What Advice Would You Give to Your Younger Self?
Last week, I gave a talk on successful strategies to a group of pharmacy students. One exercise we did was to share answers to these two questions:
- What advice would your 80-year-old self give to your present self?
- What advice would your present self give to your 15-year-old self?
Here’s what I told my group of students:
My 80-year-old self will tell my present self to try everything I ever wanted to do.
Life is too short to dwell on uncertainties. The worst-case scenario is that you fail. So what? People will forget your failure and move on, and so should you. If people ignore you, that’s okay, too. You don’t have to win every hand you try, as long as you try as many of them as possible.
According to Tenzin Kiyosaki, a hospice chaplain and the author of The Three Regrets: Inspirational Stories and Practical Advice for Love and Forgiveness at Life’s End, the common regrets are:
- I did not live my life of dreams
- I did not share my love
- I did not forgive
My present self will tell my 15-year-old self not to waste time worrying if everyone else likes me. Learn to love myself instead.
Looking back, I wasted all those precious teenage years, worrying about everything that was out of my control. I wished someone had told me then to love and invest in myself. As I got older, I realized I wouldn’t be happy if I forced myself to be anyone else.
Last year’s horse accident taught me how to pay attention to my body and take care of myself. During those long months of complications, I learned to be patient and gentle to myself, look past what I can’t do, and focus on what I still can.
What advice would you give to your younger self?