1. I spent 6 years in call centres, from about 19 to 25, doing nothing with my life. Looked like shit, felt like shit. No achievements or lasting happiness whatsoever.
2. I believed that I could do everything I wanted alone, without a support structure. I believed in willpower instead of putting systems in place that would help me.
3. I was really anxious about calling my grandmother for a while. She’s 101 if you can believe it. Now I call her every three or four days. So much better. She told me last week that it really meant a lot to her that I called.
4. I am really bad at opening my mail. Like embarrassingly bad. Bills go unpaid, interest piles up. It’s sad.
5. For years I was constantly late, or no-show, to tons of appointments I had with friends or family. Then I would lie about it afterwards. I did this for years. Eventually I realized that no one believed my bullshit. I started respecting people’s time, but it took way too long.
6. While we wrote our first book together, my co-author Chris was blogging and meeting people every day. He became super huge as a result of it. By avoiding his regimen, I slowed my progress by like 2 years at least. Only now am I actually recovering. Huge waste.
7. When I was about 18 years old, I got a branding done– permanent scarification– for no particular reason. This isn’t a big deal but I can’t think of why I did it now, 14 years later. I’m going to get it covered with more tattoos eventually.
8. I quit art school at around age 19 to pursue a dot-com job. My dream then was to become a sculptor. That waited another 10 years to get started again, now I do some on the side and I’m learning to draw again. You know that thing they say, “youth is wasted on the young”? It’s totally true.
9. I didn’t really take care of my first dog when I was a kid. My mom ended up having to do it, pretty much, because nobody else did. We didn’t obedience train him either. There was a lot we could have done better. He had an ok life but deserved a better one.
10. I haven’t yet learned to cook, really, even though I’m better now than I ever have been. It only really started when I had to count calories. I actually spent ten years as a vegetarian without learning to cook. Imagine. What did I eat? I still have no idea. Very glad to be eating meat now though.
11. There were girls that I really liked back in the day that I had no courage to make a move on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy with my girlfriend and everything, but it took me years to figure out that a girl wants you to make the move, not the other way around.
12. Every time I see somebody I respect, I never walk up to them. I’m always too shy. In reality, walking up and breaking the ice is always better because then you get to say hi (in a non-awkward way) the second time.
13. Hey guess what? None of this matters.
Life isn’t made up of the things you did wrong. It’s made of the things you did right.