From my experience, when you ask anyone 40+ years old what they were like when they were 20 they usually just start laughing. Almost no one I’ve talked to has said anything close to, “oh yeah I was a great person when I was 20, really intelligent, made good choices and sacrificed for the right things”. The 1 person who has said something similar to this is Mitch Goldhar, the owner of Smart Centres. He told me that “he was going to use his 20s, while everyone else was out partying he was going to be working”, I think it got him quite far, considering his multi-billion dollar company.
Now I’m not going to sacrifice everything I have towards a career, that’s just not who I am. Some people find meaning in sacrificing the entirety of their lives to run an esteemed company, or to be the best in the world at something, but I see it as too risky, for myself, my family, my friends, my faith, and my future. But, I am willing to sacrifice a lot for those things, to build up my family, my wife, my kids, a decent career doing meaningful work. That’s my aim, that’s where I’ll operate, and hopefully some good comes from it.
Just imagine, for a moment, where you could get to if at 20 years old you said to yourself, “Okay, I’m actually going to deal with all my problems, 1 by 1, achievable piece by achievable piece”. Just imagine turning 40 years old and being able to say, “I wasn’t an idiot when I was 20 years old, I was smart, and I decided that I wasn’t going to waste my time with meaningless noise.” Just imagine who you would be.