Saturday, December 16, 2017

What Advice Would I Give to My 20 Year Old Self?

Advice for Young Self

Advice Young Self
As I pondered the question, "what advice would I give my 20 year old self?", many thoughts came to mind. The obvious responses centered around spirituality, family, health care, etc. We tell our kids these things daily: pray often, God loves you, eat healthy, we love you. But outside of these very important but obvious words of advice, what else would I tell them and what do I wish I had known at the tender age of 20?

You Create Your Life by Habits

I wish I had known the importance of the seemingly mundane things that I kept doing repeatedly. These habits whether good or bad generated serious repercussions in my life. For example, I had the bad habit of not putting my keys in an exact location daily. As a result, I spent countless mornings looking for my keys and being late for work. On the other hand, I had some good habits, such as making my bed and balancing my check book. As a result, I tend to be very neat in terms of home keeping. In addition, my personal finances are in a good place. Our habits become us and the life we create is as a result of them. If I had known this when I was younger, I would have focused more on creating good habits in specific areas, which would have ultimately helped me to achieve my goals at a much faster pace.

Things Work Themselves Out Over Time

At times we make serious mistakes in our young lives and we become very dramatic about the consequences. I know I have. Looking back, I would have told my 20 year old self, to relax and just give it time; it will work itself out. Nine times out of ten, it did work out and that one time it didn't, it was a lesson well learned. Remember the old cliche, "it is always darkest before the dawn." But guess what; with the dawn comes the hope and the blessings of a new day with new opportunities and the ability to try again, make amends, say I'm sorry, etc. etc. It's never as bad as you may think, just give it time.

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

I wish I had put more money into savings when I was younger. Doing so would have given me financial freedom at a much younger age. We all know the power of compound interest. The same money placed into a savings account at age 20 at moderate interest rates generates much more money than what can be saved even at higher interest rates when you are older. So put aside some money while you are young and watch it grow.

Choosing Love Was a Good Decision 

I was married at 20; just a sophomore in college. My Mom was devastated because she thought that would be the end of my educational pursuits. At the time, I told her that I saw nothing wrong with choosing love. After about a year of being married, I thought my Mom was right and that I had done the worst thing I could have done for my professional and academic pursuits. Looking back, she wasn't right and I am still happily married to my college sweetheart. At the same time, I was able to pursue my professional life and I earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees. Yes, some things were delayed and I worked harder and longer than my colleagues at the time, but nothing trumps love. For me, choosing love was the right decision because ultimately everything else fell into place.

Friends Come and Go and That's OK

When you are young, it feels like your friends are your lifeline. Trust me, they are not. They are in your life at that particular, time for a particular reason. Some are loyal and some are not. Their betrayal feels worst than anything when you are going through it. However, tomorrow is another day and that friendship while it lasted was what it needed to be for you. You will grow from it. You can't choose your family but you have the choice of your friends. Choose wisely and when that friendship has ended, let it go, it's ok. For those friendships that last, they will be as dear to you as family members, cherish them.

What advice would you give your 20 year old self; outside the obvious ones? Share below so that others can benefit from your wisdom. 

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