25 Lessons In My First 25 Years

25 Lessons In My First 25 Years

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Today I turn 25. It hurts to even type that but here I am alive and happy.

This post is all about my inner thoughts. Nothing here is SEO (search engine optimization) friendly, the spelling and grammar will suck, there is no keyword research involved and frankly, I don’t think many people will read it. Never the less, I wanted to share some things I’ve learned over the last 25 years.

I’ve messed up a ton of things (hint why the word dumb is in Young, Dumb, and NOT Broke?!). But that’s a part of who I am and probably you too. Because let’s be real if you haven’t messed up a few things on the way then you are full of it.

We all have. So here are the biggest things I’ve learned in the last 25 years.

Save Your Money

This is a personal finance blog so of course, I’m going to start out with a tip about money. When I was 19 I got a great job. I liked who I worked with, I learned a ton, and I was making great money. But just because you are making money doesn’t mean you are saving it and that was me in a nutshell.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how good the money actually was so I decided to blow a bunch of it. I had some outrageous bar tabs, bought things without thinking twice, and made many other terrible financial decisions. I was living my best life in that moment and had no regard for the future. It was fun while it lasted but it wasn’t the smartest period of my life.

I’ve reflected a couple of times on what it would be like if I have the habits I have now back then and the amount of money I would have saved. It is what it is now though. No reason to regret something like that.

Just save yo damn money.

Don’t Bet On Luck

I talk about this quite a bit in my conversation with Landon from Wichita Life ICT. I don’t believe in luck like most people do and even more importantly I’m not going to leave things to luck.

We all have the same time per day to get the things we want done. Whatever you choose is your choice but if there is something you want in life it’s up to you to go get it.

No one is going to do it for you, and you sure as hell shouldn’t bet on luck to make it happen.

Call People

This is something I learned while living in Atlanta. There were points in time when I would get a little homesick or just miss people in general. I would text them and try to have a conversation but it would never fill that void.

This is when I tried out calling people. Weird right?! Actually having a phone conversation has become abnormal, almost as much as sending a handwritten letter.

At first, this was a little awkward. I’m sure when people saw it was me they thought to themselves “what in the world does he want”. I didn’t want anything though, just to see how they were doing and what was new.

There were probably a dozen or so people that I started to call regularly (once a month’ish) and it turned into a great habit. Some of these people were family but most weren’t.

My relationship with these people now is greater than it has ever been and it’s a habit I want to continue doing.

Try it, call someone today.

It Never Hurts To Ask

This is something that my dad taught me when I was fairly young. If there is something you want or a question you have then just ask because the worst answer you are going to get is a ‘No’.

I’ve taken this to heart and use it almost every day. Seriously, it works that well.

Whether it is with this blog and reaching out to an influencer for a guest post. Or at work and asking to get some overtime. Just ask.

If you are coming from a good place and ask in a respectful manner then there shouldn’t be an issue.

Prioritize Your Health

Over the last years, I’ve had a couple of different things go wrong with my body. Nothing serious thank God, but things that I realized I should probably take more seriously.

I don’t ever remember my body being stiff getting out of bed in the morning until now and that worries me. Yes, I realize we are all going to get old and bridal but I want to do everything I can to delay that as long as possible.

Along with working out, which I started taking seriously in my early 20’s, I have started doing yoga 2-3 times per week. I’m no yogi that’s for sure but I have seen some positive impacts from practicing.

Forget What Others Think

Do you know that song Throwed Off? Well, listen to the first 60 seconds and you’ll understand my mood around this.

Everyone has something to say about you no matter what you do. So you might as well do whatever the hell you want to do.

I used to let it get to me when I would hear about it and try to change but no longer.

Just listen to the song, please.

Don’t Be Cheap

There is a huge difference between being cheap and frugal and you MUST understand that. I’m an extremely frugal person but I sure ain’t cheap.

