10 Life Lessons I Would Share With My Younger Self Today.
Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | www.goombaytally.com | Contact us at goombaytally.com for writer requests and advertisement opportunities on this site.
I am 40-something. Now a lot of people will tell you that 40 isn’t really considered old.
I tell those same people to ask any eight-year-old if they share that same sentiment. Enjoy the response.
So today, I got home from work, sat down in front of the television and watched a few seconds of CNN Headline News. To be honest with you, I actually just stared at the news today. Nothing was really sinking in at the time.
Just the same old hype: President Trump is doing this, special prosecutor Robert Mueller is doing this, and so on …
I just finished driving two hours on I-270 North. For those unfamiliar with I-270, this beautiful piece of modern day roadway is easily one of the nation’s most agonizingly tortuous … stretch of asphalt hell in the United States.
Mind you, I-270’s evil grandfather, I-95, is exponentially worse. But that’s for another post in the future.
The sheer vehicular congestion on I-270 is enough to make a sane and reasonable man stop his car, put it in park, get out, and begin walking home … yes, just like Michael Douglas’ character in the 1993 movie, Falling Down.
There are indeed days in the DC, Virginia, Maryland region when walking, may get you to your destination a heck of a lot faster than driving. And that’s incredibly pathetic.
In short, I refuse to believe that God created man to spend the balance of his life stuck in traffic and yelling at drivers merging into his lane.
I mention this to say that I began to think about where and how fast the last 40 years flew by and how I really wanted to spend the rest of my life.
Heck, I can remember like it was yesterday, the nervous excitement of starting high school and being afraid that I wouldn’t excel in sports, wouldn’t be able to keep up academically, and worst yet … being regulated to the dreaded “uncool kid club.” Life was “tough” right?
Those high school fears soon are marginalized by concerns over mortgages, family, college funds for your kids etc.
Advice to my younger self:
1 read more
2 write more
3 practice public speaking
4 value friendships
5 memorizing is not learning
6 learn to invest
7 you are not your job
8 know when to leave
9 find a mentor
10 trust your gut
11 solve harder problems
12 don't brag
13 don't pretend
— Desmond Dreckett (@DesmondDreckett) May 1, 2018
On top of mulling over my own mortality, I also began to think about that young, energetic guy that I was – twenty-plus years ago and how much time and energy he spent worrying about (seemingly) catastrophic life events, complicated situations, and complex challenges. All of which … were not.
The minutes, hours, and days I spent wasting precious time on things that ultimately produced limited value in the grand scheme of things and systematically prevented me from making more fruitful and rewarding choices in life. I thought about my young kids and how much life they had in front of them.
Still groggy from the exciting drive through Maryland, I grabbed an iced tea from the refrigerator and sat down at the kitchen table to begin writing the following sage advice from the deepest regions of my heart.
Not from any true regret, remorse, or sadness mind you … just from a Dad’s love for his kids and his sincere desire for them to live their lives to the absolute fullest every day, and not to march to the beat of someone else’s drum.
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To live every day without any reserves – without holding anything back. I want my kids to drive this thing we call life until the tank is absolutely empty.
Because one day you will stop and reflect on the time that slipped through your fingers; time that you can never get back. You’ll think of people that you should have spent more time with … but didn’t. Skills and crafts that you should have spent more time learning and perfecting … but didn’t.
I wish I could go back in time and have a cup of coffee or a hamburger and fries with that younger me and sort of give him a life pep talk.
I wish you could show him where all of the land mines are in life, what decisions to make, what people to stay clear of, and what things he really shouldn’t spend his time worrying about. I want to tell him that God will see you through the forest … just relax and enjoy the scenery while you’re young.
… God will eventually see you through the forest, just relax and enjoy the scenery while you’re young.
On his death bed, I want that young guy to stare the grim reaper in the face and say, “what took you so long … I’m exhausted.” I’m just not at that point yet. And that’s why I write the following:
10 Life Lessons I Would Share With My Younger Self Today.
1. Stop Wasting Valuable Time Worrying About What People Think.
Mature adults eventually figure out that most people are SO wrapped up in themselves and their own crazy lives, that they really aren’t paying attention to you anyway. And the ones that are criticizing you, really don’t matter anyway. Some of the world’s greatest inventions or personal achievements were orchestrated in the mist of incredible controversy, hurtful criticism, and discrimination. Orville and Wilbur Wright were probably seen as “crack-pots” by many during their time … honestly, who in their right mind could have imagined back in 1903 that in the future, hundreds of passengers would be able to fly from Newark, NJ to Athens, Greece in nine hours? Well, maybe two people did. Just because others don’t see your vision, just means that it wasn’t meant for them to fulfil. Move forward fearlessly.
