Eight Things I Wish My Younger Self Knew – But I Probably Wouldn’t Tell Her What They Are

If we only knew what decisions could impact the rest of our lives.

When I was a lot younger, I thought I knew it all. I thought I had a lot of time to do everything. Then at 40, I woke up and realised that so much time had passed — and so many things I had done wrong. 

So how can I make up for the lost time, lessons and all that regret that is lying dormant inside me?

Life is not easy; it’s filled with hard knocks, and sometimes several of them at the same time. Before you pick up your face from the floor, one more thing just trips you right over back onto the ground.I wish that I knew so much more as a teen — but I probably wouldn’t tell her to know what they are. Back in those days, I was sheltered and protected from the outside world. I was clueless about what goes on behind that locked door. I had the inclination it wasn’t that bad, and because I was a good person, surely I would be ok. In the end, we all end up ok — with many scars to bear — some deeper than others. 

I’m afraid that if my teenage self knew, she wouldn’t allow herself to experience much —and live in fear from taking a leap.Courage is knowing what not to fear. Plato 

Here are eight ways to try and minimise the scars — because we don’t want to go through too much pain in life.

Choose your life partner wisely. 

The person you choose to be by your side can either make or break the rest of your life. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. When we are young, our feelings can almost always overwhelm us. As adults, we are able to distinguish the noise from what’s real. Your instinct is important here, more than ever. Watch for those signs;– know the difference between behaviours that can change as well as the ones which lead to danger. For example, certain habits will never modify — even though it’s not serving them or others. Immediately dismiss yourself if this occurs.If their family doesn’t treat you with respect and is the slightest bit off-colour — run a mile! The whole family must do its best to support one another, although they may not agree. If at any stage all you see is behaviour that does not resemble a unity, then have no doubt, you will be at odds with these people as well.

Listen to your gut feeling at all times

Instinct is key to keeping you safe. Despite your gut instinct telling you something you don’t like; listen. It may save you a lot of grief.Take the advice at face value &  put it to the test. Do some of your investigations, judging their validity. I guarantee you; it will be right almost all the time.

If you made a mistake, quickly change it & make up for it. 

It’s a big one. I used to hide behind my mistake until it caused too much distress and shame that it stopped me from trying new things.Just because you failed at something doesn’t mean that will be your destiny for life. If we aren’t on this plane to screw up at times, what would be the use of us being here? Unfortunately, there isn’t a manual available on how to be the best possible human. The only book I know is the one called “the school of hard knocks.” That pretty much guarantees you will learn something valuable and make better choices down the line.

When it comes to big decisions, Seek advice from others who have been in your position before.

Not seeking advice was one of my downfalls during the earlier years. Due to my shyness, I didn’t want others to believe that I didn’t know what I was doing.

You can put yourself in a very vulnerable position if you take on that mindset.  If you decide to pursue something at any stage, seek out someone who has already done it and ask for advice. Take them out for lunch or a coffee. Pick their brain to pieces. It’s best to get a few different perspectives. It will not only help you grasp the reality of the situation you want, but it also gives you some insight if this is a choice you want to make for a substantial amount of years. Always do this when it comes to significant business decisions which require a lot of capital. 

Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind. Dale Carnegie

Look after your finances for old age.

When you are young, it’s easy to dismiss the art of ageing. I never had anyone around me who could provide sound advice for saving and the importance of your superannuation (or whatever you may call your retirement savings). So I had to look at the different options myself and work out what’s best for me. I know all too well what poverty looks like in the elderly — I can see it through the eyes of my mum. Putting the necessary steps to save something from your salary or any pay rises will serve you well. I make sure I put in extra money every month to top my employer benefits. It’s grown nicely, and I have no doubt it will grow exceedingly well by my retirement. It’s just as essential to set retirement fund goals as much as it is to develop home buyer goals.

Be independent — start young and solve problems as much as possible.

I believe kids these days are wrapped up in cotton wool! I know I was, and that wasn’t the best choice for me. I’m the daughter of immigrants who came to Australia in the 1950s. That was a huge culture shock for them. Australia is so accessible and filled with many generational gaps, which can be challenging for people like my parents. Growing up the youngest of three, I wasn’t allowed to do anything. There probably aren’t many parents who follow this kind of path with their kids anymore (well, I hope not.) My point in telling you this story is that when you shelter your kids from everything, they don’t develop a backbone — how will kids feel not given the freedom to make mistakes and grow? People need to experience setbacks and heartbreak themselves. If you stop your kids from doing this important thing, they will learn far too late, what life is all about. That’s been my problem. 

Find out what you’re afraid of and go live there. Chuck Palahniuk

What you want when you’re younger changes as you grow up.

No one ever stays the same. We all change, grow and develop. Our ideas flourish and perhaps want to take a new direction. When you are young, you hold onto doing the same thing forever or being with the same partner. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Don’t hold onto everything — just let it be. Enjoy the moment you have now, and be open to anything happening in the future. We just don’t know where life will lead us. It’s up to us to find out.

Friends are those who stick with you through the good and bad times.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have best friends or true friends. I don’t believe there many places left in the heart for several friends. If you have one that sticks with you for life, then you have the best blessing of all. Since eight years old, my faithful and dear friend & I have stuck with one another. We’ve grown up together, and even though our paths are in the opposite direction, it’s loyalty, love and respect for one another as individuals which keeps the friendship alive. I don’t know what I’d do without my best friend.

Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift. Dante Alighieri

Parent’s won’t’ live forever — love them today. 

I’m very guilty believing my parents will last forever. I missed those times when I had these two beautiful people to take care of me. As a 40-year-old, not a day goes by when I don’t wish I could go back in time for one moment and experience this again. My dad passed away when I was 22, and now my mum’s time on the planet is limited too. I thought she would live until 90, and that time would be on our side. But, unfortunately, we don’t get in life what we want sometimes — and the best we can do is just to love them now, as they are and practice forgiveness.


Doing something for the sake of children causes more harm than good.

Growing up, my parents told me that you had to do this, and you had to do that — all for the sake of your children. The children are number one, and you need to sacrifice your happiness and well-being for them. Well, to that, I say “Sh%$ Balls”Allowing our kids to see us distressed, coping with an abusive partner, tolerating infidelity and any other soul-destroying things to happen — does more damage than it does good! What kid would like their parents to stay when something like this happens? What kind of modelling will that provide them when it’s their turn? This one thing could screw up your kids in the long run. Would my young life change as a result of knowing this? Absolutely — but only if I chose to listen. Our life results from the lessons we learnt during those complex, demanding and most challenging moments. I wouldn’t be giving my younger self the best services if I just gave her all the answers. How would she know, what would she develop, and how can she take these and make a better life for herself? 

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