A 10 Year Manifesto
Notes To My 40 Year Old Self
I turned 30 today.
Looking back at the past decade of my life, I’ve watched this young, immature, almost childish little kid grow into every way a man can be.
I remember when I was 16 thinking that I would NEVER turn 25. I thought it couldn’t happen.
Yet, 30 years flashed by in front of my eyes.
Out of all the years of our lives, how much of our time was spent in happiness? How much was spent in appreciation?
If we die tomorrow, would a majority of our life have been spent in a positive state and doing things we LOVE?
I didn’t feel it when I was in my twenties, but time is SO IMPORTANT to me now.
I feel the pressure of time breathing down my neck.
I still find it jarring how most people trade their time for money. They fail to recognize that time is a FAR greater currency than money could ever be. They’d do something they hate just for a paycheck. And they’re hesitant when given the opportunity to trade money for experiences.
I never resonated with this idea at all.
Of course we all need money, but why not make money by doing things you love and offering value to the world?
If we turned 80 today instead of 30, all the money would be gone soon anyways. All the “things” would be gone.
What’s truly important?
Money doesn’t matter in the perspective of death.
What’ll remain is what you left for the world. What you have created. The people you have helped. The impact you had.
And how you spent your life in the short time you were here.
What do you truly want to do with your time here?
What’s truly important?
It was never the money.
It was never the material objects.
It was never the partying.
It was never the alcohol.
It was never the girls.
Of course, these things can be cool in moderation, but you’ve got to PRIORITIZE the important things first:
The things you want to create.
The people you want to help.
The knowledge you want to share.
The breathtaking experiences you want to capture.
Your innate gifts you want to give.
Your passions. Your creativity. Utilize them.
And add MASSIVE value to others and to the world.
DROP EGO. DESTROY self image. Be EXTREMELY open minded. Remove “I” and “Self” and focus on OTHERS.
Stop seeking validation. Especially in a social media world. Use it as a way to SHARE and not as a way to chase for attention.
Hustle HARD. Work on your craft, your passions. Always keep a RELENTLESS work ethic.
Progress comes slow, but it will COME with time. Great things don’t come easy. And it’ll be the biggest challenges that’ll be the most rewarding.
And remember to TREASURE the ordinary day to day experiences.
Because our life is made up of them.
You never know what’ll rob us of our time.
Only death can tell you how old or young you really are.
Make those mundane everyday experiences MAGICAL, because you choose to SEE them that way.
We are extremely BLESSED to have so many good things in our lives. The things we take for granted, others are praying for. Recognize them and feel TREMENDOUS gratitude for them.
Be in AWE of the gorgeous sunsets that occur almost everyday of our lives.
Appreciate the BEAUTIFUL painting of the stars on the night sky’s canvas.
Notice how PLEASANT the breeze feels when walking down the street. How GOOD does it feel to be ALIVE?
Or what about beauty in the form of another life?
How we should be in wonderment at the sight of another human being. Be engrossed in conversation with one another as it is truly remarkable for other human beings to co-exist.
GO OUT AND MEET NEW PEOPLE!
You NEVER know how FAR a simple “Hi” can go.
No one knows how long a relationship is destined to last. Let fate decide the length.
Who knows, you might make a friend for life.
But you must go out and CREATE it first.
Say “hello” ESPECIALLY when it makes your heart beat.
DO what fucking scares you.
Realize how RARE opportunities are.
We can never get a moment of life back, so seize them.
Your whole life will slip by, just sitting and waiting for “right” moments and “perfect opportunities.”
Perfect moments will NEVER come.
True intelligence is taking MAXIMUM ACTION and meeting destiny halfway.
Inaction is the WORSE thing that can happen to a person. It is truly a waste of someone’s gifts, ideas, opportunities and life itself.
Don’t be an expert of EXISTING. Be a master at LIVING.
Create adventures. Go out and seek AMAZING journeys.
Take part in NEW experiences! Try new things! Get out of autopilot and GO SEE THE WORLD!
The universe SIDES with ACTION.
The universe SIDES with COURAGE.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY!
But also take ADVANTAGE of the potentials of your body.
Maximize the potential. Don’t be oblivious to the short lived nature of our biological prime.
Don’t fall for external beauty alone. Look for inner beauty as well.
