CBS News has a piece they call Note to Self. They ask people who are famous, successful, and well known what advice they would give to their younger selves.
Sometimes it’s from the perch of being famous, successful, and well known. Seeing how much more enjoyable and possibly valuable living a relaxed life can be is useful to know, but it may be that the stress and anxiety they were feeling in their younger days actually fueled them to get where they are today. It presumes that they would have landed where they are today without that tension, and I’m not always certain that is true.
Most people make the best decisions they can with the information they have at the time. I’m guessing that the people interviewed are not unhappy with where they have ended up today. It’s hard for those of us who are not famous, successful and well-off to imagine wishing that these things were no longer part of your life. The videos make me wonder what you might say to YOUR younger self. What I might say to my younger self.
Those younger selves are still within us all.
The girl who cut first period math class, not because she didn’t like math but because the teacher was so boring and cutting class to grab coffee at the diner seemed a better use of her time – she’s still part of me. The girl who aimed as high as she dared but no higher because of the debt that could be amassed, or she wasn’t sure it was smart to trust only in herself is still a part of me.
If I could talk to my younger self I might suggest not waiting so long to take that chance, try something new, and stretch my abilities. I might propose that the learning from that and the people I would meet along that scarier route can be part of the foundation and springboard to something more interesting and more exciting than what I currently know about.
Not everything that seems scary is scary in a negative way – sometimes it’s just the unknown. With risk comes reward. With risk comes learning.
I would tell my younger self that there are plenty of bumps ahead and I can learn resiliency from being resilient. I will also tell myself that there are many things I can do to avoid regret later. So I should thoughtfully act rather than simply be thoughtful.
What would you tell your younger self? That person is STILL inside of you – so speak up!