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Day 10 - Walk Before You Run

Level 9

I found it quite difficult to pass on just one piece of advice when there is so much I wanted to tell my younger self; to prepare her for and to protect her from. But then I realised that if she doesn’t go through it, then we wouldn’t become the person we are today. Instead, I decided to give advice relevant to what is to come but also allows younger me the freedom to make those mistakes, take the unpaved path, and live her life as only she can! So here goes...

To my younger self,

We were always eager to get to the next stage of everything we did, so would run before we could walk…even as a baby we walked before we could crawl! But while some may herald us as a child genius for this (*ahem* our parents), in life, it brings its own challenges.

Because we went straight to walking, we never learned everything we needed to, like that minor yet important step of how to get from standing to sitting. So, after our adventure across the sitting room to reclaim our favourite toy from the clutches of our devious cocker spaniel, we would just stop dead in our tracks, timber like a freshly chopped tree, and face plant! We had our whole family on high alert for that precarious moment when we stopped walking so they could catch us before we fell.

What I wanted to share with you is that you might not always have someone there to catch you. So, in everything you do, don’t jump in head (or face) first. Take the time to learn the steps and walk before you run...or in our case, crawl before you walk!

Now over to all of you: if you had the chance to pass on advice to your younger self, knowing that if you did there was a chance it would change who you are today, would you do it?

48 Comments

I have a relative who does this, rushes to finish everything. High school, College, law school. It would be different if they started out with that goal, but they just get bored or tired of "it" and want to be done with it so push harder. Sometimes I think they missed out on the fun parts of all of it.

I might tell myself this, "Don't be so concerned about what your classmates think of you. The vast majority of them won't be in your life for long. Don't treat them lightly or bad, but don't let their opinions carry so much weight. Just be you."

Level 11

I always worried about how I was perceived in school.  I was never part of the "cool" bunch, I was an outsider peering in.  However upon reflection, being cool in school isn't what it's all about, nor will it matter in later life.  I see people now that I attended school with, and when we discuss later life, I realise how different we are now, and then.

Level 9

That's great advice tomiannelli​ - the race is only with ourselves even though we always seem to compare ourselves to others. At the end of the day we are on our own journey so (even though it's easier said than done) we shouldn't put so much weight on what others think because they are on a different journey.

Level 9

So true janobi​! What's that line - youth is wasted on the young. If only we knew then what we do now.

Level 14

What an interesting concept.  This whole time I've been thinking about what I'd be able to "save myself" from if I could tell advise my younger self on things...............but you're saying you wouldn't do this?  I have not considered this in the slightest to be honest.  This may be something that we will disagree on, but in the end it's all hypothetical anyway.  As I tell my kids, it's always good to learn from your mistakes, but it's even better if you can learn from someone else's!  What is meant by this is that if you can learn the lesson without the failure (truly), then why would you choose to hamper your own progress by personal failure?  I'd say only allow failure when it's completely necessary.  

For example, I'd tell my younger self to not attend college at all, but instead to focus heavily on certifications and experience.  I find this to be sound advice in today's climate, but back then it was not.  My attendance in college opened the door to my first job in IT, which was repairing hardware, such as printers and UPS's and the like.  So then the question would be asked, would I have been able to get to where I am today without attending?  There's no way to tell, but there is a reason that I would give the advice that I want to give, so I'd wager that the reasons are because I feel that I'd not only be where I am today, but surpass where I am and get there faster than I would've otherwise been able to. 

It's ALWAYS good to entertain ideas and concepts that we have not considered.  So, thanks for the insight!

Level 10

Yes I would want to pass info onto myself and your point is exactly is what I would want to say.  Slow down.  Enjoy the moment and don't rush to judgement so quickly.   I did a lot early on in life and I did not get to enjoy some things that looking back I wish I did.  I have accepted those consequences and now enjoy my life as I have learned this valuable lesson over time.

Level 13

Need a time machine to go back an tell my younger self what I did wrong and correct it.  But what fun would that be.  You learn from mistakes.

I believe i would have to agree, crawl, walk, run, then drive, race, go to outer space...  

in all seriousness.  To my younger self, be good, do not rush life, it happens fast enough.   do not regret, go and do, anything, something just go and do. 

Level 14

When I was learning to SCUBA dive many many years ago we were taught a simple mantra for when things would eventually go wrong underwater.

