Advice to My Younger Self Through the Years
A Few of the Many Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me
Advice to my 5 year old self: Get along with your brothers. They could become your best friends.
Advice to my 10 year old self: Be nice to those girls everyone thinks are ugly and torments. Many of them are smart and will be beautiful in a few years. And all of them are valuable.
Advice to my 15 year old self: See, I told you. They’re beautiful or fascinating or both. But it’s not too late to start being nice. Getting to know the people others avoid will give you relationships and perspectives few others have. And your kindness might just be a lifeline for them.
Advice to my 17 year old self: The day after graduation, most of these classmates will disappear from your life forever. Don’t shape yourself around trying to please them. (Facebook has actually reversed this trend a bit, and is, in my mind, one of the best things about it.)
Advice to my 20 year old self: You’re an adult now, not when you turn 30. You’re responsible for what you do. You can’t blame anyone else. Decisions you make today will shape the rest of your life. Use the next 10 years to discover your skills and passions.
Advice to my 30 year old self: Surprise! You’re married with children. What you do now will shape multiple generations. But build the kind of relationship with your wife that has a glue besides the kids. One day it will just be you two again. (Thanks to my mom for that exact advice many years ago! It’s paying off now.)
P.S.: Saying that someone in their 30’s “has a lot of untapped potential” is a compliment. Saying it of someone in their 50’s is not. Start tapping your potential now.
Advice to my 40 year old self: You know what you’re good at. You know what energizes you. Figure out what you need to do to peak at 50. And don’t forget to take care of yourself physically.
Advice to my 50 year old self: In a season when many are starting to coast or drift into retirement, understand that you could have 20+ years of productivity and creativity ahead of you. Think of how much you’re done in the last 20 years! Imagine what you could learn, do, change, create in the next 20…
P.S.: Figure out what you need to do to peak at 60.
P.P.S.: Always remember, it’s not about you.