How often have you caught yourself thinking, “if only I could do it all over again…” Like many guys, you might even wish that you had a time machine to turn back the clock.
Believe me, I’ve been there too. Making mistakes is part of life, especially when you’re a young man. While everyone should learn from their failures, it’s often best not to make the mistake in the first place.
I’m confident that if I knew what I know now, things would be different. In this article, I’ll share 10 things that I wish I could tell my younger self.
#1 Take Immediate Action On Your Dreams
Time is a commodity that cannot afford to be wasted. With this in mind, I would tell my younger self to take immediate actions that would help me pursue my passion.
Thinking, “You’re young, you have time” is just an excuse — and poor excuse at that. I would let the younger me know that it is important to take time and figure out what I want to accomplish in life. I wouldn’t waste my effort on something I am not fully committed to.
After deciding what path to take, I would tell young Antonio to start planning. Then, with a clear plan of action in place, I’d consult the best and brightest in my fields of interest and glean what I could from their advice and examples.
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#2 Give Your All To The Task At Hand
Don’t let your ambition be your downfall. Ambition is critical to your long-term success, but shooting beyond the mark can sometimes stand in the way of achieving the task at hand.
At one time in my life, I wanted to be the best pilot in the world. However, I didn’t follow the lead of skilled pilots.
I found that the best aviators were not only logging many hours in the sky, they also went the extra mile when they were back on solid ground. The elite pilots I observed practiced as much as possible. Some even went as far as to build simulators in their basements so that they could practice as much as they wanted.
When it came to my career in aviation, the drive was there but the optimum strategy to get ahead was not.
#3 Don’t Feel Guilty For Winning
When I was younger, I somehow felt that by winning I was “stealing” from others.
Now I recognize that I had a scarcity mindset. In other words, I thought there was only one pie, and winning took away a piece, leaving less for others.
I have since come to realize that nothing is further from the truth. Winning is an opportunity to create more pie for everyone. Or as sailors say, “A rising tide raises all boats.”
Success in my industry has allowed me to direct the spotlight towards other hardworking individuals and help give them a greater chance for success.
I’ve found that as I create more abundance, the greater my ability to create new jobs and mentor others along the way.
#4 Systemize Paying Yourself First
These days, I always make sure I pay myself first. Paying myself first means that I put away a portion of money into investments and saving accounts before I pay expenses or debts.
Instead of waiting to see what is “leftover” after all expenses have been paid, I set myself aside a designated amount right off the bat. This way I have a consistent income which makes it easier for me to budget regularly.
Even if your income isn’t very high you can still pay yourself first, just make it a smaller portion. I guarantee that if you get in the habit of paying yourself first it will benefit you in the long run.
Putting money away will provide you with a safety net when needed. Paying yourself first also makes it easier to make wise investments, potentially producing high yields in the long run.
This would be especially advantageous for the younger me… before I had a family and additional responsibilities. Since I didn’t have as many people depending on me when I was single, back then I could more comfortably take bigger risks.
#5 Run Less, Lift More
I’ve always known the importance of exercise. However, for a long time, I did not fully realize what a difference the type of exercise makes.
I like to run and lift weights. Both are fantastic ways to get in shape and live a healthy lifestyle.
As a younger man, I prioritized running. To be honest, I avoided spending too much time in the gym because I wanted to stay fast and lean. However, I wish that I would have lifted more. My current self would tell the younger me that there is a way to lift and not look like the incredible hulk.
Running is great for fat burning when you’re actively working out. Strength training, on the other hand, helps your body long after you have completed exercising.
That’s because when you lift weights your metabolism is steadily increasing. As a result, your body will continue burning fat long after you’ve finished. The process of repairing your muscles from weight training burns more calories when you’re resting than recovering from a cardio workout.
#6 Leverage Credit
Despite what some think, credit isn’t evil. In fact, credit is a vital component of our modern economic system.
The key is how you use credit.
For example, in the United States, building a respectable credit score is necessary for taking out a mortgage or renting an apartment. For this reason, it can make sense to use a credit card that you pay off at the end of each month.
That said, if you’re not careful credit can bring you to your knees.
I remember as a first-time buyer of a vehicle seeing outrageous, 20% interest rates on trucks. Yes, the asking price have might be affordable, but by the time the buyer could finish paying off the loan, they would have almost paid double the asking price.
This is why saving is so important. Instead of paying high interest, pay cash if possible.
I would also tell my youthful self to set my priorities straight. Although I might really want the shiny new truck, a cheaper car that I could afford to pay for in cash would still get me from point A to B.
#7 Surround Yourself With Amazing People
I wish I could tell younger Antonio the
The people you associate with regularly will either:
- Pull you toward greatness— by encouraging you not to allow for excuses and to settle for “good enough.”
- Push you toward mediocrity— by letting you be satisfied with the status quo and never requiring the best from you.
Anyone you hang out around on a regular basis will have an effect on you. Optimistic, driven people will encourage you to be equally optimistic and driven. Bitter, spiteful people will encourage you to be, you guessed it, bitter and spiteful.
Mark Twain once said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Among other things, being around awesome people will help you to cultivate:
#8 Ignore Bad Advice
Everybody has an opinion on your life, but it’s important to realize that not everyone’s opinion should matter to you. When receiving words of
Yes, truth is truth and wisdom is wisdom— but there is something to be said about a person who has all the answers but never seems to apply their own morsels of “wisdom” into their own lives.
Also, you have to “chew the meat and spit out the bones.” Sometimes only some of the advice that you are given are applicable to you. My circumstances as a young man were completely different than most other people around me.
It would have been incredibly helpful to have learned sooner the skill of applying what bits of advice actually fit my current situation.
#9 Read The Classics
I love reading the classics. In particular, I enjoy reading the works of the great Russian literary masters like Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. That wasn’t always the case. If I could go back in time, I’d tell young Antonio to go to the library more.
There’s been a shift away from classical literature in recent years. That’s a shame because, more so than books most books tailored to modern audiences, reading the classics can facilitate:
- Improving your ability to analyze and interpret complex information. To truly understand many works of classic literature you have explore deep metaphors and keep track of mutiple storylines and charecter arcs.
- Developing a broad vocabulary. This is critical for clear and concise communication.
- Increasing the breadth of your knowledge. It is important to be a well-rounded person.
- Discovering new paradigms. Sometimes finishing a good book helps you see the world through new eyes.
For more about literature, check out the
#10 Get Ahead of The Curve
There is power in being the first to act when an opportunity presents itself. Creating a YouTube channel was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made.
Unfortunately, I started my
Click below to watch the video – Why I Stopped Waking Up At 5AM (And So Should You!)