Advice To A Younger Self: How To Manage Yourself

1. Hit the gym.

We live in the real world and physical strength has real benefits. Get fit and you’ll look fit, and people will treat you better for it. Get fit enough and people will outright fear you. This may seem unnecessary on a day to day basis, but it has incredible value in unexpected personal conflicts. We are ultimately animals.

Also, don’t obsess too much about the number on the scale or how your abs look. If you must take pictures of yourself, keep them to yourself until you get remarkably, dramatically fit. Even then,  it’s a lot cooler if you keep it to yourself. Revealing yourself as a gym rat allows people to pigeonhole you. Just show up at the gym and lift some heavy ass weights, then eat well. The world doesn’t need to know. Make it seem like you’re just effortlessly, naturally fit.

2. Sleep/water/diet.

Again, despite all the intellectual posturing you need to remember that you are a bag of meat, of chemicals and electrical signals. You have to take care of this or your mental performance will slip and your life will suck as you start making bad decisions.

Being sleep deprived makes it nearly impossible to do creative, intelligent work. Eating poorly- skipping meals, etc- will make you cranky and lethargic. You’re tall and skinny with a high metabolism, so you need to be eating a lot more than you realize, just to function properly. You’ll be happier.

3. Read/Write more.

You’ve always liked doing both, but make it less random. Do a little bit every day. Read a page a day. Write a sentence a day. It’s unlikely that you’ll stop there- once you get started, it’s easy to keep going.

Reading gives you a sick advantage in life. It gives you context and perspectives,  allows you to consume the best bits of the best minds throughout human history. It’s a hell of a drug. It’ll inspire and provoke you. Any day you’re not reading is a day you wasted a chance to learn something.

Writing is almost a natural consequence of intense reading. And it’s unbelievably, phenomenally powerful in the

4. Solicit secrets and keep them.

Treat people nicely, with kindness and respect, but assume that everyone is incompetent and will leak any information you give them.

Don’t be a clueless idiot and give away people’s secrets because you want approval. It’s far better to develop a reputation for being a good listener and keeping secrets. Feign ignorance when probed about others.

Say only good things about people, and people will get comfortable enough around you to tell you their secrets, worries, fears. You can do whatever you like with this information, bur I recommend you be kind. All this additional information puts you in a position to make decisions that others can’t, and it allows you to nudge people (subtly!) away from things that might damage or hurt them. Towards things that’ll benefit them. This makes you an intensely valuable person to your group.

Always look for ways to improve the lives of others, and NEVER make a big deal of it. Help everyone, see who reciprocates, and focus on those. Don’t go around shaming “lesser friends”. Just quietly, kindly excuse yourself by focusing on the people who matter.

5. Limiting beliefs

You inherit many of these, and they might have helped you be a bit more safe, but they’re not useful anymore. Identify them. Get rid of them.

6. Eliminate self-flagellation

Kicking up a dust does not help you see better.

7. Do regular reviews

You need to keep track of where you’ve been in order to be clear about where you’re going.

8. Hang out with good people

You are the average of the few people you spend the most time with.

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