Things I Wish I Knew In My Early 20's
This is the third installment in our series on
"30 Things I Wish I Knew In My Early 20's".
The list actually became 32 Things I Wish I Knew In My 20's.
I hope you enjoy it!
21) People Will Come and Go
The mid-20's is when most people start to see distance in their formerly close friendships.
Some friends will get married, some are being worked to death and some become very negative because they aren't where they want to be in life.
Some will achieve all 3 and won't be the fun, supportive guys they used to be.
Don't fight it or try to preserve the relationship at your expense.
It's great to have several good friends but as you journey into your mid-20's - start making YOUR GOALS YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY and don't maintain stale friendships for the sake of the past.
If you are in your mid 20's and still partying with your friends from high school on a weekly basis -
I'd bet all the money in my wallet (and your wallet) that you aren't anywhere close to where you want to be in your life.
Achieving your potential requires investing your free time - in YOU.
22) Everything Happens For Reason and It's Usually Your Fault
I knew it all along!
We've all heard the statement -
"Everything Happens For A Reason!"
(Ironically, the people that make this claim the most - usually believe it the least.)
For a lot of people, this is the perfect excuse to put their lives on cruise control and hope - if they are a good person, things will all work out for them in the end.
More often, it's a flimsy attempt at rationalization when disaster strikes or to make sense of a blown opportunity.
- Your friends don't want to speak to you and neither does your family.
- You miss your flight because you thought it was at 7am, not 6am.
- You settle for an average girl that you aren't physically attracted to.
- You get fired from your job for stealing prescription drugs.
- You get robbed and beaten to the ground by the Latin Kings after leaving a bar in a bad neighborhood.
- A good friend dies at a young age.
Aside from the last one, the first 5 are examples where SOMETHING YOU DID was a significant contributor to the negative situation.
(the last one, deserves even less attention. Shit happens.)
This is how nearly all bad situations manifest themselves.
It's not fate, pre-destination or God testing you. It's a result of your actions or non-actions.
This girl I know dropped her cell out of her purse.
"My cell phone dropped out of my purse!"
"No. YOU dropped your cell phone that was in your purse."
She debated me for about 2 minutes, eventually realized what I was saying and surrendered.
Just take responsibility and fix the problem.
The world can be an unfair place, there's no promise of a happy ending unless you script it that way.
Grieving is fine - psychoanalyzing your life is called a waste.of.time.
The point isn't to start living in fear - it's to take responsibility for negative situations that YOU contributed to and learn from it.
Likewise, take the credit for positive situations.
That's your fault too!
23) When Someone Calls You a "Douchebag" - They Are Inferior to You and They Know It
Interesting thing to tell you about.
Ever since the word 'Douchebag' became mainstream in 2004 - I've been called 'Douchebag'.
The interesting part is - back in 2004, I was a nice guy, not a Douchebag (for real).
I was always doing nice things for people, though content - hardly getting what I wanted out of life.
Being called a Douchebag made me uncomfortable - didn't people know that I volunteered to help autistic students for 2 years and still slept with stuffed animals? (both true)
Now, I'm a Douchebag. I know it.
And I'm still called a 'Douchebag'.
Moral of the story is-
'Douchebag' is subjective.
While the term is subjective, what is not subjective is- the people that call other people a 'Douchebag' are almost ALWAYS socially inferior. Haters, they are called.
They usually know it and are trying to comes to grips with their lesser life by putting you down.
If you are getting called a 'Douchebag' - you are on the right track.
Every significant person on the face of the earth, from Barack Obama to Kayne West (douchebag) has a whole group of insignificant people calling them a "Douchebag".
Be that Douchebag.
24) There's Not Much More to Life Than Being Good Looking
(in your early 20's)
Superficial judgement runs high when you are in your early 20's.
Love it or hate it, that's the way it is.
Especially for women but also for men.
You might as well accept it and try to MAX OUT your sex appeal.
Things aren't going to change, regardless of how many times you post on the Internet about how people need to change.
25) Long-Term Achievement is the Product of Short-Term Achievement
Though obvious now, I wish I knew how "success" happens.
Success and achievement of a long-term goal is simply just the culmination of achieving several short-term goals (which is simply the culmination of achieving even smaller goals on a daily basis).
Short-Term Goal + Short-Term Goal + Short-Term Goal = Long-Term Goal
A lot of people, including myself, would get excited about a long-term goal, then feel overwhelmed after the excitement died down and procrastinate or quit.
And Equally as important-
Make sure you "Define Success" (and understand it) before you spend years chasing it.
26) Your Friends and Family Don't Want You to Be That Successful
(your friends/family don't believe in your definition of success)
Your family and friends want you to go after and achieve your wildest dreams right?
If your goal is to sleep with a lot of women and create a job for yourself that earns hundreds of thousands of dollars in passive income and work when and where you want - don't be surprised if your friends and family aren't exactly supportive.
They might not want you to "fail," but that doesn't mean they are supportive.