I’ve had spurts of being cheap and I’ve seen how quickly they can ruin relationships with everyone around you.

Being cheap isn’t cool as you are making others cater to your needs all the time. Sooner or later they are going to stop then you’re by yourself.

Don’t be a cheap-ass

Eat All The Food

If you have the opportunity to try a new food and you won’t do it then you’re a fool. There I said it.

The amounts of different flavors in the world are endless and I 100% believe you should try all you can at least once. It’s so easy to get into a routine (which I think are great) that you forget about all the other great options you should try.

Look up different places in your area, make a list, and go try them.

The weirdest thing I’ve ate yet was fermented shark and I’d do it again in a heart beat.

Build Opinions

I run a blog so you know I’m full of opinions and I think if you asked anyone that knows me they would agree.

To some, this comes off as cocky but that’s the opposite of how I see it.

I think everyone needs to build an opinion. I’m not talking be right or wrong just an opinion. Take the time to read and learn about something and come to your own conclusion.

I’m not a huge fan of sitting back and having someone tell me how something is. No, instead I’m going to go out and do the research myself. Maybe they were right or maybe they are way off from what I believe.

Either way I think everyone should form their own opinions. You’re your own self right?

Don’t Take Things Personally

Piggy-backing off of having opinions something I learned the hard way in my early 20’s was to not take things personally.

I hated getting criticism and rejected. I took it EXTREMELY personally and it was a huge fault.

Taking things personally just leads to unnecessary stress that you don’t need. Focus on the things that matter and you can change. The end.

Celebrate Your Own Successes

This was a topic Landon from Wichita Life ICT and I talked about for quite some time. We are both our own harshest critics and have trouble celebrating the little successes.

All too often I’m looking forward. Thinking about what I’m going to do next and how I can better serve the readers of YD&NB. A lot of times I forget what I’ve done and this is a huge weakness.

Going forward I need to celebrate more successes. Hell, I’ve written almost 100,000 words on this site now and that’s something to celebrate.

Give People The Benefit Of The Doubt

I truly believe that most people have good intentions. Yes, there are some rude, terrible people in the world but this is the minority.

Recently I’ve started giving more people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this is a flaw and a bad thing but for now, I’m going to go with it.

No matter what I still think respect and trust have to be earned but getting to that point for me won’t be as difficult as it used to be. Saying that, if I get crossed or burned by someone then that’s it.

I’ll update on how this one goes soon.

Be Flexible Yet Rigid

My mind moves a million miles a minute. I’m all over the place and I know it. Because of this, I have to have a plan or routine. There is a lot of power in a building a strong routine but there are also some huge benefits to staying flexible.

In my early 20’s I wouldn’t break my routine for anything. If I said I was going to work out at 5 then I’m going at 5.

This approach wasn’t optimal though and I passed up a bunch of good opportunities to build relationships with people around me. Now, I’m much more flexible. Don’t get me wrong I still get what I need to get done but there is flexibility in my plan.

Flexibility has led to me improving a ton of relationships.

Support Others

Everyone’s life is jammed pack. We all get so lost in our own world that we usually forget about the others around us. This includes our friends who may be doing some pretty awesome stuff.

If you have family, friends, or even a person you know doing something out of the ordinary (that’s not illegal). Then you should support them! Don’t worry I’m not asking you to give up all your time or donate $1,000 to their Kickstarter.

No, rather just do what you can. If that means telling another person about their project or just sending them a message telling them that what you think they are doing is cool. It’s a simple thing that has a huge impact.

Shut Up and Take Action

Over the last couple of years, this has been sort of like a life motto. I talk a lot, I know. Some people don’t like that but who cares.

What I will bet on is myself, every time, and the fact that I’ll take action. If I say I’m going to do something I’m going to do it no matter what.

Moreover, I’m going to keep doing this into the future except be quiet about them until I’m done. I recently made a YouTube video that will go live in 2 years regarding my goals for this site and YD&NB in general. I’m not telling anyone those goals, instead, I’m going to shut up and take action.

