6 Things I Wish I Knew at 20

Donald Trump is president. I think if George Washington were alive today, he’d look around and say what the fuck is going on?How am I still alive?That was a joke that I wrote back when I was around 20 years old and I was doing stand-up comedy as a college student this is probably a good example of why I stopped doing it. It wasn’t great. I was okay. I did some one-liners was a lot of fun I do not regret doing it, but there were some things that I wish I could go back and tell myself these are six things that I wish I knew at 20 number one take responsibility mentioned it a few times before that I’ve graduated with ninety-seven thousand dollars in student loan debt but what I didn’t mention is that ten thousand of that would never have existed if I had simply sat down with my guidance counselor for 30 minutes. It was my final semester at college sat down to do the paperwork necessary to get my diploma to finally graduate to get that piece of paper that cost so much money and I realized that there were two required classes that I had failed to take physical education and basic math class that’s right. In order to graduate. I had to take basic algebra and weightlifting and say what you want about how ridiculous it. Is that it is that a broadcast telecommunications major had to take these courses, to begin with, I completely avoided takingResponsibility I had avoided going into my counselor’s office. I push it off for so long that ended up costing me over$10,000 the lesson is that you have to take responsibility for yourself. Nobody’s gonna do it for youThis is really one of those growing up moments when you realize that once you go to college your parents aren’t gonna be there to fix and solve everything for you. You need to figure it out for yourselfAnd this was a very hard and a very expensive lesson that I learned firsthandConfidence builds by doing I read a ton of books in college knowledgeAlmost none of them were for my actual courses, but for my own self developmententrepreneurial books things that I was really passionate and interested in and while they taught me a lot andHelped to lead me down the path that I’m on today and help guide my values principles and moralsThere are only so many books that you can read about self development or aboutBuilding a business until you actually go out and put it into practice and you actually try for yourselfThat’s when you really learn when I look back at some of the skills where I had the most growthfilmmakingPhotography interviewing even weightlifting and making coffee it wasn’t by reading books or watching a videoI learned the most by actually doing by putting these things into practiceIt’s typically not that easy to see progress in the beginningIt can be really frustrating when you set out to try to learn photography for the first timeit’s hard to see the improved difference between the first day and the second day butWithout a doubt. I can always look back over the course of two years and see massive improvement doesn’t matter how good I’ve gotten. It doesn’t matter what point I am in my career even today looking back to years ago sometimes cringe at the things that I have made but really that cringe is just an indication that I’m heading in the right direction that I’m learning and I’m really learning not by reading not researching but by actually getting out and doing document more I really wish that I had taken more time when I was younger to document the experiences that I was having to be able to look back at a younger version of myself when I was struggling when I was just starting out as a filmmaker when I was just starting my very first business. This is something that Gary Vee recommends oftenHe suggests people should go out and document versus creating because documenting is pretty easyIt’s just showing your journey the things you’re working on versus creating which is very time intensiveBut this isn’t just an idea that’s relevant for filmmakers and creativesThis is something that I think everybody can gain a little bit from even if you just take a few daysEvery months to document where you are in the life that you’re livingIt’s something that I really started to think about after having a conversation with Cole young or a way back when I think it wasaround like episode 35 or so of my podcast and he kind of made me think aboutDocumenting just the mundane and the boring of today and what can mean for the future some thingsI shoot for the future, especially like street scenes that are kind of boring but like some are some of the myFavorite photos, like if you look back to the 30s or 40s in LA, it’s just like a normal street sceneBut it’s so coolnowYou know cuz nothing looks the same people aren’t dressed the same those buildings aren’t there anymore?Those cars like you’ll never see on the streets againHorse and carriage or like I’ve been thinking like that for like the last two-three years something that’s gonna be cool in like 20 30 40 years has you ever stumbled across old footage of yourself or a VHS tape of when you were younger?You can sit down and watch the thisBoring-ass tape for an hour and you can just be enthralled and then at some point along the way my parents and myself. We just stopped documenting. Yes sure today we have Instagram we can post these polished photos and videos, but those are really the highly curated momentsI’m talking about the moments in between the moments when you’re just hanging around the apartment hanging out with your friends hanging out with your family this is something that I’ve started to do more of I’ve started to just take a camera home with me just to get a feel just to have that experience the moments. I have no expectation idea of what this could potentially be in the future now obviously it’s easy to get out of hand and to just do this too much and document all the time and freak your family out which I certainly have done but even if it’s just a couple minutes here and