STOP

BREATHE

THINK

ACT.

It works for pretty much every situation (except when you run out of air because you haven't been watching your tank pressure gauge and you are 35m down in cold murky water with about 15 minutes of decompression to do and your buddy is 20m away and thinks you want to do an out of air drill and decides he doesn't want to do one).  I just left out step two and worked my way over to him, punched him and took his octopus reg.  We are still friends and I'm still alive so I guess it even worked that time. 

Now over to all of you: if you had the chance to pass on advice to your younger self, knowing that if you did there was a chance it would change who you are today, would you do it?

Definitely not. The amount of doubt and self-loathing it would introduce would be maddening. Keep the past in the past, and never stop living for today & tomorrow!

Level 10

if you had the chance to pass on advice to your younger self, knowing that if you did there was a chance it would change who you are today, would you do it?

I don't think I would.  Everything plays out for a reason, lessons learned,etc.  The risk is too great, in my opinion.

Level 9

Thanks smttysmth02gt​! Glad you enjoyed.

Level 9

That's so true kremerkm​ - I was in such a rush when I was younger and it was all about the end goal that I really missed out on the experience and journey.

Level 9

Exactly! We need to live for the moment nickzourdos​, couldn't agree more!

Level 9

By constantly running, you can miss the little stuff that can have a great impact on the future.

Level 9

Take your time and enjoy life.  My most precious memories are of sitting on the front porch with my grandfather in the evenings and discussing the issues of the day.  It just reminds me of the things that are most important.  Being with family and learning of your past and where you come from.  It also instilled most of the values I hold true today.

I wonder if you share this tendency with others who have been able to leverage it to accomplish great things before their time was up.  I'm thinking of people like:

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who achieved renown in the composing and conducting and performing world well before his early demise at age 35
  • Bill Gates and Stephen Jobs, whose accomplishments in business seemed record-breaking for their age.
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright (I just read a hardcover biography about them) who had minds and drive and an early growth environment that enabled them to make things, before they were even twenty years old, of which others could not even dream.

We've all heard or read or seen stories of flames that burned too intensely and were extinguished before their times.

Maybe there's also need (in some people) to make their contributions quickly, to run before they may walk, so they can live the intense life their minds imagine?

Certainly good directions are needed lest we we allow that drive to create a Billy The Kid or a Caligula instead of a Buddy Holly or a John Keats or a Henry Moseley.

Level 9

The pace of life has changed so much over the last number of years that time is nearly a currency in itself. And who you give it to and what you spend it on has shifted so much. That's why I couldn't agree more with you pcollins07​ - it's important to spend time with loved ones and to cherish those moments. They are what you'll remember down the line.

Level 9

My son is like that. He wants the end result, but does not to take all the steps in between. Patience is a virtue and hard won. Often, when I am tempted to skip ahead and get to the end, I must remind myself that the steps are there for a reason. Doing things the quick way rarely works out well.

Level 9

That is one hell of a story petergwilson​. Glad you are here to tell the tale and to share your mantra. So sometimes it is okay to dive (pun definitely intended :-)) right in without taking all the steps?

Level 9

So true rwagner​ - patience is something I've had to work on over the years. It didn't come naturally to me as I was so eager to get the job done but it is such an asset to have in life!

Level 9

I would love to think of myself in the same context as Mozart and the Wright brothers (thanks rschroeder but I think you're right that the drive needs to be channeled in the right way. Otherwise you either can't maintain it, it isn't focused enough or you end up down a Billy the Kid route.

Level 12

Would I take advice from a future self....sure. But I would probably be skeptical.

Level 11

There are a few things I have thought of in the past that I would like to change, but that question always came up, what if? My wife was a problem child and into some not very good things while I was a quiet reserved kid that got into no trouble. Somehow our paths came together and we are perfect for each other. If I told myself to put myself more out there would I still have met her? If I was still single I would go back and tell myself a few things but I am happy with my personal life that I wouldn't want to risk it. With work there are definitely things I would have changed but still not worth the risk of changing the path that I don't find my wife.

Level 10

I always like to say, running is overrated.  Take your time and be patient.  Good things will come to you. 

Level 9

Go back and change some things? Sure. I wouldn't be like I am today but I would still be the same person. My life has been full of lessons; important, difficult, small, easy... all kinds. And those lessons have taught me thing but they haven't made me who I am, I'm the one who does that.

