Advice To My 21-Year-Old Self

Advice

 

Some people would agree that hindsight is 20/20. Others think not. How about you?

By: Felecia Artis

I believe that hindsight is the assessment, clarity and synthesis of lessons learned and wisdom gained. We can always look back at our pasts and say what we could’a, should’a, would’a done if… But when we look back how many of our choices and actions can we actually see “clearly now that the rain is gone”?

We rationalize that if we had known then what we know now, then we would have done things differently. Right? We wouldn’t have done this… If we had just known that… But if hindsight is 20/20 how do we really know IF we had chosen Door #2 over Door #1 that life would have somehow been easier, sweeter, better, or clearer? Unless we get the rare privilege of a “do over,” how can we know if optional Doors #2 or #3 lead us to our desired bliss and destination? I beckon to say that the road not chosen is definitely not so 20/20!

Could it be that the decisions you made (whether deemed right or wrong) were the decisions that you needed to make to teach, guide and lead you to where you are today–good, bad or indifferent? Could it be that you’re right where you should be at this age and stage of your life doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Could it be that now that you’re fully present and equipped with experience and wisdom–that you really are on the right track? I mean YOUR pre-destined track? Could it be that the hills, valleys, closed doors, bad relationships, lossed jobs, and delayed promotions were just a part of a bigger, greater plan for your life?

Well the 37 year old me is here to tell you YES! You see I was challenged to have this same conversation with my less experienced, younger, past self… after the supposed 20/20 hindsight revelation, of course! And I can tell you that if you would accept where you are now on the way to where you’re going, you will find more fulfillment, peace, joy and success on your journey forward—wherever it may lead you.

In the words of the beloved, late Maya Angelou, “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now…” Not even after… 37 birthdays, 15 wedding anniversaries, 6 jobs, 3 homes, 2 businesses and 2 kids later…oh lest I forget to mention-8 surgeries, hundreds of doctor and ER visits, and more lonely, depressed,  broke and broken days than I care to remember… No, after all of that, I still wouldn’t take nothing for this journey!

You see it is this journey that has graciously afforded me incredible wisdom and priceless life lessons to glean and live by forever. This journey has shaped me into an ever-evolving being who is well-rounded, loving, grateful, generous, wise, fulfilled, accomplished, purpose-driven and wholeness-bound. And I want the same for you. For that reason, I graciously accept this privilege to share some of my 20/20 hindsight life lessons and wisdom. It is my hope that it will enlighten, inspire and encourage you on your journey—today and even tomorrow as you are challenged to look back through the life lenses of your 20/20-hindsight vision. It is my hope that one day, you will also be able to proclaim that “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now…”

My 20/20 Hindsight Life Lessons:

1. Learn to love, respect and please yourself before you look for someone else to love, respect & please you.

You will NEVER find another person who can love you better than you love yourself. In fact, when you truly love and respect yourself, you have a much better chance of attracting someone who will do the same. The truth is we really do teach others how to treat us; firstly, by how we treat ourselves. So spend time with yourself, take yourself out on a date or on a vacation, please yourself (however you deem necessary)–give yourself flowers and gifts, and look in the mirror and tell yourself just how beautiful, brilliant & worthy you are. No one else can do that better than you can!

2. Be more concerned about your wholistic health more so than your vanity.

Beautify yourself with nice clothes, hairstyles, make-up or whatever you desire, but do not forget to beautify and take even better care of your mind, body, soul and spirit—for they are the essence of who we really are. It’s cliché, but priceless wisdom, so exercise regularly and eat well–not to be a size 2, but to be well on the inside. Consider other healthy mind, body and soul resources such as yoga, meditation, prayer and pursuing your own spiritual path and source. The truth is when you’re healthy and beautiful on the inside, you need less extras on the outside to help enhance (or cover up) the real you!

3. Discover and pursue your passion and purpose-and always believe in how much you’re needed on this earth.

Understand that you were created for a purpose on this earth. Start early seeking to discover, pursue and birth your life’s mission, passions and purpose. Let your life-long mission be to answer the question “What on earth am I here for?” and “How can I serve?” Once you take the necessary steps to define your life’s calling and wake up to your greatest potential, I encourage you to embrace it passionately. There are lives, communities, companies, charities, churches, countries and continents waiting on you to say “YES” to your life’s calling!

4. Invest more in your future than in your wardrobe.

As stated earlier, do what makes you feel and look good so that you present your best self to the world. However, in doing so, seek balance as you consider and work towards minimizing your debt and maximizing your savings and investments, including home ownership. Don’t spend more on your wardrobe or other exterior extras (that are ever-changing) than you invest on appreciating assets that can provide a solid financial foundation and future.

5. Learn and activate the practice of giving and gratitude.

I can assure you that a spirit of giving and gratitude will open more doors for you and attract more favor and goodness to you than you can ever imagine. Your career, your finances, your household, your journey and your life will sail to another level once you adopt a lifestyle of gratitude and giving! Take me at my word and try it!

6. Live, love, and laugh like there’s no tomorrow—because we really don’t know if there will be!

Enjoy today, celebrate yourself and your journey today, and appreciate the people in your life today! Don’t wait for tomorrow because tomorrow is simply not promised to any of us! So what are you waiting for? Start living, loving and laughing today!

Now that’s some doggone good 20/20 hindsight! Wouldn’t you say?

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Felecia is the CEO & Lead Coach of PurposeLady Creations & Coaching, LLC. She is also the author of  No More Chains: Pressing through My Issues to Pursue My Destiny!” (2014), Facing the Issues of Life” (2012), and Upcoming, Inspirational Best-seller: You’ve Got This; Encourage Yourself!

Signed print copies ordered at www.felecia-artis.com; books also available at Amazon.com.

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