A Letter to My Ten-Year-Old Self: 10 Lessons to Live By
As we journey through life, we encounter different experiences that shape us into the person we become. However, for many people, public education is not enough to prepare them for the challenges that await them. If I could send a letter back in time to my ten-year-old self, these are the lessons I would want them to learn:
1. Nobody knows what is going on.
In life, we encounter various challenges that sometimes leave us confused and uncertain about what to do. It is essential to understand that no one has all the answers. Even the most esteemed scientists cannot claim to understand everything about the universe. Rather than pretending to have all the answers, it is better to admit our ignorance and work together to gain a better understanding of the world around us.
2. Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.
Following the crowd and doing what everyone else is doing may seem like the safe option, but it rarely leads to progress or innovation. Progress happens when someone decides to do something different from what everyone else is doing. It is crucial to learn to think critically and not be afraid to challenge the status quo.
3. Being cool and popular in school is a trap.
In school, many students seek to be accepted by their peers and be seen as cool or popular. However, this pursuit often comes at the expense of essential developmental experiences that prepare us for adulthood. Learning to question authority and formulating independent opinions is necessary for personal growth and development.
4. Some of the highest quality human adults were late bloomers.
Being a late bloomer is not always a disadvantage. Some people need more time to figure out what they want in life and develop their skills. These individuals often develop a more profound sense of perspective, which helps them approach life’s challenges with greater wisdom and maturity.
5. Do not hate.
Hating someone for what they have done to another is a root cause of drama and conflicts. Rather than getting involved in such negativity, it is better to confront your antagonist directly and seek closure. Involving outside parties only exacerbates the situation.
6. You must know yourself before you can expect to truly know another.
In life, there are various expectations that can overwhelm our desires and goals. However, it is important to take time and understand what we want and develop our character. Learning to be independent and happy is crucial for adulthood success.
7. Do not start college until you have a sense of what your career should be.
Going to college without a plan is an expensive gamble that will likely lead to wasted time and resources. It is essential to have a sense of direction and find a course that can propel your career.
8. There will never be a time when it is okay to stop learning and growing.
Learning and growth are essential components of progress. Learning never ends, and every experience is an opportunity for growth. It is wise to embrace new experiences and seize opportunities for personal and professional growth.
9. Fear is the mind killer.
Fear is a natural response in all of us, but it can also be a disadvantage if not channeled correctly. Irrational fear can be examined by confronting them head-on. Learning to examine fear vigilantly early in life is a valuable trait that can help avoid missing significant formative experiences.
10. It is impossible for anyone to control what other people think, feel, or do.
It is impossible to control the behavior and thoughts of others. The only thing we have control over is ourselves. The best way to influence change is by setting an example ourselves and expecting less from others and more from ourselves.
In addition to the above list, there are a few other things I would like my ten-year-old self to know:
Innocence is the one thing you can’t ever get back once you lose it.
Be very careful with other people’s hearts.
If someone does not listen to you when you say no, they are not worth your time.
Bullies and teasers are only projecting their insecurities onto their victims.
If you spend your youth wisely, you will be a more stable adult.
Your twenties will be the best years of your life.
Learn to take criticism and overcome failure.
Get really good at doing what you love.
Don’t believe the hype.
The world is not what you think it is, people are not who you think they are, and nothing is what it seems.
In conclusion, life is a journey that requires us to learn and grow continually. These ten lessons, coupled with the other essential insights highlighted, will help my ten-year-old self, and anyone else who heeds these lessons, to navigate life with greater wisdom and conviction.