If I Had a Time Machine, This is What I’d Tell My 24 Year Old Self
IF I HAD A TIME MACHINE…
If I were to go back in time and tell my 24 year old self where he’d be and what he’d have accomplished by the age of 34, he’d think I was full of shit. No doubt about it.
Forget the fact that a visit by a time traveler (who would just happen to have the most amazing beard he’d never even considered growing) would be weird enough; he would be absolutely shocked to learn that in only tens years time he would be 100% recovered from alcoholism, re-married (and happily so), living in an entirely different city, self-employed, living in a paid-off house, completely debt-free, and boasting a personal net worth of over $360,000. He’d be even more shocked to learn that these changes barely scratch the surface of the difference that ten years would make for him.
You see, my 24 year old self’s life had effectively fallen apart and he was going nowhere with it (or so it seemed). Both his fledgling music career and first marriage had failed miserably, due in large part to him having become hopelessly addicted to alcohol and having been convicted of two DUIs (driving under the influence) in the summer of 2007, and he was scheduled to be officially divorced in about a month. Making matters worse, he was stuck in a dead-end, customer service call center job which, unbeknownst to him at the time, he’d be stuck in for another four and a half years, and he was well past the point where he was living paycheck-to-paycheck, to the point where he’d had to negotiate his way out of the lease for the apartment he and his wife had shared for a little over a year and move back in with his parents.
ON THE ROAD TO THE RIGHT PATH, WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT
To say that my 24 year old self couldn’t see much, if any, light at the end of the tunnel would be an enormous understatement; as a matter of fact, he would spend the next five years struggling to find (or create) meaning in his life and would eventually, by mid-2012, experience a full-blown nervous breakdown and existential crisis, which would lead to him making some big, life-altering decisions, which would, in turn, set him on the path to even bigger, more life-altering decisions another year or so down the road.
That said, me going back in time and telling this version of me that everything would be okay, if only he could hang on for just another ten years, would undoubtedly send him off the dead-end, as there was no way that someone in his position could anticipate (or predict), let alone comprehend, the things he would go on to learn and to do over the course of the next decade.
For example, he could never have fathomed that he’d balloon up to the heaviest weight he’d ever be (pushing 200 lbs), which would cause him to clean up his diet, start working out, and eventually start his own YouTube fitness channel, under the name of Low Carb Cory (which would see him gain nearly 20,000 subscribers, over two million video views, and a passive income stream he’d never imagined he could have).
Furthermore, he could never have imagined that he’d quit his crappy, customer service call center job with no safety net/back-up plan in June of 2012, after having spent over eight years working exclusively in customer service, call center environments, and find himself, just weeks later, doing door-to-door sales with his twin brother for a tiny, online start-up company based out of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin (which would see him discover how much he loved the freedom that would come with making his own schedule).
Most significantly, he could never have anticipated that what he’d initially think would be the worst thing that could ever happen to him (losing a full-time job offer in February of 2014, due to false information about him contained in a background check, at a time when he very much needed the job) would, in hindsight, become one of the best things, if not the best thing, that would ever happen to him.
WHAT I’D TELL MY 24 YEAR OLD SELF
But you know what? I’d tell him, It doesn’t matter if you can fathom, imagine, or anticipate these things, because, as the saying goes, God and the Universe work in mysterious ways, and these things are going to happen, whether you can fathom, imagine, or anticipate them or not. As a matter of fact, I’d tell him, you’d be best to let go, right here and right now, of any idea that you know anything about the way the world works; to let go of any preconceived notions you may have about what is or isn’t possible for you, or of what you are or are not capable of, because I’m telling you, with God as both my witness and my salvation, that you are going to blow your own mind with the things you are going to do in the very near future.
You, my friend, I would go on to explain, are going to learn about things that you currently have no interest in, and which you couldn’t possibly see yourself as becoming interested in. What’s more, having learned these things, you are going to assimilate them and put them to work for you in ways you can’t even imagine at this time, which will lead to you becoming financially independent so fast it’ll make your head spin.
At this point, my younger self would probably be in shock, with his jaw hanging open, but I’d continue with, Look, I know that right now you consider yourself an “alcoholic”, a “customer service representative”, and a “failure”, with regards to both your music and your marriage, but in ten years time, far from being any of those things, you will consider yourself (and be considered by others) to be far better (and more respected) things: An author/blogger, an investor, and a consumer/employee rights advocate, who stands up for and fights on behalf of the “little guy” who can’t defend himself. On top of that, you will have discovered that you have very lucrative skills you don’t even know you have—specifically, the skills of research and negotiation—and you will, for lack of a better term, milk those skills for everything they’re worth, to the tune of nearly three quarters of a million dollars in only 18 months.
