Twenty-Six. Now what?

Today is my birthday. Today is a reminder that I’m twenty-six years old. Today is a reminder that I’m only twenty-six years old.

Since walking across the stage with my cap and gown, I’ve lived in five different homes, moved to a new city (and back), started two companies, gotten married, and bought a house. I’ve traveled to new places, worked with clients around the world, shed 40 pounds, and learned more about business ownership, personal relationships, and life than I ever could have imagined.

The experiences I’ve been through so far make me feel old. They make me feel like an adult. Getting wasted on cheap whiskey and playing Playstation 2 in my dorm room seems like an eternity ago. My first date with my wife (40 Year Old Virgin and Chilis – I know, stay classy) seems like it was in another lifetime. I heard the Thong Song last week on the radio and reminisced about a trip to Washington, in 8th grade, over a decade ago. 

My quarter-life crisis has come and gone, and today I find myself asking, “Now what?”

It’s a question I ask myself all the time. It drives me. It motivates me. But it also makes me crazy. So much so that I forget to give myself credit for what I have accomplished, in the midst of always thinking about what I haven’t.

And while complacency never got anyone anywhere, constantly wondering and worrying what tomorrow will bring means you’re never present today. Your planning, forecasting, and stressing about “the next step” diverts your attention to the most important task you’ll ever have, making the most of today. This day. This hour. This minute.

Instead of constantly asking “Now what?” start asking “What now?” What can I do right now to make a difference, to get ahead, to feel better, to relax, to take action?

Keep your eye on the horizon, but don’t focus on the big picture if it means neglecting what’s happening right in front of you.

I’m only twenty-six. I’m young. I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m succeeding and sometimes I’m failing. And this year, instead of wondering where I’ll be next year, I’m going to focus on making the most of what’s in front of me. Today. Here’s to hoping you will, too.

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