To My Younger Self,

Today I write to you as a 31 year old man. You might be 12, or 13 or 14, much younger than I.

You have a great life ahead of you and many successes and failures to live through. I wish I could warn you of all of the pitfalls and the traps of life, but then you would never learn the important lessons for yourself!

It is only by touching the hot stove with our hand do we know that the stove is hot. We can only learn the lesson by burning ourselves. No amount of warnings from Mom or Dad can keep you from feeling the burn first hand.

Because I want you to feel the burn of life, I will share with you my only two regrets by the age of 31.

REGRET #1 – “NOT DOING IT” IN BUSINESS

In my life I have failed at many things, in fact, I fail at 80% of what I do, but 20% of my successes are so big that they make up for all of my failures and then some. Fail fast, fail cheap and fail profitably.

Do not be afraid to fail, failure is a major part of success.

Looking back on my life, I regret none of my failures:

I have loved and lost love.

I have won friends and lost friends.

I have made money and lost money.

I have had health and lost my health.

Through the wins and losses, the only regret I carry with me is “not doing it”.

The times in life when I didn’t even try are the most painful to think back on.

You must try, and try with all your might!

Be bold, be brave, be amazing.

REGRET #2 – “NOT DOING IT SOONER” IN BUSINESS

“I wish I started sooner” are the words of every man in the pursuit of greatness.

Just like the regret of “not doing it” which leaves the questions of “what if?” and an alibi against failure, “not doing it sooner” leaves a man with smaller results and smaller impact in the world.

They say hell on earth is meeting the man you could have became.

Why not become the man you were ought to be instead?

When I look back on my life and take stock of some of the habits that have made me successful, I wish I started them sooner:

Things I wish I started sooner:

  • Getting in shape
  • Getting my health and diet on track
  • Saving more money
  • Buying real estate sooner
  • Investing in my brand and YouTube channel
  • Learning the skill of selling
  • Studying marketing
  • Investing in my self education
  • Getting a business and life coach

All of the things above are endeavors that I am working towards now, but I would be further ahead in an exponential way by starting sooner. Such is the virtue of compounding.

REGRET #3 “NOT DOING IT SOONER” IN LOVE

As I write this letter to you, I am 31, single, never married and alone. I wish to have a wife, family and children one day, in fact, I would be happy to have that right now – but I should have started sooner.

If I could do it again, I would find the girl earlier, perhaps in university, marry her on faith, have some kids earlier and grow with her and face the challenges of life together.

Would it be challenging financially? Yes of course, but I have coached very high performing men for several years now and I know that the highest performing men are married men with kids.

A man with a strong enough why –

can bear any how, for a man, his why is usually holding his young son or daughter in his arms.

Married men with kids work harder, are more focused and produce more than single men or married men without children.

We are all flawed and broken creatures, they have issues, I have issues and we must simply choose to work through our issues together.

My parents’ divorce set me back decades in love because I learned to distrust women, I always thought I had to be more established and have more power to sustain a relationship. This reflected the misbalance of power between my mother and father where my father didn’t have enough money or power in the relationship and my mother left.

I have spent all of these years acquiring power and money to avoid the position my father was in and in some ways I have created freedom for myself, but in other ways I have created my own prison.

Although power and being financially established as a man are desirable assets to bring into a relationship, it is much easier to find one good girl, commit, and grow with her.

Don’t be afraid to fail, just be afraid of “not starting”.

As I get older in my thirties, there are less women my age who are desirable for marriage. Many women my age are happily married, have kids already, are single moms, got fat, hate men, are jaded, or have suffered some other fatal wound from the slings and arrows of life.

I have to look at much younger women and younger women are great, but as I get older, I have less in common with younger women.

An older man can always have a younger woman, but at what point do you have so little in common that the relationship is meaningless? At some point if she is much too young, you will have absolutely nothing in common, and that is the danger.

Are you ok with her calling you daddy because you are actually her dad’s age? I’m not sure if I want to find out. Such is the price of deferring marriage.

Don’t be afraid to break the bank, don’t be afraid to break your heart, don’t be afraid to break the world!

Anything that is broken, can be fixed, but the things that never existed – simply do not exist, they are nothing.

Do not settle for nothingness, do not settle for things that never existed, do not trade your heroes for ghosts. Instead, live life as the hero, take the risk, go on the adventure and win the beauty.

The things that never existed can only live in your mind as phantoms of your imagination that whisper to you late at night; “what if”?

Go to your grave knowing that you broke it all and you fixed it.

You are the man who will break many things with your flaws and mend them with your virtues, it all takes work and it all takes time.

But don’t mind the time, the time will pass anyways.

Don’t mind the work, for work is a man’s purpose and you must live your purpose.

Use your time on this planet to find out how things work, take them apart, break them into tiny pieces, fix them and live your life in the pursuit of your highest and greatest self.

Live and be a creator as God must have been when he made the world, but as a creator, do not be afraid to break the world in the process.

Take a risk and never settle for “what if”?

Instead,

go out,

and…

Break the world…

Your future self,
Stefan Aarnio

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