I listen to a lot of podcasts on all kinds of different topics and invariably, one of the stock questions asked is, “What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?”
I know where the question comes from but to be honest, I am not sure that I would have taken the slightest bit of notice of any advice I might have offered because, as a consultant and coach for the past 30 years or so, I have learned that no one, of any age, really listens to advice.
I think the question would be better phrased by asking, “What do you wish you had known when you were 18 years old?”
Anyway, it got me thinking and I decided to ask myself that question and these are the three things that I came up with:
- I wish I had learned that there would always be ups and downs, successes and failures, but that none of that should stop me from doing anything. It is only through taking action that things get done, problems get solved, adventures undertaken and businesses built.
- Fear is inevitable just before we do something that we have never done before. Focusing on the fear will probably result in not trying, whereas focusing on and taking action will create a new breakthrough.
- I wish I had learned that no one cares or is interested in who I am or what I do because they are too wrapped up in what they are doing themselves and imagining what others think of them. So don’t base anything on what I imagine others might be thinking.
Armed with these nuggets I think that I might have given myself an easier ride over the past 40 years, but then again would I really have learned and understood these lessons properly if I hadn’t experienced them for myself?
Probably not, but when I see these pieces of advice, these truisms laid in front of me now, I realise that it is never too late to learn them nor is it ever too early to hear them whether you heed them or not. Their wisdom is very powerful and the sooner you experience it washing over you the better for your understanding and experience of life.
So, in that spirit, what wisdom or truisms have you learned that you wish you had known when you were younger?
Photo by Vance Osterhout on Unsplash