I have been meaning to write one of those memos to my younger self posts for awhile now.
Since I decided to put down some sage advice I wish I had known when I was in my formidable years, I have noticed several other writers pen their own and publish them on various sites.
It’s a thing now, apparently. Oh well.
Given today is my 42nd birthday, I figure it is a good time to go ahead and push out these 42 lessons and things I wish I could say to my younger self.
- It’s okay to not fit in. In the future, the geeks and nerds will rule the world. Tech will be hot and everyone will call themselves a geek. You’re ahead of the curve, self.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up and add your perspective to the conversation. Your voice is as valuable as anyone else’s.
- You don’t have to be liked by everyone you meet. In fact, you won’t like everyone you meet. There are 7 billion people in the world. You’ll adjust. They will too.
- Awkward moments happen. You will have plenty of them. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- They’ll be things you’ll say, decisions you make and choices you will regret and you will replay them over and over again in your head. Let it go. Tomorrow is a new day. Memories fade. You are forgiven. Believe in redemption.
- If you get a chance, dance. Don’t lean against the wall feeling like everyone is watching. They’re not. Half are too busy hoping no one else is watching them and the other half is busting a move and hoping you notice.
- Skip the whip cream. You don’t need the extra 100 calories. Your future expanded waistline will thank you.
- But DO Have cheat days. They’re totally worth it.
- Think Big.
- Think Bigger
- Go with your first passion. Don’t let parents, society, your community or whatever mental blog you’ve built up in your own head stop you from doing what you love. Find a way to make it work. Like get a second job or something.
- Always stand up and defend your beliefs.
- But never shut down someone else’s.
- Plan better
- Research any thing you want to do in advance to make sure you are fully educated on the consequences of your actions and choices.
- Go the path less traveled, there’s more room there to spread your wings and grow
- Don’t assume. You’ll be disappointed when things don’t work out like you imagined they would. Ask and seek clarification.
- Know your worth. Never sell yourself short.
- Don’t be afraid of no. Say “no”. Rejection is a part of life.
- Not getting your way is good. They help you become better and build up your resilience which you can use later.
- Going with the nice sweet guy with the big heart was a good choice. He makes a great dad and husband. You won’t regret it.
- Don’t be afraid to disappoint others. Sometimes, you have to look out for self.
- Take more personal me time.
- Read more books.
- Read more fiction books.
- Listen more.
- Listen more attentively.
- The value you add to people’s lives is worth a lot. Don’t forget that. It’s worth millions.
- Don’t be afraid of conflict. It happens.
- Dress the part. You’re half way there if you look like what you want to be.
- Don’t be normal. Normal is boring.
- Don’t apologize for not being normal or like everyone else. Being a clone, wannabe, mindless follower or droid is not the thing to be. It’s constricting and suffocating. Be free! Think free. Go against the grain and never let anyone make you think you’re odd because you disagree.
- Walk into every room like you own the place. Confidence is everything.
- Don’t gossip about others if you can help it. If a friend tells you secrets about another person, it’s likely she will tell your secrets to someone else. Just avoid the trap.
- Be polite but don’t lie to feed someone else’s delusions. Go gentle but be honest.
- Never dull your shine to make another person feel more comfortable. Don’t absorb other people’s self-esteem issues.
- Don’t hold grudges. Life is too short and no one is promised tomorrow.
- Eat clean and When you have children later, don’t introduce junk, and sweets into their diet early.
- Don’t let anyone who does nothing for you or who have little to no value in your life know when they’ve hurt you. You empower that person when you do.
- Don’t let anyone who does nothing for you occupy too much of your thoughts
- Put family first. Put your true friends second but put God above all and don’t be afraid to show your faith by praying before a meal in public or sharing your beliefs among people and cultures that don’t always value people of faith.
- Count your blessings and fortunes often, that way when things go wrong, you’ll keep life in perspective.
Jay Jay Ghatt is also editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the JayJayGhatt.com and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!