It’s a couple of hours before my birthday and I’m already getting a head start drinking. I am not drinking at a bar or a club, I’m drinking with a few beers with my business partner Ken doing what we both love, creating kickass products (www.usebenchmark.com). I’m having trouble concentrating because I just realized that I am going through a quarter life crisis.
Birthdays are always a time of reflection for me. I think about how far I came in the last year and how much I would like to accomplish in the next year. I’ve never exactly have been happy with my progress but I always recognized the fact that I was in a lot better of position than the year before. Each year I made some sort of progress towards my end goal and never had a year that felt like a step backwards.
Tonight I am doing even more reflection as it’s my 25th birthday. This means if I optimistically live to 100 years old, I have already lived a quarter of my life. This isn’t bad thing, it’s just a sobering realization. It’s a good vantage point to stop and recognize where I’m at in life.
When I was in college I set a goal to become a millionaire by the age of 25. Lets just say I missed that goal by a longshot. Now that I am 25, my goal is to make some impact on the world by the age of 30. If I somehow become a millionaire in the process, that wouldn’t be so bad either.
Life is interesting. I learned a lot of lessons over the last 25 years that made me a better entrepreneur and a better person in general. I am not where I want to be but I know I am going in the right direction. I graduated college, started a business, failed at a business, made friends, lost friends, broke hearts, recently fell in love with an amazing girl, worked my ass off and discovered who I am. Who I am is an entrepreneur by nature but even more importantly I am just a man who’s passionate about the things he loves. I also learned about life is all about being happy, everything else is just bull-shit. It doesn’t matter.
Even though I’ve had a great 25 year run soo far, happiness has been very elusive the last couple of years. This isn’t because the last years have been full of turmoil, heck the last couple of years have been the best of my life. I just wasn’t happy because I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life. Where some people may already think I’ve had some success, I think I haven’t even started. Becoming an entrepreneur became the catalyst of me never really being happy, but this wasn’t a bad thing.
Being an entrepreneur is a funny thing because there is a really no end goal. Whether your company makes a dollar or a million dollars, you are still motivated the same to grow. Nothing is good enough. Entrepreneurs are hungry by nature. We are some of the most hyper-competitive and hate-losing people in the world. Honestly, I eat, sleep and breathe this shit. Not being happy drove me everyday to create a better life for myself and do something legendary in the process. I haven’t got the legendary part yet but I will one day.
Luckily, recently I learned a lot about happiness. I learned that I didn’t have to not be happy to stay motivated. I learned that I didn’t have to keep a chip on my shoulder to stay competitive. You see my problem was that I was always so focus on my future I never enjoyed the present. Now I learned how to enjoy the present but always keep my eyes looking forward. My work ethic is still disgusting and I will always continue to chase my goals, I just won’t get disappointed every time I don’t see immediate results.
I recently read a very insightful article which nurses reveal the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed. You can find them below.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
I was intrigued how the list was inherently obvious but yet so powerful. They all hit home in some shape or form but number 2 really did. It was ironic timing that I read this article almost about the same time I had my revelation regarding happiness and working too hard. I made it my goal to reflect on this list every once in a while and make sure that I won’t be making the same regrets.
There are probably a bunch of lessons I learned that’d I love to tell myself 5 years ago, but when I really think about it, I wouldn’t. Those are lessons I had to learn for myself because they helped shaped me into the man I am today. I am thankful for everything I have in life but I’m excited for everything I will obtain in the future. I will continue to give everything my all and take the road less traveled. I know it’s inevitable that I will fall off the path from time time but I know my heart will keep me traveling in the right direction. I am 25 years old, I’m cocky, arrogant at times, a little narcissistic but I’m still growing and learning how to be a good person. I am still dreaming out loud, still banging on the door.
As a wise man named Mike Posner once said:
“At this time next year I’ma have enough to buy the whole damn thing. Yeah, I’m doing pretty good right now but I swear just wait”.