The 23 Things I Learned On The Way To 23


I just turned 23 yesterday. I still don’t know much, but here’s what I do know (in no particular order)…

1. Being nice won’t get you the girl.

But being a jerk won’t either.

I texted her everyday my Junior Year of High School.

“How was your day? :)”

It never worked out between us.

She wants a man on his purpose. She doesn’t want a man who’s always there waiting for her.

2. You don’t know what you don’t know.

So have a “Beginner’s Mind.” Keep your eyes and ears open and always be learning.

3. You know more than you know.

I’ve spent upwards of $8,000 of marketing courses and education this year. And I’m still broke.

Why? I haven’t done anything because I feel like I’m not “ready” yet.

You don’t need more information. You need to trust yourself and use what you already know (it’s enough).

4. The Law of Attraction works.

Last year my dream was to travel the world, work online and meet interesting people.

This is now my reality.

Create a big vision because it just might work out.

5. Following your passion is dangerous advice.

Just because you like yoga doesn’t mean you should quit your corporate job to become a yoga instructor.

The market rewards those who are the best at what they do. Passion is a good start, but having it doesn’t mean you’ll be the best (or even good).

6. Focus on skills.

Figure out what you’re good at, what you like doing, and what people need. Then, build that skill and create proof of your expertise through your results.

7. We live in a New Economy.

In this New Economy, a brand name on your resume won’t save you from going hungry.

Valuable skills will.

The Internet has leveled the playing field for anyone to take their skills to the market on their own terms.

8. 99% of the world lives in fear.

Fear of what she’ll think. Or what they’ll say. Or what might happen.

Fuck your fear. Fuck my fear.

If we let it rule our lives today, it’ll rule our lives forever.

9. We’re going to die.

I’m going to die. You’re going to die. We’re all going to die. Why then, do I live life as if I’m immortal?

It’s because we ignore (or hide from) our mortality. Instead, embracing our mortality may be the key to a more fulfilling existence.

10. Follow your curiosities.

Jared gave me this simple piece of advice in June 2016. He doesn’t know this, but these three words changed my life and set me on the course I’m on now.

Passions are paralyzing. Curiosities are easy.

11. Nobody cares about you.

We all want love, acceptance and understanding.

And we’re also selfish.

Which means we’re all too busy trying to get these things for ourselves to notice your insecurities.

Let go. Nobody is watching you, waiting for you to mess up or look dumb.

12. Read fiction before bed.

A good story shuts my problem-solving brain off. This makes it real easy to fall asleep. My favorite piece of fiction is “Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield.

13. What you eat is most important.

But don’t base your dietary habits on the recommendations of government agencies. They have their own agendas.

You must research and experiment on your own to find what works for you.

14. Psychedelic mushrooms will change your life philosophy.

They strip away all the B.S. and force you to look at the real, raw you.

Often times, you’ll realize an error in your thinking. And simple shift in perspective is all it takes to lead a new life.

You don’t need psychedelics for this to happen, but they help.

15. Community is as important as solitude.

I used to fantasize about and romanticize solo travel… until I did it.

Life can get lonely.

A solid community will keep you sane, push you further and make life a lot more enjoyable.

16. There’s nothing wrong with studying Pick Up.

Men are expected to know how to build attraction with random women. But most don’t know how (still learning myself).

It’s our duty as men to learn how.

And not so we can have all the sex in the world. But because we deserve the best, and because she deserves the best of us.

17. Travel won’t solve all your problems.

Many people travel to escape something (guilty as charged). But you won’t escape it just because you’re in a new city.

Deal with and own your problems.

18. It’s hard keeping strong friendships.

Since I left the states I’ve done a bad job keeping in touch with my closest friends.

If you’re reading this now, I’m sorry. I’m trying to be better.

I didn’t realize how much effort is needed to keep relationships alive. Now I know.

19. Be selective with what you start.

Anyone can start something. Very few finish.

This is my biggest weakness. I’m a flake. I think the solution is to be picky with what you choose to start.

20. You don’t need to have a cocaine problem to be an addict.

Porn. Social media. Attention. Drama. Netflix. Alcohol. Sugar.

The first step is becoming aware of how the endless dopamine hits have manipulated your brain (this is the easy part).

The second step is to start regaining control (this is the hard part).

21. Journaling is fucking awesome.

Feeling overwhelmed? Pick up a pen and let your hand do it’s magic.

Don’t judge what you write. Don’t think much either.

Just write.

You’ll feel amazing afterwards.

22. Exercise & Depression.

After a few weeks of no exercise, I begin a downward spiral into a manic, depressive existential crisis.

But when I do exercise, I feel happy, present and alive.

Move your body!

23. Have faith.

I was sitting outside next to Nick in a seedy, dark hookah bar. Loud Spanish rap music videos were blaring in the background. The street to my left was filled with people of all shapes, colors and intentions.

It was a warm night in the heart of Medellin.

Nick looked at me and could tell something was off:

“Austin, it’s gonna work out.”

I looked at him.

“I can tell you’re worried about the future. You have all these dreams, I get it man.”

I laughed and tried shrugging it off. He wouldn’t let up.

“Listen man. A year ago I was sitting at home in Toronto and knew nothing about online business. Now I’m here with you, business is better than ever and I’m starting up a second shop. Just have faith man, it’ll work out.”

It’s easy to get caught in an unproductive mental hamster wheel.

Planning, plotting, worrying… planning, plotting, worrying.

This will cause more harm than good.

Just have faith, my friend.

It’ll all work out for you.

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Austin Dean

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