The unfortunate truth is, in the majority of cases-
Your family wants you to have a stable life - even if it's guaranteed to be average and boring.
Your friends want you to have an average life - so they can feel better about themselves.
If your family had it their way -
- You would sleep with ONE girl in your life. 6 days of your week would consist of waking up at 6:30am, slaving away all your waking hours at a desk for a corporation and returning home to go sleep and do it again. On Sunday you'd mow the lawn.
If your friends had it their way -
- You'd work an average job, you wouldn't get laid often. You certainly wouldn't sleep with hotter girls than they do.
It doesn't mean your friends and family secretly hate you and want you to be taken to a concentration camp - but they want your life be stable and uneventful rather than exciting, rewarding and better than their own.
Thankfully, I've had a Father and Mother that were really supportive and encouraged me to do whatever I wanted, even if they didn't understand what I was trying to do or if such a thing was moral or possible.
I've also had some really supportive friends that were legitimately happy for me when I was partying in Los Angeles with super hot girls while they were working a 12 hour day at a job that underpaid and under-stimulated them.
I genuinely root for them too and try to help them out if I can.
But most of my friends were not supportive - it's human nature to dislike someone who has it better than you do or has the opportunity to do so.
Don't take it personally (but based on my "Friendship Standard" my advice is to separate yourself from these people immediately).
In my early 20's I admit to being a hater too - it was simply because I wasn't where I wanted to be in my life.
27) Moderation and Multitasking Is For Losers
Although I didn't KNOW IT in my early 20's - my dedication to my primary goals was just fine.
- First was hockey (1999-2001)
- Second was the gym (2002-2004)
- Then hockey again (2005)
- Then the gym with the goal of playing football (2006)
- Then trying to get a scholarship to Law School (LSAT prep) (2007)
- Then trying to meet women (2008-2011)
- And Now, building GoodLookingLoser.com (2012-2013)
No matter what year, I was always obsessed with something.
I was never trying to spend LESS TIME doing it.
I was never much for multitasking - simply because I couldn't do it well.
(most people can't)
Still, it might have been helpful for someone successful to tell me-
"Chris you are doing it the right way. You will win."
Everyone I know that has been successful at something meaningful has dedicated THEIR ENTIRE LIFE to it until it was accomplished.
If you are the type that likes to avoid work by making the EXCUSE that you need "balance" in your life, I don't suggest you get overly excited about your chances for success. I also suggest that you find another goal that you can obsess about.
If you can monetize that obsession, you can call it your "career".
The "Nothing in Moderation" success principle is so dear to my family and myself, I have it tattooed on my arm.
28) Social Media, Television, Fantasy Sports and Texting Are a Waste of Time
In my early 20's, we had AOL and AOL Instant Messenger.
I don't know how many 1000's of hours I dedicated to both. Checking and analyzing away messages, answering my own and thinking of something crafty to post for the next time. Waste.of.time.
What if I dedicated the 5,475 hours (3 hours a day - for 5 years) toward building a business, working on a goal or simply - just doing something useful?
I'd be ahead of where I am right now.
I still have Facebook today (need it for the Good Looking Loser Facebook group) and still play fantasy sports.
But instead of spending HOURS on them a day, they consume about 15 minutes combined as part of my "DO NOTHING TIME".
If you can limit your time on both to less than 30 minutes a day - it might be an acceptable addition to your "DO NOTHING TIME". Otherwise, they are probably counter productive.
I don't text much either. Maybe with 3 or 4 people in total - and not a daily basis.
It's a terribly inefficient way to communicate with people for anything more than confirming dates, times and things you have already talked about.
This also includes-
(limit to 30 minutes or remove)
- All social media
- Video games
- Television (especially reality tv or news)
- Reading stuff that is not related to your #1 or #2 goal
- Internet forums that are not related to your #1 or #2 goal
- Exchanging small talk via inefficient texting
- Sausage parties (drinking with a bunch of guys when you don't want to be)
- the list continues here- "Time Wasters and What to Do About Them"
You can have an "off day" once a week, provided that you have worked the entire week and have the following week planned out.
By the way - if you REALLY LOVE what you do, working 7 days a week on it (in some capacity) isn't hard.
I used to work 7 days a week on Hockey, Fitness, Meeting Women and currently on GoodLookingLoser.com
29) "Do Nothing Time" Is Important for Your Efficiency/Productivity
In my room, office and other places in my apartment (and other places I spend time), I have a sign that reads-
"I WILL DO THE MOST PRODUCTIVE THING AT EVERY GIVEN MOMENT"
... as discussed in "The Official Guide to Success" by Tom Hopkins.
This means that your #1 goal is on your mind at all times and most everything you do is dedicated to it.
This doesn't mean you are working 24 hours a day though.
It means that you are conscious of your goal and therefore won't allow yourself to get off course with time wasters.
Every action you take is dedicated to your goal.
Even sleeping or relaxing.
While it's not practical to dedicate EVERY minute of the day, in some shape or form, to your #1 goal. Simply having that attitude will make you incredibly productive and more-so than you were in the past.
