Dear Me (at age 15),
I recently turned 40, wow, what a ride. I can say it’s pretty amazing to feel my best years are ahead of me (God willing).
I was thinking about what I could suggest to you… possibly some things to help you save time, live happier, and avoid stress as you grow older. I know how stubborn you can be and how much you admire yourself… but I also know deep inside you’re really just scared and confused. It’s OK, we all are. Maybe that doesn’t make sense right now, but just think about it—and try to listen the best you can. Oh, and above all, know that you are loved just the way you are.
Now, on to the topic at hand… Although I like numbered lists today, I know you hate them as they are constraining, limit your artistic sense of spontaneity, and the content may get lost in your attempt to apply some type of weight or ranking based on order. So instead of a list, I’ll use bullets. You like those.
How To Save Time
- Stop worrying about being a starter on the varsity team. Actually, I’m not even sure where all the starters are today. It’s tough being a small fish in a big pond. Stay small and every pond will seem big; get used to it, it means more opportunity. Besides, whether or not you’re a varsity starter won’t matter on your resume when applying for your dream job. What will matter is the lessons you learn about teamwork and respect… pay attention to those.
- Stop worrying about tomorrow. You have literally wasted around 5,259,487.66 minutes (or 10 years.. give or take a few million minutes) worrying about events that may or may not happen. Right now is what’s important, pay attention and you’ll save time later not worrying about what you missed.
- Purchase only black dress socks. Black goes with everything; plus it’s dark in the morning and trying to match your socks with your tie and shirt is too much to think about at 5:30 a.m.
- Only pay attention to the “good if used by date” on milk. The dates are there to protect the people who made the product. You’ll save more time by throwing whatever it is out when it smells, tastes, or looks bad then you spend looking for the latest date in the store.
- Remember what size of pants you wear.
- Pick the first item you like. You’ve wasted countless hours researching something to death to eventually go with the one you originally liked. Trust your gut.
- Fill your gas tank all the way. I know you think you only have time to put in $10 worth of gas since you’re busy changing the world… but in the long run you’ll spend less time stopping for gas if you just fill it up!
- Skip college right out of high school. You have no idea what you want to do with your life yet; take some time and try as many different things as you can.
- Forget about buying every possible color of parachute pants you can find.
- When the iPhone comes out, buy it and stop fiddling with a stylus and Windows Mobile.
- If a relationship seems like hard work in the beginning, run.
- And most importantly, stop wishing you were somewhere else and relish each moment you’re in. This is your life and your wasting time worrying!
Next let’s take a quick look at how to live happy, since you seem to have it confused with having fun.
How to Live Happier
- Abandon the idea that fun = happiness. Fun is temporary and does not equate to happiness. Inner-peace and being OK with yourself—who you really are inside—results in true long-lasting happiness.
- Stop putting crap in your body to change the way you feel or avoid emotional pain. Anything that distorts your thinking or emotions is just prolonging the inevitable. You’ll have to face it sooner or later so deal with it as it comes. Live right and you’ll be able to face yourself everyday.
- Give more of everything; especially yourself.
- Expect less from others.
- Concentrate on today and the possibilities of tomorrow instead of trying to get back to the way things were.
- Pray and Mediate every day.
- Spend as much time outdoors as you can.
- Stop trying to make everyone happy.
- Find happiness internally; it’s there just learn how to tap into it.
- Spend more time with your father; it’s limited.
- And most importantly, love yourself.
How To Avoid Stress
- Be on time. If you’re scheduled to be somewhere, leave early.
- Use the restroom before leaving the house.
- Avoid drama.
- Learn how to like yourself as opposed to demanding it from others.
- Accept the fact that you’re judged by your actions, not your intentions.
- If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it—and you need a lot less than you think.
- Learn to distinguish between wants and needs.
- Break down large goals into more manageable weekly or daily tasks.
- Make sure there’s toilet paper before sitting down.
- Ask for help when you need it! (for anything, not just TP)
- Have someone else string your guitar.
- Buy a dependable vehicle.
- Check your nose for bats in the cave before leaving the house.
- Accept that speeding does not actually get you to where you’re going any quicker; it just feels like it.
- When stressed in traffic, realize you’re being selfish and self-centered.
- And most importantly, learn and live the Serenity Prayer.
Well me, that’s it for now. If I think of any more suggestions… well, in 25 years you can follow me on Twitter.
What suggestions do you have for saving time, living happier, or avoiding stress? (not Me silly, you the reader!)