So I turn to the BIG 3-0 today.
The dreaded 30.
So did I achieve all the goals that I set out to achieve?
Not all of them.
Income levels – pretty much checked.
Nett worth – not even close (will get to that later).
Experiences – not where I want to be.
Health – didn’t quite get the 6 pack that I was aiming for.
Spirituality – not where I want it to be as well.
Relationships – can be better.
So – what do I want to achieve for the next 5 years?
More travelling – actually seeing and experiencing the world. More diverse destinations – Note to self: purchase flight tickets WAY in advance so that I don’t give myself any excuses.
Great physique – this is huge – I have always talked about it – but falter halfway due to time and diet constraints. Looking at sub 15% body fat and more muscle mass vs fat.
Freedom – something I truly value and wished I had more of. Great advice I got today – “The More Disciplined You Are the More Freedom You Get” – seems counter-intuitive but probably will elaborate in another blog post.
Philanthropy – getting more involved in causes I truly care about and playing a greater role both in the community and world at large to leave the world better than when I found it.
Growth – to learn and explore more things in personal development, spirituality, marketing, entrepreneurship & actual technical skills.
Tribe – I remember what it used to be when I was 21 and wanted a good role model to follow. I believe that we are put to this world to not only grow personally but to grow others in the process.
Taking Better Care Of Myself – I think this is huge – especially sleep, fresh air, good diet and consistent workouts.
Greater Contribution – My current life direction and focus is using technology to simplify lives. I am a firm believer that humans are not meant to do hard work that they hate (done plenty of that myself). I also believe in awesome work environments where people can grow and are happy to come to work.
I hope I can contribute (significantly I hope) a startup / success of startups I work with in this direction.
I am a bit too old for celebrations I feel – I gave a new phone to my mum so that she would be able to keep in touch with me when I travel in the future, took my family out for a meal and got nothing much but fresher perspectives of living.
So in the spirit of Tim Ferriss’s podcast, I would like to give some advice to both my 20 Year Old Self and 25 Year Old Self.
Just to give you some context – when I was 20 – I was still studying my BSc. (Hons) Biotechnology degree at UTAR. Not the best student, I was mostly feeling lost, had very little confidence that I would amount to anything, was constantly worried about the future (without even taking care of my present – READ: better grades).
When I was 25 – I was in transition of working for the Bank and starting out foodpanda.my.
It was quite a scary and weirdly confident time for me. Part of me felt as if I knew everything – another just felt I can’t make it happen. It was self conflicting yet it was most certainly an interesting period of time for me.
My Advice To My 20 Year Old Self
- Don’t fret, just focus on what you enjoy – not what pays the most money – there is truth in the old adage – follow your bliss.
- Live within your means – set a budget to how much you should be spending.
- Start learning internet marketing and start something on the side – it was the wild wild west – keyword stuffed affiliate site could have afforded me much cooler stuff.
- Make better use of the internet – the Internet really isn’t just about downloading movies, music, porn and coursework. There’s so many more cool things to learn online.
- Learn copywriting & the art / science of conversions.
- Learn how to hack social communications / social hierachy – read “The Game” by Neil Strauss and “48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene.
- Start looking for people who are more successful than you – study them – what are their habits, influences, books, and practices that they did to be where they want to be.
- Get a gym membership & start working out. Good place to start 5×5 Stronglifts.
- Get an internship with MindValley – don’t worry about the salary – just learn and absorb marketing / direct response / culture hacking.
- Read more widely – don’t just limit your horizon to self help – but autobiographies, spirituality, business, marketing, game theory.
- Network with people outside UTAR – seek out other entrepreneurial individuals and start some side gig.
- Join Toastmasters & start meeting people older than yourself.
- Join a MLM group to learn the basics of selling. Sales isn’t a dirty work – it’s essentially part of what the best entrepreneurs / linchpins have to do: sell their ideas, their products, their personality, etc.
- Learn Finance and how does money work – the various instruments where money is made and invested.
- Don’t waste time on well time wasters – actually use the time to study damn it!
- Invest in modafinil.
- Experiment – not just in labs. But with experiences, mind altering herbs, etc.
- Get a proper haircut and invest in a good set of clothes – first impression counts.
- Start looking at how to actually apply of what you learn outside the classroom.
- Don’t buy CD’s – it takes up space and most of them end up as junk.
- Buy Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane and the Battlestar Galattica series!
My Advice to My 25 Year Old Self
- Set every activity (even phone calls) with a specific outcome – if there is no outcome – don’t do it.
- Attend more personal development programs – invest more in yourself.
- Be very cautious to your time – spend it in things that really matter and make a difference.
- Be more consistent about gym time and actually go.
- Read / learn and practice – there is a difference between just knowing and actually doing.
- You don’t know everything – stop deluding yourself that you do – because it’s as simple as ‘Are You OK With The Results That You Currently Have’ – if the answer is no – then you are still not getting it right.
- Take “EXTREME RESPONSIBILITY” of your life – your current state financially, physically, mentally, emotionally is your fault – there is nobody else to be blamed for your success / failures.
- Stop thinking as a consumer – look at the world as a builder / creator.
- Plan your weeks ahead. Give yourself 5 Missions Daily in the morning – check back if all missions are accomplished at night – the missions must tie in with your annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals.
- Start drinking bulletproof coffee in the mornings to clear mind fog.
- Spend more time with people more successful than yourself, stop worrying about those that can’t keep up with your ambition – they will always be small and weak – there is no use to convince them to change their ways. Unfortunately that’s how the world works – and that’s why there’s so few successful people – they are just not willing to do ‘crazy things’ that you do.
- Keep learning diligently and keep asking yourself every month – “What Should I Upskill Myself With To Achieve My End Goal?”
- Limit the purchase of gadgets – I am looking at you – Blackberry Playbook.
- Look at your goals daily and keep asking yourself what can I do today to get me there. Remember: small imperfect actions.
- Start saving up money to invest in property – learn how to make money using property.
- Some movies are really not worth watching – those movies are truly a waste of time and film reels.
- Learn to say “No” to more things that don’t align with your goals and say “Yes” to more things that allows you to grow. I am looking at courses that I ended up not following and not even redeeming the 30 Day Money Back Guarantee.
- Seek out more entrepreneurs (and not the ones from Rocket – but real true blue ones) and add value to their ventures. There’s always ways you can contribute.
- Travel more – do more than just sight-see but see what you can learn / bring back / contribute.
- Find time every month to feed the homeless.
- Try to get your ass to Singapore sooner – the Ringgit will fall – oh wait – you already knew that.
Those are pretty much the tactical stuff, but I guess on a more strategic side – I would just give these 3 main advice:
- Choose Your Battles – Know your odds – fight only battles you know you will win, have a failsafe option and fight a good fight.
- Do What Is Right – It’s Not Always What’s Easy or Convenient (Unfortunately) – but trust me, its more sustainable and will get you less heartaches.
- Add Immense Value In Everything That You Do / Every Interaction You Have – the world and its denizens do not orbit around you (although it would be cool if it did).
Here’s hoping I don’t repeat the above advice to myself when I hit 40!