You, my friend, I would go on to say, are going to take all of your life experience—all of your trials and tribulations, your successes and failures, your frustration and anger—and you are going to channel it into things that will change the world for and touch the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people, many of whom will never know what you’ve done for them or appreciate what you’ve done. For this reason, you will become a hero to many, however, you will also become somewhat of a martyr, because for all the good you’ll do, there will be many people who will hate you for doing that good. That said, trust me, everything will be okay, because when all is said and done and the smoke has cleared, your God will not forsake you and you will walk away with real, true, and lasting freedom, a clean conscience, and peace of mind.
In many ways, I would say, God is going to use you as his personal instrument of justice. As the Bible says, God is a God of Justice; He loves Justice and hates wickedness, and as you will come to find, He has ways and means of lifting you up and making you into the bringer of His Justice that you can’t even comprehend right now. On that note, and as far-fetched as this may sound—and believe me, I know it sounds crazy as hell—you are going to reach a point, in the next five years, where you are so angry, so frustrated, and so depressed that you literally scream at God and demand that he either make you like his son, Jesus Christ, or kill you. And you know what they say, about Be careful what you wish for, or you just might get it? Well, Jesus teaches, in the New Testament, that if we ask, we shall receive, and my friend, you are going to get what you ask for. Now, this doesn’t mean you’re literally going to turn water into wine, walk on water, or be crucified, die, and rise from the dead three days later, but for all intents and purposes, you will eventually feel that you have essentially done just that, because the You that you are going to be at the end of 2017 is going to be far more Godlike than the You that you are right now.
The You you will be at the end of 2017, I’d elaborate, will be healthier, happier, and more skilled at creating the life he wants and manifesting the things he desires than you even think is possible, and he is going to be an inspiration to people all around the world. He will—get this—own his own personal growth and development brand, be a published children’s book author, experience massive success in the investing world by investing in things that aren’t even in your radar right now, and earn far more money through legal settlements with Fortune 500 companies and multi-million and multi-billion dollar mega-corporations than most attorneys will achieve in their entire lives, and he will do all of this with no legal training, no law degree, and no legal representation.
If all of that doesn’t give you hope enough, I’d end by saying, you should know this: God is very real, He very much loves you, and He very much wants not only what is best for you and your family, but what is best for the world, and He is going to use you, in miraculous ways, to bring about His will, in ways you can’t even wrap your head around (and may never be able to wrap your head around), and when He does, you will be greatly rewarded. Now, I know it doesn’t seem this way now, or as though such could even be possible, and I know that right now you are harboring sincere doubts as to whether God even exists, let alone about whether He loves you or not, but trust me, by the time 2017 gets here, not only will you believe God exists, but you will KNOW He exists. This will be evidenced by the fact that He will have literally made you into his likeness, by raising you up and bringing you before “great men” (and opportunities), and turned your life around in such a way that, later, when books are written about you and movies are made about you, you will be remembered not as a “failure”, but as one of the greatest success stories in American and, dare I say, human history.
SOME WORDS OF WISDOM FOR THE REST OF YOU
With that, I’d bid my ado to my 24 year old friend, and pop back into the present day, so I can end this post by giving you, my reader, some advice similar to what I’d tell myself:
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, up to this point in your life. It is never, and I repeat, never, too late to be who you could’ve been. I am living (and loving) proof of this, and with God, again, as both my my witness and my salvation, you can and will become that living proof as well, if only you’ll give up any preconceived notions or ideas you have about who or what you are, who or what you’re supposed to be, and who or what you believe you’re capable of becoming and give in to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, God has greater things in store for you—things you can’t fathom, imagine, or anticipate right now, but which will become evident to you, if you can just hold on long enough to get to the point where you, like me, stop listening to what other people say and start listening, instead, to the “still, small voice” within, which is God guiding you on your path to success, the likes of which you’ve never even dreamed of.
Everything does, as “they” say, happen for a reason, and if you ask me, that reason is to bring you closer to God, that is, closer to becoming someone who understands, as I do, that your gut (i.e.: your intuition) is your God, and that if you’ll just listen to it, heed its warnings and take its advice, and allow your life to flow in the direction of that which excites you and brings joy to you and others, there is no way you can’t succeed, because even in “failure”, you’ll be one step closer to becoming the Godlike person you were born to be. And who knows? Maybe someday that Godlike version of you might do something even crazier than I’ve done, like invent an actual time machine, so you can really, truly go back in time and tell your younger self that not only is everything going to be okay, but that’s it’s going to be amazing.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!