I admit it. I read People magazine sometimes. I am amused by some of the articles regarding the antics of the celebrities who are so admired and followed by millions. I wish I was as popular.
In a recent People these celebrities were asked what advice they would give their young selves. Although it was not mentioned specifically, it seemed that most of these people gave advice to their teen selves. Some of the advice is predictable.
Among these are: love yourself, respect yourself, hang in there because things will get better, it will all work out in the end, you are beautiful, etc. Then, there were the maybe unexpected tidbits such as, trust in your own self, stop being afraid, more is not what it’s about and be willing to fail. One of the celebrities said that she would not give advice to her young self as she wanted to experience things just the way they turned out.
This started me thinking about what I would say to myself as a teenager and realized that I am what I am because I did not have this special retro-advice from myself. Had I given myself advice from the future, I would inevitably have taken a variety of alternate paths. These alternate paths may have led to greater wealth, and greater happiness, or greater poverty or great sorrow.
Would I have remained in the Army for 20 or 30 years? Would I have ever met my Angel Ruth? Would I have had my children and grandchildren? (I do like my grandchildren; the jury is still out on their parents). Would I have become a member of this great profession and had the opportunity to establish these great relationships and friendships? Would I have felt the elation of owning a business and the sorrow of losing partners?
Like that celebrity mentioned above, I would not want to give advice to my young, ignorant, unruly, undisciplined, wayward, inconsiderate, foolish, etc. self. (Come to think of it, these adjectives still apply to me although maybe at a less intense level).
There are many people that I respect and admire in business and life. Among these are close friends and associates, and even acquaintances. These are people that demonstrate a desire to add value to the lives of others in their thoughts and actions. These are the people that I want to get advice from, however, I want that advice now, not when I was young and stupid.
Someone said that youth is wasted on the young. Outside wisdom would likely also be wasted on the young. So what is this all about then? I am suggesting that you not waste time thinking or even lamenting on the advice you wish you had been given when very young. Learn from past mistakes, but don’t dwell on them.
Seek advice from those whom you most admire and respect. Seek that advice now. Start today. Generate a list of the people you admire, and what it is you admire about them. Then, make a list of the questions you would like to ask of them. Then, ask. Most people will be glad to be singled out for this advice and will provide it readily. Then, act on the advice.
First value yourself as you are today and then seek to add value to yourself and others. Leave people better for having known you. As for me, I value who I am even with all my flaws and imperfections of which my Angel Ruth reminds me often.
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