“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”
— Steve Jobs
Life always looks a lot clearer when looking backwards — as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. As I look back on the last 10 years of my life I see that I’ve improved a lot: finished school, great girlfriend, great job, great side hustle, great hobbies, great family, and a great life. Overall, I’m happy with where I am.
Still, who doesn’t want to improve a bit? For me, learning and personal growth are a big part of life. These are my 10 pieces of advice that I wish I had 10 years ago. Hopefully, they can help you become as successful as possible.
1. Don’t delay health or happiness.
I know you want to make loads of money and be successful in your career.
Ambition is awesome — I’m certainly an ambitious guy myself. I used to have the mentality of “make money first, have fun later.”
But with that mentality, you’re letting the best parts of life pass you buy.
When I started dating and exercising and spending more time on fun things, my career and personal growth improved by 100x.
Happiness, health, and wealth are all tied together, they support each other. Working on one improves the others. Work on all 3 at the same time and you’ll be flying in life.
2. Learn sales.
Acquiring almost anything good in your life will require skill in sales. Sales is the art of communicating with people and convincing them to give you something you want.
Interviewing for a job is sales.
Negotiating for a mortgage is sales.
Getting people to buy your product or support your brand is sales.
Sales is literally a life skill.
3. Be selfish.
At the end of the day, this is your life. You’re the one who is going to feel happiness or sadness, success or failure, depending on your life choices.
Sometimes that means having to make seemingly selfish choices. That’s just what you have to do.
Don’t be afraid to work hard. Be confident in your decisions and abilities. Learn to say NO if it’s beneficial to you. Don’t give in to what other people want you to do, follow your passions and your heart.
This is your life, make the most of it for you.
4. Focus, focus, focus.
I used to jump on a different interest every month, looking for the absolute perfect path to become successful. One time it was investing, the next it was business, and sometimes I even thought of climbing the corporate ladder. If that sounds like you….
Focus on one big project or endeavour at a time. Stretching yourself over several different things will only lead to you being just average at all of them.
You don’t need it to be perfect, you just need to put full effort into one thing and you’ll succeed. Fully focusing on ONE thing will give you 100x the results over trying to succeed at 10 different things at once.
5. Listen to your instincts.
You and me, we’re both humans. We’ve got thousands of years of evolution on our side. The way to leverage those powers is to listen to your instincts.
If you’re passionate about a certain thing then you should pursue it, no matter what anyone else tells you or what society says the odds are.
If you feel that a certain group of friends is pulling you down, distance yourself from them. It’s just not worth it.
Trust your gut.
Your instincts are like a built-in compass. Your mind and body know what to do. Follow them and they will not lead you astray.
6. Take positive criticism, drop haters.
There’s a difference between criticism and haters.
Haters = someone making judgments about your actions rooted in envy or fear.
Positive criticism = someone giving you real advice from a place of love or genuine support, even if it hurts your feeling.
Surround yourself with people who give you positive criticism — this will push you to become the best you can be. Drop the haters immediately — they’ll only slow you down.
7. Don’t lower your expectations, raise your game.
I used to make less-ambitious goals because I was afraid of failure. With smaller goals, there’s a higher chance to make it and less of a chance of the humiliating feeling of losing.
But that’s honestly all B.S.
All of the top players I know in any field set crazy ambitious goals.
Big goals elevate your game and drive you to work harder and think outside of the box. That’s how you get real personal growth and achievements. Always aim higher.
8. Train your mind like you train your body.
Loads of people exercise to train their bodies, but very few adults train their minds. If you want to be successful, training your mind isn’t an option — it’s a necessity.
Stop consuming crap: the news, social media, porn.
Start consuming the good stuff: books, courses, and conversations with intelligent people.
Boost your performance by boosting your mental health. Train it.
9. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
I used to think that to be successful, I had to invent the next big thing in tech or start some crazy new business.
That’s not the case at all.
There are plenty of ways to earn money and have a successful career. All of them boil down to a simple formula:
- Find what you’re passionate about
- Find something that people need
- Match your passion with the need and sell the solution at scale
Done. You’re making a fortune doing something you love.
10. Work fewer hours.
3 to 5 hours of DEEP work beats 12 hours of drowsy office busyness any day.
With fewer hours of work and more rest, you get more done. Your creativity is higher because you’re better rested. You feel happier. You can think more clearly. And you’ll value every second to get what needs to be done, done.
Identify the time of the day when you have the most energy and tackle your most important work during that time. That’s how you get the most bang for your buck and open up your time to the rest of your life.