There comes a point when I’ve come to reflect back on my life and wish I could impart some wisdom to my youthful self.
I would take a trip back to my twenties and recall the illusions of grandeur of being the head of Apple and consider it is more challenging than I realise.
I’m not suggesting a person must sell out on their dreams, rather take a realistic approach to realising them.
Below are life lessons I discovered in my twenties that have served me over the course of my adult life.
“Your strength will be found when you stop struggling with yourself, instead of thinking everyone is a struggle worth overcoming. Every obstacle in life is a lesson that teaches us, not others.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Whilst you may expect things to play out in a certain way when you are young, they seldom do. The law of detachment suggests casting your line to the universe and wait to see what comes back. The quote “life is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans” couldn’t be more true.
In my twenties, I looked to material possessions as the source of my happiness, believing ‘things’ made me happy. However, I discovered the company of wonderful people and being of service to others were the ultimate tools for happiness.
The happiest people are those in poor countries with all they need to be content. Having more material possessions means managing more, which occupies mental energy that could be devoted to other things.
When I tap into universal energy, I realise it is always working in my favour and collaborating with it becomes a source of joy and inspiration. I am the expression of Nature.
When I obey nature’s laws, prosperity and abundance become my natural expression. Nature’s laws include: timing, detachment, karma, giving and receiving and least effort.
“Sometimes when it seems all of the pieces are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.” — Unknown
When I’m entrenched in turmoil, it is difficult to navigate my way out of it. Life takes on a dark and bleak period. I own my negative states and feel stuck.
Then, sure as the sun rises, I make progress and transition to a new awareness. I may look back on this period and be thankful for the opportunity and personal growth. The key is to accept the suffering and move through it, knowing every path is a turning point to start afresh.
The most repeated phrases in my twenties were: “You made me feel this way” or “You made me do it.” However, in my thirties I discovered “I” am responsible for how I feel, despite other people’s behaviours.
I am the master of my life, my emotions and thoughts. I will not allow others to control nor influence my mind or emotions. Wisdom has taught me to be accountable for the way I engage in the world.
Why do we want people to like us when we’re young? It is those we seldom like that we most want to impress. I found out the hard way they are not worth pleasing afterall and so my lesson is cemented.
It is incumbent on me to think highly of myself, and own each aspect of my character. Forget what others think of me. People reflect my relationship I have with myself. They look to see how I treat myself and so I become their barometer.
In my twenties I trusted people. If someone said me they love me, presumably they love me. Through trial and error I discovered what people say and mean are entirely separate.
I became cynical because I orientated my self-worth to other people’s actions, as a reflection of their character. Rejection has taught me to look to people’s behaviour as a representation of their intent.
I often wished the future would arrive sooner to get me out of the present moment. When a situation was more than I could handle, I wished myself into the future.
I wanted to escape the pain of the moment, no matter the experience. Here’s a simple experiment I discovered to appreciate how to live in the present moment. I would spend a few hours with a child under four years of age and observe how I interact with them.
I made note of my thoughts and emotions during this time and the child’s behaviour. I was surprised, how being around children is the quickest way to experience oneness with time and myself. There is no such thing as the future or past to a child, other than what is happening now.
I am continually writing my future from the present moment. Every thought, every emotion, and every action has the potential to shape how I live in the years to come.
The beauty of life is that it’s never too late to wipe the slate clean and write a new chapter of my life.
Originally published at medium.com