I have some old school Turkish music playing in my earphones right now. I don’t know where this post is going to take me with this music on.
Usually, whenever we have this music on, it’s a Friday evening. Perch already cooking. My dad and I playing backgammon.
Those are some of my fondest memories. I look forward to making these memories with my own kids. It’s so crazy to think that I may be a father within a few years. Why wait? “There’s never a right time.”
I look over at my sister. She’s fully showing now. She’s pregnant. Pregnant. That’s crazy to me. At times, I still don’t think it’s fully clicked.
Then I look over at my fiancé. I know she’s eager to have kids. She’s going to be a great mom. It’s all pretty crazy.
3 years ago, I didn’t have these thoughts. 3 years ago, I had just graduated. 3 years ago, the hardest decision I was making was deciding on the best restaurant for date night.
Now look at me.
We must grow up and we should do it quickly. Seneca said something like: When you see an old man with grey hair, he may not have lived long, he existed long. He writes better than me, but it was along those lines.
I don’t want to exist long. I want to live long.
I don’t think I should have to wait until Friday evening to have those types of nights with my kids. With Eliz. With my sister and her husband. With my parents. My in-laws.
Age 22 is easy. The world is laid out in front of you. Go ahead, do with it what you will. I was fortunate enough to have finished university. Although, I still contemplate if I would have gone to university knowing what I know now. In any case, I was lucky enough to be able to go to University of Toronto. I was luckier still that I found a great job.
I should’ve been studying. I had an exam in a few days. My final exam in university, ever. It suddenly hit me. What’s next? What happens after that exam?
I told myself I should probably find a summer job. At least something that will put money in my pocket while I look for a “real job”. I went on the career website from UofT and found Bazinga. Few months later I was a full-time employee. I had a hand in it but I know Fate played a role. As Fate usually does. I digress.
I was saying 22 is easy. 23. Even 24. Then 25 hits. Suddenly, we’re all expected to have changed overnight. To be ready to make these big-time decisions. What prepares us for big decisions?
I’m talking big time decisions. Decisions like, when should I buy a house? When should I get married? When do I have kids? Where do I live? Do I stay at my job? Is this the career I want? Is this the job I always wanted? Am I passionate about this?
University doesn’t prepare you for this. Experiences may prepare you for these types of things. However, by the time you’ve gained experience, you’ve already made the mistakes.
Few days ago, a friend of mine and I were talking about my blog. He mentioned how relatable it is. I’m ecstatic when my friends say they enjoy the blog. It’s an amazing feeling.
He mentioned that he reads blogs to get tips. He said it may be a good idea to share how I was able to come to these realizations. How I bring myself to the point of taking action.
Then I think to myself, am I the right guy to be giving that type of advice? I ask again, what have I accomplished?
In my personal life, I believe I’m doing excellent. I have a beautiful fiancé, an incredible person. A great dog. Supportive family. Great friends. I feel like I’m gloating here but I’m trying to show my appreciation to them.
I’m thinking about what I’ve accomplished professionally. I’m not where I want to be but then again at 22 I didn’t know where I wanted to be at 25. I was taking it “day-by-day”. What a short-sighted way to live. Letting everyone else dictate my life instead of setting goals. I’ve changed that now. Maybe that’s a tip. Set some goals for yourself.
Take an evening. Put on some old Turkish music, or whatever else you’re into. Pop open a nice bottle of red wine. Be with yourself. Think. Decide what you want. You. The goals can always change. They often do. At least you’ll have a great starting point.
Now take that set of goals, and if you have a partner, share it. Your goals should be aligned. Again, I must reiterate, these are things that I am still working on. Eliz and I discuss this often. I try to understand her. Oftentimes, I’m too pushy. But the communication needs to be there. If my partner and I are striving for the same goal then we’ll have a much better chance of achieving it.
I think that was another tip. Communicate your goals with the one person that will help you achieve it.
I mentioned big decisions earlier in the post. Questions that I had. Questions that I continue to ask myself.
How do I get these questions answered without making the mistakes? Well, Warren Buffet said “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”
This is the one tip that I want to give everyone.
Read. No, not another article. Not the news. Not the sports section. Not even that business magazine.
Read a book.
Don’t watch the game tonight. There’ll be another game on tomorrow. You can catch highlights.
Read a book.
Read business books. Read psychology books. Read books about meditation.
I recently began reading Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu. This book was written over 2,500 years ago. I’m not that far into it yet and it’s already making a huge impact on my thoughts.
Only books have this influence on me.
I believe that to answer those questions, that I, as a 25-year-old man, have about life, I must read. Read about my career. About my goals. My aspirations. I believe those questions are answered in books.
We’re not the first batch of 25 year olds to walk this earth. Others have made mistakes. They’ve found the right way to do things. They had their trials and tribulations. We will too. The way to limit the mistakes is to learn from them. It doesn’t mean we must make the mistakes. I can simply read about someone else that made the mistake.
With every new book I read, I see things differently. I feel enlightened. Books are changing my life. They will change yours too.
Read a book.