In all honesty, my immediate thought having sat down to write this is: should I even say anything to my younger self? At my current stage of life, I have an amazing family, a successful business, and enough close friends to be happy. What if something I said to my younger self changes all this?!
Should we look back at actions and decisions we have taken in life and guide ourselves to do something differently? This, as no doubt has been surfaced many times in this series, is something you can philosophise to the point of madness. There are multiple dimensions to this, which could be swept away by a “don’t live by regrets” mentality. I most certainly agree that dwelling on the past invites negativity into your thoughts, but I am also a strong believer in the adage that you learn more from your mistakes than from your successes.
If you have ever read a personal development or “secret of my success” book, the power of positivity cannot be understated. Preventing negative thoughts, which most often come from looking back at regrets from your past, can have dramatic impacts on people’s lives. Sadly, there are people who have one incident, something that happened in a split second, that shapes their life from that moment on. For some, it is simply not possible to control thoughts looking to the past.
So, the question remains, if you could, would you tell your younger self something that would change the direction of your life?
Well here goes…
An Open Letter to Younger Me (circa 1985)
Well this letter is going to come as a bit of a surprise, and don’t even ask how much the stamp cost!
I have been given the opportunity to write this letter and speak to you in a way I hope will let you know you are already on the right path. Let me (us) be clear, you don’t know it, but who you are now will only grow and improve. Your insecurities and lack of understanding of your future are NOT unique; in fact, you are MEANT to feel this way.
I won’t say too much about the future, as I cannot risk you changing too much about what life you create for me at this point, but I can say there is so much for you to be proud of.
You are feeling that your child and teenage years go so slowly and that becoming an adult is so far away, but please, please realize that it comes sooner than you are actually prepared for, but more importantly than that, make the most of NOW. I won’t patronize you and tell you that your childhood is the best time of your life, as while that is not far from the truth, there is so much to look forward to.
Shocking truth alert… you are an introvert and you currently think that your shyness is a weakness. This is not the case. Many of the positive things you achieve in life and the influence you have on your family, friends, and relationships are based on your thoughtfulness and empathy. It took a while, but once you learnt to embrace this fact, the happier we became. This will open up the word “yes” more, and yes is a word that makes things happen. It enables us to see, do, experience, and learn more.
Remember when you wrote out hundreds of lines from the ZX Spectrum computer magazine in Basic, typed Run, and spent the next few hours seeing how many typos prevented the program from running? Then the excitement of a simple sprite moving around a screen, when the code was finally correct. This is only the start of the adventure into how computing affects your life in the future and the start of a lifelong passion for technology (and gadgets).
I am going to ask you to do a couple of things differently and only a couple:
- You will get glandular fever. Do NOT take this lightly. You are not invincible and if you don’t fully rest it out, it will have a huge impact.
- An invite to Manchester will come along—get the train!
- Say yes to that dance at the Rose Wilmot disco. I know you can’t dance (and you already know you never will with style and grace), but that is not the point.
Time’s up… See you in 2018!
Introverts unite! Our shyness is our power. I am thankful every day that I married…
ref: Dilbert Comic Strip on 2013-10-11 | Dilbert by Scott Adams