How to make life easier for your future self? Here is a fair question to ask yourself from the get-go: “Do I want a cozy now, or should I go for a better tomorrow?”
It’s not rocket science.
Easy choices now, a hard life tomorrow. Hard calls now and an easier life for tomorrow.
But there’s a tiny problem.
We don’t like to spend our time on activities that aren’t instantly gratifying.
Instead, we like to be comfortable, rewarded, and assured. And as long as we are spoiled with the basics, we don’t bother ourselves with the bigger picture.
Chances are, you are different. Maybe you are smarter than wanting to end up like the frogs in the boiling water.
In that case, here are a few things you can do to be in a drastically better shape in the next few years than you are now.
Take Care of Your Body
You can’t replace it with a new one. We don’t have the technology yet. So the best call is to treat it with as much respect and care as you have for your vintage car.
It doesn’t take much to
• go out for a morning walk
• eat well
• maintain a steady sleep routine
• drink more water and less alcohol
• do light exercise
But it pays off really well.
By taking care of your body, you extend the peak of your physique, retain your cognitive functionality more than most people, and give yourself enough wiggle room under heavy stress.
Want me to lay it out in layman’s terms?
You can work better, play harder, and last longer. And it’s not worth losing over a happy meal. Is it?
Choose & Pick How You Use Your Time
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.
Money isn’t your greatest asset.
It’s your ‘time’.
You can’t buy it back.
That’s why how you use your time will impact your quality of life dramatically. As M.J. DeMarco quotes in his smash hit The Millionaire Fastlane:
Value your time poorly and you will be poor. When time is wasted as a lifestyle choice you will be stranded in places you don’t want to be. Take a look around. How do your friends, family, and peers value their time? Are they standing in line to save four bucks? Are they driving 40 minutes to save 10 dollars? Are they parked on the sofa anxiously waiting to see who wins Dancing With the Stars?
Make no mistake. You can’t just time manage your way out of this mess. If you want to make more using less of your time, you have to make some changes.
No one will change their game just because you have realized how crucial your time is to you. They must see how your time is worthwhile to them.
And if you want to be more valuable, you have to…
Learn a Unique Set of Skills
Spending a lifetime chasing an easier & quicker payday might seem safe. You work hard and get paid at the end of the month. Honest living. Simple life. Right?
But it can get lethal at a moment’s notice. It isn’t safe, because hard work alone isn’t key to success.
It is a notion that limits you to tasks that most people can do easily. That is how you make yourself dispensable.
If you want to make yourself harder to replace, you have to be able to bring something to the table that most people cannot.
You must have a unique set of skills that is hard to get. Even Tim Ferris considers this as a secret sauce to his success:
Learn before you earn. It’s never too late to do that. I don’t care if you are coming out of a college, out of a high school, 30, 40, whatever it is. System’s thinking. Focus on the skills and relationships first. And then you can just create a blank check for how much money you wanna make.
But wouldn’t that be like ‘really hard’?
Not really. When you have the correct framework, learning newer things can be far easier than you realize.
Don’t Just Save. Invest
What good would a safety net do if it loses its strength bit by bit with the passing time?
That’s exactly what’s happening to you. And you don’t even know it.
The money you spend your time, your life force earning, loses its value over the years. That’s what we call inflation.
How to get over it?
Cut your expenses over unnecessary depreciating assets and invest some of your savings on some appreciating assets.
Now, investing in the stock market is the most convenient mode of investment you have at your disposal.
But it can be too noisy, too volatile for beginners. So, if you want to make it safer, you better start by asking the right questions.
Cherry-Pick People You Want To Be Around
Then treat them with utmost respect and kindness.
I know. I know. At this point, it’s a cliched line you share with your friends to look cool. But it’s true. The people you surround yourself with shape your life in more ways than you think.
Think for yourself.
How do you make life better for your future self if you bog yourself down with other people and their shit who don’t respect or care about you, to begin with?
At best, these people waste your time (which you can’t afford to lose) with their unnecessary drama. And, at worst, they drain you out and hold you back.
On the other hand, when you are with competent, wise, and resourceful individuals, you build yourself up to take on a similar mindset.
But it’s not just about taking. That’s not how you make relationships last. You, too, have to be willing to take one for those who are valuable to you.
As Andre Agassi beautifully puts it in his memoir:
I tell the players: You’ll hear a lot of applause in your life, fellas, but none will mean more to you than that applause-from your peers. I hope each of you hears that at the end.
So the trick is to know who is worth it and whom you need to flush out of your life.
Is it easy?
Yes. It is. Especially considering the shit show waiting across the corner if you don’t take ownership of your life, making these little changes is a cakewalk.
The prize-to-effort ratio is crazy, and some results may be immediate. So there’s, in fact, no real reason why you shouldn’t make the call right away.