I'm turning 30 - what would I tell my 20 year old self?

With age, comes an abundance of experience from many facets of our lives ranging from work, travel, people, ambition, self-awareness and karmic resonance.

I've made many mistakes, and have continued to learn from them. I hope I make new ones in the years to come.


You have an idea of the industry that you'd like to be in. Forget about chasing a specific role, that will come in time if you want to pursue it.

Instead, find the right environment and culture that you can imagine yourself working in best. It's not about the role, but what you are able to do that truly defines your position within an organisation.

Network, network and network some more (and this doesn't just mean adding people on LinkedIN or sending an introductory email). Go to forums, attend seminars of your interest, approach leaders of their respected field, make a good impression, but also find a way to leave a lasting one.

Find a mentor - your professional career will only truly develop if you have someone to look up to and can truly learn from.

Don't be afraid to ask for what you want, if it may help you do your job better. Don't be afraid to ask others for help - it doesn't show weakness but embraces collaboration and teamwork. Learn to prioritise wisely - the biggest projects may demand the most time and resources to get done, so do what you can today and tick off items on your checklist quicker: the big items will always be there. You'll be happier knowing that you're ticking off more things as opposed to struggling with that bigger project and not seeing results for a longer time.


Get out there, meet as many people as you can. Be sociable and listen to other people's story's. Take them on board and and add that to your own experience / story.

Not everybody is your friend - even though they may appear to be. Give them a chance, but don't go out of your way. Who do you spend your most time with and keep in contact with? Who challenges you, frustrates you and invokes a wide variety of emotions? These are your friends, treasure them forever: they may only be a handful.


What a mixed bag of emotions - falling in love should be like Polaroids I.e. Instant!

Don't go around looking for love, it'll find you when you least expect it. Meet new people, but be cautious of not falling into the trap of "liking the idea of them" as opposed to actually liking them.

Be yourself - because you are who you have made yourself out to be, stick to it and don't change for anybody - the right people will appreciate you for who you are.

Stop reading articles about love and relationships - these are centred around other people's experience - go and experience it for yourself, but be true to yourself and understanding of both parties circumstances.

Fall in love, over and over again, get hurt, go through the motions, and don't forget that you are the most important person in the universe, so you need to love yourself first.


Get out and see the world! Don't be afraid to go further away and be in weird places with weirder people. Don't travel to experience bars, clubs and media-driven attractions. Travel to experience the people, the culture and the history of each new place. Don't be a tourist, become a traveller.


Unplug from the connected world and put your internet enabled device at home. We need to stop this mediocre social conditioning of sharing experiences through technology. Yes, you can show others what you've experienced, but can you truly recall your personal experience for yourself, from memory? Remember, you are the most important person, and you've captured a moment through your camera, but did you truly live it on that occasion?

Become a storyteller and tell your tale in person, from memory, reliving that same experience over and over again. Don't show a picture or a video - paint a picture and narrate your adventures! This will draw your audience in closer and foster a stronger bond (for those that care to listen). Because, nowadays when we capture moments, we intend to capture many moments and create the biggest problem that humanity has been steered towards:


We all have a choice. We are masters of our destiny, we have the power to make decisions - but we need to be mindful of accepting the consequences, positive or negative.

When we start multiplying choice, we create a frenzy of "uncertainty multiplication" denoting that we then have to choose which moment was the best. Unfortunately this moment isn't meant for the narrator, but for others around them.

We have so many choices these days in all aspects of our lives: which car to buy, what colour, what transmission style, type of tyres, interior fit outs, model, engine capacity, and so forth...

This creates problems, because with more choice, comes greater train of thought flow, more internal conflicts and ultimately an unresolved solution.

Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)

End Note:

Your 20s are the best time for you to make mistakes and learn from them. Read more, experience new things, even if they may both excite and scare you. Embrace change, so that you have something to compare it with. Welcome feedback, and don't take it personally. Cross off the things that you don't want to do, to get closer to finding out what you want to do.

More than anything else, do more of what makes you happy!

Kind regards,

Daniel-Jacob Santhou


Twitter: @djsanthou
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecreativestrategist
Instagram: @thecreativestrategist

Melbourne, Australia  


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