I’ve been thinking about you.
The “me” I’ve walked away from over the years.
I’ll be plus one tomorrow, and memories of younger “me” swam up to the face of my mind.
Things I’d have loved to do more, and things I’d have loved to do less.
Well, I can’t rewind the hands of time. I can only pick lessons from the past and move forward.
And more than that, I can share these personal thoughts with others presently living my past ages.
If you’re one of them, and even if you’re not, I’m sure you’ll learn something from the heart-to-heart talk with me.
Here are 10 things I’ll tell my younger self to do more or less:
- Be more sincere with God: I always count sincerity with God as something that laid the foundation and brought me this far in the journey of life. When God says He is near those that are humble in spirit, He means it.
One sincere prayer and decision I made years ago – even when it didn’t make huge sense – preserved my relationship with God.
In my early teens, I had some people around me who felt I’ll stray off the conservative Christian life I was raised in. And they didn’t hold back their reservations.
They’ll make comments like, “when you grow up… or get into higher institution, I know you’ll “start living life”.
I heard this from the lips of so many people that I got concerned. On one of those days, I got home, walked into my room, and made a sincere prayer to God.
“Father, I don’t understand why these people say all that, but, I want to keep being your child… I want to live life in you…”
A short prayer. On my knees. And from the depth of my heart.
I can’t forget it.
As life moved on, and I “grew up”, I always remembered that sincere prayer. It kept me standing, even when I walked near slippery ground.
And it reminded me to run back to God and make another and another sincere prayer. His mercy and love never let me go.
Although, I must confess, I wish I can be more and more sincere – in everything.
2. Love and serve God more: Few days before I relocated from the state I lived in at a time, I found myself playing one song over and over.
Here is the chorus of the song:
You have run the race you have kept the faith
these words I long to hear my Savior say.
And when my life on earth is past
There’s just one thing dear Lord I ask
Don’t let me leave behind and unfinished task
My heart bled and tears flowed down my checks.
I thought of what I’ve done and what I could have done more.
Very hard mixed feeling.
There’s always more to do for God and humanity. Dear younger self, ask God to tell you what He wants from you each day and in each place, and strive to give your best.
It will be more saddening to have such regrets on your deathbed.
3. Worry and fear less: Hmmm! I worry about worry. And fear about fear. It drove me to tears and depression. As I think back on those worry and fear days, it’s a huge waste of time and energy. It never changed one thing I worried about. So younger me, here is what to do instead: live one day at a time.
Easy talk, right.
Let me break it down. Wake up today, ask God’s direction on what to do, face it, and let other matters hide under the bed. Yes, they’ll keep pushing their head out so you see them.
But, sing. Memorize God’s promises. And stay focused. Don’t allow tomorrow steal today from you. Fear not tomorrow, God is already there.
4. Make more courageous decisions: Who I am today results from the decisions I made yesterday. The decision about my friends, career, books I read, what I watched, what I believed in, the places I went to, how I lived my life, and a lot of other decisions.
My tomorrow will be a mirror of the decisions I make today. So younger self, think.
What picture of YOU do you want to see tomorrow?
Start making courageous decisions in that line. If you want to become a medical doctor, you’ll go to medical school not law school.
Even when people try to squeeze you into ‘their’ decisions for your life, define who you are, and decide for yourself.
Moses, against Pharoah and his daughter’s decision, decided not to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter. He defined and decided his future.
5. Pray more: Not just “thank You Father for today” kind of prayer. Start controlling your future in the spirit realm. Pray. Plead with God. Intercede. Decree a thing.
And wrestle with the powers of darkness. That latter part is what my younger self missed – resisting the devil.
Most times, you cry and wail. But you need to also put on the whole armour… “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood.”
The devil roams about seeking whom to devour. Begin now to contend with him and seize the bright future God has for you.
6. Understand more of the single and marriage world: The gospel is the love relationship between Christ and His bride – the Church. And to tell that story in a way the world will understand, He instituted a relationship between man and woman.
But this is how my much younger self viewed singlehood\marriage – as just a tag. I choose the one that best suits me.
Till one day, I got hit with truth about this matter.
I understood that singlehood is a gift, and marriage a gift too. And He gives them for specific reasons – one after the other. I can’t trash one because I feel the other is better. I trust Him to give me the next gift, while using the present gift for His glory.
And yes, to embrace and live out true femininity in every season of life.
7. Embrace more purity even in your friendship with guys: Sexual purity issues can lie at both extremes – throwing it off the window and involving in different sorts of immorality or completely driving all guys out of your life.
Don’t fall into any of these parties, dear young self. Know how and where to draw lines and boundaries. I explored it in this book.
8. Be more financially intelligent: Learn how to make money, save, and invest. I was all about reading school books, spiritual, motivational, and other stuff except financial intelligence.
In a world where no job waits for you when you’re out of school, the need to be financially and business savvy can’t be over-emphasized.
At least, start with “Rich dad, poor dad.” You’ll have a mind shift.
Even the bible says that, “money answereth all things.”
9. Connect more with people: I love people. I also love being all by myself. And I think I do the latter part more.
But people, good friends, and colleagues, are pillars and walls you can lean on in life. Younger self, don’t let the excuse of “I’m an introvert” hold you back from making tangible networks and connections with people.
You’ll always meet and need them on the stairs of life.
10. Learn more and act more: It’s not enough to read, study and gain knowledge from every angle. Pause. Act on what you’ve learned so far. Knowledge is no more power. Applied knowledge is POWER.
Pick at least ONE thing you’ve learnt here, and act on it now.
Give your future “self” reasons to look back and be happy.