Advise your younger self

The saying goes that the days are long and the years are short. Five years goes by in a flash.

Take a moment to look back on the last five years and ask yourself what advice you would give your younger self if you could travel back in time and share a meal together. Think about the experience and guidance you would provide. Do the same exercise with a ten-year look back. As a 30-year-old what advice would you give your 20-year-old self? If you are 40 what information would you provide your 30-year-old self?

A couple of insights bubbled up for me when I played this out in my head:

* * *

Take more risks.

Be patient, but don’t hold on too long. Have the guts to know when to leave. Knowing is the easy part. Saying it out loud is the hard part.

Back yourself more. Everyone is making it up as they go.

Learn by doing. Over-analysis will paralyze you.

Travel more.

Don’t be in such a hurry to start a career. The career will find you when you are ready.

Be kind to your body.

Don’t stress so much. There’s only now. Most of the time you land on your feet, and most of the things you worry about are in your head.

Small contributions compound over time. Small acts of kindness, small investments, small tweaks add up.

* * *

Try it. It’s an enlightening exercise

One thought on “Advise your younger self

  1. Wonder if it’s worth imagining yourself 10 years from now coming back from the future and giving you advice today. Remember the future is really just a sum of what you do each day. By analysing what you are doing today you can probably accurately predict where you will be in 10 years. So, ask your 10 year older self what he/she likes about what you are doing today and what they don’t like.

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