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Advice I’d Give My Younger Self

Have you ever wished you could write a letter to your younger self and help guide her instead of waiting for her to stumble and fall? While I know that this might not be a great idea because it is the mistakes that often teach us the biggest lessons, help us become stronger and wiser – and maybe even more successful – I admit to thinking about going back in time like Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future, to try and reconfigure a few things.

If I did, here are some of the things I’d tell my younger self:

  1. Build in time for rest and recovery. Going too hard or too long makes you ineffective and cranky.
  2. Give credit to others. Be considerate of their feelings. Their reward is your reward.
  3. Winning is not everything, not even close. Reward comes from giving your best, showing respect to your competitors and celebrating the competition.
  4. Focus on what matters. By the way, people are “what matters”.
  5. Be fully present and listen intently with an open heart, especially to those who depend on you. They deserve it.
  6. You are loved for who you are, not for what you have accomplished.
  7. Don’t strive to have things done solely your way. When you open yourself to others’ perspectives, you grow.
  8. Make time for your parents. They can teach you a lot and will be gone before you know it.
  9. Be generous in all things. Share your time, talents and treasure. There is joy in giving.
  10. When you feel down, help someone in need. Both of you will feel better.
  11. Bonus: Be thankful every day. Inventory your blessings.

I encourage you to embrace every opportunity, even if, at the moment, you don’t feel like it or think it will be worth your time. Give your best in every activity. Focus on the experience, not the outcome. With God by your side, you will live a full and complete life.