There isn’t much to desire about getting old. Your energy decreases, your bones become as brittle as glass, your looks fade, and your strength leaves you more and more each year. Rumors even say your boners get weaker. Yikes. No thanks.
The only benefit old people seem to have is wisdom. They learn how to approach life with less resistance and more freedom than younger people tend to. Their wisdom helps them cope with their disadvantages and sometimes makes them even happier than they were in their youth.
What if we had this same wisdom while we were still young? What if we had years to apply the principles that would keep us happy and successful beyond mere circumstances?
I’m still a relatively young lad myself, however, through facing many trials early in life and reading books since roughly five days after leaving the womb, I have been lucky enough to gather wisdom that helps me cut through most of life’s bullshit.
I want to share it with you before your hair greys, your balls touch your knees, and it is too late to benefit from. Here are four principles and ideas that are sure to change the trajectory of your life…
1. Discipline Is Divine
Every choice, whether good or bad, adds up in the long run. The sooner you start making the right choices, the younger you will be when you start to reap the rewards of those same choices.
My girlfriend provides me with a constant reminder of this. When we started dating, we were in high school. She worked at McDonald’s picking up every extra shift she could get. Even though her paychecks were laughable compared to today, she managed to save a good chunk of money.
As she got older, she had a great work ethic and good saving skills. She worked hard, avoided the parties, and continued to put a little money in her bank day after day, year after year.
The night before writing this, she drove us to the BMW dealership—in her car which was already nicer than mine—and bought a brand new BMW without batting an eyelash. And she’s 24… in October! Maybe she will be buying a jet on her 34th birthday. I hope I’m around for that.
If you live your life with discipline, if you show up, do the work and avoid the obvious setbacks, you really can have whatever you want in life. As Socrates put it, “an undisciplined life is an insane life.”
2. Stop Blaming Other People For Your Problems
Here’s some wisdom for you: if you’ve got a problem, take care of it yourself. You can point fingers all you want, but blaming someone else for your problems won’t change a damn thing.
Have you ever noticed how there are two kinds of old people: the miserable ones and the extremely happy ones?
Well, the miserable old people always seem to be the ones who blame others for their misfortune. If they don’t have someone direct to blame, their misfortune is the government’s fault, the economy’s fault, and so on.
Listen up, this is important: your life is yours and you are the only one who can change it.
If you are underpaid, it isn’t your bosses fault. It’s your fault for not getting a new job or building new skills that would increase your value as an employee. If your relationship sucks, it isn’t your partner’s fault, it is yours: after all, it only takes one person to end an argument.
Take responsibility for your life unless you want to be the old guy who has 70 years worth of life to complain about and not a soul who gives a shit to listen.
3. Learn How To Sell
“Everything in life is a sale and everything you want is a commission.” – Grant Cardone
Selling is the world’s most profitable profession. As they say, “wages will make you a living but profits will make you a killing.”
If you ever plan to retire before you’re so old you have to ask your wife what your PIN is again, you need to learn how to sell.
Furthermore, selling is life’s premier skill. When you become good at selling, you can sell your ideas to others (persuasion), you can sell girls on why you are better than the competition (game), you can sell yourself on your good qualities (confidence), you can sell yourself on your commitments (discipline), and you can sell others your products (get rich).
Ultimately, when you become good at selling, life becomes a big game.
4. Time Is An Illusion
Have you ever noticed that every time you talk to an old person, they love telling you about when they were your age? They can’t remember if they took their meds or not this morning, so how the hell do they remember what life was like 40 years ago? Here’s why: Because time flies. Because time is only real if you believe it to be.
View time objectively. Know that, someday soon, you are going to be old as well. You can be old with a legacy and a story worth telling, or you can be like most others, realizing life slipped you by and you blew your one shot.
Using your newfound wisdom and perspective of time, start investing your time today, because it is going to be gone tomorrow.
Thanks to the knowledge passed down through books and the Internet, you now have the wisdom to capitalize on your youth. Don’t wait until you are old to experience the freedom and change these principles provide.
Use your time to build new skills and disciplines and watch as your aging process becomes both graceful and fruitful. Make sure that, when the time comes, you are the old guy whose life story captivates others, not pushes them away.