a slightly selfish motive in this, in that it creates loyal customers who know your character and work ethic as will vouch for you, expanding your customer base. Aside from the selfish motive, this can be applied to anyone’s life. Doing more for others than what is expected of you and going above and beyond in everything you do builds character. It shows you and the people around you that goodwill exists and it is also just a great way to instill thankfulness in people’s lives.
As you read through these, you may be overwhelmed by the things you want to go back and tell yourself. That’s okay, but it’s important to remember that it is in the past. There is no redo button in life, no chance to change our pasts. Yet, our pasts are precisely what made us who we are today. Even if we’ve made mistakes, we are given the opportunity to learn from them and we are still given our futures to make better.
I hope that my experiences have given you a chance to reflect on your own life. If you could, what would you tell your past self? What advice would you give and what would you do differently? If something is missing from your life, this introspection is the first step to actively making changes and working towards achieving whatever it is you want in life. If you have suggestions or want to discuss these things, don’t hesitate to contact me!
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