Level 15

Now over to all of you: if you had the chance to pass on advice to your younger self, knowing that if you did there was a chance it would change who you are today, would you do it?

I honestly am not sure. Like a lot of others in these threads, I strongly feel that every single experience, good and bad, has made me who I am. Luckily, I am (fairly) OK with myself as a person, so changing the past wouldn't make sense in that respect.

However, there are regrets. I can't help but be tempted to change the catalysts to those regrets. Would it ripple and cause irrevocable and unimaginable consequences, or would it simply mean that the friend that I treated like dirt in college would understand that my weaknesses in being kind and non-judgmental were my own and they should not have been subjected to that day? (we're still friends, but I think about that day with a good amount of sadness from time to time).

Is it more selfish to want to stay who I am today, or to want to make myself feel better, no matter what that means to the other people who's lives I've affected over the years? I'd like think that I would own my choices as my own, and leave things as they are now. But, convictions are meant to be tested. And do any of us really know?

Also, because this post is too dark and gloomy, I present to you proof that all of our mistakes can be positive ones that bring joy and laughter. (Maybe not to ourselves, but to those around us for sure.)

Image result for no regrats

Level 10

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Level 14

Crawl before you walk

Walk before you run

Run before you race

Know the path you take

Somewhere in the back of my head I hear my younger self listening to my grandmother instill in me that haste makes waste, because anything worth doing is worth doing well.

Reminds me of this comic from Three Word Phrase (careful, some of his stuff is NSFW)

no egrets

Level 11
If you had the chance to pass on advice to your younger self, knowing that if you did there was a chance it would change who you are today, would you do it?

If it would mean that I would have never found out about Thwack, then no!

Who among us doesn't open the box, look at the manual, toss it aside, and immediately play with the new gizmo? It's the American Way: "If you first don't succeed, try reading the instructions!" 🙂

Our desire to succeed, our ingenuity, transformation, innovation, reach for the stars mentality , leaves us little time for walking as running is so much more rewarding. It's hard to stay disciplined, to maintain self-control. But it all comes with risk. Risk of tripping and falling. Risk of screwing up bigly.

Sure you should walk before you run... but don't spend too much time doing it. Keep up!

I might not give myself advice. I have made mistakes, but the place I am in is pretty good.

MVP
MVP

WALK BEFORE YOU RUN - true, totally agree with you on this one, if the foundation isn't strong enough the building would never stand as I can't build it in air, same is the case with us, if I don't understand the basics there's no point in trying to understand something at advanced level.

Level 10

Advice for my younger self in 1980: Buy Apple stocks for all your money (USD 0,51) - sell in 2018 (USD 225)

Level 14

Slow down and enjoy life.  Smell the roses.  Go for a bike ride.  Go fishing with your brother.  Love with your whole heart.

Level 12

I wish someone would have taught young me about trusts so investmens would be protected from a divorce!

Level 12

Now over to all of you: if you had the chance to pass on advice to your younger self, knowing that if you did there was a chance it would change who you are today, would you do it?

In 1990 I was in the United States Marine Corps, in a reserve unit. I picked a very bad time to be out of town, as that was when my unit was called up for Desert Shield. Had I left a few weeks earlier and been home a few weeks earlier, I would have earned a bunch of medals and ribbons, including the combat action ribbon. Death would have been a possibility, but nobody in my unit died during that war.

My plan had been to go to college, earn a degree, transfer to the National Guard, and serve as an officer until retirement. But without the decorations everybody else in my unit had I was counseled to find another career. If I had taken that course I would not have become the person I am now, but with the security clearances officers receive I would have had very different career opportunities available. I think I would make this change if I could, knowing that i have no idea who I would be, where I would be, or even if I would be today.

MVP
MVP

This reply by zackm​ speaks close to the heart. If I go back and change the past, I wouldn't be who or where I am now. There are definitely regrets - situations I could have handled a lot better.

My partner and I also have a little in-joke where if we're doing something stupid, "No regerts!"

