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18 Things I Wish I Knew At 18

When I Was 18 I wish I Knew...

Looking back at 18 year old SJ there's a number of things I wish I knew...


Knowledge cuts the learning curve.

You're more efficient.

You get shit done.

You don't get caught in the traps.

Time spent with a negative mindset, poor fitness knowledge and a stack of limiting beliefs can do you no good.

Through trial and error, research, meeting people and sheer determination I've uncovered the following 18 things I wish I knew 6 years ago, when I was eighteen.

1 - The Only Person You Can Rely On IS Yourself

When it comes to your happiness and your results the only person you can count on is yourself.
You can't control whether someone else will show up, you can't rely on someone else to get results for you, you can't depend on someone else to make you happy.

Only fragile people rely on others for happiness.

I'm not talking about being a lone wolf, not at all.

Surround yourself with winners, grow with them and learn from them - but don't rely on them.

2 - The Best Thing You Can Invest In Is Yourself

You're essentially a business.

As such, money, time and resources should be invested in your business.

Read books, spend money on attending seminars, travel to learn new things, buy a gym membership and don't complain about the cost of it...

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Because these things will all pay dividends later.

While everyone else is spending money on material possessions and attaining instant gratification you should be investing in yourself, it may not seem like it right now but it'll pay off later down the line - around the same time the others realize they've been squandering their time, money and resources when they have nothing to show for it.

3 - The #1 Way To Build A Tough Mind Is To Build A Tough Body

Whether guys will admit it or not the #1 reason we join the gym is for the vanity of the mirror.

To build big arms, to get shredded abs, to get more attention from women.

BUT, until you're deep in the journey of transforming your physique you don't realise that the biggest changes aren't external, they're internal.

Discipline, drive, work ethic, relentlessly pushing forward through adversity... this is all learnt from the iron, and these traits will prove invaluable in your career, relationships and any other endeavours you pursue.

4 - Negativity Is Cancerous


You need to cut negative people out of your life, period.

You can be the most positive person in the world, but if you spend too much time around the complainers, the naysayers, the negative nancies and the victims of life you're going to be dragged down.

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Some can be helped, others are purposely negative - deciding to play the victim as opposed to even try to alter their situation in life.

Forget them.

5 - You Don't Need A College Degree To Get Where You Want To Be In Life

In this day and age if you want to make six or seven figures a month look to the internet, not to a piece of paper you'll get after expending time, money and effort working on assignments, projects and papers for a college or university.

If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer you're going to have to go through school, yes.

But, if making the big bucks is your motivation you're better off building an internet business.

Anyone can make money online.

People will tell you otherwise, that's merely their own limiting beliefs preventing themselves from starting.

eCommerce stores, dropshipping, Amazon FBA, Kindle Publishing... these are all legitimate methods that thousands of people just like you are using to make big bucks.

6 - Writing Down Your Goals Makes Them Real


To get what you want you need to know what you want.

Decide upon what you want and write it down, look at it twice daily.

Morning and night.

Don't bullshit yourself or others pretending you know what your goals are if you don't have any.

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Don't be apologetic if what you want isn't what other people want for you.

7 - If You Start The Day The Wrong Way It's Hard To Turn It Around

A morning routine is vital.

Start the day the right way and you'll be unstoppable.

Read and exercise in the morning, you'll stimulate your brain and your body-  you'll be sharp before the majority of society are awake.

If you start the day in a negative manner - sleeping in, making poor food choices for breakfast or making excuses to get out of what you've got to do that morning will wreak havoc for the remainder of the day, start the day the right way and you won't have try and salvage the day when you're down, demotivated and unproductive.

9 - Momentum Either Works For You Or Against You


There's no stagnation in life.

You're either on the rise up or you're on the way down.

Remember this.

When you've got positive momentum, when things are going right for you don't slow down - keep pushing forward... momentum is on your side.

