If you are reading this and are over the age of 40, please stop. Wait, on second thought, nix that. Whatever your age, please keep reading… but only for the purpose of ultimately sharing or implementing the simple lessons it has taken me nearly five decades to learn.
Now, as a disclaimer, this article is not about regrets or wistful “what-if’s”. Rather, it is a candid sharing of some missteps made and opportunities missed. While I recognize these experiences have taught me precious lessons, they also made my journey, and that of those around me, a bit rougher than needed at times. So, without further ado, 3 pieces of advice I would have liked to have shared with my younger self:
1. Love People – Not Status or Things. Spend more of your time and money on people than on entertainment, stuff and status. For decades I considered myself too busy pursuing professional objectives to have appreciable time for family and friends. This resulted in casual acquaintances receiving more attention than friends, and networking trumping family time. Growth in this area is ongoing.
2. Admit It When You Don’t Know. Pride is crippling. Far too many times I pretended to understand, only to suffer the consequences later. As an exchange student learning French, I pretended to understand directions. As a result, I ended up lost and afraid in a rural area. I have also broken more things than I care to recall given my refusal to read the directions.
I have learned it is both humbling and liberating to confess lack of knowledge. Now, however, instead of pretending, I am happily learning new programs from 7 year olds on YouTube. It’s amazing what we can learn if we simply admit we need help.
3. Celebrate Modest Beginnings. I have gone through numerous periods of embarrassment when learning something new. Whether it was running, my first trial or becoming a step-mom to four children, I was so anxious to get to the next “level” that I missed being able to appreciate the joy of new beginnings, the encouragement of progress, and the opportunity to not take myself so seriously. All good and worthy things start modestly and should be celebrated.
Well, this is the advice I would have given to my younger self. I wonder if I would have listened….
Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com