I wish someone had told me all of this when I was 15. I would NOT have joined that cult.
I wish someone had told me all of these things when I was 30. I would not have X (I have to say “X” because I don’t want to hurt anyone).
I wish someone had told me these things when I was 32, 40, and 45.
I hope someone will tell me these things when I’m 50, 60, and 80.
I honestly hope I die in my sleep before I’m 80.
1. LIFE CHANGES FAST.
Don’t hang on to it. Just go where it takes you. Don’t try to control it.
The Universe just spent 13.8 billion years creating you. There’s nothing you can do to try to control it.
Don’t try to have a single career. To have a “purpose”. To “figure out what I want to do”.
Just do the best you can each day. If you don’t know what that means, you have to figure that out for yourself.
If anybody tells you what it means, then they don’t know what it means.
2. EXPERIENCES > GOODS
Don’t buy goods. Don’t buy a house. Don’t buy a fancy anything.
Buy (or have) good experiences.
This is how neurochemicals work. You have 4 or 5 that make you happy (oxytocin, dopamine, etc). They get into your brain, they trigger happiness, and they metabolize very quickly so the happiness goes away and you need more.
When you buy something nice, the neurochemicals spike, and then go away.
When you have an experience, you have days (or months) of anticipation for the experience.
Then you have the experience.
Then you have the memories that can last forever.
That’s a lot of happy chemicals all the time bursting through your head.
If you just use this one rule, you’ll have a happy life.
You already know all the words in your head.
You only get something new if you listen to the words that are coming out of someone else’s head.
Always look to add to who you are instead of subtract. When you talk you subtract. When you listen, you add.
4. PRETEND EVERYONE IS GOING TO DIE TOMORROW
People say, as if it were good advice, “Live life like it’s your last day?”
I’m not even sure what that means. Should I have a party every day? Should I eat cake all day long. Because if I knew tomorrow I was going to die then I would eat cake all day today.
Do this instead: Live life like it’s the last day for EVERYONE ELSE.
Imagine now you see someone. You know it’s their last day but they don’t.
So you will treat them really well and feel compassion for them. And then they will treat you well.
What a nice virtuous cycle. One that helps everyone and makes you happy.
Oh, and it’s ok to eat cake sometimes. Eat what your heart wants.
5. POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, NEWS IS COMPLETELY UNIMPORTANT
Congress makes minor laws that lobbyists bribe them for.
But you can make a child happy. And Google is making cars that drive by themselves. And writers write poetry, and painters make beautiful art.
Do something stupid and ridiculous that you love. Do something today that tomorrow people will say is great.
The news will never do that; Art and innovation will. We still remember art from 3000 years ago. But we don’t remember what laws passed that day; Or what the Kardashians were doing.
6. The 5 X 5 RULE
a. You’re the average of the 5 people you spend time with.
b. You’re the average of the 5 thoughts you most have .
c. You’re the average of the 5 types of food you eat.
d. You’re the average of the 5 things you are most grateful for.
e. You are the average of the 5 things you are reading today.
Always take the job, pursue the life, have the friends, that allow you to have as much freedom as possible.
I asked Nassim Taleb on my podcast what job should one have. He said, “night watchman, because nobody is around to bother you and you can pursue all your dreams on the side.”
8. FOOD SLEEP MOVE
Every cell in our body changes every seven years. What are the cells made out of? The food you eat.
I’ve seen this happen with my own eyes. I watched someone who only eats good foods and never eat junks. Over the past 7 years she has developed a glow. She stands out in a crowd.
It doesn’t matter what you look like. If you eat well (and you know what that means) then you will get that glow.
Sleep: we know one basic thing: at night when we are tired our brains are not that productive. So what do we do? We sleep.
Don’t fall for “sleep porn” – that the less sleep you have, the more productive.
It’s the reverse.
Sleep rejuvenates the brain. If you sleep 8 hours instead of 2 then your brain is 100x more productive during it’s peak time of the day (about 2 hours after you wake up.
That 100x compounds into amazing.
And movement. Your body depends on oxygen circulating. It circulates better when you move. Walk 20 hours a week.
9. DON’T TIME TRAVEL
We do things. We do more things. We do lots of things. And then…
We regret what we did (time travel to the past)
We are anxious about the future (time travel to the future).
Anxiety never solves the future’s problems but will always drain your strength today.
When I find myself time traveling sometimes I stop and look at rooftops.
Architects save their beautiful flourishes for the rooftops, when the building is done. This brings me back to the present.
Then I think of at least one thing I’m grateful for. Gratitude, regret, and anxiety can’t live in the brain at the same time.
10. THE IMPRESSION TECHNIQUE
If you want to impress someone, if you want to be noticed, if you want to make a friend, if you want to feel creative, do this:
Write down ten ideas a day. Sometimes…write down 10 ideas to help someone else and send it to them. With ZERO expectations back.
Do this a lot. It exercises your creativity until you become an idea machine.
It also gets people noticing you and calling you. And when you have no expectations you will find your expectations constantly exceeded.
I do all of the above. And every six months my life changes so drastically I can hardly believe it.
When someone asks me now, “Where will you be in six months?”
I say, “Some place amazing.”