there there’s definitely those clips that I wish looking back at five years ago wish they were longer and it’s something that I’m currently doing now document more to be able to have those experiences to look back at in the future use moisturizer acne was one of the biggest excuses that I had early on for not filming myself for not putting myself on camera and for not starting this YouTube channel sooner it was terrible for my confidence. I didn’t know what it really meant to have good quality skincare it was really misinformation that I was presented every commercial that I saw saidHey just apply this product to your face and then you’re done and it was a silicic acid. It was benzoyl peroxide was these chemicals that would strip your face of the natural oils and it would make personally with my skin it would make it really itchy so I’ve been prone to scratch my skin which meant that my acne would get much worse because I was getting more dirt than my pores the one person that undoubtedly helped me the most with my own skincare routine is Natalie I’m gonna give her a little moment here to help you guys out. You should be asking yourself. Am I moisturizing?Exfoliating and cleansing, you know, it’s really important to cleanse twice a day morning and night to exfoliate two to three times a week and to moisturize twice a day after you cleanse those three steps are really really important. Thanks, Natalie!Speaking of Natalie number five go on more dates. So at twenty years oldI just gotten out of a long-term relationshipAnd it was the beginning of what I didn’t realize was to become the worst dating slump of my lifeI didn’t go on a date for five yearsI made a lot of excuses like I was focusing on my business and I just didn’t have time to date right nowBut if I was being honest with myself, I had eventually built up a deep-rootedAnxiety about going on any dates and it took a long timeBefore I finally got the courage to put me out thereI just moved to Hoboken after moving out of my parents basement and I remember the first dayI finally decided to go on instead of flaking last-minute andThen I flaked last minute and then I flake last minute again, and I did it againI did it maybe five more times after thatThis one was a really difficultOne for me to get over and the first date that I did go on the day of the day before I was a wreckI worried that I would run out of things to say that she wouldn’t like me that the date would be awkwardThat the people next to me would know that we were going on a blind date from OkCupidI had all of these self-limiting doubts and it was mostly based upon the fact thatI cared way too much what people thought and when I went on the dateIt was okay. It was alright. It wasn’t like a big deal. It wasn’t a great date didn’t have this deep connection and that’s what I learned is that it’s really not a big deal and the more you put yourself into these uncomfortable situations the more that you’re gonna grow and learn about yourself and the less that you’re gonna make it become this really big thing this obstacle that would be impossible to overcome. So I just kept putting myself out there kept going on more dates not trying to find the love of my life but trying to meet cool people try to potentially meet some friends and if I do end up meeting somebody then that’s great that’s awesome. And that’s what ended up happening literally just one random swipe was on the toilet and it was Natalie. I wasn’t on the toilet, but I ended up meeting Natalie through tinder and you don’t know unless you put yourself out there and a lot of times we don’t put ourselves out there because we’re worried about what other people will think to fuck what other people think just go out and do what you want to do number 6travel now in the early days of starting my business didn’t take any trips that were unrelated to work and I never left the country until I was 25 years old my friends and I went to Costa Rica remember driving from the airport to our Airbnb with a big stupid grin on my face everything was new and different. This was an experience not for my career or for my work or for my ambitions was for my life. Ambition can sometimes get in the way of your lifeI had my head down for so long and came up with so many reasons why now wasn’t the time to travelBut looking back I realized that I had all the time in the worldYou have to plan ahead and force yourself to take some downtime pick a slow month and block off ten days to take an internationalTrip book your flight so you have no choice but to go don’t wait until you retire to travelIt’s way more affordable than you think and it will build more confidence than you can imagineremember confidence builds by doingAnd I probably could have come up with about a hundred other things that I would have done differently at 20 years oldBut these were the big ones I think if I were to correct for these six thingsIt would have relieved me of about 90 to 95% of my anguish as a young filmmakerCreative as well as a human being so no matter how old you are whether you’re 20 30 or 40Let me know in the comments below what you’ve learned since you were 20 and what you would have done differentlyI can’t wait to hear from you. Oh, hey guys, by the way, my podcast is coming back the ground up showI took a little month break here to have some downtime but I’m coming back with new episodes and it’s going to be less focused onCreativity as it will be a little bit. But primarily I’m gonna be delving into similar topics that I cover on this YouTube channel it’s going to be more self-development related. Essentially. It’s gonna be like a companion to the YouTube change oftentimes talking about the same exact topics that I do here if you want to subscribe go to groundupshow.com or go to your favorite podcasting app and search the ground up show subscribe new episodes coming every week. Can’t wait to see you there. See you next timeYou

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