Things I Wish I Learned Earlier At 36

A stream of consciousness that I wrote on my 36th birthday containing all the things that I wish I knew earlier. The Twitter thread went viral and was viewed over 5 million times.

Tom Hirst's Twitter thread, 'I'm 36 today. Here are a few things that I wish I learned earlier:'

  1. The only partner you should look for is one that aligns with your values.
  2. The only audience you should look for is one that aligns with your interests.
  3. Being attractive (in business and in life) is within your control.
  4. Ask for what you want.
  5. Tell people you appreciate them, often and now.
  6. Show your personality.
  7. Drive in sports mode.
  8. Bank a year’s living expenses as fast as you can.
  9. Your outcomes are bound by your appetite for risk.
  10. Run your career like a business.
  11. Charge more for your work every year.
  12. Save your best hours for creative work.
  13. Meetings before and after work only.
  14. If you want a stressful life, schedule everything.
  15. A personal website is the simplest way to stand out.
  16. Learn to cook.
  17. Learn to code.
  18. Learn to sell.
  19. If you find a partner who supports your endeavours hold on to them for dear life.
  20. Having kids will make your life 10x harder but 100x better.
  21. Keep a close circle of local friends and a network around the world.
  22. Focus on the people you want to help.
  23. To understand the benefits of doing something for a long time, do something for a long time.
  24. The freedom to choose where you work from, who you work with and what you work on is worth a lot of money.
  25. There’s a middle ground between billion dollar founder and 9-5 office job that will make you very happy.
  26. Go to the gym.
  27. Get a dog.
  28. Share your work.
  29. Get comfortable talking about money or it will give you headaches, resentment and anxiety for life.
  30. The best time to start is now.
  31. Perfect conditions don’t exist.
  32. You can work with the best in the world from the comfort of your home.
  33. Most routines are fake.
  34. Whenever you’re optimising your productivity, check that you’re not avoiding the real work.
  35. If you’re overwhelmed, exercise today and do something small tomorrow.
  36. You have to stand for something or you stand for nothing.
  37. There’ll always be a counterpoint to your point of view, so share it anyway.
  38. There’s time for you to do everything, just not right now.
  39. The key to fulfilment is working on things you like, spending time with people you love, and having the freedom to choose your next step.