Because beauty is a FAST depreciating asset.
Trust the chemistry more than the anatomy.
Look for more timeless qualities like love and character.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH AWESOME PEOPLE!
Choose to spend your time with positive energy. Good hearted people who are open to all of life’s experiences.
PROXIMITY IS POWER.
Who you surround yourself with most is who you become.
Be picky with who you spend time with, but at the same time be OPEN to new friendships. Grow in BREADTH but also grow in DEPTH. Go out of your way to spend time with good friends.
Rekindle old friendships. Drop ego and initiate contact.
At times, people close to you will hurt you.
Practice forgiveness. And forgive yourself also.
But draw boundaries. Know when enough is enough. Forgive them, but let them go, if they can’t change. They’ll learn the lessons in their own due time.
SINCERELY wish them the absolute best and hope that things turn out awesome for them.
Don’t get duped into the negative energy of negative people. Limit your time around them. But DON’T JUDGE.
Negative people are people also. They’re just more “positive-challenged” and haven’t been shown higher paradigms. There are many good things about them, it’s just deeper beneath the surface.
Always try to see the good in everyone and ALWAYS be a good friend.
Make sure to pour for the people who pour for you.
SMILE AND LAUGH!
They’ll be periods of time when FOCUS will be your main priority.
But when you’re out, BE OUT! Be free and LET GO!
When you’re in the lab be a scientist. But when you’re out be a PERSON.
Joke around. Share stories. Express yourself.
Lower your criteria for what makes you laugh and just smile and laugh all the time.
The majority of your life should be FILLED with POSITIVE emotions.
AND WALK THE WALK!
Take MAXIMUM ACTION.
LIVE IT. Don’t just speak it.
Walk the path.
I have learned SO MUCH the past decade.
But, I have also FAILED SO MUCH. I have fallen SO MUCH. I have been rejected SO MUCH. I have embarrassed myself SO MUCH. I have been hurt SO DAMN MUCH.
And, I have GROWN SO MUCH because I’ve been through it. It has forged incredible strength.
It was ALL WORTH IT, because I at least TRIED.
All this pain is NOTHING compared to the pain of REGRET. The pain of NOT EVEN TRYING. Not even going for it. This is the worst pain because you can NEVER get something like that back. You don’t even grow from it. It is SHEER AGONY.
Do what you are afraid of. Pursue everything you ever wanted in life.
Nothing is scarier than looking in the mirror and seeing nothing but regrets.
And out of everything I’ve learned, this is what I realize to be THE MOST TRUE:
That life goes by SO FUCKING FAST. So, damn fast man. Our lives will be over sooner than we realize.
We are all on our way to death.
GOD I wish people can realize this truth and take FULL advantage of their time here.
EXTRACT every ounce of skill, potential, and opportunity while you still can!!
I cringe every time someone chooses comfort over ADVENTURE, objects over EXPERIENCES, security over FREEDOM. I want to scream into their soul: “TIME IS RUNNING OUT!”
“GO DO IT! Pour out your HEART AND SOUL for others! GIVE ALL your God-given talent to the world! Seek peak experiences and adventures! Do what makes you FEEL ALIVE!”
Life is short, but it’s LONG ENOUGH if you do it RIGHT.
It’s SO BIZARRE to me that most people don’t do what it takes to enjoy new and unique experiences in life. They trade their time for money without hesitation.
But people are who they are, and I’m definitely not perfect either. It’s all good.
And not many people will see the passing of time as melodramatic as I do, and I get that. Not everybody has to. They do them, I’ll do me.
But for those who see life this way, I hope I can provide some kind of guidance for you.
I hope we can embark on epic journeys together. I hope we can share unforgettable moments together. I hope we can experience all the great things in life TOGETHER.
Maybe we can change the world, maybe we won’t.
But for sure, I want to leave this place having tipped it in a more positive direction.
Let’s do AMAZING things for the world.
Let’s be creators and not merely spectators in the dance of life.
Take risks. Be BOLD.
There’s nothing more risky than wasting time.
Give it everything you’ve got. Have nothing left at the end, because YOU GAVE IT YOUR ALL.
The clock is ticking.
Live fully, truly and beautifully.
May 13, 2017
Seoul, South Korea