I am not some wise old guru guy who has seen and done all things life has to offer.
But there are many things I have learned in the last couple of years.
Things which I wasn’t 100% aware of when I was 18-year-old.
If I could speak with the 18-year-old Tom this is what I would tell him…
1) Accept people how they are
Don’t worry about what other people say or do, even if it doesn’t make sense for you at all.
Don’t care about someone saying something bad about you or trying to upset you.
By telling you not to worry I don’t mean you shouldn’t do anything against these circumstances.
You should very well do something against someone giving you a hard time or someone trying to push you around.
But you don’t have to understand everyone and everything all the time.
Things don’t have to make sense all the time, never take critic personally and think of like it’s a dust in the wind.
Every one of us is different and that’s a good thing.
You know who you are and how you see and perceive the world and that’s all you need.
You’re not Sigmund Freud, it’s not your job to understand other people.
If you focus more on others and what other people want, you will lose your own focus.
When you find yourself next time caught in a web of confusion caused by other people, climb out of it by focusing on yourself and on your goals.
2) Build something
If you would ask me what I regret most in my teens, I would answer you that my biggest regret is that I didn’t build much.
I wasn’t productive and lived as if we all had unlimited time on this planet.
By building, I don’t mean building a house, a wardrobe or something.
I mean learning or practicing some skill, some art and improving it every day.
It may be going to the gym and building your body or opening a YouTube channel and building a big audience.
Or maybe skateboarding is your skill and you practice it every day till you find a sponsor and may become a professional.
No matter what it is, you have to find something you love and practice it every day.
This is the secret to unlimited energy.
And No – Playing Video games and getting drunk doesn’t count as building something.
3) Don’t be afraid to fail
Too often in my life, I was afraid of something, of a change in my life, of a wrong decision I could make or to disappoint someone.
I was afraid to fail, stayed in my comfort zone and settled for the safer ”easier” life.
The fact that I would never live the life of my dreams if I wouldn’t try out some new things or open my eyes to new possibilities was somewhere deep in my mind, too deep to seize the opportunity.
One day I had to make a big decision.
I thought it would change my life forever and I could make a huge mistake which couldn’t be turned back again, so I asked a good friend of mine for advice.
He told me calmly no matter which decision I will make, it won’t be forever and if it was the wrong one you can (most of the time) go back to your starting point.
It is unavoidable to make mistakes and that’s a good thing.
If we wouldn’t make mistakes we wouldn’t grow.
Our mistakes shape us and make us to the person who we are today.
Without them, we wouldn’t appreciate successes as much as we do.
If you make a bad decision, you can always go back, start from new and reinvent yourself.
I came to a decision and it was one of the best ones I have made.
If you’re not happy where you are right now, you can always change it.
4) Be open to new things and have many interests.
What I mean by that is don’t be stubborn and narrow-minded.
People like to stick to their same old routine, their same old activities and lifestyle they have been doing the last years and often are not up for something new.
They are thinking ”Why should I try out something new if the life I have been living so far has worked fine for me?”.
It may have worked fine for them but there is a big chance that life offers more than fine if we are willing to see, feel and do something we have never done before.
Next time someone asks you to join them for some new activity, instead of saying no, say ”Yes, let’s do it”.
Everything you love now is something you have tried one day for the first time right?
One of the most talented people ever lived Leonardo Da Vinci had interests in many fields from painting and inventions to science and anatomy.
Be thirsty for knowledge.
5) Don’t watch TV
Yeah, that’s right, don’t watch TV.
You can watch some good movies every now and then, but don’t aimlessly turn on that box and click through the channels and adverts till you find something ”interesting”.
Instead, watch documentaries you’re really interested in on YouTube or even better read a book.
Reading books is like lifting weights for your brain.
It improves your knowledge and expands your vocabulary.
When I visited New York last year I read this quote on the floor and I agree.
Here are some book recommendations.
If you want to watch a documentary I can recommend you Food, Inc.
6) Drink coffee or matcha tea
I didn’t drink coffee for the first 23 years of my life.
I just didn’t like the taste, it was too bitter for me.
Then one day at my old job I felt really tired and someone offered me a cup of coffee.
I thought ok let’s give it a try, so I got in touch with something called caffeine.
A few moments later I didn’t feel tired anymore, I just felt great and happy.
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant.
No matter if you have a jetlag or need some extra boost for your workout, it can be beneficial in many situations.
The thing with stimulants like caffeine or alcohol is, the more often you drink it the less you will feel the effects.
So you need more and more of it to have the same effect of it like you had at the beginning with one cup.
That’s why I recommend cycling caffeine.
For example: After 4 weeks of drinking coffee, stop your caffeine intake for about 2 weeks to feel the effects of it again.
If you don’t like coffee at all try out matcha tea.
7) Don’t compare yourself with other people and go your own way
This may sound simple and logical for some, while others still haven’t realized that being like someone else won’t make you happier.
First, you have to spend time with yourself to understand who you really are.
Some people take longer to answer this question for themselves and some know it right from the start.
Those who didn’t find the answer yet, perhaps try to find the answer in other people?
And those who know who and where they are, are going draw the lost people into their reality.
Someone who stands out from the crowd, lives his dream and goes his own way has a kind of aura surrounding him, which makes others say ”Damn, I wish I could get my shit together and do what he does!”.
Next time you find yourself in the situation where you ask yourself ”Why the hell are they doing this?”, stand up and do your own thing.
No matter how crazy the idea you are passionate about sounds, you can be the first one to make this idea cool.
8) Have a goal
Having a goal is crucial.
Everyone needs a short-term goal and a long-term goal.
Think about who you want to become? Where do you want to live?
What do you want to see?
What do you really want to do for a living?
Thinking about your goal should get you excited and motivated to work towards it.
If you don’t have a goal in life, you are just drifting around like a boat in the ocean without any destination.
Every day you should come closer to your dream, step by step.
When you are facing hard times, keep in mind why you are doing this and keep on going till you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Think about your goal and if what you are doing is bringing you closer to your dreams or not.
Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.
9) Do more sports
No matter if it’s swimming, football, bodybuilding, martial arts or cycling.
Most important is that you enjoy it because this enjoyment leads to consistency.
Don’t force yourself to do something, instead choose a sport which gets you excited only thinking about it.
If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t keep on doing it and therefore don’t get much benefits of for example going jogging every 5 weeks.
It is about having fun, sweating, burning calories, releasing hormones and living a much healthier life.
You will always feel better after sports than you felt before.
Until next time,