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326: From Wishful Thinking to Impactful Living - 6 life hacks I would share with my 25-yr old self

ON AIR WITH ELLA episode 326

On air with Ella 326 - life hacks

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What would I tell my 25-year-old self about how to live better, happier and more impactfully? 

Can you imagine if you could spend 30 mins with the younger version of you? Besides stock tips, I know exactly what I would want younger me to know.  

Today I’m sharing the life-changing advice I'd give my younger self to live the most impactful, rewarding, enriching and fulfilling life I could dream of. 

This episode is for sharing!

"Achieve greatness: start where you are, use what you have, do what you can." - Arthur Ashe

1: Be Precise in Your Language

Be more precise in your language and you'll create more of the life that you want. Precision matters, and there are some words that don’t belong in our vocabulary at all—namely the words “I WISH” and "I SHOULD.” Nothing that follows either of these phrases matters. 

These are passive ways to express yourself that demand no action from you.

Try these instead:

  • I will, I won't, 

  • I choose, I choose not to, 

  • I need, I want, 

  • I expect. 

There are no 'wishes' - there’s no genie! There are no shoulds, coulds or other oblique sentiments without action. Be precise.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. 

2: Your Body Is In It For The Long Haul - Be Nicer To It

Your body is your body is your body. Not only do you not need to share any of it at any time with anyone you don’t want to, it’s important to know that the same body you’re wearing around right now is going to be the one that’s with you 20 years from now. Be nicer to it. Treat it like you need it. Treat it like it’s going to be with you for the long-haul.

More specifically, talk about it intentionally if you find yourself talking about it at all. Choose words that have nothing to do with size or aesthetics. I don’t mean you won’t care, but you’ll be happier and more successful if you decide what your body values are and pursue those. (Sorry to tell you, younger me, but you’ll spend years wanting to be taller, skinnier, and then “strong” which really is another way to say lean, but with muscle.)

I know now that it would have served me so much better if I had focused on words like confident, powerful, vital, energized - and then pursued the things that would get me there. You make different choices when you pursue how you want to feel rather than how you want to look.

And, eventually, you realize you can feel those things no matter which body you’re inhabiting that moment.

PS - If I had known all of this when I was 25, probably would have looked better because I would’ve worked with what I had, I would’ve spared myself pointless torture and misery.

Identify words that are important to your physical expression. Maybe it’s healthy, vibrant, or peaceful, balanced. Identify and pursue your body 'values' instead of a body type.  

3: What are Your Personal Values?

Speaking of values, what are yours? I know now that mine are INTEGRITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, FREEDOM and IMPACT.

If I had asked myself this question sooner, I would have spent less time in relationships that didn’t support these values and that didn’t reflect them.

I would have spent more time in work that aligned with them. I would have run important decisions through the filter of my personal values and acted accordingly.

So, go ahead - ask yourself what is most important to you, to how you live in the world, to how you interact with others, to how you operate in your spaces. Write them down. Revisit them frequently. One happy outcome of this will be that you spend more time on what’s meant for you.

4: Start Before You're Ready

Pssst! Nobody knows what they’re doing when they start. Nobody. It will look like they do. But they don’t. People who succeed are the ones who start and then keep going when they trip up. So, start.

It will look constantly like people have things figured out that you don’t. They don’t.

The difference is that they’re willing to take action before they have figured it out. Man, I wish I’d known this sooner! I thought I was striving to be something so that I could start - and then I realized you have to start so that you can be something. So START WHERE YOU ARE, and don't wait to be ready. Ready NEVER comes. 

5: There's No 'Arrival'

While we’re at it, I should let you know that you will never “arrive.” Please know that there’s no moment where you will feel like you have achieved “the thing.” Every time you achieve a goal that you’ve worked hard for for a really long time, it will feel like “oh there it is,” and you will already be onto the next thing. The insight here really is that you think you’re working toward something the whole time and you’re not.

You are simply the sum of your experiences every day.

So in this way, every day matters so much more than you think, and yet not in the linear way that you think.

You are not on a linear path to a destination. You are already IN the destination. Today is the destination. 

If I had known this, I would have spent more time paying attention, more time nurturing relationships, putting my phone down and looking my son in the eye and just soaking him up. 

I also would’ve realized that the hard work I was doing every day was something I was doing to create a story of worthiness, and that’s a fallacy. That’s not the source of worthiness. There is no brass ring, no trophy, no gold star in life.

It’s actually wayyyy better than that, so don’t fall for the lie.

6: No external validation needed.

You already matter. You mattered the day you were born. Picture that baby (she had a weirdly big head maybe, but)  -  was she worthy? Did she matter? You know the answer is yes.  Of course she does. So, 25-year-old self, any feelings that crop up of unworthiness, anytime the world tells you you don’t matter or that you have to do something to be worthy, interrupt that thought and ask when did that become true

When did her worth become dependent on what she achieved, or who she knew, or what people thought of her, or what she looks like? Can you see the lie in that? You know that that little baby matters, so when did she stop mattering? She didn’t.

II think if I had told my 25-year-old self this and could really make her see it, I would’ve spent more time creating and taking risks and putting myself out there. I would have spent zero time worrying about what other people thought.

...and thus less time wasted. You don't need external validation to matter, so you do you, boo, but do it NOW. Today.  

Start Where You Are… 

If the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time to plant that tree would be TODAY. So what’s the next best thing here? To REMIND me today, and to share it all with you. For you to share it with someone who you would like to impact. Let’s start speaking up now. 

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote of all time - in the words of Arthur Ashe, “To achieve greatness: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”




I love hearing from you, what's important to you, what's plaguing you, what you want to talk more about... Will you be my next listener guest? It's possible... let's chat ;-)

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