Lessons I’d share with my 20yr old self….

This is really a story of self reflection for me and as such its quite unusual for me. I’m normally focused on moving forward as a person and as they say hindsight is a great thing.

However I’ve been through some big changes in my life the last few years and during a conversation with my partner I was challenged to really think about this question.

Generally I’m someone who doesn’t believe in regrets or the need to dwell on past mistakes so this is not that kind of story, but for me at least it’s interesting to write about for my own self reflection if nothing else.

Now I have to say that so far I’ve had a pretty good life, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to build a career which pays me well and allows me to travel extensively. Before that I had a great childhood in a middle class family with lots of support to follow my dreams as I saw them.

So based on all of those facts, if I really think about (and right now in lock down in central asia one thing I have is time…) what kind of advice could I give myself?

Lifestyle : Looking back I would’nt change much but to say I liked to party would be a huge understatement, I still do occasionally. I’d give myself the advice to balance out my partying with building a strong financial future. As I said I’ve always had a steady job and good income so this was not a priority for me at all until I got into my 30’s. So while I wouldnt change much, my attitude which was here today, gone tomorrow I would change slightly to focus some more on building a strong financial foundation.

Health: Yep this is an area I would have focused on alot more. My lifestyle definitely gave me a few scares and it was only cancer in my late twenties that made me slow down a little and focus more on my health. In fact only now in my mid thirties am I understanding that I’m not invincible and that I need to take care of myself. I could have taken a much shorter journey to reach this conclusion for sure.

Ego: Yep check I have one of those, and in my younger days it was huge, on display and pretty much uncontrolled alot of the time. Unfortunately that no doubt means alot of people have a dissapointly bad impression of me as a person. Partly due to self improvement and partly just due to growing up and becoming comfortable in my own skin, it’s under control these days, very rarely makes an appearance and when it does its recognized and dealt with promptly. I do wish at times I had that understanding and ability in my 20’s.

Just be yourself: One big life lesson, no one really cares how you look, how you carry yourself, the decisions in life you make to a certain extent as long as you are yourself. There is no need to have different versions of yourself for different occasions, all this does is mask your insecurities and harm peoples perception of you. Although I will say that as you get older peoples perception matters less and less.

Relationships: Don’t rush in, it’s your 20’s go have fun. But most importantly don’t stick with something which doesn’t work, have the courage and self confidence to see the reality of life and make decisions in your own best interest, in the kindest way possible for the other person, I’m a big believer these days in karma…

So after being asked what I thought would be a painfully difficult question to answer, here are my thoughts. It’s actually been a very healthy exercise for me I would say and I recommend it to others, even if it’s just processing those thoughts in your head.

It’s actually reinforced some of the thoughts I have on the direction of my life and I have still have a positive outlook on my past with very little in the way of regrets or negativity clouding my thoughts.

Thanks for reading

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