With that said, if you work for the majority of the day (without any social/entertainment breaks) it's important that you dedicate at least an hour a day as "Do Nothing Time" where you do something that is nothing but a waste of time.
Also, "Do Nothing Time", ideally, does not involve drugs or alcohol.
Scheduling "Do Nothing Time" allows you to do two things-
- Time to chill and not feel bad about it.
- When you are working, you won't get off course because you have designated time for that later in the day.
Our principle of "Nothing In Moderation" is definitely the key for massive success but the rate of burnout is also higher - so don't be afraid to install some "Do Nothing Time" into your life.
These days, December 2013, my Do Nothing Time tends may include-
- Fantasy basketball
- Watching NFL
- Shooting guns
- Shooting people (video games) *rarely*
Most guys that are into self-improvement already have a strong work ethic.
They don't have a problem with motivation or working hard.
The main obstacle is potential burnout - which needs to be addressed on a daily basis.
30) Reward Yourself for Accomplishments
This might be you, so listen up...
Guys that are are serious about their lives usually have no trouble PUNISHING themselves when something doesn't go their way or when they mess up.
They have a harder time celebrating or rewarding themselves for a job well done.
My good friend Ethan is the perfect example of this.
Whenever he does something wrong, he'll punish himself.
He'll cancel his plans with friends.
He'll go missing for weeks.
He'll even sleep in his car when he has a bed inside his house.
But Whenever he makes progress and achieves a small-term goal - he does nothing to reward himself.
Like Do Nothing Time, rewarding yourself for achievement (positive reinforcement) is very important - even if you don't think so at the time.
Our principle of Nothing In Moderation is hardcore - it's only for the 1% of people that truly dominate life.
Even the strongest of us will face burnout.
To some extent, as cliche as it sounds- you do need to enjoy the journey and grind.
Since I mistakenly deleted Part 2 and Part 3 - I had to rewrite it and I thought of a few more Things That I Wish I Knew in My Early 20's...
31) If You Go to College, Go With One of Your Best Friends
We'll talk college at a later date.
I'm excited to do so, I went enough times and was pretty socially successful at some schools.
(and also lonely at others)
Although 99% of what I have accomplished and do today was in no way dramatically furthered by my ACADEMIC collegiate experience, I am not opposed to certain people going to college. It will vary from person to person and is mainly based on your financial situation and the alternatives you have or don't have.
My first piece of advice, if you are going to college-
Try to go with one or more of your best friends, assuming they are cool and social guys.
It WILL NOT prevent you from meeting new people.
In fact, you'll meet MORE people since you'll meet whoever your buddy meets and it's easier to meet people if you have a friend at your side.
I don't suggest you go with any anti-social or negative friends though.
College is WHAT YOU MAKE IT and if you are hanging around downers - that's the only place your life can go.
You can be a loner and sit in your room reading bodybuilding forums and playing video games all day.
(I did this)
You can meet people, unofficially declare yourself leader of the group and organize meet-ups and parties where you have a ton of girls trying to meet YOU.
(I did this too)
In 2002, I criticized kids that went to college with their friends.
I said they were "pussies with no social skills and they know they can't meet new people."
While in some cases I might have been right, I was the loser and always created an uphill battle for a social life.
I suggest you team up with a friend you can trust.
A Freshman in college that looks good and has slightly above-average social skills WILL DOMINATE.
32) You Aren't Going to Get Where-You-Want-to-Be By Doing What-You-Are Supposed-to-Do
We will certainly expand on this in the Lifestyle (and Get Rich) section too.
- Assuming that you want some sort of lifestyle where you don't have to "work" for money - it's not going to happen unless you begin thinking outside of the box and understanding how business systems work from an OWNER'S (not a worker's) perspective.
- Assuming that you want some sort of lifestyle where you have several girls "on call" to sleep with - it's not going to happen if you play by the rules and rely strictly on your one group of friends to meet women.
- Assuming that you want a body that doesn't resemble this - it's not going to happen if you follow the food pyramid and eat what most people eat.
What you are "supposed-to-do," is meant to make you a loyal underpaid worker that spends the majority of your life in debt.
In the United States, we call this-
"A Productive Member of Society"
If you aren't interested in this life - I suggest that you come up with a DIFFERENT VISION of your life and work on it ONE GOAL at a time.
I will certainly try to help you.
Hit up the forum for answers to your questions, accountability and to tell us where you're going to be in a few years.
So that's it.
30 32 Things I Wish I Knew In My 20's.
For a lot of you guys, most of these concepts probably weren't totally unfamiliar.
Hopefully we provided you with some clarity.
Some guys are probably on the fence and not sure if 'what they have been told' lines up with what they are actually experiencing in life. Hopefully this discussion sets the record straight.
If you really looking to be an ELITE GUY (top 1-10%), you WILL have to do things differently than 90-99% of guys.
Don't worry - you can probably do it.
Most people (your competition) are too busy doing what-they-are-supposed-to-do to realize they are dying.
Feel free to drop us a note below and tell us what you thought of the list.