Advice To My Younger Self

Hey kid,

This is me, your older self speaking. I won’t bother with a great long preamble – you just want some good advice, right? Here it comes.

  1. Choose your friends carefully. Some people are fun to hang out with when things are going good. When they’re not, they don’t want to know. The best friends are those you can ring up at three in the morning in a crisis and they’ll do all they can to help you. When you find that friend – be the same quality friend to them.

  2. Work hard at school but don’t forget to have some fun. Education is very important but it’s not the only thing in the world. Give yourself a break from time to time.

  3. Read lots. You will do this anyway. But if you buy a book – read the damn thing. Don’t let it gather dust for decades on a shelf. And yes, this does make me a hypocrite 🙂

  4. Watch lots of films of all genres. You’ll mostly do this anyway. Remember – horror is great, musicals are largely evil but there’s some exceptions.

  5. Listen to all kinds of music. You’ll mostly do this, too. But the earlier you start, the richer your life will be. Strive for as much breadth and depth as you can manage.

  6. Listen to your parents but know when to take their advice on board. They generally know what they’re on about when it comes to finances and practical stuff. When it comes to personal feelings you may have to work on them a bit. Hence the importance of good friends for a counter-view.

  7. Take pains to educate yourself about the things that interest you. Remember, anyone can be knowledgeable but not everyone can be curious – that’s something you have to work on yourself.

  8. In the words of the song, ‘Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts – and don’t put up with those who are reckless with yours.’

  9. Take some time out – introverts need a lot of recharge time. Don’t feel guilty about this – you are caring for yourself. It is not your function to make others happy at a cost to your own sanity.

  10. Make lists. If you’re not naturally organised they can really help you plan work and figure out what you need to do. But don’t go mad – one or two at a time is plenty.

  11. Accept that there are some people in this world who are assholes. You can be as nice to them as you want but they will still be assholes. Try to be open-minded but if someone is constantly selfish and mean-spirited you’re not obliged to spend any time on them. Life’s too brief.

  12. Stand up for yourself – but pick your battles carefully. Don’t put up with someone constantly overlooking you or putting you down but balance that against keeping the peace. Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet and sometimes you need to let them know. You’ll get better at figuring out which is which as you get older.

  13. Don’t be scared of being thought unconventional in your ideas, opinions etc. Pretty much all people in history who ever did anything interesting did just that.

  14. Don’t berate yourself too much. You will struggle with this, but tough love is rarely successful especially if someone’s feeling pretty delicate to start with. Be kind to yourself and others. You don’t have to be perfect or get everything right all the time. You are fine as you are. You just need time to grow and learn like everyone else.

  15. Learn about history – not just of your culture either. It’s the best way to develop your soul and critical-thinking

  16. Keep a stash of things you like handy. Tea, biscuits, things like that. You never know when you will need them at short-notice to help feel better.

  17. Remember that just because a majority holds a certain opinion or action to be ‘right’ does not make it so. Use your critical thinking and be suspicious of anyone who claims to be ‘right’ on the basis of authority alone.

  18. Develop a strong bullshit detector. People lie about all sorts of things including bending and exaggerating the truth. Nobody really knows what they are doing in life however confident they may appear. They are all just actors playing a role – some better than others.

  19. Watch out for emotional vampires. This can be groups of people (including some workplaces) as well as individuals. If someone or something constantly drains the joy out of you and makes you feel anxious, worthless or demotivated then that’s a good sign they’re out for themselves, not for you.

  20. You cannot change others or the world. You can change yourself, but not into something you’re not meant to be.

  21. Write. Write, write, write. Write!


4 thoughts on “Advice To My Younger Self

  1. i don’t know what to say .. i feel that you are there for me … your words were all what i needed at least for now .. it just hit my heart and soul.. as if you’re speaking from my heart .. this is all what i need i know it’s hard for me to say to the nearest person i trust what i feel really inside but for you i felt something match your pen with my heart .. thanks a lot ,, keep it that way speaking in wisdom of what people should do .. to keep living and survive life ..


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