If we could reach back in time and talk to our younger selves, what would we say? How would we encourage our young selves to manage middle school or high school, for example, and find ways to enjoy it more (or hate it less)? Based on what we discover and would offer, looking forward, what message would we want to give to our children or grandchildren as they approach the same point in their lives?
A few people have suggested the following:
Think deeply about what you value most. Do not lose sight of what is truly important to you.
This is not easy to do in the midst of the many distractions and it is hard to find quiet time to just “be” and reflect. It takes effort and intention to face yourself and figure out the details of what you like and do not like. It is important, however, to understand and have compassion for yourself as you experience challenges and opportunities in your life; in practicing compassion for yourself, you can also develop compassion for others as they are – diverse, interesting, and imperfect individuals. As we get older, our perspectives will evolve, so it is important to engage with ourselves in this way. There will be so much happening in your life, but if you can begin to be specific about what you value most, keeping that in the forefront of your mind, you can have greater influence in your decision making to optimize the outcomes, creating a meaningful life for yourself and those around you.
Build compassion for yourself.
Life is filled with ups and downs. Each experience presents you with opportunities to investigate and challenge who you are and what is important to you. Be mindful of those times and pay attention to what you learn. Be positive, kind and forgiving. As you get better at doing those things in relation to yourself, you will likely be better at it with others.
Choose kindness, honesty and love. Always.
These choices will make you more human. And remember, you always have a choices regarding how you behave. Regardless of what you are with, the job you have, and whatever you achieve, practicing kindness, honesty, and love can make a huge difference in the quality of your life.
Be open to opportunities that come your way — as long as they mesh with your values.
It is not easy to do this if we aren’t clear about our values. Our prejudgments can be false, so give some opportunities a second look and remain open to the possibilities that may not have been initially obvious.
Understand what failure means, and does not mean.
Failure is an opportunity to learn. When you work hard and take risks, you will fail. That is part of life. What is the bigger failure is not learning and growing from what happened.. Pay attention to those lessons more than focusing on the failure itself and what you think it says about you.