Harry Smith

27 Thoughts for a 27th Birthday

Rapid fire thoughts on life on the most relfective day of the year

It’s my 27th birthday today. A lot of people see new years day or a birthday as an arbitary moment in time. But the reality is that we do find them meaningful motivators for change. I’m still young but my life has existed in three distinct phases. There was my childhood, which lasted until I was 18. There is my young adult life. Which was unfortunately characterised by a long and painful relationship with alcohol. And then there is this phase.

Sometimes I like to think of this as my 2nd birthday. It reminds me that going from not-sober to sober is a big enough change to constitute starting again. And it prevents me from comparing myself to others in my age group. You don’t compare a two year old to a twenty-something year old.

Anyway, here is twenty seven thoughts for a twenty seventh birthday.

  1. Making a change is easy. Maintaining a change is much harder but much more important.

  2. Diet, Sleep & Exercise. The only three things that always matter.

  3. Information is only as useful as the actions that it generates.

  4. It’s much more useful to be good at something than passionate about something.

  5. Your behaviour mirrors the people you spend the most time with more than you think.

  6. There are no perfect systems. At first they work because your engagement is high. They will break down when your engagement dips. Stay alert and change them as needed.

  7. Previous success counts for little. A challenge meets you where you are now, not the glory that you recall from before.

  8. ‘Succesful’ vs ‘unsuccesful’ is the same as ‘those that create’ vs ‘those that consume’

  9. Don’t believe what people make a point of telling you. Truth comes from actions not words.

  10. Work from the bottom up. What is the next concrete step? How do I get through today?

  11. If you’re going to be a dick about it, you better be right.

  12. There’s nothing wrong with beleiving in yourself. It only looks arrogant when you believe you’ve already made it. Believe that you have the capacity to get better.

  13. Delete more from your to-do list than you complete.

  14. Conventional wisdom leads to a conventional life. If you trying to do something new, don’t be afraid to stand out.

  15. Next time you feel stupid, instead of backing out try to stay in that space as long as possible. It’s suprising how quick you can feel comfortable and competent.

  16. With audible and kindle there is no longer any valid excuse for anyone not to be consuming books in some form

  17. Buy things that bring permenant improvements to your life. Your posessions should compound. Over time you should have less and less to buy.

  18. Cook your own food.

  19. Try a long walk, a salad and a litre of cold water before resorting to more drastic mood elevating measures.

  20. Habits aren’t free, choose them with care.

  21. If you don’t want to do it tomorrow, then why are you doing it today?

  22. Ten minutes of natural sunlight as soon as you wake up will change your life.

  23. Having an ‘identity’ isn’t important. It’s a way for others to determine what you believe and what you want in life.

  24. People will put a huge amount of energy trying to convince you to stop doing what they could not.

  25. If you don’t have a hobby that should be a huge red flag that something important is wrong in your life.

  26. If you say ‘no’ most people will realise how powerless they are. This can be good and bad.

  27. If you let your time be an open resource, then others will exploit it.

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