[future] me advice for [now] me

  • What would 40 year old tell 32 year old Nate?
  • At the end of 2016, what will I look back on and be proud of?
  • What do I prioritize now, and what will I prioritize by the end of 2016? How will the two compare? What will I prioritize by the end of 2020?
  • What do you do now in your life that you wouldn’t change for anything?

As of writing this, 4/19/2016, I am newly 32 years old (6 days ago) and in 2,916 days I will turn 40 years old. That is 69,984 hours, 4,199,040 minutes, and 251,942,400 seconds (holy shit that’s a lot of seconds to burn through). I’ve been thinking a lot about the above questions. I, like many of my peers, and closest friends have entered this interesting time in my life where many stories are prefaced with we’re getting old. Fatigue sets in earlier, hang overs are violent as ever, and our outlook on life has shifted toward the things we truly care about. I reflect today, on what I would tell Nate from 10 years ago. I won’t share those details, but what I realize is that it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing that I can change now, but it does make me think forward and wonder what 40 year old Nate would tell 32 year old Nate. I have full control over that, and for those reasons, I feel empowered. Again, I will spare you with my answers, but I challenge you to think about that today. 2,916 days from now seem like a long time from now for me, but in reality, I know that time will come. No faster, no slower than time normally would flow. Our perception of that time coming may feel unbearably slow when we’re bored in tedium. It will fly, swiftly, when engaged in the activities we love the most. For those reasons, I plan to make 2,916 days pass by as fast as I can so I can get to that ripe age of 40 when I plan to reflect on when I was the 30 year old version of myself.

I, like most, like lists. Here’s some advice from the make-pretend 40 year old Nate, for the current 30-something year old Nate:

  • experiences over shit
    • the > $700 it may have cost you for the latest and greatest smart phone (pocket computer, really) will not be as memorable as waking up in the wilderness. spend your money, and time on experiences. see a new city, state, town, country, continent. or, if confined to your own city, find the treasures and gems that you don’t know exist. adventure/fun is everywhere.
  • don’t be an asshole
    • people will remember your niceties, but they will also remember when you were an asshole. Rule is simple: don’t be an asshole. If you can’t decide if you’re an ass, or nice, I hate to break it to you. You’re probably an ass. Stop.
  • leave no trace
    • the leave no trace motto, recognizable to most outdoor enthusiasts should apply in more than one way. If you’re a dude, and you’re using a public restroom, please leave no trace. If you are on the go and eating food that has wrapper, leave no trace. It shouldn’t take you that much more time to put the wrapper into the trashcan.
  • make a difference
    • channel those memories where someone did something extraordinarily nice for you and remember that feeling it left you with. pay that forward. do the same to someone else. who knows, you might do this to someone who needs it more than ever.
  • you’re not that special
    • i mean this in the most endearing way possible. be humble. be grounded. gravity works the same whether you are the richest man in the world, or the poorest man in the world. we’re all on earth, let’s stay here, together.
  • be in the moment
    • this is water – 2 young fish swimming along, passing an older fish. The older fish says “morning boys, how’s the water today”? The two fish look toward each other and ask each other what the hell is water – the most obvious, important realities are the ones that are hardest to see, and talk about. (David Foster Wallace)
  • walk in another man’s shoe
    • you don’t know the circumstances of another person. let’s be more conscious of judging others before fully knowing their story.
  • don’t go more than 1 day feeling you somehow wasted that day. it’s not to say that every day needs to be spent scaling mt everest, or having rebuilt a village for a community recently devastated by a natural disaster. having a meaningful conversation with your mom, letting your friends know you love them should all be viewed as days well spent. if you do feel that a day was wasted, get your shit together, and make tomorrow count.
  • chase perfection, but be okay knowing it’s impossible. this is the one treadmill in life we should think about being aboard always. you’ll never reach that destination, but the distance covered in the meanwhile is the true gain here.

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