It’s a bit cliché, but I really don’t have any regrets. My mistakes, my successes, all of my choices (good or bad), have taken me to the place I am now.
However, there is an amazing sense of becoming grounded in the here and now that comes from reflecting on your personal life lessons. Ask yourself, “What would I tell the younger me if given the chance?”
I recently took the time to do this exercise and to say it was cathartic is an understatement. What would happen if you did the same?
Could your children benefit if they took the time to reflect as well? How about your spouse or significant other? Would perspectives change? Do you think that happiness emerges?
If we asked ourselves these types of questions, do you think we could stop potentially self-sabotaging behaviors? Would you approach your day job differently?
What if this type of reflection could help your children decide earlier in life to embrace their purpose sooner? What breakthrough would occur by sharing your lessons with those around you?
These were the words of wisdom I came up with for my younger self.
Stop trying to be perfect.
“Perfection is a myth and frankly little girl… being perfect is boring.”
I was and still am, a very goal-oriented and focused individual. As a young girl, and into my early 20s, I worried about being perfect. It was my goal.
Perfect grades, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect friends, perfect boyfriend, perfect weight, and perfect makeup… exhausting! I broke my own rules after this exercise and threw ‘perfect’ out the window.
Trust in your dreams, for in them you will find what is real.
Reality is not the day-to-day. It is not the never-ending grocery list. Nor is it fretting about the layer of dust on the nightstand.
Reality is not found by balancing the checkbook. It is not dreading Mondays or celebrating Fridays. Look beyond what you see.
Reality is the dream of everlasting and unconditional love. The love of a parent, a child, a special person and the love of yourself; this is real.
Dreams of celebrating life by using your talents to improve the lives of others, that is real. Dreams of lifting others up, that is real.
True sight comes from seeing in the dark.
Don’t hide in the dark crying, come out of the bathroom and get a hug. Don’t pretend to be tough, cool, or unaffected.
Know that you are not alone in your struggles, your mistakes, and your misadventures. They are part of you and your journey. We want to know you, the real you. You are a gift, all the parts of you.
Your voice is important.
Once found, it is a unique note to be shared. The tenor and cadence of your voice, no one else has or ever will have that.
The world would not be such a magical and beautiful place without that uniqueness. Please share it with us and unite your voice with others, creating a symphony that we all can be moved by.
Seek to understand so that you may help others see. The understanding is not as important as the seeking, the journey, the questioning.
We can never really fully understand others, not fully. But, we can seek to understand. It is the seeking that allows us to remain open to the gifts of others.
Uncover gifts in others.
Wake up every day, committed to uncovering gifts in others. Some are easy to find and uncover, but the best gifts are deep down in the soul of a person.
Maybe someone showed you compassion or empathy. Do you know someone who exudes kindness at every opportunity? How about that person who always sees and looks for something positive?
There is pure joy and glory in seeing the good in others. These are the gifts that revolutionize. Gifts like grace from others, love, and patience will affect you the most.
Others do not define success; you define it.
Society, the boardroom, the runway, even well-meaning friends and family, do not define success. Only you can do that.
Realize that and set yourself free from comparing yourself to others. Understand that and you are already successful.
Seek to become aware of something not previously known.
Each day, uncover something new. This could be something as simple as the color of a friend’s eyes or an unfamiliar word.
Step outside your comfort zone and explore a new park or a new neighborhood. Trying a new food or meeting a new person are experiences we should all seek.
Break the Rules.
Take off self-imposed limits. It could be as simple as remembering to be a child and blow bubbles in your milk or as rebellious as not writing out the grocery list and just ‘going for it’. It could allow someone to hug you or remember to hug them.
Truth be told, I am not sure the younger me would have understood the current me. The younger me might have shrugged off some of the advice or all of it and went shopping.
Yet, the more mature me can look back and learn. This current version of myself owns the context of life written. Me, of the present, can strive to grow more, learn more, and impact others positively.
The current me can affect her future… and that is what this is all about.
How will the current you impact the future you?