If you are anywhere past your early twenties, chances are pretty good that you’ve thought to yourself something along the lines of: “Life would have been so much easier if I had known that back then.” It wouldn’t even be surprising for younger people to have had the same thoughts.
So, if you had the chance to tell yourself something at that younger age, and actually make your younger self understand, what is it that you would tell, well, you?
I’ll share with you some of the things I would tell my younger self in a moment, but first I want to point something out. I’m happy with who I am and where I am, so if I actually had this opportunity I would pass it by… any change made in who I was back then would most likely completely alter the trajectory of my life, so that I wouldn’t end up where I am now.
That being said, it’s still fun to think about, and here are some of the most common things that come up that would have made life easier had I known them when I was younger:
Your Worth Has Nothing To Do With Others
It’s only recently that I’ve truly let go of letting others determine how much worth I see in myself. I was never as entangled in the opinions of others as many people are, but I’ve finally understood that my worth is independent of that.
Your worth comes from your very individuality, your ability to make choices, and no one else can affect that.
Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
I have always been much harder on myself than on others, easily forgiving something in others that I would beat myself up over for a long time. Part of this comes from the fact that I know my own thoughts and temptations, even when I don’t act upon them, where I have no idea what similar things (or worse) might be going on in someone else’s head. That is, I’m aware of all the bad things about myself, and only a small fraction of them about someone else.
Step outside yourself every once in a while, and look at who you are and what you do as a different person. What would you think of that person?
Follow Through On Your Dreams
I have had many ideas, dreams, goals, and hopes through the years, and most of them that aren’t quite short term have been given up. This creates an expectation and a habit, making it easier each time I do it to do it again the next time.
Following through and achieving a dream is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world, and well worth the effort.
Love Will Come, Don’t Be In Such A Hurry
I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to be a husband and a father. I was looking hard for it, and in the process intentionally deceived myself about what love is and whether or not I loved someone, let alone whether or not they loved me.
You shouldn’t try to hurry love… it doesn’t work, and you just end up emotionally wounded. Be patient, and wait for the real thing… you’ll know it when it arrives.
Do What You Love
For a long time I did what made me enough money, or what I was good at, but not really what I love. In fact, I’m still doing that to some extent… I keep holding off jumping into doing what I love with my whole heart and mind, mostly because of the uncertainty of the future.
Do what you love… if you love it, you will put your heart, your energy, and your passion into it, and that will be obvious in the results. You will always find more happiness and more success with something that you can put your heart into than with something where you are merely good (even if you’re really good).
Don’t Let People Go So Easily
When I was young, we moved around a lot. This meant that anyone I started to form a friendship with was gone in a year or two (well, truthfully, it was me that was gone, but that’s not how I perceived it), which in turn meant that I never formed close friendships with anyone. Learning to not let people close, and let them go easily, is still something that sticks with me today.
Don’t let people go easily… relationships, whether family, friend, or romantic, are what makes the world go around. You might be surprised at how much they can affect other areas of your life, too, like your job, your pay, and your ability to follow your dreams.
So, those are the things that I think of the most as things that would have made life easier if I had known them earlier. What about you?
Aaron has also responded: My Younger Self Was An Idiot
Pippa thinks: What I Would Tell My Younger Self