Have you ever found yourself in deep reflection about your past? Maybe you always mull over missed opportunities, heart-wrenching failures, or stupid mistakes? Perhaps you wonder how your life could be had you made different choices? It seems most people go through this phase at some point in time.
In my case, I have asked all these questions, and continue to do so up to this very day. Actually, I would even say a good dose of regret has often accompanied this process as I rehash events from back in the day in my mind.
Now, we all know it’s impossible to change the past. After all, our life is not a movie reel that can be re-winded to the beginning to change the outcome. Yet, as long as we are living, we have the opportunity to use our past for a purpose. Particularly, we have the chance to learn from our mistakes, failures, and choices to become a better version of ourselves, albeit a little older.
So, what advice would you give to your younger self? What have you discovered that could have changed the trajectory of your life or helped you to avoid the bumps in the road. Although these experiences make you who are today, and thus, valuable, it is always beneficial to look back and take stock of your journey.
Here are a few lessons I would offer to my younger self (in no particular order):
* Live more, stress less. Soak up all that life has to offer and stop being so serious.
* Failure will help you grow. While uncomfortable, failure enables perseverance and character development. A sign of strength is your ability to overcome disappointment and come back stronger.
* Pursue your dreams; not the interests of your parents, family members, and friends. Only you truly know the passions and goals that motivate your heart. Follow them.
* Learn to be financially savvy and save. There will come a time when you will want to buy a house, car, or take a vacation. It’s better to have cash to make the purchases rather than using credit cards.
* Be humble. You don’t know everything. Find mentors and listen to people who have lived longer than you. They have a lot to say that can enhance your life.
* Say sorry when you mess up, or if you hurt someone, or do something wrong. Don’t wait for them to come to you – you may never get another opportunity to apologize.
* Know who your real friends are. Going out to the movie theater or shopping mall with a person doesn’t mean they care about you. Know the difference between a friend, acquaintance, and enemy.
* Spend time with your loved ones and tell them you love them. Now! Life is precious, but incredibly brief. Take advantage of the time you have today.
* Prioritize your health. Eating McDonald’s and Burger King every day is terrible for you. Learn to cook and make healthy meals. Your body and mind will appreciate it.
* Maintain friendships with the opposite sex. Your best friends can also be male. Plus, who knows, he may be your life partner. Aha!
* Deepen your faith in Jesus Christ. He is the only Person that will keep you grounded in all the craziness.
While I’m sure there are many more lessons my younger self could have benefited from, these are the ones that come to mind. Indeed, reflection often comes too late to be of any use to ourselves, but it still allows us to process our regrets and move forward. Plus, your experience may help someone else to avoid the same mistakes you made. That is the best kind of advice.
Comment down below if I missed any worthwhile tips!