If you enter a downward spiral you must break out of it, there's no luck, there's no 'waiting for an opportunity to present itself'...

It comes down to you taking action.

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10 - Understanding Body Language Is Important

Learn body language.

Body language can be used to manipulate your mood - performing alpha male power poses will invigorate you, they'll give you energy, they'll give you a boost in confidence, testosterone and energy.

Understanding body language is also extremely useful in business meetings, when meeting new people and when interpreting situations.

Opening yourself up and taking up space portrays ownership and confidence, it's a dominant position.

Closing yourself up, taking up minimal space... crossing your arms, keeping your limbs in close to your body - this is a sign of disapproval, of timidness, positions like these increase your cortisol (stress) levels.

You can take far more from an individuals body language than their dialogue.

11 - Take The Road Less Travelled


Don't follow the herd.

People just want to fit in.

Don't aim to fit in.

The average person is in debt, depressed and overweight.

Weigh up your decisions and opportunities while remembering that the majority of the time the path of least resistance is easy for a reason.

It provides nothing.

If you want it all you have to endure it all, you have to forge your own path.

You have to take the path less travelled.

12 - Be Self Reliant On All Fronts

Your income.

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Your happiness.

Your results.

Don't rely on anyone or anything else. Take control of your life.

13 - Understand Failure As Feedback

Failure is 100% necessary.

Failure should be viewed as a report card, when you fail be it in an exam or to put up 315lbs on your flat bench press don't throw a pity party.

Learn from it.

Take note, figure out where you went wrong before making the necessary adjustments and doing it again.

This is what seperates those that are successful from those that come up short.

it's the perserverance to go again.

The majority of people will give up after the first failure, almost everything will give up after the second and third failure. All you have to do is more than everybody else - keep trying, keep pivoting and keep taking action until you've conquered the damn thing.

14 - 80% Of Your Results Will Come From 20% Of Your Actions

Focus on where the results are coming from.

80% of your gains will come from 20% of your exercises.

80% of your business revenue will come from 20% of your client base.

80% of your happiness will come from 20% of your hobbies.

Focus on this 20%.

Don't diversify too much or spread yourself too thin, build upon this 20%.

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15 - Focus On Your Strengths

Focus on what you're good at and develop these skills to an elite level.

This comes down to understanding and utilizing your opportunity cost...

Instead of attempting to become 'well rounded' and trying to learn and do everything you'll benefit more by using this time to excel at what you're already good at.

Focus on writing, not attempting to learn Photoshop - that can be outsourced inexpensively.

16 - Live Below Your Means


Pay for everything in cash (or on debit).

Don't use a credit card, don't take out loans, don't owe anyone a cent.

Debt is an anchor, debt is a noose around your neck.

Can't afford it?

Don't buy it.

Even if you can afford it, do you need it?

Don't fall victim to the golden handcuffs - increasing the cost of your lifestyle as your income increases.

As your income increases bank and invest the rest.

17 - Luxury Breeds Anxiety


Owning a luxury car or any luxury item for that matter may impress others and give off the image of being successful but besides tying up your available funds it also breeds anxiety.

Think about it...

When you've got an old car you're not going to have a heart attack when another car parks next to you, you're not going to have to pop out of the office to ensure it's still there twice every hour.

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It's stressful.

18 - Building An Impressive Physique Takes Time, There Are No Shortcuts

Progressive overload and caloric manipulation are the key to building an impressive physique.

If you understand these two principles and implement them you're on the right path, the rest comes down to time.

As much as bodybuilding supplements and magazines preach to you that there's a quick way to build muscle and burn fat I hate to be the bearer of bad news... there isn't.

Put in the work each and every day and give it time, there's no shortcut.

Anyone that tells you otherwise is merely trying to sell you a service or product, the fitness and supplement industry is littered with money hungry sharks.

What #1 Thing Do You Wish You Knew When You Turned 18? Let Me Know In The Comments Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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