I first heard this question on the Tim Ferris Show and love the answers that it produces from his guests. There are so many things I would like to tell my 20 year old self, but I believe the things I went through as a result of not knowing what I do now, have made me the person I am today.
I’ve followed the contributors online for the past few years and have been lucky enough to learn from a few of them in person. They have all (to various levels) added a huge amount of value to my life and made me a much better coach as a result. Have a read and reflect on what you would tell your 20 year old self. I’d love to hear your answers in the comments.
Chill the f*** out. Nothing is that big a deal.
Don’t have children. The freedom you gain will be worth it, and someone else will have children that you can borrow whenever you want 😉
A growth mindset is crucial. Everything — seriously, everything — is a skill. Skills can be improved and “talent” is vastly over-rated. (Not that talent isn’t a thing, it’s just a small part of the bigger picture.)
Nobody actually knows what they are doing.
Everyone is insecure. *Especially* the people who you’d assume would have no insecurities.
Let time unfold. 20 is not 40, nor should it be. Put in the reps and 40 will come soon enough.
Don’t try to impress anyone when you’re 20 (or 40, or ever) because nobody cares, and trying too hard to impress people (or over-focusing on external performance) almost always makes you suck. Inner game all the way!!!!
Focus on enjoying being a beginner every day for the rest of your life.
Trust your gut, you have the potential to achieve anything, don’t give a fuck about other people opinions if you believe you are doing the right thing and money isn’t the key, help people is the key and if you help enough people then money will come.
Plus read daily, everyday read 20 pages of something, doing that will get you through 40ish books a year, your 30 year old self will be smarter for it.
I would give my twenty year old self reassurance that she didn’t need to count calories (bc she is neck deep in that obsession!) And I would like to teach her the skills I teach my clients about losing weight and maintaining it in a sustainable way.
The advice I’d give myself at age 20 is to be confident, stay the course and enjoy the ride. Pretty much the same advice I try to remind myself of now at age 37.
“Don’t get married”
But seriously, I don’t believe in regrets. There are things you do and things you don’t do. My only advice for myself (besides DONT GET MARRIED) would be to remain honest with myself and others around me.
FOCUS on the ONE thing that completes you.
Its generally the most hardest thing and the thing that you’re fearing most but when you get there, it’ll pay its dividends in wealth.
The question you ask is a difficult one in some ways. As it presupposes somethings. Should it be what I would tell young Emmet to do to enjoy himself more or to set things up better for Older Emmet. Very different things would arise from this line of thinking.
Have some faith, it’s going to work out! Don’t stress so much, and don’t be in such a hurry.
That’s a huge question! Since I don’t know if you mean workout wise, career wise, or relationship wise, I’ll just go with sort of an all over general advice I’d give myself:
Keep doing all the learning. It will come together in ways you can’t imagine.
Other than that, I’d be afraid to give myself too much specific advice because I’d be afraid to ruin how things turned out.
Some of my best qualities and best lessons come from complete misery and pain. I’d be afraid to give myself advice that would have me avoid 15 years or terrible business decisions and taking courses that never led anywhere, and even one really, really horrible relationship.
I’d keep it all because I need to have learned those lessons. I need to have that empathy. I need to have the appreciation of empathy and kindness in relationships and business partnerships (they didn’t used to be things I looked for!)
So, I hope that doesn’t seem like a cop out. I had so many failures, maybe I’d just console myself with – someday this will all be really valuable.
1. Learn to meditate.
2. Spend more time alone.
3. Call your Grandpa.
Hard to say. I guess the only thing that i would do different if I were to go back would be to start documenting all aspects of my business earlier. The best thing that you can do is to document a task so that it can be handed off to somebody else. By doing that, you continually hire out or outsource stuff and never do the same annoying or administrative task twice. This leaves more time to read, write, network, or just shut off and rejuvenate.
Stop trying ‘get there’ so fast. Stop rushing to be somebody and have a big following with 100’s of clients.
Know that you are already somebody and you are good enough as you are. Focus on enjoying the journey and treating that 4-5 clients you are training as the most important people in the world. Do this consistently and in a short time you’ll have everything you’ve ever wanted.
Fitness isn’t about push ups and broccoli, it’s about giving people confidence, a sense of belief and a sense of belonging. It doesn’t matter how many exercise variations you know or how much you know about vitamins and minerals. Your gift is in making people believe in themselves- so do that and focus all of your attention on that.
You will have some big knocks and dips in life, but they’ll bring with them the biggest lessons of your life- so be calm in the storm and know that life is just giving you testing times so that you can get to know yourself better and grow into a person who can help people through your own experience.
Believe in yourself. You’ve got magic in you.
Would “don’t wear white high-top sneakers on a date” count as sage advice to myself? There’s one topic I think 95% of fitness professions don’t think about: finances. I’d tell my 20 year old self to set up a SEP IRA right away and to do a better job at planning for retirement. One of the thorns in the industry is that, often, we don’t get the option to contribute to a 401K or some form of dedicated retirement plan, and we’re left to fend for ourselves. I can’t stress enough how important it is to find yourself a REALLY good accountant and possibly a financial advisor to help set you up for long-term success and to provide direction. I cringe at the math now. If I had started when I was 20, oh man, I cringe at the math.
Trust in the process and put in the work. Especially when things get tough. You don’t know anything yet, even if you think you do, so the best thing is to keep studying, learning, trying, and putting in the work.
Pick what you’re interested in, work hard at it, be patient and trust the process. Don’t be in such a rush for the end result. The process matters more. If you don’t enjoy the process, then you need to pick a different end goal
Learn to meditate immediately; and focus on loosening any/all tight parts of the body rather than overlaying strength over poor biomechanics. Aerobic fitness is less important than you (my 20-year-old self) thinks it is; learning how to be vulnerable and open, and present to what’s happening now is the gold of this life’s journey. Learn how to do this.
Be more bold! Find what you love and pursue it with all your heart.
Enjoy the ride.
Just keep going. You could probably learn a lot that would accelerate your progress in business right now, but what you’re going through – all these mistakes you’re making, and the fact you feel like a complete failure – these are probably going to help you A LOT in the future.
Think fast, talk slow. Challenge your deepest held ideas, dogmas and beliefs.
I would tell my 20 year old self to stop worrying what everyone else thinks. I spent so much of my teens and 20s worrying about judgement from others. What’s so wasteful about this is for the most part, I’m sure that the people who I was worried about, had their own anxieties, maybe about me judging them! I would also tell him to be more grateful and get a coach!
What would you tell your 20 year old self?