I remember when I thought I had all the answers. Of course it was when I was young and didn’t have too much life experience, and was fooled by my fearless confidence (which, I think, is just a unique byproduct of youth). My parents certainly didn’t know more than me. I thought I had it all figured out. Sound familiar? While I wouldn’t trade all my non-wisdom for anything, because making mistakes and learning from them made me who I am today – and definitely taught me to pay attention to the lessons – I do think I’d handle some things differently, if given the chance. Here’s some advice I would have given to Pete, just after he finishes college:
• Your brain will continue to develop fully over the next eight years. Give it time to do so before making any long-term decisions. • Don’t wait to figure out your purpose. Do it now so you don’t waste valuable time. This doesn’t mean you will have it all figured out. You may spend your life working on the nuances, but it’s important to find something that helps you feel grounded and gives your life meaning. Even “figuring out your purpose” is, in fact, a purpose! • Lean into your faith. Keep God first and foremost in everything you do. He’s got a plan for your life. • Don’t make any major decision without seeking the counsel of those you trust, and even after that, don’t proceed until you have peace about it. • Spend more time with your parents. They love you immensely and will not be with you for that many more years. • Give an extra ten percent in everything that matters to you. That’s doable, and will make an incredible difference. • Save now and don’t take on debt. The compounding effect can be awesome or devastating. • You’ve grown morally, mentally, and physically, but you haven’t had time to grow emotionally. Allow that to happen. • While the destination is important, the journey – and those you will meet along the way – are more so. Pay attention to it and them.