Why You Will Never Become Who You Want To Be

4 Words For A Happy Life

On the 14th of May, 2012, one of my best friends, Paul, sent me an article by James Altucher.

In it, he described his daily practice of improving a little bit, every single day, in four areas:

  1. Mental
  2. Physical
  3. Emotional
  4. Spiritual

I thought: Let me try that. So I started tracking it on this free website James had made: The Daily Practice.

It stuck. I have the longest streak on the entire platform. 1574 days today.

Gratitude ftw!

6 months later, I had a tough decision to make.

I was studying abroad at UMASS Dartmouth and was supposed to do an internship in California after my fall semester there.

Even though it was a ‘done deal’ between my uncle and the CEO, they hadn’t gotten back to me in over 4 months. Eventually, they sent a rejection letter and my uncle had to intervene.

The deadline to file for a sabbatical semester at my German school was approaching, and I thought: “This is not starting well. I wonder if I can extend my stay at the school?”

Let me try that.

It worked. I did extend. But after my uncle had stuck his neck out, he wasn’t happy that I told them I wouldn’t do the internship when they finally got back to me after it was all said and done.

I’m super glad I made the decision the way I made it, because I learned a ton in that second semester, but at the time, I was constantly second-guessing myself.

Here’s a pic from a few days before I made the call. Lots of thinking.

White Mountains, NH

6 months later, I embarked on an adventure.

While planning my return to Germany, an old friend told me he’d be in the US and said: “Why don’t we travel around together for a few weeks before you leave?”

He’d fund the whole thing and I’d organize it. I had never planned such a big trip, but I thought: Let me try that.

Within 3 weeks, we went to:

  • Boston
  • Las Vegas
  • Several national parks in Arizona & Utah
  • Hawai’i
My god, the view!
  • Seattle
  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • Atlanta, Georgia

…and we finished the whole thing by going the Champions League finals in London, when Dortmund was playing against Bayern.

It was the best trip ever. I have never learned more about myself, my values and life itself in such a short period of time.

When in doubt, root for the underdog!

6 months later, I was in my first proper relationship since starting college.

I had liked her since the day I met her in 2011. But she had a boyfriend back then. After that, one of us had always been abroad. She was in Korea (where she was born) from 2011–2012, I was in the US from 2012–2013.

After I came back, we were both at the same place at the same time — finally! I had no idea if she actually liked me, but I thought: Let me try that.

We hung out, we talked for hours, we had a picnic, I tried to kiss her, she wouldn’t let me, we saw a movie, she kissed me…it was a wonderful summer and fall.

I even went to Korea on another trip, to learn more about where she came from.

View from N Seoul Tower.

6 months later, we broke up.

I feel like I’m supposed to say it sucked, but it didn’t. We were a terrible fit. She was two years older than me, and clearly felt her extra life experience made her attitudes towards relationships superior.

It didn’t. She had a very avoidant attachment style, I never saw her, in spite of living less than half a mile away, and so I wondered if I’d be okay without her, okay being alone.

I thought: Let me try that.

At the time, I was interning at BMW M in Munich and having a blast. After the relationship ended, I was a lot happier.

I got to drive insane cars a lot.

M6? More like M6 seconds before you’re watching my tail lights.

I had no internet at home for 3 months, so I went out and did things every single day.

Holi Festival in Munich 2014.

Two fellow interns and me even went on an insane 5 cities in 4 days trip.

Man, that was fun.

By the end of the internship, I had found the city I wanted to move to, made tons of new friends and also figured out that I wouldn’t suffocate in a corporate environment, but don’t want to do it for the rest of my life.

I could go on and on.

6 months after that…

I finished my Bachelor’s thesis within a week and made my first website from a Youtube tutorial.

It’s still up :)

6 months after that…

I was coaching people online and freelancing for a tax advisor.

6 months after that…

I finally reached my first 1,000 email subscribers, after months and months of hard work.

Note to self: Don’t obsess about subscribers. Not a useful metric.

6 months after that…

I was sick in bed for a week from all the stress of writing a book summary a day for over 100 days.

Nope. I did not look well.

6 months after that…

I packed my things, moved to Munich and started over. New apartment, new city, new school, new life.

It was actually quite comfy!

There is no way you can predict who you’ll be in 6 months. Chances are, 6-months-from-now-you wouldn’t even recognize today-you, because you’ll be a completely different person then. But that’s a good thing.

The timeline doesn’t matter. Being optimistic about the future and continuing to try things does.

Where will I be in 6 months? I have absolutely no idea. All I know is it will be better than where I am now. I’m going to love every minute of it.


Because every day, I will continue to say:

Let me try that.

What will you try today?

I write more here. Originally published at www.quora.com.

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