I look back on my life so far and there are some things I’d love to have done differently. I know this is true for everyone, but maybe someone younger than me will read this and benefit.
The first thing I’d tell my younger self is,
“Everybody’s human. Everybody is nervous, everybody wants to be liked. Don’t put people on a pedastal. You are as good as anyone else, so take that first step, say hi, reach out. The other person might be as afraid as you are adn want to reach out too.”
I’d also like to say,
“Make sure you spend time learning how to think and learning how to learn. It’s okay to have fun, but try to cultivate interests that might actually be useful. And whatever you do, if you are going to spend time on it, do it well.”
And I’d really love to say,
“Please, please, please, figure out what you want to do for a career, and start preparing for it when you are still in high school. Everyone in college is going to expect you to have basic skills that you should have gotten in high school. But you won’t have them. So if you really want to be a writer, practice all you can. If you really want to be an artist, work hard to be the best you can be. Don’t be afraid of competition. Use it as motivation. Compete against yourself. And make sure you talk to different people in your fields so you find out what it’s really like when you get there. Don’t waste your time in college finding who you are. As time goes by, you will have less time, not more, to do that.”
And finally, I would tell my younger self
“Even if it’s hard, learn how to think. Start observing people. Analyze everything you see. Learn from everyone you meet. Get used to being an eternal student and it will serve you well. Think about how people say things as much as you think about what they say, watch how you do things as much as you watch what you do. Think, think, think. Take control over yourself and give up the idea of controlling others. Don’t take anything anyone says at face value. Be grateful for everything you learn.”
I wonder how my life would be different if I had been told those things in such a way that I would have heeded them?