If you could go back and tell your younger self something, what would it be? And, are these the life lessons we should be sharing with our own children?
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It would be even better if it offered itself when you needed it most – in the present, rather than looking back at the decisions and choices you made in life over the years. We all go through life doing the best we can under the given circumstances, rolling with the cards that we’ve been dealt. But once you hit a certain age and maturity sets in, you realise there is more to life than what seemed important when you were younger.
Life is really about substance and character and holding out for what’s important in the long term, rather than worrying and fretting over the smallest of things all the time.
If I could go back in time, here’s what I would tell my younger self:
1. Nothing lasts forever – the good or the bad. Yes, bad things happen to good people sometimes, but remember that the only constant in life is change. So when life seems hard and unfair, stay optimistic and believe just a little longer. You never know what’s around the corner. Life is known for its ups and downs.
2. Be brutally honest with yourself, speak your mind, live in the moment and certainly don’t rush growing up. Yes, sometimes things don’t work out for the best. You just need to accept it and be strong enough to move on when that times comes.
3. Keep life simple. Sleep early, eat healthy, live sensibly, love passionately, live life with zest, exercise, talk to your parents regularly and be thankful for the blessings in your life. Nothing in life is guaranteed so don’t take life for granted.
4. Accept who you are and learn to be comfortable in your skin. Only you can make yourself whatever you choose to be, so don’t give that power to anyone else. What others think of you is really none of your business!
5. Money is important, but there’s more to life than working. If you’re lucky enough to, try and make a career out of something that makes you happy, so that it doesn’t feel like work. It may not pay much, but at least you’ll live your life happy and hopefully a lot less stressed.
6. Step out of your comfort zone. Be curious, be adventurous, travel whenever you can and expand your horizons. You may think your life was hard until you see things from someone else’s perspective.
7. Trust. But be prepared to get hurt every now and then. It’s the only way you will learn that not everyone deserves your time and trust. You’ll learn to make wiser choices with experience, so don’t beat yourself about it every time someone hurts you or you get something wrong.
8. It’s true. Don’t hold onto grudges. People aren’t worth it and they certainly don’t deserve to stay in your heart and head rent free. You may not forgive or forget, but for your own sake, move on. You don’t have to like everyone who is in your life, but you don’t have to make them the centre of your universe either.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously and remember to forgive yourself every once in a while too. What seemed right today might well seem like the dumbest decision tomorrow. It’s ok. You’re only human and you will make mistakes more often than you’d like to believe. Try to learn from them, because they’re life’s most valuable lessons.
10. Never give up. It will always be the easiest option, but that never makes it the right option. Pick yourself up just once more, dust yourself off and get back up on that horse just one more time. That’s the only way to live life.
Written for Parents World by Priyanka Elhence. Priyanka is a busy mom of 9 yr old twin boys. She writes on anything from lifestyle and dining to parenting and celebrity profiles.