The 45 Lessons That I’d Share With My 22 Year Old Self

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So, I just turned 45 today and I thought I would take a few minutes and reflect on one question….

“If I could go back and have lunch with my 22 year old self, what wisdom would I try to impart?”

Now, being that my son just turned 22 this past week as well – this ends up being the lessons that I would hope that he and all my kids learn – quickly.

In honor of my 45th – here are 45 things I would hope that they would learn…

  1. Fail fast, fail often – You will learn SO MUCH more by trying and failing than you will ever learn by sitting on your ass and wondering

  2. Believing is seeing – not the other way around – you have to believe it first

  3. There will be a lot of people that tell you “you can’t” – Screw those people!

  4. Don’t be a trailblazer – seek out mentors and leaders to follow – listen to them and do EXACTLY what they say.

  5. Get centered FAST – life is about moments with the people that you care about, NOT about things.  Douche bags think that life is about “things” – don’t be that guy.

  6. Your credit score is NOT you – as crazy as that sounds, the world will try to convince you of this and will quickly trap you into being risk adverse and into “falling into line” with the rest of the herd

  7. Your network, your family, and your friends ARE YOU – You are a direct reflection of these people – so spend time with quality people that enrich your life – not the leaches and nay-sayers that will only slow you down.  “Your network is your networth.”

  8. Choose your friends wisely – they are the only ones that will be there through the good and bad times.  Be advised – your circle of friends will be very different in a few short years.

  9. Done is better than perfect – take action and go. Perfection is the enemy of progress.

  10. Forget about what other people think and be honest with yourself in every situation – the faster that you learn to trust yourself, the better life becomes – it brings a resounding peace

  11. Business is not a solo sport – surround yourself with the best in any field that you want to get into, bring value to their lives, and they will gladly open doors for you.

  12. Hit problems head on – don’t wait – cut fast, cut deep – but work the problem and get it behind you as fast as possible.  Be done with it.

  13. Never listen to “broke” people – If they are not where you want to be in life and living the life that you want, then do not let them stand in your way and impact your thinking….they will all try and will all have an opinion – DO NOT LISTEN

  14. Live your life in “day tight” compartments (read Dale Carnegie to understand the reference) – close off the past and the future and focus on today and making every minute count

  15. Be the person worth finding – you never know who’s looking

  16. Don’t judge others – everyone has their own life to life – we all have demons and the moment that you begin to cast your judgment on others is the very moment where you become a hypocrite and a lesser version of yourself

  17. Focus on collecting moments and memories – not things. After having houses, cars, watches, boats, and everything in between – none of them have been as good as watching my kids faces light up and knowing that “Dad did that and they’ll remember it forever.”   That is impact.

  18. Travel the world. See everything, taste everything, try everything, and grow with each step. You’ll quickly appreciate all of the things that make “home” into “home”, but you’ll also be in awe of how awesome the world really is.

  19.  Create a “bucket list” to accomplish by the time you’re 30 and knock something off every year. Skydiving, scuba diving, swimming with sharks, starting a business, go to Europe, go to Asia, learn to surf, learn to sail, learn to fly, charter a private plane, learn Spanish….DO IT ALL! Do it again for 40, 50, 60, and 70. Never stop reaching for goals and growing.

  20. Immerse yourself in personal development, sales training, marketing training, and entrepreneurial training. They don’t teach this in schools and yet, it’s the only thing that will create real freedom in your life. You need all of this in order to own a business….(You do not want to “own” a job or work for someone else).

  21. Focus on what you do want and NOT on what you don’t. When asked, be able to answer the question “What do you want out of life?” in one quick and direct response.

  22. Have strong values – know the answers to these questions:

    a. “Why does this matter to me?”

    b. “What Do I Stand For?”

    c. “What Do I Stand Against?”

    d. “What do I REALLY believe in so strongly that I’d be willing to die for it?” These answers shape the person

  23. Focus on creating and shaping your BIGGEST and GREATEST reality – not on what the world, the media, and your friends tell you that your reality should or could be. You’re capable of anything – so DREAM BIG!

  24. Live like it’s your last week on the planet – it just might be – so focus on making as much impact as often as you can. Call your mom, call your dad, and make sure the people that you care about – know it.

  25. Focus on doing good and creating impact in the world. Go to Haiti ( or any other third world country) – see how the poorest of the poor live and let it shape your future – you will reprioritize quickly and stop wasting time.

  26. Don’t fear failure – fear regret.  Be afraid of the right things.  Failure should not be one of them.

  27. Be the person that unites others. Create your own legacy and your own tribe.

  28. Be decisive. If you believe in something, go for it and don’t give up. If you fail, learn from the mistake and adjust quickly. But never let them say that you were “wishy washy”…If you don’t believe, then why should you expect anyone else to believe. Believe in yourself and act like it.

  29. Be a leader. Leaders make the tough decisions, take the risks, take the hits, and keep fighting. Be fearless.

  30. Don’t be a whiner or a pussy. The world will get out of your way and give you what you’re willing to go after. It won’t always be easy. It’s how you deal with these adverse moments that will define you. My advice…Shut up and do what needs to be done to achieve your goals.

  31. Don’t believe your press – good or bad. You’ll never be as great or as bad as they think you are. Be resolute in who YOU are and what you believe in and let that be enough.

  32. There is much more money and pleasure to be had in business by being the guy that is “behind the scenes” –  versus needing to be the person in the spot light all the time. The producers, movie studios, and record companies make much more money than the artists. Check the ego and learn the business.

  33. Hang around people that think bigger than you. If you’re the smartest guy in the room – then you’re in the wrong room – leave immediately.

  34.  In business, hire slow and fire fast. Also, be good at separating business and personal.

  35. Build a business that does not need you in order to run. Having that option is freedom.

  36. Hug your kids often and take the time to REALLY be present.  Let them sleep in bed with you for as long as they want to.  Before too long, they won’t want anything to do with you. 🙂

  37. Tell your kids you love them.  It matters.

  38. Be careful of the words coming out of your mouth. You speak your future. Your language is powerful, so use empowering language versus limiting language.  There’s always one person listening and that’s you. When you say “I can’t.” – you make that real. Choose to say “I choose not to”. Subtle changes in your language create massive results in what you believe is possible and ultimately what you achieve.

  39. Never regret. Learn, adapt, adjust, and adopt new strategies for new outcomes. But never regret.

  40. Learn to say “no”. There is great power in being able to walk away.

  41. Define what you want out of life. Lay out what success looks like in your life in great detail – then work backwards from there on the plan to achieve it.

  42. Don’t be cocky. Humble pie is a painful dessert and karma has a way of delivering it to those who deserve it most. Cocky, brash, and outrageous – will rarely serve you in life.

  43. Spend the money – When possible – go to the World Series, go to the Super Bowl, go to the NBA Finals, go to the National Championship, travel well when you can afford it,….experience the best of what life has to offer.

  44. Do something that scares you – EVERYDAY!

  45. Lastly, live a full life. Go everyday like this is your only life and the one that you’re going to make the most out of.

About the Author

Kent Clothier is President and CEO of Real Estate Worldwide (REWW), a multi-faceted real estate education company with headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, San Diego, California, and Boca Raton, Florida.

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