You Talkin’ To Me??Apr 14, 2022
Writer: Craig Sweeney
Since we’re coming up on Graduation/Commencement season, we thought this would be apropos.
What I’d tell my 25 year old self.
At 55, I’m not going to lie and say I’ve got no regrets. In fact, those people who say they don’t have any are either lying or not the peeps I want on the bar stool next to me on a Friday night. No regrets? C’Mon, man!?
(“Ok dude, so you’ve got regrets – so do I…get on with it)
So - if you regret something it follows that you wish you would have done something differently or that the outcome would have been different. Capeesh?
Back in ’91 when this bloke was still wet behind the ears and there was so much runway in front of me, here’s some advice I wish someone would have given me. Maybe I would have done things differently (knowing me like I do though, I probably woulda thought “Who the hell is this old man giving me advice?”).
Be happy NOW.
By now, I mean choose to be happy with where you are. Right now. Don’t wait to be happy “when I get that new job”, “when I get that new car/house” or even “when I’m in a better relationship”. You will never be happy as a damn clam when you’re always looking ahead and worrying that your present isn’t enough. Chill. Take a breath. Look around and sit in your present. Smile and laugh - consciously.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t kick-ass to try to be a better person, or land that sweet new gig – just make sure you look around and also be happy with what (and who) you have in your life right now.
Not sure what else to say about this. Yeah, you’ve been lucky enough to have been raised by a couple of pretty damn kind parents, but I wouldn’t be doing my job as a “future self” if I didn’t remind you about this one.
Smile at people. Hold open doors. Tip well. Don’t talk behind backs. Treat the server at the restaurant or the janitor at work no differently than you do your best friend, your doctor or your boss. It’s as simple as that.
Kindness can change the world.
Ask questions. Don’t take things for granted. Find out why? Form your own opinions. Curiosity can lead you into some pretty cool discoveries and opportunities. Look under that rock. Around that corner. Down that street. You’ll be amazed at what you can find.
Don’t worry so damn much about what other people think of you? They’re not.
This is a big one. Don’t risk spending useless time and stressing out about what other people are thinking about you. Be you. The most fun and the most opportunity you will get in this life is by being your idiot self (yea, I know you so I can say that). The reality is, you’ll attract the people that will really make you happy in this life by being that wacky dude that will embarrass the hell out of your kids someday.
One last piece of advice – I could go on for awhile here as it’s some important stuff, but I did tell you I’d only drag you away for a couple of beers and some “future self” nuggets…
What the hell do you mean? Break shit. Don’t be afraid to just get out and do things. Before “you’re ready”. Before things “are perfect”. They never will be. If given an opportunity for a job you may think you’re not ready for. Take it anyway. Learn as you go. Fake it ‘til you make it. Get the hell out of your comfort zone. This is the only way you will really grow – grow your skills, grow your sense of self, grow in your empathy and appreciation for others. Just get out and do stuff.
Break rules (ok, not really big, mortal sin type rules). Break stereotypes, break pre-conceptions and misconceptions. Break family norms. Break societal norms (again, to a health degree – lol). Just break shit. And then put it back together - in your own way.
Ok – so, thanks for the advice old man, future-self dude…and thanks for the beer. Maybe I’ll see you down the road?