While all of us try to live our lives without regrets, it’s kind of inevitable when you reach this age that you might have a few. Looking back, it’s interesting to wonder what advice I would give to my younger self to help smooth my way through life.
Let’s face it, when you’re younger you really do think you know it all. However, was it arrogance or was it just a self-confidence, born of expectation and unsullied by disappointment? There’s much advice offered as you go through life, and as a younger person the temptation is to ditch it all. I’d advise myself to listen closely but to always make my own call.
Taking about “regrets, I’ve had a few”, I had the opportunity to see the great man Sinatra play when I was on holiday with my parents. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time, and I had the choice between seeing him or David Essex, who was playing at the same complex, the same evening. Now, my parents advised I’d regret not seeing Frank and they were right….while David Essex was good, I do harbour a few regrets about that evening!
That said, my parents were very risk averse when it came to seeing the world so I’m glad I ignored some of their advice along the way. They worried when I travelled to Israel and the Middle East for example. They fretted when I followed it up with Zimbabwe and Mozambique. I topped it off with Peru and Ecuador. I ignored their fears and I’m glad I did.
I’m more conscious of responsibilities and probably consider myself risk averse now I’m older, I’d say be brave, live well, take some risks and enjoy the world as much as you’re able.
I picked up this expression in one of my previous jobs and though it struck me as a bit of a cliché at the time, there really is some truth in it. We can spend far too much time and emotional energy worrying about things that we really have little or no control over.
Things do change and they really do keep on changing. I’d advise myself to not only accept change, but to embrace it. Change presents opportunity as well as threat.
No, don’t be a miser and be generous and charitable, but there’s one or two things I would do differently.
Get that pension as soon as possible and contribute as much as you can. I was fond of seeing some money in the bank, trouble was I then spent it all too! While I’ve been fortunate to catch up to some extent, I have friends who will enjoy much more secure retirements due to their planning.
On the subject of pennies I’d be pleased to tell myself to work as hard as I have done, but I’d warn that it really isn’t all about work. I wish I’d made more time for friends and family along the way. I’d give myself a stern talking to about it.
On that subject, I think you’re careless with friendships and relationships when you’re younger. They come along easily and they ebb away easily as well. I would advise myself to work harder at friendships and relationships. Make more effort to stay in touch. Some of my best friends are those I’ve had for 30 years, but there are many that I still think “I wonder what they’re doing now” about.
All in all I’m quite happy with how life’s turned out. Sure there are some things I can help my younger self with, but if he ignores me, he’ll do alright. One last thing though, seriously, that mullet you’ll have in college, it really isn’t a good idea!