Celebrate Others Wins

This ties into the point to support others but it’s a little different because I said so.

Over the last year if someone accomplishes anything no matter how small I’ll reach out and make sure to congratulate them.

This came from others doing this for me with YD&NB. They went out of their way to make me feel good and it pushed me further. This blog probably would never have happened if it wasn’t for those people.

I want to now be those people.

How You React Is A Choice

Every day, every hour, every minute we have a choice of how to react to things. If someone cuts you off do you let it ruin your whole day? Some of you do, but why?

A reaction is a choice and over the last couple of years, I’ve been getting better at this. Don’t get me wrong, I get angry and frustrated but it’s for 5 minutes then I’m done.

Because if it isn’t going to matter in an hour then why even waste energy?

You always have a choice.

Nothing To It But To Do It

I adopted this motto in college with a good friend of mine and I’ll follow it for the rest of my life.

It’s simple, yet effective.

Don’t Model Your Life Path After Someone Else

This one is something I think more and more people need to consider. It’s so easy to see something amazing that a person is doing on social media and want to emulate them.

This is okay, to an extent. No matter what you need to be your own person and do your own thing. There will always be overlap with what others doing and that’s fine.

Modeling your life after someone else probably won’t allow you to end up where they are though, so be yourself.

Travel All You Can

This is something I just recently started experiencing in the last year. Travel is expensive, I get it and of course, we all want to do it.

But it’s 10000% worth it. This is something I want to continue for the rest of my life. Go to places and immerse myself in the culture and soak it all in.

All-inclusive resorts are great but acting like a local for a couple of days is so much better. You go to the best spots, eat the best food, and just have a better time overall.

That’s just my two cents though.

Say Hello To People

When I moved to Atlanta I gave a guy the steering wheel wave (my midwesterners understand) and was returned the middle finger. I was taken aback and slightly confused but it is what it is.

Saying hello to people is the quickest way to get someone to smile and smiles are good.

I’m not saying I go out of my way to creep people out but I think that saying hello and asking how someone day is going will most likely make them feel good. It makes me feel good so why not others?

You’re Your Own Boss

This point ties a bunch of the other together. You choose how you react, you choose your actions, and you choose the shape of your life.

When I think about this I take it more in the sense of your professional self. When people complain about their job and say how much it sucks but stay there I wonder why?

Yes, sometimes you need to support your family and pay bills but when is enough enough? Something to think about.

The Past Is The Past

Something I have really really struggled with. I regret nothing but there are things I *used* to think about quite often.

Thinking, analyzing, trying to piece together why certain things happened the way they did and what I should have done differently. Over the last 2 years I have started to forget all about it and its been freeing.

The past is the past. Things happen and it makes us who we are but we don’t have to let the define us. Wasting time analysing the hell out of it gets you no where so why do it?

Time Over Money

We all have heard this one but I just recently started understanding it. Over the last year, I have actually been running out of time.

Because of this, I’m looking into ways to buy my time back. I won’t get too much into this but YD&NB is one of those ways, just not yet.

Just Be Yourself

If there is anything I wish I could go back and tell myself at 16 it would be this. Just be your damn self. You might be weird, nerdy, or whatever else and that is just fine.

I started doing this a couple of years ago and wow, has it been awesome. The coolest part is that I’m closer to people more than ever.

At first, I was honestly afraid. I know a bunch of people probably think I’m a big a$$hole but I really don’t care. I am who I am and that’s that.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Whew, that was a lot but I think a pretty good job at a brain dump of my thoughts over the last 25 years.

I seriously couldn’t be happier with where I am in life and hopefully, these thoughts will lead me for another 75 years (if I make it that long).

If you read this far then thank you, you’re a real one.

Lastly if you want to help celebrate me turning old then go share your favorite article. That would be the best birthday present a guy could ask for.

See you in the next one.


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