A recent article on LinkedIn got me thinking about what I’d tell my younger self if I could travel back in time.
The first thing that came to mind were things like: don’t date that guy, or save more money, spend more time writing and learning about the craft. But, after a little more thought, and because it was International Day of Happiness yesterday, I decided to go with these:
Sounds obvious right, but how many times do we pass someone in traffic that we could’ve let through? Maybe we could’ve said a nice word to the salesperson or cashier that was obviously having a bad day. What about those missed opportunities to tell our friends and family how much they mean to us? Our conscientious pricked us, but we ignored it. Being kinder costs nothing!
A study shows that smiling takes less effort than frowning, which surprises me because at times it feels easier to frown doesn’t it? One great thing about smiling is that it makes you feel better the instant you do it. People around us feel better too. I love to smile at salespeople or cashiers who are having a bad day. They don’t always response positively, but I feel better knowing I made an effort. Smiling is easy!
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
When you’re a teenager, everything seems like it’s the end of the world. Unfortunately that doesn’t always change when we get older. How important is it that your kids made a mess in the living room with their toys, or that your husband didn’t put his dish in the dishwasher again! It’s the again that gets us, but how hard is it to respond lovingly, or leave it? Isn’t it better than getting angry, reacting badly, and feeling even worse? Sweating is bad! 😉 A teenage girl can relate to that right?
IT OKAY TO FAIL
Say it with me, “Failure is not a bad word!” I used to beat myself up badly when I didn’t do what I set out to. Guilt would swoop in and I’d come to a screeching halt. Not moving forward is worse than failing! Everyone fails, even the most successful people have failed at least once, sometimes several times. What sets them apart is that they learned from their failures and/or continued to move forward until they found success. I love that!
Okay, chances are if I did show up and share this advice with my sixteen-year-old self she wouldn’t take it and likely mutter, “What does that old lady know anyway?” but wouldn’t it be nice if I listened?
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR SIXTEEN YEAR OLD SELF?
Elke, I love this post. I love the advice you give to your 16 year old self (and you’re probably right – she wouldn’t listen…16 year olds know everything:))
Along with your advice I’d add: be more confident and practice yoga 🙂
Maya Angelou wrote “Letter to My Daughter”. I haven’t read it yet (just looked inside on Amazon) but it sounds like a good book…going in the direction of your post.
Have a Happy weekend.
Thanks, Carol! You’re right, 16 year-olds do know everything.
Great idea about the yoga! I love it!
I was pretty full of myself (even with all my insecurities) when I was 16, so that advice would probably backfire. LOL!
Maya Angelou is a wonderful, poetic writer.
Wise words, Elke-wish I had the hindsight to go back and change many things.
I think it is all part of a syncronistict journey.
Love your postings!
Thanks, Lorraine! Very true what you said about the journey.