2. If Your Girlfriend Ever Tells You That She Thinks You Two Should Start Seeing Other People … Trust Me; She Already Is.
Recent studies estimate that roughly 49.6 percent of the world’s population is female. That equates to around 3.52 billion females on the face of the planet. So if a young lady ever tells you that she’s “just not into you anymore,” Regardless of the pain and the tears … stop wasting your time chasing 1 out of a billion … you are only prolonging the time until you finally meet Mrs. Right. Oh by the way … Mrs. Right is exponentially prettier than your ex anyway.
3. Following Someone’s Else’s Life Path is Like Knowingly Jumping on The Wrong Metro Bus to Get to Your Final Destination.
Just because your school career counselor or best friend thinks you should be an accountant, doesn’t mean that’s the path for you. Life is too short not to pursue the career or passion that most resonates with you and brings you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Stop living someone else’s dream. Remember: we’re only on this planet for roughly 70 or so years (on average) … don’t spend that time working at a job that drains your soul everyday or just makes someone else wealthy.
4. Your Kids Won’t Remember You For The Long Hours You Spent at The Office Trying to Impress Your Boss … They’ll Remember You For The Quality Time You Spend With Them Now.
Never take your family for granted. They are the most valuable group or tribe of people that exist on this planet. Spend as much time as you can with them and never let anyone get in between them. In a blink of an eye your kids will move from diapers, to elementary school, to college before you know what hit you. Don’t be the old Dad who sits in the living room one day, staring at old pictures of his kids and realizing that he foolishly spent more time populating meaningless spreadsheets in the office than investing time into their lives. And now his “kids” are adults and it’s time you can never get back.
5. Question Everything and Everyone. Don’t Just Take Things at Face Value.
Remember that everyone has an agenda. You included. Some agendas are noble, some are there to help you as an individual, some are purely self-serving, and some are incredibly nefarious. Quickly learn how to recognize each one and which category they fall into. Just because a reporter, politician, pastor, or leader says it, doesn’t always mean it’s factual. Don’t let others think for you. Do your own research and due diligence to come up with your own conclusions. Some of the most corrupt and dishonest lies have come out of the mouths of some of the most successful, beautiful, and intelligent people in the world.
6. Beautiful Women Are a Dime-a-Dozen … Beautiful Souls Are a Rare Find. Look For The Latter First.
I’ve watched too many of my friends fall head over heels for women who are incredibly attractive on the outside, but are self-centered, entitled, thoughtless people on the inside. Remember: inner beauty will last well after the outer beauty fades away. What would you rather be stuck with long term?
7. Start Saving Money and Investing From The First Time You Get an Allowance.
Trust me, you will always wish you started saving money and investing it at an earlier age. There is never a point in your life that will be considered too early to start saving. Do it now and don’t stop doing it. I have nothing more to add to that. Oh … wait … and never get a credit card either. Those things are inherently evil.
8. Take Your Education Seriously and Never Stop Learning.
Your education is one of your greatest investments. Take it seriously from day one in a classroom and remember that life itself, is just an enormous classroom. Pay attention to your surroundings everyday and never stop learning from what you see, hear, smell, and touch. Ralph Waldo Emerson would be proud.
9. Find a Mentor Early in Life.
Finding a mentor who can help you avoid mistakes in life is like having a walking, talking owner’s manual on life at your finger tips. Mentors can help you avoid months, if not years of painful and costly trial and error.
10. God Placed the Best Things in Life on The Other Side of Fear and Terror.
“god places the best things in life on the other side of fear” pic.twitter.com/zNPkAAmKZD
— Loading Magazine (@loadingmag) April 30, 2018
Yes, I stole this quote from actor, musician, Will Smith during an interview where he described a skydiving adventure in Dubai. But I have incorporated his quote into my personal arsenal of motivational mantras. To me, one of the tragedies in life is to speak with people who were born, raised, and will probably die in the same small town that they currently live in. They’ve never ventured out to see what lies beyond those city limit signs out of sheer fear of failure, perceived danger, or for any other reason imaginable. We are only here for a short period of time, let fear take care of itself — but never let it prevent you from seeing, experiencing, and doing more in life. Fear stopped you from applying for that dream job you could’ve had, the incredible spouse you could have married, getting the promotion that you deserved, or taking that vacation to China that you’ve dreamed about since you were a child. Don’t let fear steal anymore of your life.
Written by Scott McGinnis | goombaytally.com