My son, Alex, just turned 25 this week, and so perhaps this is one of the reasons I am reflecting on myself at age 25. There are so many things I’d like to tell Alex and Jake, but advising my sons, especially at age 21–25, tends to fall on deaf ears. (Does anyone else agree?!).
So instead, I’d like to have a conversation with myself. So here are 25 things I’d like to say to 25-Year-Old Aaron:
- You are ambitious and love self-improvement. That’s awesome! Keep pressing on. There’s going to be a lot of people who doubt you. Please don’t waste your time trying to prove yourself to them.
- You are overconfident. I’m impressed you are confident and not waiting for the approval of others. At the same time, make sure to set your ego aside now and then too.
- Make your bed. I know it sounds too simple and like a waste of time. But it will be the first thing you accomplish each day and set the tone for the rest of the day’s productivity. (And your future wife will be impressed!)
- You gain weight. Start exercising at least three times a week. Take your body seriously. It’s a temple and the only place you have to live. Oh, and quit eating fast food.
- You’re the life of the party. Everyone loves hearing your stories. Keep that up. But also listen and let others talk about themselves. And maybe skip that last vodka soda of the night. The party will be just as fun without it!
- You love people and are an extrovert. Jim Rohn said, “You become like the five people you spend the most time with.” Choose wisely.
- Stop saying, “I promise.” Prove yourself with your actions.
- Finances are a rollercoaster. You’re going to make money, and you’re going to lose money. Save AT LEAST 10% of what you make. I mean it. Put it in an account you never touch. You’ll thank me.
- Work isn’t everything. Learn the value of taking time off for your family. A lot of 25-year-olds are off looking for the next beer bash. Not you. You are a workaholic. Work will still be there after you take Friday night off.
- You aren’t a failure. Some of your endeavors are. But they lead you to some awesome adventures and business opportunities. Don’t beat yourself up when something you thought was the ‘next big thing’ doesn’t work.
- Some people are going to betray you. You think they are fantastic right now. They are going to blame you for things that go wrong. Don’t let them steal your joy or deflate your ambition. Typically the people you put on pedestals fall off eventually.
- Disappointment is inevitable. When you think “you’ve made it,” it’s going to come crashing down. It will shock you. Don’t let it stop you from trying something new. You will make it again.
- Planning will only get you so far. Life doesn’t always go as planned, even if you prepare yourself. Don’t get stuck on the frustration. Don’t waste your time feeling wronged. Accept it. Move on.
- Right now, you think you know everything. You think you can out-talk everything. You think you know better than everyone, especially your parents. You’re wrong.
- Get a suit, and also some clothes that make you feel great. Learn to iron. Don’t go out in public with wrinkles in your clothes. Speaking of ‘wrinkles,’ anti-aging cream isn’t just for girls. Buy some now and start using it!
- People like to feel special. You can help them feel this way. Some ideas are: send out birthday cards, call them for no reason, take care of an older adult nearby. Get creative. You will never regret kindness.
- The big business deals you fought to win, you know what I mean, the “home runs,” they rarely work out. But all the base hits you made happen compound over time and help you become successful. Focus on base hits. The Home Runs just suck the life out of you emotionally and drain your precious time.
- Failure is just an opportunity in disguise. Failure is inevitable if you are pursuing goals. Don’t get too down on yourself. Instead, allow the failure to open new doors and take you to new places and people.
- Be yourself. There’s a lot of leaders out there. And a lot of personalities on social media. Just because someone else is a certain way doesn’t mean you have to be like them. You are enough.
- Don’t focus so much that you forget to have a little FUN. Make memories and take a lot of pictures. Back them up!
- FOMO is real. Don’t get overwhelmed with trying to find the ONE thing that you love doing, aka your “passion.” Don’t wait until you know what it is before you start pursuing goals, business, success, etc. Put yourself out there and get to work. Your passion will find you. You won’t miss out on things by picking with something and sticking to it. You’ll open so many doors for yourself. You will be amazed!
- Life is simply unfair. The less time you try to fix this, the better. You won’t be able to correct all the injustice. Instead, refocus, do kind things to balance things out and move forward. Wasting time and energy resenting the unfairness of the world is something you’ll look back at and roll your eyes.
- Time goes by faster than you think. Don’t wait for things. You think you have all the time in the world. You don’t. Also, call your family and tell them you love them. Do it right now. Not a text. A real phone call.
- Don’t look for handouts or expect others to do things for you. It’s up to you. No one owes you anything. You can make your life better, or keep it status quo.
- 2020 is a mess. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Keep #13 handy to prepare for this one.
- BONUS: Pray. Pray often. Pray hard. God can handle when you’re angry and frustrated. Talk to Him. He will help you when you are worried or scared or feeling alone. He will be there when you’re happy and excited. There’s never a wrong time to pray!
Okay, so there you go! Twenty-five things I’d say to my 25-year-old self! What would you tell yourself? I’d love to read your advice and compare it.
Until next week!
Success is a Choice!