Notes to my younger self

Well, obviously I’m just using this post to sneak in some old travel pictures. But I’ve recently been asked to talk to a group of idealistic teenagers, and now I’m trying to re-evaluate my choices in life.

A year ago–even long before that, my bestfriend used to stalk my posts and nudge me when she spots a typo. She became one with the universe late laste year, so I’m kind of just winging this without any concern for grammatic perfection.

Evade comparison

Comparison leads to disaster. And this is the sort of advice that should be common sense–why would I even mention it here when it’s the most obvious thing to do. Unfortunately with our diet of junk social media, it’s become all the more difficult.

General expectations, all the more (your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, churches–and overall baggage that comes with the Asian–catholic amalgam that is the Philippines) aggravate this decision making mechanism that each human is supposed to be born with. The concept of free will is not accepted here– and you get a taste of this the moment you question, for example, your trigonometry teacher.

Think for yourself, is what I’m saying. Take advice from the wise, but make your own decisions. Had I followed everything I was told to do in my teens, I’d be married, with kid, and most likely in full-time, general management at some design firm. Is that the dream?–maybe for someone else but not for me.

In the end, if you end up with unwanted children, with a spouse who acts more like an additional liability, debt from housing, or auto loans, it’s all on you. Not on your parents, children, teachers, pastors, or friends…

Earn the right to follow your passion

And this is meant in the literal sense. Repeat after me: If I don’t have the financial capacity to provide for my (and my family’s— if that applies to you) basic needs, monthly bills, pre-existing loans, education, etc… If I’m not financially in a position to cover all that then I shouldn’t be playing around on passion projects.

There are exceptions of course, for example you may have a small business/well paying job which gives more than enough financial leeway to entertain both business, and leisure. Then good for you. However, not everyone has that privilege.

Passion was such a prostituted word back in the early 2000s– a lot of it from life coaches, and motivational speakers who spent more on marketing their books, than in actual research. So anyway, should you follow your passion? If it allows you decent work, and economic growth then hell yes. If not, then work your way towards where you want to be.

Every day equates into your life strategy

I Am Made Of All The Days You Don’t See #Jan Frodeno

Simple enough, your everyday choices carve your path in the future. It’s not the monumental changes that define who we become, it’s what we do with the days we have.

For myself, these are the usual non-negotiables I keep:

  • Get between 6-8 hours of sleep
  • Walk around, get some sun 1-2 times a week
  • Work using a standing desk 90% of the time
  • At least one liter of water per day
  • Yoga 1-2 times a week
  • Weights 1-2 times a week
  • Junk food 1-2 times a week
  • Alcohol 2-3 times a week
  • Review investments every quarter
  • Vacation 1-2 times a year
  • Black coffee everyday
  • Coffee with caramel 1-2 times a week
  • Team catch-ups 1-2 times a week
  • No rice (unless I have to)
  • No cola

The list looks inconsequential enough but you have to be practical with yourself. You could create a daunting list, like: scale a mountain everyday, zero carbs, 20,000 steps a day, zero sugar, yoga 5 hours a day; and this works for someone like Ryan Atkins who lives and breathes obstacle course racing. Applying that to myself would mean I’d get no work done. So yeah, be honest with yourself.

Is there a winning formula?–I don’t think so. That’s something you should create.

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