If you could fast-forward into the future and look back, what do you think your older, wiser self would tell you? Because if you already have an inkling, you can start putting that advice into practice today. Here’s what I think my future self might say…
Hey there, self.
I’ve come from a decade into the future to lay some knowledge down for you. Looking pretty good for 50, eh? But, I digress.
Here’s what you need to know.
Your children, at 20 and 18, are wrapping up childhood this year. You and your husband, on the other hand, are clinging tight to yours—you with your idealistic pursuits, and he still skateboarding at 51.
This is a transitional time in your life, and you’re naturally doing a lot of self-reflection. Of course, when have you not been caught up in self-reflection?
Here’s the thing, kid. Self-examination is good and healthy, and most people don’t do it enough. You, my past self, are not most people.
Be sure not to spend so much time in your head that you’re missing the life that’s unfolding before you. Back it down a little, day dreamer. Just a little. This decade is chock full of not-to-be-missed moments.
Also, that intuition that screams at you from time to time, about what decisions to make and what actions to take? Listen to her.
Stop wasting time worrying about what others will think or aiming for gold stars and pats on the back. There are going to be times when this life calls for your to swim upstream, to take the path less traveled, and to be extraordinary.
Did you know it’s OK to be extraordinary?
Somewhere along the way you got the idea that dimming your light would be easier for others to accept—that being a bit more regular would avoid discomfort for others—and, so, you adjusted accordingly, gradually conforming, not stepping on toes, avoiding getting in others’ way, and not causing anyone to feel inferior.
You thought, no doubt, this was modesty and compassion. You’ll be relieved to know that it is, in fact, selfishness—self-protection of the craftiest kind.
Knock that stuff off. Your family needs you to show up fully, as does everyone you’ll interact with. Stop downplaying your talents, deprecating yourself, dimming, and making light of it all.
Hold strong to your ideals. Show up in totality. Let your true self be seen. This may be the greatest lesson you pass on to your kids in their formative years.
Understand true compassion includes letting go of fear and self-protective measures and truly wishing for and giving the best to others. You’ve been looking for permission. Now you have it.
Over the next 10 years, be generous, travel widely, stay curious, and go all out for that which you decide to do.
Remember that your daily habits will propel the direction of your life. Keep your priorities straight, teach your children well, love your family, and do all that you can to shed that light on others.
Don’t waste any time.
Believe in magic.
You, in ten years