My Advice To My Twenty-Something Self
Pssst. Yeah, you, my twenty-something self. Listen up. There are some things you really ought to know, and I’m here to tell you. You’re going to have some pretty awesome experiences. But you’re also going to waste a lot of time, that stuff your life is made of. So I’m going to give you some advice to make your life better than you can imagine. Are you listening?
Stop fretting about getting through college as soon as you can possibly manage it. Marriage? Relax. If you’re mopping the floor, maybe it’s okay to hurry and get on to what’s important. But when it comes to the big stuff, take a deep breath and create and savor a peaceful journey.
Here’s the deal. That college education is going to be just as available next year, and the year after that. And that perfect mate? With roughly seven billion people on the planet, there’s a virtual ocean of possibilities. But you’re going to be young, you’re going to be twenty-something (or thirty-something) only once. The hours of your life are the most rare and precious commodity you will ever possess.
Choose Passion Over Safety
Remember those dreams and passions that were in your heart, and maybe still are? Don’t relegate them to “some day.” Go after them now. Your life is like a trip to Disneyland. There’s a limited amount of time you’ll be able to spend enjoying all that it has to offer. Do you want to play safe and stick to the kiddie rides? Or do you want to take on all the adventures and thrills that are awaiting you?
Embrace your passions and go for the gusto. While the safe path will surely be safe, it’s only by the courage to venture beyond it that the biggest breakthroughs and achievements are realized. Remember, if everyone played it safe, humanity would likely still be sitting in a cold cave and most of the world would be uninhabited. Don’t seize the day, seize your life.
Embrace Curiosity – And Follow It
Be curious. This is something that virtually all of us leave behind when we leave childhood. But curiosity is a magic potion that should be part of your daily mental diet. Curious about how it can be a magic potion? That’s good. You’re getting the hang of this.
Curiosity is the juice that transforms judgement into a desire to understand. A desire to see the world through someone else’s eyes. It’s also the electric charge in all the simple words of discovery: What if, how, why. Nurturing your curiosity will change your life from peanut butter and jelly to a fabulous buffet.
Let Go Of What Doesn’t Work
No one likes failure. The problem is, we too easily define things as failures. Or, because of the fear of failure, we hang on to what isn’t working far too long. We try against all reasonable hope to make it work when the faintest of sensibilities would have said let it go long ago.
That relationship you know isn’t working? Hanging on to it is a disservice to both you and the other person. Get on with life, find the connections that serve you, and the other person, in the most awesome ways. Stuck in a job you hate because you fear loss of security and income more than you fear your own misery? Similarly, when you’re unhappy with your work, you can’t possibly give your employer the results they deserve, let alone attain results that you really want.
Work To Live, Don’t Live To Work
You live in a society where work is the center of life. Not surprising, since you’re spending over half your waking hours engaged in it. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself – Is this what you’re here for? Is this the pinnacle of human existence? To work, and work, and work some more, until the years of youth, and ultimately all the years, are gone?
News flash: The universe didn’t go to all the bother to arrange for your existence so you could work. Bigger news flash: You are here to LIVE. Life is the be-all, end-all of your presence. Stop wasting your life in the pursuit of work. Rather, work as it is necessary and expedient to engage with all that has been provided as part of this miracle we call life.
Listen To Your Intuitive Guide
I saved the best for last. Because this one is the grease that makes the gears of all the others turn smoothly and elegantly to create a world that most people never experience. See, you already knew all that I’ve been telling you. It’s those little echoes, those little suggestions that almost tickle when you hear them.
But the intuitive guide is gentle, and at times seemingly a bit fickle. She won’t force you, or coerce you into doing anything. Just a whisper. Silence your ego. Quiet your mind. Listen. Psst. See? There it is now.