What advice would I give my younger self? When I look back on my life and what I have experienced this question can be deep and maybe not so deep when I think about it. Looking back at my younger years, I am sometimes amazed at how my life has turned out. Nothing is exactly what I had originally planned for but I am still grateful.
Fast forward to today, I am involved in a lot of things I would have never thought of if I was living a mundane life and tried to stick to plans. Nonetheless, I have summed up what I have learned which is the new perspectives on life. So if I could go back in time and hang out with my younger self for a day, here’s what I say:
1. Everything happens for a reason: Without mistakes and failure, I would have never learned anything about myself. Without breakups, I would have never met someone new. Without pain, I would have never grown. Once I really understood this, I realized that every person who comes into my life serves a purpose. I used to dwell on breakups and considered myself a failure instead of realizing they are opportunities in disguise.
2. Focus on one thing at a time: You can have it all in life, but not all at once. And if you don’t keep your focus right, you might not achieve anything. I got distracted several times over the past few years because every opportunity presented in front of me seemed great. They seemed interesting, seemed to potential, and seemed to align with my interests. However, opportunities will keep coming in. You have to ask yourself what exactly is it that you want to achieve for the next 10 years? What is that one main goal? Make it a priority. Focus on one thing at a time. Achieve your goal one by one. It truly does happen if you play your cards right.
3. You can plan ahead but your plan will definitely change when the time comes: What better example do we have than with the recent pandemic?The pandemic changed EVERYONE’s plans. For me in particular, I did not anticipate being diagnosed with cancer: I spent the first six months of 2020 getting medical care and the last six months recovering. At the beginning of 2020, I had travel plans and I was looking forward to having more in person events for Keeping it 100 LA. Planning ahead can give you a clearer direction of where you want to go, drive you, and motivate you. The planning process can teach you something. However, don’t be too fixated on a plan. Plans will almost definitely always change — be prepared! Live life with open arms. You will go where you’re supposed to be headed. I am grateful that I can say that not only did I recover, but I am now participating in webinars and events about healthcare and early detection not only for Keeping it 100 LA but for other organizations.
4. Trust your instincts: Prior to writing this article, I asked 5 friends of mine “what life lessons would you like to give to their younger self?”. This is the one answer I particularly like:
The sooner in life you realize that you gain more from feeling your way through than thinking your way through, the better life is and the more you can achieve.
Don’t worry too much about a decision you have to make. Don’t try to weigh pros and cons and follow logic. Just do what feels right. Do what you believe would make you most happy. You know what you want. You might consult other people. But deep down, you know what you want. You don’t need to seek outside assurance to confirm what your heart knows best. Do what makes you happy. Because at the end of the day, even if you follow logic, you will want to quit and follow your heart.
5. Don’t try too hard with people: Dating can sometimes feel tiring when you have been going on dates for a while and feel like you don’t meet anyone that you really like or get along with really well. Once in a while you meet someone who seems to tick all of your boxes. However, you still have to work hard to make it work. You try to impress them. You learn about their interests. You make sure that you portray yourself as the person of their dreams as well. It’s all hard work, isn’t it? Then a couple of months down the track, you realize that this is never going to work — it’s too much work!
Don’t worry if you feel like you haven’t met anyone who’s like you and you feel absolutely happy to be around. Just be yourself and be as open as you can. Never stop going to events or attend Meet Ups of your interests and do your thing whether it’s virtual or in person. The people who are compatible with you will find their ways to you. They will instantly be attracted to you as much as you are attracted to them. The conversation will flow. Both of you will feel like there’s no hard work. It might take a while until you find those people: new best friends and/or a soulmate for life… but when you do, you will know it. It’s not hard work. So, just do your thing and be yourself.
6. Take a leap of faith in yourself: You’ve got nothing to lose but everything to gain. If you fail, you’ll become smarter, if you succeed, you’ll gain even more self-confidence and the emotional and financial rewards. You’ll never know the limit of how much you can achieve until you take a leap of faith in yourself and try. Keep your focus right. Invest in yourself. Accelerate your learning curve. See life as a progressive journey. And you’ll most certainly always achieve anything you set your mind to.
7. Forgiving is Healthy for Your Mental Health and Focus: Last but not least, learn to forgive others who may have caused you pain and frustration, you will realize that life is too short to hold grudges and most importantly, learn to forgive yourself: No one is perfect and every mistake is a lesson learned.
I believe my younger self just learned a whole lot!
Just Keeping it 100,
Picture Courtesy of @iludioweddings