I really love that the Asymmetrical Press released a book called “Advice to My 18 Year Old Self.” I love them, period, but this is something that’s on my mind all the time. I wish I could go back and talk to myself when I was 18. It’s such a great way to think about what you know now. To that end, here’s some advice to myself. And then? I want you to write yours to yourself. (Oh and buy this book!)
Advice to My 18 Year Old Self
You are smart and clever. Stop worrying that people don’t think you are. Your confidence will be far more useful than trying to prove how smart you are.
Make mistakes all over the place. Do it faster. Evidently, you don’t learn well by trying to read or follow the advice of others. You learn by trying something you thought about or read about and seeing how it breaks when you try it.
Here’s a quote I said once that suddenly was everywhere all over the Internet. I’d tell my 18 year old self this, too:
Chris, you are going to mess up with women for decades. You would mess up less often if you were wide open and honest about who you really are, even when it makes them not like you, this will go sooooooo much better than when you try to conform. Just be you. It’s so sexy when you do it right. For some people.
Who you say you are isn’t interesting. What you do is everything. Just do things. That’s way better. Do, and then you’ll never have to tell people who you are. They’ll know.
Serving a community will be your everything. The more you learn how to speak for others, the more you’ll gather people and empower them to speak for themselves. If you started this earlier, you’d be so much less worried about “finding a job.” Man, your life would be more fun sooner.
Finally, Chris, know that all that you do for the world is great, but that the sooner you catch on that your humor is the best way to warm people up to the real lessons you want to teach, you’ll see that everything goes better. It’s like that great philosopher said, “Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Humor is how you’ll remind everyone that they will inherit the earth.
You turned out okay, but I’d love to save you some misery. Either way, you’ll get there, Chris. Promise you will.