I want you to take your age, divide it by two and then cast your mind back that number of years.
Try remember what you were doing at that age. Who do you see? Where did you live? What shaped your world at that time?
If you could go back to that instant, what would you say to your younger self?
Not exactly the type of time-travel you may have imagined. But none the less, this thought has been on my mind a lot over the past few days. Knowing what I know right now, how would I advise my younger self? Would I have taken my own advice?
20 years ago, I had completed one epoch of college education, I had endured further higher education and I was now in my first year of the frenzied world of advertising, design, marketing and psychological persuasion.
I was an acorn, sometimes boldly, sometimes wearily, trying to throw down some roots, make my mark and start changing this world.
Some of the things my 40 year old self would have liked to have told my 20 year old self may resonate in your mind – some things may not – have a read and let me know if you would tell your younger self anything different.
You are good enough.
A fundamental flaw in an astounding number of people’s thinking at 20 years old. You are good enough. Even when you think you’re not and especially when you’re told that you aren’t. You are. Hang on to that.
This pain doesn’t have to last.
Believe it or not, when you think you’re at the pit of despair – this situation, the one that’s happening right now, yes – the one that’s causing you pain WILL PASS. This pain is being caused by a situation that you may be trying to control, but is out of your control.
When you’re in these depths, you will find a strength that you couldn’t have acquired any other way. This pain is a lesson and you can learn from it. You can turn this pain, this event, this situation into a positive learning experience. Keep it real and forge your way forward.
Mistakes will be made.
Sometimes they’ll be small, sometimes they’re going to be huge. The best thing you can possibly do right now is to take responsibility for your own actions. Recognise the mistake, how it happened and be accountable. Learn from the lesson. Don’t waste your time with guilt and regret because they’ll weight you down. Let them go and hold onto the lesson instead.
You don’t have to play small, dream big, shoot for the stars. You have a unique light that wants to shine and glow and in doing that, will guide and inspire others. Don’t hold back, don’t dim that light for anyone, ever!
Believe that your parents did the best they could with what they had.
Just like you are doing now. You may not entirely agree with your parents or guardians rules, regulations and processes, but if you believe they are simply doing what they believe to be their best with what they know or have been taught, you will find it easier to craft your own direction without causing too much emotional friction within yourself.
Love true and love hard.
When you love, love with every ounce of your being, with every fibre of who you are. Don’t dilute it or avoid it because of fear. To know true love, you will also know deep hurt and perhaps even loss at some point. But love anyway. Go back and read point number two again.
Listen to your own creativity.
Listen to your creativity, nurture it, allow it, embrace it, grow it… get creative in whatever you do. Your soul wants to shine, it wants to sing to a song and only you can write the lyrics. Allow yourself some freedom of expression without questioning its worth or acceptance, you never know where it may lead.
You’re not really stuck.
You can learn, change and grow. It’s called fluidity and it’s natural and necessary. Don’t try to contain your colours or restrict your movements. At different ages, you will have different yearnings. Go with them. Trust the voice within. Explore and play. Let life show you how great it can be.
Value the friendships that matter.
Friendships that withstand time and distance, and survive obstacles and challenges are the ones that will carry you through the darker times and elevate you even higher during happy times.
People and possessions will pass through your life.Sometimes you’ll want to hang on to what you think you cannot endure losing. Freedom is found when you loosen your grip and let go.
Neither your bank balance nor your weight defines you.
Strive to stay well balanced with both but let your ultimate aim be health and happiness. Don’t get too hung up on figures of any kind. Your self-worth is not a number.
Give thanks for what you have and you will change your focus from what you think you lack to what you realise you are enriched with.
Nothing is permanent.Change may frighten you but without it nothing new can occur. No new joy can be experienced. No amazing transformations can take place.
It’s your choice – always.
It may not be an easy one but you do have the freedom to choose. Even when it comes to the actions of others, you have a choice on how to respond and how to process your thoughts. Choose wisely.
Be you. That’s all.
You are your own unique, flawed, colourful, fallible, wonderful self and there is only one of you. There will only ever be one of you. So, go out into the world and make your mark. Own who you are and what you do. Be courageous. Fly high. Create the life you want to live and be who you were born to be.
So, there you have it. When time travel is invented – I hope I’ll be wise enough to listen and take heed.