What I would Tell my 25 year old self

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See the guy on the left; that's me - to my right is Mark Voyce, a friend with whom I started a coffeehouse in Toronto called "The Fingerboard".  It was housed on Church Street in the basement of a former community hall, and it was in an area of town now called the "gay village"; today the "rainbow" can be seen everywhere there.

It was my first stab at entrepreneurship, although I don't think we knew that, then.  We were simply having fun, promoting live music, good food and drinks, and certain other substances.  It was pretty great.  it felt truly alive.

Then, like millions of others before me and after me, I re-entered "the matrix".  I accepted that life is defined by the best school, the best grades, the best job, how much money you make, a big house, cars, vacations - you get it.  All with the pretext that if you climb that ladder and get to the top, happiness and nirvana will be revealed.  

If I could go back and tell myself what I now know to be true, i would have shouted this:

HEY MARK!

- Do the deep and sometimes uncomfortable work to truly understand what makes you tick; what are your values, your core passions, and the things you really care about;

- Create a "Purpose" for your life with the understanding that it will constantly evolve and change and be okay with that.

- Recognize that your destiny is not totally created through your self-will.  There will be circumstances that create havoc with your life, and you cannot alter that reality.  But you can decide how these external events will affect your life moving forward.

- Spend more time with your family and friends; and shed those who are not supportive of your life, dreams and desires.

- Trying to define happiness buy what you own is a fool's paradigm.

- Take care of yourself first - what you eat, how you exercise, your spiritual yourself.  You cannot give the best of yourself to others, until you have created a great foundation of you.

- To live in "Purpose" means, in part, to be of service; to do more for others with no expectation of something in return.  

Last but least, life is short.  Stop taking yourself so seriously.  No one is going to remember you 75 years from now.  Laugh and Love and be at Peace.

Mark Rubinstein