A quarter of a century is a pretty good chunk of life, you have to admit, and you’ve definitely made the most of your first twenty-five.
Let’s face it, no one ever likes to get advice, unless they’re in the midst of a crisis, and they especially don’t like to get “fatherly” advice, particularly on a birthday (so, a triple violation).
But this is not advice about a problem, a lifeline to bail you out after a fatal decision, or words to alter the doomed course your life is so set on taking. Such advice that is needed most is most unwelcome because it is directed to those who don’t want to do it (or they would have done it) or don’t think they can do it (or they would have done it).
But you, Gabe, are already doing it. So my advice is more like cheering on your favorite team as they march down the field with incredible skill, while showing an amazing blend of determination, composure under pressure, breathtaking raw talent, brute force, quick thinking, clear-sighted vision and an attack that is well-balanced.
So here are my four pieces of advice as you march on past 25 in glorious fashion.
Seek work that stirs your passion. You are unstoppable when you’re passionate about what you do (and when you’re not passionate you’re prone to misery).
Fun is like a nutrient your body and soul needs. Find the fun and use it to make the rest more bearable.
Work with, play with, and hang out with people that make you laugh, that stir your creativity, that share your sense of adventure and match your ability to get things done when it matters. I think you are particularly energized by being part of a tremendous team, surrounded by people who can keep up.
People matter a great deal to you—they fuel you—but not just any people. Some people can snuff out the light of your spirit and suck the life right out of you. Spend as much time as possible with people who appreciate you, people who see the best in you, people who celebrate what matters to you, people who encourage you and lift you up, and people who can support you and lead the way when you need it.
At 25 I think you have a pretty good idea about what makes a good life, and probably nothing I am advising now surprises you. Perhaps you already see yourself this way and strongly believe in all these things. I’m just cheering you on and further encouraging you. Your first quarter century has been an amazing journey, a good time to reflect on what you know about yourself and what matters most.
Know what you need and pursue what you need to be your best, and I’ll keep cheering you on, because the world needs people like you at their best.
Happy 25th birthday, Love Dad