As the years pass, it’s natural that we find ourselves reflecting upon our lives. Like many, I find that my memories are filled with moments of happiness and delight as well as visions of the obstacles I’ve overcome. Other times my thoughts are filled with the remembrance of the words I wish I had spoken or wish I could take back and leave unsaid.
Many times I find myself wishing that I knew “then” what I know “now”. How easier certain parts of my life would have been! Of all of the things that I’ve learned over the years, I wish I could give my younger self the following advice.
You’re Going to Be in This Body a Long Time – Take Better Care of Yourself
It’s almost impossible to have the energy and willpower to be able to give your best effort without taking care of yourself. An unhealthy diet, lack of sleep and exercise and failing do things that are rejuvenating to your spirit will take their toll on your physical body and mental wellbeing.
Achieving everything that you want in life, from finding lasting happiness and contentment to achieving greater success in every endeavour begins with the following simple advice.
“Take the time to take better care of yourself!”
Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things – Embrace Change
If you wish to learn and grow, you must be open to and embrace change. The more you seek out opportunities to change, the more you learn something new, something unexpected, that challenges what you know about the world.
Embracing change not only helps you to learn and grow, it is one of the fundamental building blocks for creativity and innovation. It helps you to be a better leader and achieve more success.
So to my younger self, I say; “Don’t be afraid to shake things up and try something new, every single day of your life!”
You are Unique, and There is No Substitute for Me – Choose Authenticity
It’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others, measuring your level of success and valuing yourself based on what others have accomplished. Each of us is the “only one” with our own particular set of strengths, gifts, weaknesses, and preferences. Each and every one of us has something new and significant to offer ourselves and the world.
So, instead of focusing outwards and wasting your energy trying to “keep up” with others, you should turn your focus inward. You should be honest and open and fully yourself rather than imitate the behaviour and actions of others. You should never base your self-worth on what others have achieved or other’s opinions about you.
By being honest, open and your authentic self, you build trust and develop stronger bonds and more meaningful relationships with others. Be choosing authenticity you also gain clarity about your purpose and realise what you want from life.
So younger self, “Don’t be afraid about not “fitting in, but embrace being seen as silly, different or weird; express who you are, be you.”
Living Requires a lot of Energy – Focus on Your Strengths and Passions
Even if you live to be 100, it’s not enough time to see everything that there is to see and do everything that you might wish to do. That’s why it’s critical that you take the time to figure out what is important to you, what you are good at, what brings you joy and what fills you with excitement. Focus on bringing more of this passion into your life. Otherwise, it’s all a waste!
“Aim to live your life in such a way as to minimise what you will regret later. Get started early on finding out what you like and what you’re good at and focus on bringing more of what you love into your life!”
Don’t Settle – Pursue Excellence
There will be a time in your life when you are so drained and caught up in trying to survive that you can easily fall into the trap of just doing enough to get by, of settling for an average performance from yourself and others. If you want to honour your authenticity and be honest, if you want to achieve anything of importance and lasting significance, you must resist that urge to do enough to just get by. You must not settle; you must dare to stand out by constantly seeking improvement.
“Don’t give up; engage more and keep pushing for greater performance. Every day seek to be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday. Don’t be satisfied with half-hearted efforts but pursue excellence!”