What social lessons would you tell your younger self?
I had my birthday earlier this month and while I’ve still got a ways to go, I feel good about where I’m at and where I’m headed. But who knows where that is? It’s cool to look back on my life so far and and see how I’ve grown along the way.
When I was 25, I spent so much time scattered everywhere. I went out all the time, often stayed out later than I wanted to, and basically tore shit up constantly. It was fun, and maybe it helped me find things I liked and didn’t, but actually I knew fairly early on that I like people, music, and trying to be as healthy as I can. A lot of the other stuff was a distraction and I spread myself pretty thin. Or maybe I needed to live my life that way to then try and find more balance.
Now I know that I get burned out when I jump in life’s rapids too much. Things that put me in life’s rapids are opportunities...like a business opportunity or a social opportunity. There are so many opportunities, an invitation to a party or a business proposition for example. If I went to all of the Jaunty events I’d pass out from exhaustion. (Though I do want to go to more because we had a fun time taking over the tikki bar last month! I love you guys.) Similarly, new business opportunities are exciting, but can sometimes be a distraction, pulling me away from my core work at Jaunty. Basically, time and energy are finite resources and you’ve got to choose what you really care about.
When I find life’s rapids trying to pull me in, I can choose to jump in and go for a wild ride down the river. Or I can use my assertiveness skills and continue walking my path along the banks. Saying no and setting boundaries are key to peer and social pressures that distract us.
We teach these assertiveness skills at Jaunty and I love helping our students find their voice and learn to speak up for themselves, especially when their view is at odds with the people around them. (“Dude, you’re going home already? Come on have another beer with us.” “This has been really fun and I’m heading home now. See you next time!”)
There is a balancing act inside my head. It’s about the big picture. Like, the really big picture. Has anyone seen those planet/star size comparisons on Youtube? Well you should check them out. We are tiny as fuck.
Half my head is saying I need to do the most I can in this world, live as fully as I can everyday, and push myself to expand helping as many people as possible with Jaunty. The other half asks what’s the point of working so hard since we’re here for limited time and even our galaxy has a finite existence, since it’s going to collide with another galaxy in a few billion years. Maybe I should just go ahead and relax and enjoy the things I like and that’s it. Okay that got a bit dark, but you get the idea.
Well I think a mix of these two is the answer. I want to keep striving for more and pushing myself, and also make the time to relax and have fun. So focus. Focus on a few things at a time. That’s what I would tell my 25-year-old self. The one thing I’ve learned from all the masters I’ve met or read about is that focus, patience, and consistency are what made them pave their path.