What Would You Say To A Younger VersionOf Yourself?

Shackman, who has suggested this title for our weekly 2 on 1 post and I are Senior Citizens with some grand stories in our past. No doubt that this has influenced his choice of the title and I welcome it as, you can see from byline, I believe that all of us are wiser by hindsight.

The first thing that I would say to a younger myself is NOT TO SMOKE. I smoked cigarettes mostly, pipes and cigars on occasion, from when I was 16 years old till just four years ago. I am now rewarded with COPD and its attendant problems.

The second thing that I would say will be – Choose a career where you can spend a lot of time with your family. I did not and that is the greatest regret that I now have of not having found the time to do so many things that I wanted to do with my late wife and son when we were young.

The third thing would be – Learn to communicate effectively instead of efficiently. I lost out on some good relationships because of ineffective communication which led to misunderstandings.

The fourth thing that I would say – Keep your expectations low and learn to deliver more than you promise. I failed on both on a few occasions to much regret later.

“The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly. What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There’s always the possibility of a fiasco.

But there’s also the possibility of bliss.” (Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss. 2004. p 135.)

And to close on a humorous note, have your escapades in ground floor flats.

Do please go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the topic that he chose.

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18 Responses to What Would You Say To A Younger VersionOf Yourself?

  1. shackman says:

    We not surprisingly have similar responses in a general sense. I made a couple of alternate profession suggestions but major changes would negatively impact my family and some of their very existence. Mostly though I simply accept what has been my life essentially as my destiny – which frankly surprised me. In fact my whole attitude about the topic changed as I typed the post.

    • Both of us are indeed wiser by hindsight and hopefully, that wisdom will not go waste and our children and grand children will benefit from our experiences without having to go through the same pain that we had to,

  2. nothing…because none of it would’ve made any sense…anyway….

  3. Mike says:

    I have thought on this a lot in the past. I agree with Shackman, though, in that some changes would have an adverse impact on the arc of my life and that of my family. Even something as simple of smoking — Karen used asking for a cigarette to get my attention… she didn’t smoke. Finishing college — I likely never would have gone in the Navy, which means I never would have gone to the Milwaukee USO (United Service Organization), where Karen was a volunteer, or if I had, it would have been years later. I have been very fortunate in that most of the critical choices I made in life somehow worked out well for us.

    • That question did force me to think about many things that I would not have normally thought about. I do hope that sharing such thoughts will have an impact on the younger generation quite a lot of them who read my blog posts though not comment.

  4. kylie says:

    It’s an interesting question, to There are many things I wish I had done differently but I’m also certain that I wouldn’t have listened to good advice. I’m also certain that I wouldn’t have had good answers. For example I didn’t do well with a career and I should have chosen something different but I still don’t know what

  5. tammy j says:

    I love this.
    you old two story man you! 🙂 I love the cowboy in you.
    and as for my knowing more then than I do now? and making a difference?
    I was just so in love with the man. and that has never changed. but I think I would have paid more attention to my own aspirations. wives didn’t do that then. they were only supporters. at least where I was at the time.
    but now I would have gone to Japan. before it became so westernized. and I wouldn’t have worried so much about my approach to life which was always not the western norm.

  6. I would probably say, “Go, Girl! You’re doing just fine.” I’m actually proud of her.

  7. Joared says:

    Seems like we tend to assume things had we done some things differently they would have turned out better for us — differently I expect, but who’s to say otherwise?

  8. Ursula says:

    Interesting picture you paint there of yourself, Ramana. Sorry to hear about the COPD. Smoking can go either way. My brother, an enthusiastic smoker despite briefly being hospitalized with bronchitis when he was a child (yes, really), looks pretty wrinkled for his age, yet still doesn’t wheeze. And, being a looker, he can afford the crinkly look without losing any of his attractiveness.

    What would I say to my younger self? Follow YOUR instincts when it comes to how to make a living; don’t listen to those close to you with THEIR agenda at heart. Having said that, I’d have listened to my grandmother had she lived till I was of an age when I could have done with her loving advice.

    Great subject, Ramana and Shackman, though not the most comfortable one to contemplate.

    U

  9. Wisewebwoman says:

    Thanks for the honesty of this Ramana but I do wonder if you would be in the place of peace you find yourself in today.

    I agree on the smoking, my current health issues with PVD is totally smoking even though I quite a heavy habit over 30 years ago.

    Perhaps I might have explored my creative side more if I wasn’t so focussed on “success” in the business world. Spending more time with my kids. Being more tolerant and understanding of those closest to me?

    Then again, I like who I am today, my life is an open book and I find that if my experience can help others, wonderful.

    XO
    WWW

    • Frankly, I too occasionally wonder if my life had been different, whether I would be where I am but am conscious enough to know that it is futile to speculate and divert my attention to other matters.

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