My mysterious friend, Afua the blog-hunter, sent me another link a couple of weeks ago – Steven Aitchison’s blog “Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life.” Doesn’t that sound so cool? This blog is almost like a reflection of stuff I say all the time, to myself and to people around me, topics such as ‘how to discover your passion’, ‘5 excuses you use to sabotage your life’, ‘life is about creating yourself’, and ‘sitting in life’s waiting for lounge.’ Inspirational topics: read all these and more here: http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/.
The link Afua sent me was Steven’s ‘56 things I wish I knew When I was Younger’. I sat on this list for a while just thinking. Steven’s piece hit a little nerve. Each time his piece came to mind, I stared at my passport pictures from 2003 and wondered, what do I wish I knew when I was younger? What do I wish I could have told the girl in the passport pictures who looks so young and innocent? I tried not to think about it, but anytime I glanced at the pictures or came across Afua’s email with the link, I honestly felt a little bitter. Reflections are good – I’m all for it. The key thing is to reflect, learn and make changes. Make changes – that’s usually what’s missing in our personal self-assessments. If our personal lives were ‘jobs’, we’d probably all be fired for repeating the same mistakes year after year. So why do we make an effort at work, but slack miserably when it comes to our personal lives? Is it lack of hindsight or lack of foresight? Will we forever keep wishing there were things we knew when we were younger? That’s depressing, yet as 2010 winds down, I know most of us are conducting our personal self assessments, making a list of our mistakes and ‘things we wish we knew’. The cycle will probably never end.
So to help you ‘reflect’ I asked a few friends to share what they wish they knew when they were younger. This list is a collection from about five people, my thoughts, as well as a few lessons from Steve Aitchison’s blog. Be sure to review his full list of 56 life lessons (http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/2010/10/31/56-things-i-wished-id-known-when-i-was-younger/). They’re all spot on.
- I wish I knew that things wouldn’t work out the way I planned so I should just let God lead my life
- No matter how much I protect my heart it would inevitably get broken. So I need to let it break because a broken heart does heal
- People are never really thinking what we think they are thinking. We usually project our thoughts about what they are thinking about us onto them
- I wish I respected my entire being – mind, body and soul – more, so others would do the same
- I wish I knew that my parents were only human after all and supposed to have flaws
- I shouldn’t have to wait for ‘when I grow up’ to try exciting things
- Life is short, so I need to have lots of fun in my hey day
- I wish I had greater will power when I was younger, learning to say no then would have made life a lot easier now
- I wish my mum told me that this love thing could hurt quite a bit
- I wish I knew life only gets more complicated as I grow older, I would have had more fun when I was younger
- I wish I knew it was okay to express myself and not give a hoot what people said or thought
- Sometimes there isn’t such a clear line between right and wrong
- I wish I knew that life is all about choices, not the fast or easy ones but the right ones
- I wish I knew that there are some things you can change, some you can challenge, and others you just have to accept and move on
- I wish I knew mothers knew best – most of the time
- I wish I knew honesty (when you’re in a relationship) isn’t always the best policy
- I wish I knew always to save for a rainy day – with the rain comes the rainbow, but if you have no money, even the rainbow sucks
- Mondays aren’t the only days to start an exercise or diet regimen, Tuesdays to Sundays are good enough
- I wish I’d known that being positive can really change your thoughts which can indeed change your life
- I wish I’d known that sex is a physical act and that love is something different altogether
- I wish I’d known never to settle for second best, whether it be in relationships, product choice, or employment
- I wish I’d known not to waste my time and mental energy on people who didn’t matter in my life
- That the majority of what ‘we’ learn in school is never used
- How much effort goes into raising a family
- It’s okay to be naive in some areas
Hopefully, maybe one day, some of us will be able to make some permanent changes and stop wishing we knew better. Or maybe that’s just a part of life.
What do you wish you knew when you were younger?