Advice From Future You to Current You

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There’s something about 25 that just sounds so much older than 24. I’m turning 25 in May, and I’m afraid that birthday will signal the end of “WOO! It’s my birthday!” and the start of “Holy eff… I am old.” But I always promised myself that I would never be a person who hates birthdays. I will embrace my impending old age with a happy heart. Anyway, I saw this great article on LinkedIn called “What Would You Tell the 25-Year Old You?” and after I got past thinking “Oh, phew. I’m not even the age this article is talking about…yet” I realized that the piece was fully of great advice.

Some of my favorite points include:

  • 1. The people who say the least have the most to say.Bragging is a mask for insecurity. Truly confident people are quiet and unassuming. Hang around them. When they do speak, you’ll be glad you were listening. Yes. Fact. I never understood this point until recently, but now I believe it 100%.
  • 6. Boring people win.The people who achieve the most do a lot more of the boring stuff. Routine, rigor, attention to detail, churning away day after day… that is how you will succeed. Every elite athlete, entertainer, and successful businessperson you will eventually meet has put in thousands of hours of practice and effort. They are successful mostly because they are willing to do what other people won’t. When you’re in your 20s, you’re caught in a constant battle between feeding your social life and focusing on your career goals and other dreams. I spend a lot of my free time writing and somehow always feel like I should be doing something else. This is especially true when I talk to people who hit up Happy Hour/yoga/other activities every night. I think to myself, “Self, maybe you should be doing more social things. Writing is a pretty solitary activity.” And then I remember that to get good at something you need to put in time and effort. So I keep going, but I do believe there’s a fine line. You need to get out and have a life without losing your focus.
  • 10. Visibility is everything.The people who get opportunities and promotions are the people who are seen and noticed. Customers, partners, media… no one will discover you on their own.You have to help them find you. Spend the majority of your time doing great things, but spend at least 5% of your time getting the attention of the people who matter. Sometimes I operate under the assumption that I’m going to get “discovered” like Tyra Banks in a shopping mall. Nope. Not going to happen. If you want someone to find your writing/artwork/music, you need to make it easily accessible. Put yourself out there. It may feel shameless or awkward, but it’s completely necessary.

The article’s points hit on major revelations that I’ve had over the last year. Is there anything else you’ve discovered as you get slightly older and possibly wiser?

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