7 things I’m glad I did when I was 23
I’ll be honest, the title of this piece originally was “3 Years: What I Wish I Started When I was 23”. At the last minute, I changed it.
It was a combination of two reasons:
- As a marketer, I know that negativity sells. People in PR say, “if it bleeds, it leads”. Honestly, it’s too easy to be negative. However, everyone’s focusing on regret and bad vibes in general so much so that it’s become cliched and boring. I reckon it’s time to swing the pendulum back the other way.
- As a human being, I feel responsible for changing the world and making things just that much better for my daughter. So I’m going to focus on the positive.
Whoever reads this, I challenge you to find three things you’re genuinely thankful for from three years ago and comment.
1. Had a child
My daughter was born on Valentine’s Day, 2013. this time three years ago, she was just one month old. I had just gone back to work. Charlotte was at home, looking after her.
I was low on sleep and determined to give my young family a better life and there was one important change:
While life hadn’t become any easier, it had become simpler.
This suited my mindset perfectly.
2. Trusted my gut
There was a time in my life where I’d made the wrong decision. I thought I could live with it, but I would literally wake up in the middle of the night, covered in sweat, heart slamming in my throat.
I decided to follow my heart, trust my gut and make the hard choice. It definitely wasn’t a popular decision, but it was right for me. Now, my gut instinct is sharper than ever before. If I’d stayed with my original decision, I would have lost it — and a big part of me — forever.
3. Kept trying new jobs
I’d just finished uni the year before with a marketing degree. Between the time I graduated and the time my daughter was born, I tried two jobs, both which ended within a few months.
It taught me a lot about the companies I wanted to work for, as well as how I felt about success in life. If I hadn’t tried those jobs, I might still be as lost now as I was then.
4. Lost money gambling
This is hard to admit, but I did gamble for a while. Desperation had a hold of me and I thought I could beat the system. I couldn’t. I won $1,500 quickly, but lost it — and more.
I’d almost forgotten about it until now, but I am thankful for the experience. It showed the dangerous impact money (or desire of it) had on my mind and that I had to change it, or risk losing more than money.
5. Kept writing
At that point, I’d been writing online for a bit over five years. Although I had been doing it on and off, it still was what I derived joy from. I’m still determined to make something out of it.
I would go on to write a Kindle Bestseller, which is another story and lesson in of itself. Now, I’m just writing on Medium to you. :)
6. Kept learning
Firing up my Kindle and I’ve bought about a dozen ebooks between 2013 and today. I bought books on the Pareto Principle, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Forex Trading, copywriting… the list goes on and gets weirder.
The books have been informative, but the purchasing of the books has taught me more than the books themselves. I love learning a little about a lot. That’s shaped me to who I am today.
7. Spent $5,000 on a course
This was one of my not so fine moments in the last three years. In my desperation mindset, I bought a course on how to be a consultant for $5,000 online. It wasn’t a scam; very informative really — the problem was I hadn’t told Charlotte.
It was a turning point in our relationship. I had issues I had to resolve with what I shared with my wife. Again, if it didn’t happen, then we wouldn’t be stronger today.
While writing that, I felt like going into negative territory a few times. Hopefully in three years time, something I can add to the list then is, “broke up with negativity”.
Thanks for reading! I write for people in their 20’s who, like me, find adulting needlessly painful. If you could ❤ this article and share it with a fellow turd muffin who finds it hard to adult, I’ll think the world of you. Comment and I’ll write back within 24 hours… if I’m not on Netflix.
About the Author:
Millennial. Father. I write about life, entrepreneurship and creating value in this world of ours.