A letter to my 20-year-old self …….
I saw a lovely article on Facebook where a lady wrote a letter to her 20-year-old self with lots of tips and advice on how to navigate her way through her 20’s and basically sharing what she learned over the past 10 years.
I was so touched by the article that I thought (long and hard) about writing a letter to a younger version of myself.
You know the type… the one where you offer all sorts of advice like:
- Don’t over think things or be too hard on yourself
- Spend more time with your parents and grandparents as they won’t be around forever
- Don’t (and I mean don’t) run straight into that ‘rebound’ relationship
Very soon I realised that it was the worst idea ever and she would have ignored the content totally and that’s if she even bothered to open it.
Any why should she have read it?
- How can I stop myself thinking
- I cherish every moment I spent with my dad and granny but would never have wanted to think about them not being here
- That rebound relationship found me (totally innocent in this one!!!)
Why would she take advice from me when I hadn’t even taken the advice myself?
Within 15 minutes of reading the article I initially thought was amazing, I quickly changed my mind and thought it was actually quite depressing and made me feel bad about things I could no longer change!
It reminded me of when my dad would argue with my brother for going out too much with his friends – all of the things my dad did.
Do as I say and not as I do is the most disastrous parenting technique and has a massive failure record the world over. If you couldn’t be bothered to follow through – why should I just because you told me?
Here’s the thing – if you want to influence someone’s behaviour (even your own), they will only (and I mean only) notice what you did and not what you said you would do!
People mirror actions and not words!
So I am challenging you to complete a far more effective task – one that will not only make you think but can help you live a more fulfilled life.
I am challenging you to WRITE A THANK YOU LETTER FROM YOUR FUTURE YOURSELF.
Look into the future and think – what will she thank me for? What can I do (action will be required) now that will change to course of my future so I am not tempted to write a ridiculous letter to my younger self?
For me, it was simple but effective exercise and perhaps some of these things will resonate with you. The future me will thank me for:
1. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone… EVERY DAY. To grow my business and create the life of my dreams I must (and I mean MUST) leave my comfort zone.
If you feel like you don’t want to do it – that’s usually a sign that it’s a good idea.
Ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen?
Will it matter in 1/5/10 years time? Chances are it won’t (I mean even that disastrous rebound relationships doesn’t matter much 6 years later) but the action of getting out of your comfort zone and continuing to do so will make a huge difference to your life.
2. Holding myself accountable – aka do what I will say I will do. Only I can hold myself accountable and ensure that I knuckle down on a daily basis and do the work. Failing to hold myself accountable is absolutely the worst thing that can happen.
Think about it …. what happens when you don’t hold yourself accountable? You look for excuses, for reasons, and for others to be responsible for what you achieve in your life.
We only have to look at the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump as the president of the US to see the consequences of not holding yourself accountable and looking to others to create results in YOUR life.
Imagine just for a moment, the difference you would make in your life (and the lives of those you love) if you just do what you said you’d do. If you went to that networking event, went to that course, finished that book, mastered sales and marketing, spend more valuable time with your friends and family and went on date nights with your partner?
3. Focus on key activities – I want to spend my time on what’s important and what will create results in my life. I want to learn more about running a successful business, continue to get better at sales and marketing, be a better partner, be a better friend and do what needs to be done to create these results. I have no room for distractions.
We all know that the next 1/5/10 years will pass and hopefully, we will be around to experience them. What is of most importance is how we fill our days? Do we spend them watching tv, gossiping, doubting ourselves or focusing on the wrong things?
How happy (not to mention lucky) will your future self-be if you determine what exactly you need to do to create a better life and business and you go ahead and do just that (removing all distractions).
- Want to be healthier – spend time learning about and living a healthier lifestyle.
- Want to grow your business – spend time learning about sales and marketing and putting what you have learned INTO ACTION.
- Want a happier family – spend time doing the things you love and turn off the mobile phones as you do it (I am sure Instagram can wait).
Determine the key activities to make you enjoy your life more and focus on them – ignoring distractions and the things that make you sad and ineffective (for me that’s soaps and the daily mail!).
4. Be you – I am a dreamer, a big thinker and love to watch ‘Real Housewives of …..everywhere’ Sometimes I even convince myself that I want just what they have. Then I realise my fiance works in the charity sector, I hate fighting with my friends and I am afraid to get plastic surgery (although I am not ruling it out).
It can be so tempting to live a life you think you want and not the one you really do want. Now’s the time to make sure that your goals are really yours and not goals you think you should have!
Imagine how happy your future self will be knowing you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone, held yourself accountable and focused on the key activities required to build YOUR DREAM LIFE and not someone else’s. You can’t put a price on authenticity. For tips on being authentic in your business, read my article here.
So there it is – an activity that will not only challenge you to think about what you really want but one that will encourage you to take action now to achieve the life of your dreams.
What you do TODAY creates your future.
You deserve an authentically awesome life and business.
With love – Orlaith