What advice would I give my 22 year old self? I noticed quite a few posts on LinkedIn recently where people had listed the words of wisdom they wish they could have passed onto their younger self to make life easier. It made me think about what I wished I has known back then. I now see young students going through the same predicaments I did so I thought I would share some thoughts with you. They say you can’t put an old head on young shoulders, so perhaps you do have to find out things for yourself, but here goes anyway!
1. Smile and the world smiles with you, snarl and you get better service! This has always been an area that me and my husband disagree on. You could not find people more opposite that the two of us. I believe in being nice to people and helping whenever possible as I think it makes the world a nicer place. My husband thinks if you give an inch people will take advantage of you and therefore mistrusts everyone. Over the years I have started to come across to his way of thinking, just a little!
It’s up to you to though, to recognise the people who are out to take advantage, who always push for a bit more, or come back and ask for a favour time and time again. Practice saying ‘no’ when people are taking more than you are willing to give – this is hard once the cycle starts so perhaps being clear upfront about what you will and won’t do could work? And still remember there are nice people in the world who do deserve your help and kindness.
2. Be loyal to the absent. What you say about others says more about you than them. What do you think about people who gossip about others? Do you wonder what they say about you, when you are not there? I often think some people find fault in others to make themselves look better. I just think they look mean. Normally they are not happy people who you like to have around, so why would you want to be like that? If you have a problem with someone tell them, not everyone else.
3. Have confidence in your abilities. I have recently started reading a book on Mindfulness that can ‘help break the cycle of unhappiness, stress, anxiety and mental exhaustion’ It explains why your mind keeps putting negative thoughts in your head and how you can overcome them. Well worth a read! It is easy to have days when you feel you are not good enough or that others are better. Your best should be good enough ‘for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself’ (Desiderata – by Max Ehrmann) Stop worrying and being hard on yourself and just enjoy being yourself.
4. Don’t talk yourself out of things. Be brave and have a go at things you want to try. Don’t worry about what others think. People are usually only concerned about their lives and not that interested in yours. If people are unkind about you, then leave them behind and ask yourself, why would you care about what they think? What would you do if you could live without fear? Be brave and stop holding yourself back.
5. Don’t worry too much when things go wrong. When you are young you may think it’s the end of the world when things go wrong or you make a mistake. Deal with it and move on. In a few months you will not even remember it. As the old saying goes – today’s newspapers will wrap fish and chips tomorrow.
I would love other people share their ‘words of wisdom’ so do tell!