Dear Eric (at age 20),
It’s and you’re outside of a UCLA dormitory by yourself. Cheer up buddy! Take your head out of your lap as you read this note.
Your girlfriend’s words were piercing, not because of who they were coming from but because of what they meant. “Where are you going? What are you going to do with yourself?”
These are difficult questions, but know that you will find the answers in time, as long as you focus on a positive direction and continually take small steps forward… a direction that can be expressed in two words:
In other words, take a look focus on the great things about your life: where you’ve been, where you are and what you hope to become. The past can be examined from any angle, as in you could make yourself sad by looking back at heartbreaks, fights and ugly relationships or just as easily, you could be happy by reflecting on great times, like celebrating New Years in Rome or last week’s karaoke night.
As for the present and the future, put your mind and body toward something productive that is… well… “awesome”
For a better definition, I turn to my friend Harold Tan, an accomplished businessman and amateur philosopher
“Awe is a combination of wonder and respect. Awe inspires and draws people to you. Inspire awe by being a master of your craft, an artist in your trade, and a shining example to the community around you.”
People respect hard work, talent, and success. By working hard, polishing your talents, and applying both to produce successful results you will develop the 'aura of awesomeness' - a state of being that permeates everything you do and provides 'presence'.”
And what does this mean for the charming gentleman? Invest and improve on yourself in a way that excites you, because those positive sentiments will radiate outwards. I like to reflect on the words of Robert Kiyasaki, the successful author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” who lives by the principle, “Mind your own business.”
Your “business” is who you are, so create an ideal and shoot for it, applying all your talents to be a better man. While that may seem selfish, I don’t see it that way because the more I strive to make myself a better man, the more I can benefit my family, friends community and the world at large.
Feeling a little better? There’s nothing quite like a pick-me up from your future self. I’m five years older and know a lot more about myself…I mean you … or at least the future you…
Anyway, what I’m getting at is focus on a worthy, exciting goal and apply yourself completely. Look back on your accomplishments with pride, like getting into a respected college, and even having a hot, smart girlfriend. (while it lasts).
Rather than mope in the cold night, deeply contemplate who you are and what you’re about, and spend time working on a better future.
I know you’ve got good tastes, so whatever you decide to be.
You’ll be awesome.
Eric (at age 25)
A few awesome links for all the Charming Gentlemen in the world to reflect on until next week:
Reflect on the shortness of life through the words of an Italian philosopher, Seneca:
Listen to some great music, like Chrisopher O’Riley’s piano cover of “No Surprises”