Something I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self
If there’s one thing I wish I could tell my younger self, it’s this:
Work Less, Learn More, Earn More
When I say learn more, I’m not talking about traditional school education. I went through that, like most people in North America. And I’m not denying its usefulness for general knowledge.
I’m also not talking about university, because I actually dropped out a few years in, mostly for the fact that I wasn’t learning the way I needed to learn.
But what I’m talking about is two things: 1. learning to learn, and 2. learning new skills.
Whenever I talk to people 5–10 years younger than I who’ve learned valuable skills I recently learned, I can’t help but think that I wish someone would have told me to invest in my self-development earlier.
Since I had dropped out of university about 9 years ago now, I focused on building my own startups, and growing in small startups. I learned so many incredible lessons working in all these high-stress, thriving environments.
But there’s one thing I failed to do: spend some time on my personal development.
Instead of working 12 hours per day every day, I wish I would have spent 2 of those hours on personal development. Learning to learn, storytelling, public speaking, writing, reading, drawing, playing an instrument, learning a new language, etc. Something. Anything.
Having specialized knowledge and working hard is overrated.
Somehow, even though when I was in the position of hiring people, I knew that I was hiring for “personality”, not “talent” or “mad skills”, I never thought to spend time working on mine.
Michael Simmons says that the future belongs to polymaths and I believe him. And you don’t become a polymath if you stop educating yourself after school, or when in the workforce. You become a polymath by continuously learning new skills, working different parts of your brain.
Back in September 2017, I had started to use 1 hour and 30 minutes of my morning time, right after waking up, to learn 3 new skills. 30 minutes for each skill, every morning, for a month. That’s 15 hours each.
Turns out that was probably the single best decision I could have taken for myself and my career.
I’ve learned about 21 new skills since then. I’ve released a book (other coming soon), a video game, an online store, started two businesses and now there’s no stopping me.
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery
Robert Greene and Michael Simmons are not wrong. At least not in my personal experience.
I certainly am not old now, but I could have “saved” 5–10 years of my life if I had known to work less and learn more. I would have earned more, faster if I had learned more, faster.
So whatever you do, never stop learning, ideally a diverse set of skills. You will be happier, earn more, and more importantly, be a better person, for yourself and your loved ones.
You can do this!
Thanks for reading and sharing! :)
First published here: https://medium.com/@danny_forest/work-less-learn-more-earn-more-fbdded93b5d