24 Life Lessons For My 24th Birthday — Part 1 (Grow)

Two days ago was my 24th birthday.

Then I realized life is short and perspective is everything.

Instead of telling you in 10 years “what I learned from my 20s,” I figured share them now.

I’ve broken these 24 lessons down into 3 parts:

Grow — Give — Go

This post will focus on part 1 which is Grow.

But before I begin, ask yourself:

The clock is ticking. Let’s begin.

1. Failure

The word everyone hates yet most misinterpret at the same time. Failure is feedback. If you’re an entrepreneur, then you know this word all to well and have learned to love it. Yet, those who have failed the most are the most successful because they learned from their mistakes, by taking action, and failing continuously. So, in reality, the only real failure in life is to simply not try at all.

So, if you aren’t failing, then you are a failure because you made the decision to not take the shot or try again.

On the other hand, if you are always succeeding, then your goals aren’t big enough meaning: you’re only operating in your comfort zone. The goal isn’t to succeed: the goal is to push the boundaries of what is possible for yourself through failure. Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts before inventing the light bulb. And he achieved the “impossible”, by failing, failing forward. How many attempts have you tried?

“Failure introduces you to success.” — Billionaire PA

2. Limits

Up until I began my entrepreneurial journey in 2013, I had lived a very limited life. I was always the observer and never went after what I wanted because I didn’t believe I could have it. I lived unconsciously and let these limits hold me back. Then one day, a friend of mine made me realize that anything is possible, which set me free. I woke up the next morning and began turning my dreams into reality, by first writing them down on paper.

I wanted to start a business before I graduated college. Check. I wanted to live a life that was healthy, authentic & full of purpose. Check. I wanted to travel & surf the world. Check.

After realizing these dreams, my only regret was that they were simply not bolder & bigger because they came much faster than expected. But it all starts first with understanding there are no limits to the human potential.

“Act as if you had no limits to your abilities.” — Dan Peña

3. Learning

You are always learning. In every moment. But only if you choose to.

Just because you go to “school” doesn’t mean you will learn. The majority of information is outdated and is unable to be applied immediately. Having graduated in 2014 from San Diego State University, I can tell you I learned more by doing (starting businesses instead of going to class), more by connecting (building relationships, a network & finding mentors) and more by applying the knowledge I consumed via the Internet, Podcasts, Youtube & Books.

But more importantly, I had a reason to learn, which was to get out of the “Matrix,” as Tom Bilyeu likes to say.

We now have access to every piece of information via the Internet, Google & Youtube. Your smart phone is now your greatest education tool. Use it wisely or it may use you. A simple way to identify if technology is using you is ask the question: Are you learning about someone else’s day on social media or are you learning about something that can enhance your life?

A 19 year entrepreneur old once told me don’t work to earn, work to learn. I listened. You can learn from anyone if you don’t let your ego get in the way.

The average CEO in America reads 60 books per year while the average American reads less than 1.

Just read one book this year and you are considered above average.

What do you want to learn & what is your reason for learning it?

4. Health

More important than time, I believe, is your health. If you are as healthy as you can be, then you have more time & more energy, because you end up living longer than the rest. I’ve seen way too many entrepreneurs grind it out for 5–10+ years to “get the money” at the expense of their health and then spend the money they made to “fix” their health. Luckily, I like to learn from the mistakes of others and chose to focus on health first (which ironically led to me starting Restoar, a health & personal care company).

I’m not saying walk when you can run and ditch the “hustle.” I’m saying work smarter by being mindful of your health by eating real food, getting quality sleep and moving your body because you are running a marathon. That’s it or you’ll pay the price and its more expensive than your bank account. It will cost you years from your life.

“The man who has his health has a thousand dreams. He who doesn’t has but one.” -Unknown

5. Suffering

Where do I begin?

You suffer because of fear of loss, less or never.

You suffer because your expectations & preferences aren’t being met.

You suffer because you are focused on yourself.

You can only be depressed if you are focusing on yourself.

You can only be depressed because of how you think you failed that person, you should have done or shouldn’t have, or what someone did to you in the past or the future, which don’t even exist.

It’s about you.

Trade your expectations for appreciations.

Focus & live for something outside of yourself.

And you will never suffer.


“Choose to live in a beautiful state.” — Tony Robbins

6. Presence

Are you living in the past, present or future?

There’s only this moment, right now.

So when you say “someday” I’ll do (insert desire), you actually telling yourself you won’t do it, because “someday” doesn’t exist.

And stop trying to “get” some where and do some thing to “get” something in return, usually some form of happiness via a monetary rewards or metric of success. Realize, “happiness” is fleeting. Same goes for success.

And that there is only today.

There is only this moment, right now.

It’s where all the magic happens.

Read Eckhart Tolle’s a Power of Now for a deeper understanding of what it means to become “present.”

“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” — Viktor Frankl

7. Fear

False Expectations Appearing Real.

What are you scared of?


9 times out of 10 what you fear will never happen.

So why do you let it control you?

Or are you the type of person that loves fear? That moves towards it. That uses it as a sign that this is the one thing that I am supposed to do.

Once you become present, which can be cultivated through meditation, yoga, surfing or “flow” activities, you begin to realize fear simply does not exist and is a product of your imagination.

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future.” -Will Smith

8. Authenticity

Are you living the life that you want to live?

Are you doing the things that you truly want to do?

Or are you living a life of contradiction?

Be honest with yourself.

If you have less than 8,760 days to live, are you going to keep doing things that you think “should” make you happy or are you going to start doing things that you know make you happy, that you are truly passionate about.

There is going to be failure, there is going to be fear and there is going to be suffering because of this one simple fact:

“If it were easy, it would have been done already.” — Peter H. Diamandis

Be real.

Be authentic.

As my friend Daniel likes to say, “Be true.”

Part 2 (Give) will be released shortly. Stay tuned.

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If this post inspired you to grow, learn or take action on something you’ve been holding back, I’d love to hear your story in the responses below.