Level 7

I'm not sure I could ever talk myself out of running before I could walk. Running is too much fun! And the face-plant is always worth it 😉

MVP
MVP

I like your perspective here. When I heard the title I thought of taking time to enjoy the steps along the way. I know so many people that equate enjoying the moment with stopping - stop to smell the roses kind of thinking. I prefer to think of "pause" to smell the roses, but keep moving. You more enjoy the moment when it is part of the journey. Anything done in extreme is generally not a good idea, so to all work and no play, or all play and no work are neither good. Take time to enjoy the journey, pause along the way, but keep moving and enjoy the steps.

Level 7

Totally agree. I'd complement the advice as "Not only you have to stand up before you walk, but is important to have fun while doing it." In the heat of the moment or frustration we sometimes forget to enjoy the moment be it bad or good. We like to forget bad moments but those are growth leavers and without them we'd not be where we are today.

And isn't it great that Orville and Wllbur did not listen to the conventional wisdom of the New York elite of the day:

[From a New York Times article, published October 9, 1903 - A Million Years, Give or Take | Now I Know ]

"Hence, if it requires, say, a thousand years to fit for easy flight a bird which started with rudimentary wings, or ten thousand for one which started with no wings at all and had to sprout them ab initio, it might be assumed that the flying machine which will really fly might be evolved by the combined and continuous efforts of mathematicians and mechanicians in from one million to ten million years–provided, of course, we can meanwhile eliminate such little drawbacks and embarrassments as the existing relation between weight and strength in inorganic materials. No doubt the problem has attractions for those it interests, but to the ordinary man it would seem as if the effort might be employed more profitably."

About two and a half months later, the Wright Brothers flew their machine at Kitty Hawk.  It's amazing what humans can accomplish when they don't know they can't do it (double negative for inflection).

Level 7

I don't know whether I would give advice (or whether younger me would believe it), given the chance - 'all has led to this moment', after all But it is really interesting reading this thread to see the great advice others have offered!

Now over to all of you: if you had the chance to pass on advice to your younger self, knowing that if you did there was a chance it would change who you are today, would you do it?

This question presents an interesting conundrum and, as folks have mentioned, it's all hypothetical anyway, but I would have to say no; that I would not pass on advice to my younger self, were I actually given an opportunity to do so.  Why?  Because I love my life now, and while I might have changed some of the outcomes, I would not wish for a "Sliding Door" that propelled me into a different timeline.  There is a song by Garth Brooks called "The Dance" and in it, he looks back on a love now lost, and has a melancholy, yet poignant, commentary:

"And I, I'm glad I didn't know

The way it all would end, the way it all would go

My life is better left to chance

I could've missed the pain but I'd've had to miss The Dance"

Everything happens for a reason, as someone mentioned in another thread, and I totally believe that.  Yes, I could've missed some pain but I cannot imagine being anywhere else, with anyone else, at any time else. (Wait, what? 😉

The folks you describe, tinmann0715, are what we refer to as "Pioneers" and, as we know, while Pioneers blaze the trails, they also take the arrows and lose their scalps. So, is it better to be an innovator or an imitator?  Uber started the ride-share phenomenon but now they are in trouble, and there is a plethora of "imitators" all doing the same thing.  My point is that while we Americans tend to be a "Shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later" society, I believe that to be a small percentage of our culture; that we really do have others' best interests at heart. (OK, with the exception of our current political administration) 

And there's no irony that you should mention risk, too, Peter; there are those who are deathly afraid of flying but it has been proven that flying is a safer mode of transportation than driving.  And there is risk when one just gets out of bed in the morning: Will I get hit by a bus today?  Will I trip and fall and break my leg today?  Will I contract some flesh-eating virus today?  I mean, OMG!  We all just need to stay at home, curl up and die!

Now, I say that last piece a little "tongue-in-cheek" and I am not intending to patronize or belittle anyone with a phobia, as I know those fears appear real to those folks who suffer.  I, personally, still suffer from arachniphobia and my wife is constantly "saving me" from spiders.  But as the old 80's workout video saying goes, "No Pain, No Gain!"  You are correct in that we need to move beyond our "comfort zone", or at least stretch it considerably, in order to achieve the things we want in life.  Where would we be if we never took the risk of learning to crawl, or walk, or run?  We'd still be sitting on the floor, in our room, in the house in which we were born!  Not a pretty picture for me, at least!

Level 9

I would probably encourage myself to run a little bit more, or at least keep a pace of jogging.

Level 20

I'm not sure my younger self would have listened to me honestly... I wasn't one to like taking advice much when I was young and always seemed to take my own path.