As one gets older, there are those moments, where you go, if only I would have realized that one, two, three years ago...
"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer."
-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
"People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates."
Top 10 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self
1. Don’t be afraid. Most of the things you’re afraid of are either completely overblown or extremely unlikely to happen. There are no monsters under your bed, but later you’ll find one in the next cubicle.
2. Live for now. Find things to enjoy about life right now that make it worth living. Things won’t magically get better without your effort. Stop fantasizing about how great it’s going to be in the future and smell the roses while you’re there.
3. Don’t waste time. You are NOT going to have more time to do things you want to do in the future. Get that idea out of your head. The next time you’ll find yourself having all the time you need in a day, you’ll be looking for your liver pills and complaining about your bursitis.
4. Chase your dreams. Don’t dismiss your deepest desires as pipe dreams. Take a good look at them and think about what you want out of life. Just about everybody is telling you to take the safe path and get a safe, boring job. Don’t. Safe, boring jobs suck.
5. Do what you want. Stop doing what everyone expects you to do and start doing the things you want. No, this doesn’t mean you should be a jackass. Be smart and straightforward and don’t be afraid to speak up about what you want.
6. Finish college now. It doesn’t matter what you get your degree in. Trust me. Most of the time, no one cares. Besides, college is much more fun when you’re young and single. Again, trust me on this.
7. If you spend money now assuming you’ll have plenty later, you won’t. Everybody thinks they’re going to make a ton more money in just a few years. You might, but you’ll have more than enough expenses to eat up every bit of it and more. See, there are these things called credit cards…
8. Set goals. Make plans for what you really want to accomplish. Write them down and stick with them. It’s worth it to spend a bit of time hashing out the things you really want. Don’t worry, you can always change them as your life changes, but they’ll give you something concrete to shoot for.
9. Do something every day to work toward your goals. Don’t let a day go by without having contributed in some way to the goals you have set. If you want to be a writer, write a sentence on a napkin with spaghetti sauce. If you want to run a marathon, at least get your lazy butt up and stretch.
10. Choose your battles. The world is NOT your enemy. Remember that when everything seems set against you. The world simply doesn’t care. Don’t view everything in terms of us against them. Don’t argue when it does more harm than good. People won’t think you’re smart or funny, they’ll just think you’re a jackass.