Life Lessons Learned
Earlier today I was at the dentist and there was a TV show on, and it got me thinking about 5 life lessons learned that I wish I knew 20 years ago.
While I was in the chair waiting for the dentist, which by the way, it was just a cleaning – but I’m terrified of dentists! They had a TV show on called Friends.
Back in the 90s they were in New York with Ross, Phoebe, Monica, Joey… who else was there?
Do you remember this show?
Anyhow. I was thinking about it and I thought, “Oh my gosh! This was 20 years ago.” I thought about what I was doing 20 years ago, and you see, I’m turning 50 this year – so 20 years ago I was in my thirties.
This is when I was working for IBM, trying to make a career, right? And climb up the corporate ladder and became a director at IBM. And so, I thought. “What would I tell myself if I could go back in time twenty years ago?”
I wrote down 5 life lessons learned that I’d tell myself if I could to talk to myself 20 years ago.
Number 1: Learn something new every day.
This is what I would tell myself because you can never learn less. You see, 20 years ago I still had TV and here’s what happened.
I was working all day, and as soon as I got home at night, after dinner, I plopped myself in front of the TV to watch some shows like Friends, which by the way, is an awesome show.
But I was doing this mindlessly.
I really like to read, watch videos, and learn something new every day.
These days, I don’t have cable TV anymore because what I like to do is watch movies, and this is why we have Netflix and Amazon.
So, this is one of the things that I would tell my 20-year younger self: stop wasting your time in front of the TV and start learning something. Start getting sharper and learning how to make money.
And I think I would have told myself start trading earlier!
Number 2: Things can and do change very quickly. Be ready.
When I was working for IBM, I thought I had job security, right, because IBM… Big company… What can possibly go wrong?
But in 2002, IBM announced a merger with Price Waterhouse Coopers and more than 4,000 jobs would be gone. I realized that even though I was a good employee, I was absolutely dispensable and things can and do change very quickly.
That’s what I would tell my younger self, because especially when you are in your thirties, you’ll think, “Oh, what can possibly go wrong?”
Well, I bet that if you have been living for more than 30 or 40 years on this planet, you know that this can happen.
Number 3: Take action beyond your comfort zone.
You know I’m German. I grew up in Germany, and growing up in Germany, I had a very conservative mindset. Very, very conservative. I mean, we are not a nation of risk takers, let me tell you this.
In Germany, the way I was born and raised by my parents is: get a good education and a good job, work hard and long hours, save money, and then be modest so that you can retire at the age of 65.
And I bought into this. It took me a while. As you know in 2002, I finally said, “Enough of this.” I left my job at IBM to move to Austin, Texas to become a professional trader.
That was my goal. And as you know, it wasn’t easy in the beginning.
Now, before I tell you the last two, if you’re interested in learning how I personally trade, my trading routine, then go to the website: mytradingroutine.com
Here I have a 35 minutes video that shows you exactly how I personally find the best stocks and options to trade, how I determine when to enter, and how I limit my risk, and when I take profits.
There’s nothing to opt in for. The video will play right away.
Number 4: Don’t be afraid to start something new.
This is one of the things that were difficult for me, because in Germany, we have the mentality that you start your job at one company and you stay there until you retire.
My dad started at Kruppstahl, a steel manufacturer in Germany, after college and he stayed with his company until he retired.
So I would tell my younger self, you know what? Screw all this. Learn something new and don’t be afraid to start something new.
It’s never ever too late to start over.
If right now you feel that your stuck, change it. You can!
Trust me on this one.
Number 5: If you’re not rich, you’re making somebody else rich.
It really took me a while before I had this sink in.
If you’re an employee working for somebody else, you’re probably making somebody else rich.
And this is why in 2002, after I realized I was working 60, 70, 80 hours a week for somebody else, namely IBM, and at this time it was Lou Gerstner, this is when I decided enough is enough and I wanted to be my own boss.
And yes, this means that you have to leave your comfort zone.
5 life lessons learned that I wish I knew 20 years ago:
1. Learn something new every day.
2. Things can and do change quickly.
3. Take action beyond your comfort zone.
4. Don’t be afraid to start something new.
5. If you’re not rich, you’re making somebody else rich.
You know what they say. Here is your comfort zone, and here is where the magic happens. You have to leave your comfort zone to make the magic happen. Don’t be afraid to start something new.
And one of the things that I can assure you is, it’s never too late.
If you’re not rich, you’re making somebody else rich.
What would you tell your younger self if you had an opportunity to travel back in time 20 or 30 years?
What are the life lessons that you have learned that you would tell your younger self?
Leave a comment and let me know because I’m always curious.
These are my top five life lessons learned. I probably have much more that I would tell my younger self, but these are the five that came to mind while I was sitting at the dentist’s office.