If you had a chance to advice your younger self, what would you say? There are so many lessons that I would tell my younger self, but here are my top five.
- Preparation is never a waste of time
Preparation for school exams and tests, or your future plans and goals, or whatever kind of preparation that is important to you. Truth is, when opportunities knock, there is no time for preparation but to prove you can handle them and you are well capable of them. You don’t want to miss or lose the opportunity once it knocks at your door because you didn’t prepare for it, or you are not ready for it.
When you are preparing for something it can feel like you are wasting your time, but you are not. Sometimes opportunities do not look like the way you want them to look or expect them to look, but just like when you dig deep enough, you will always find water, when you keep preparing yourself today, you are setting yourself up for opportunities to knock at your door tomorrow.
When people go to tournaments, they always prepare ahead of time because they do not want to lose and miss the rewards. Like in the Olympics, the athletes, and contestants always start to prepare very early on, even though the next Olympics maybe four years later. Some of them prepare more than ten years, because they believe one day they will be one of the contestants in the Olympics, it’s one of their dreams they would like to see accomplished. So they prepare to make sure when opportunities come they will be more than ready.
Prepare yourself even when you think you know it all, because there is a chance you don’t know it all. Prepare even when you don’t see quick results for your preparations, or when it looks like nothing is changing. One day all your preparations are going to pay off, and you will find out it wasn’t a waste of your time after all. In life, usually what we do today prepares us for our tomorrow.
2. Seek to be respected than to be liked
I like to be liked, who doesn’t right…? But to the point where I am being really disrespected, heck no. I used to care about being more liked and to follow popularity. And I reached a point where I had to re-evaluate things; it’s okay to be you, and to have your own values and create boundaries for yourself to live by.
The good moral life lessons say we are supposed to always respect one another, and to always reach to be respected. But when it comes to values, we are different, so each person may value different things. It’s possible you can respect something that I do no respect and the one I respect for you to disrespect.
There are some people would go to an extent to do things that will make them loose their respect so that they can be liked by others. Sometimes it may not be by their own choice perhaps they are forced to do it by being manipulated by others because of the unfavorable circumstances they put themselves in without even knowing it. There are other people who respect money so much than they respect themselves and others, and would do anything really because they think by having more money they will get power and respect in return.
Maybe we all have been there also without even knowing that what we were doing was costing our respect from others and for ourselves. And the people were not truly honest with us therefore pretended they liked us, and since we wanted so much of their approval we did those things just to fit in. People will treat you the way you allow them to treat you.
So I would tell my younger self like I have been telling myself more and more nowdays to seek to be respected above all. If someone will happen to like me for me and still respect me, that’s even better.
3. Enjoy the journey
Enjoy life more when you can. Life can go so fast when you are too busy doing things. When you get an opportunity to enjoy life make the best moments out of it. Create life good memories for yourself and your loved ones if you can.
Sometimes life acts like a rollercoaster, so you don’t know how exactly your next chapter is going to be. You can say life is more of the journey than the destination; therefore you need to celebrate along the way. Enjoy the journey, the entire process, as much as you would enjoy reaching the destination when you get there.
Actually I have realized that the celebrations along the way are the ones that keep us more energized, motivated, and eager to continue travelling to reach to our destinations. Whatever your destination is, enjoy it’s process or journey especially if it is a really long journey or process. Take small or short breaks if you can to enjoy, relax, have fun, things like vacation, staycation, and so on can really help.
The way we have fun when we get older can be different when we were younger. So enjoy the journey, don’t wait until the perfect time to have fun, or to enjoy your progress.
4. Involve God in your life from early on
It will save you from a lot of things that you do not need to go through if you had proper guidance and direction. There are some life experiences you can be able to escape if you only involve God in your life and let Him guide you from early on.
I don’t know, maybe God sometimes wants us to go through some experiences for a reason far beyond our understanding, perhaps to prepare us for what’s ahead of us, or bigger assignments. So what we went through could be the part of the preparation for what’s ahead of us. That’s why I think some of the mistakes we make are part of the learning process. I know few famous people who came from very rough life situations and backgrounds and now they are serving a multitude of people, blessing them in a much bigger way, teaching them how they overcame their rough life experiences and be able to make it. Therefore telling us, if they can make it, we can make it too.
But I still believe there are some things can be avoidable if you decide to put God first and involve Him in every situation you are in and decisions you make. Some people do that through meditation, praying and spending time reading the Bible for us Christians for instance.
In the Bible in the book of Psalm chapter 119 verse 105 it says “God’s word is a lamp to guide our feet and a light for our paths.” In the book of John chapter 16 verse 13, Jesus said we have the Holy Spirit of God to guide us. In New American Standard Bible translation Jesus said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
5. Love yourself
Don’t wait until somebody else love you to love yourself or start taking care of yourself. Fall in love with yourself and others will fall in love with you because what is inside you would radiate to the outside and towards others. When you love yourself, it will be easy for you to love others because you can only give what you do have.
Actually in the Bible in the book of Matthew chapter 22 verse 34 to 40, it says that “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Love your neighbor as yourself, but what if you don’t love yourself, how then are you going to love your neighbor? When you try to love someone with the love you don’t have for yourself, soon or later it’s going to backfire on you. You will start feeling some kind of resentment when they don’t respond back the way you expect them too.
Be gentle and treat yourself kindly. Love and appreciate your flaws. Do not criticize yourself for not being perfect or because you are not measuring up to the standards of other people. Treat yourself as you would for a person that you really love.
Do nice things for yourself. Think positive thoughts about yourself. Say nice things to yourself even if you are faking it in the beginning, what is more important is that you are making efforts to love yourself so that you can be able to love others as well. When you can be able to accept yourself, you can be able to accept others too the way they are.
I would like to know, what are your top five things you would tell your younger self? Please share them in the comment or discussion box below.
To your success,
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