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Tips for My Younger Self

What would you tell your younger self if you were able to provide a set of commandments, tips or just a best practice guide? Let’s be fair, I find myself telling these to my current self let alone a younger version. Intentionally I have excluded the advice I have in hindsight about never dating certain people or making sure I stayed in on a specific date as I’d get into trouble on that night! 

Tips for my younger self

These are in no particular order, and there are many more that could be added. My objective is to start conversations with your friends and family – there are no right or wrong answers. Many of these could be called rules for life, but that sounds bossy and preachy. Being the best version of you is the goal, enabling you to achieve and become all that you want.

  1. Support Team. Surround yourself with the right proactive support network, people that really do care about you and your success. I call this a Mental Wealth Team, great people that you can be open, honest and vulnerable with and have your permission to be blunt and direct with you. These people support and hold you accountable for what you say you are going to do and challenge your ideas and thinking when necessary.
  • Selfish. Not everyone will understand you or like you – that’s their choice and not your problem. It does not help you carrying their negative energy, grief or drama around. To strengthen your resolve, learn to like and love yourself so that in times where you feel more lonely or isolated, you can choose to be selfish as you look out for number one.
  • Fun. Have fun, easily said, but what is fun for you? Understand it, seek it out, make it happen and don’t wait for others. I love the quote from Hunter S. Thompson “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” The only caveat I would add is don’t take unnecessary risks that make it an early grave!
  • Control. Control the controllable. Stop obsessing over things that are out of your control and away from your influence. Caring about or coveting everybody’s opinions and views has always been out of your control, stop trying to fix everything and everyone’s problems.
  • Worry. I love the translation that to worry is to stress over a potential future outcome that may or may not happen – don’t waste energy worrying about something that hasn’t or may never happen. Worrying isn’t fun, so why do it?  
  • Regret. Getting old is part of life, and you can’t escape it. Enjoying the journey is a choice. As you grow older, many things become easier and more straightforward, just as many things become harder and out of reach. Appreciate everything you can do now so when you are older you don’t wake up with a feeling of regret or longing for wasted opportunities. “Carpe Diem – Seize the Day” as the days do fly by very quickly.
  • Direction. Follow your journey, your path is different to everyone else that you know, be that parents, friends, colleagues or strangers. There is no road map specifically assigned to you that dictates the way forward. Where you head is down to you, it’s your choice.
  • Judgemental. One of my wife’s elderly clients always uses the phrase, “ You’d have to be a fly on the wall to know it all”. None of us knows exactly what people are going through or have gone through. Judging people according to our way of thinking and prejudices is dangerous and will cause you so much strife and hassle, the simple rule is never judge a book by its cover.
  • Perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist, it’s an impossible target. Perfection means achieving 100% in everything you do. How many tests or exams have you ever taken where that was achieved? A much simpler objective is to be the best version of yourself, as often as you can.
  1. Health. You have one body and mind – look after them, not everyone is blessed with good physical or mental health. Respect what your body and mind require without sabotaging your successes, be proactive with your self-care while continuously learning and seeking ways to improve and develop in all areas of your life.

Finally, ask for HELP. This is not a sign of weakness – nobody has all the answers, we all need the support of others to achieve more. These tips are not a top ten, the best ten or the right ten, these are ten tips for my younger self that at the time of writing felt right. Have hearty debates and discussions about the tips and their relevance to your future success, add in additional tips that are more subjective or relevant to you, giving you a personalised top tips guide.

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