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What would you tell your younger self?

I love when top performers reveal what they wish they knew five, ten, even twenty years earlier in their careers.

Ramit in elementary school

So much I’d love to teach Little Ramit

A few weeks ago, I read the Letter To My Younger Self from Pete Sampras, one of the greatest tennis players ever.

Sampras goes into excruciating detail about lessons he learned the hard way:

  • He warns his 16-year-old self about the dark side of fame
  • He remembers matches he lost by refusing to try new techniques
  • He even scolds himself for putting the wrong things in his body, like the time he drank Coke mid-match and puked on the court

These are the hard-fought insights that only come from experience. Any up-and-coming tennis player would be crazy not to listen to Pete’s advice.

This isn’t just true for tennis pros, either. We all have knowledge, skills and insights that people in the same situation we were in a few years ago would love to tap.

What’s yours?

Maybe it’s that skill you spent an embarrassing amount of time mastering (like ironing).

Maybe it’s the diet that finally worked for you after ten other ones failed.

Maybe it’s the relationship lessons you learned from years of dating.

We all have something worth sharing.

Think about the major areas of your life — your relationships, money, careers, health, or personal growth. What hard-fought lessons have you learned? I want to hear.

Pick just ONE thing you know now that you wish you could teach your younger self. Then share you idea in the comments below.

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Number One thing I wish I could teach my younger self: Stop taking yourself so seriously. You’re 1 of 6 billion people, on a planet that’s only 1 of a number of planets we don’t have a number to describe.

Make mistakes. Be vulnerable. Stop being such a smartass.

I would tell the younger me not to listen to people who tell you that you cannot do something. You can do anything you can put your mind to.

Exactly! Don’t listen to guidance counselors or adults that don’t support your passion just do it!

Hi Ramit,

I would say —

“I wish I knew that people’s opinions may change over a period of time, the people who criticize you today might become your BEST friends tomorrow. Take criticism as an opportunity to plan your best game. Hug your haters and kill them with your kindness.”


I would tell me that it is never too late to begin again to study art. and that your show will be successful..

I would tell young maja only one thing:L
that despite all the abuse, poverty & hurt around her, she has to remember that she deserves all the love & success in the world.

Hi Ramit! This is splendid! Nice one maja! I agree with you & adding to what you said, because it applies to me as well, I would tell my little self: don’t be discouraged. Sounds simple, but for me, it can be quite difficult. Be blessed!

I would tell myself that although patience is a virtue, waiting forever for something to happen will get you nowhere.

I would tell my younger self to learn how to say no to people and not feel obligated to please people at the expense of compromising my own wellbeing (physical, mental, and personal beliefs). You will give up your own power, people will take advantage of you, and you will not necessarily be better off by slaving away for others’ wills and whims.

What’s funny is that my sister told me that our mom told her that she would intentionally say no to us to make us fight back. Odd, because we’re Chinese and it’s not really a cultural thing to be adversarial or unharmonious. Plus whatever mom said usually is final.

My name is Matthew, too, and this is EXACTLY what I should have told myself years ago! Totally agree! (So…is it a “Matthew” thing?!)

I agree with you too, Matthew. My mother is not a beautiful person inside. 5 yrs ago, she was at death’s door.. ER. Had she died then I would have been very sad. After that episode, her true colours came out. Didn’t know she hated me that much. Not that she was so good and kind throughout my life..verbal and mental abuse. Only then I didn’t know it. Just accepted it cos she is my mother. She finds fault with 99% of things and people. Nothing nice to say about anyone she meets. Try to do things for her, still not right. Very difficult for her to give me credit for anything. She lives with us (husband and 3 children) for 35 yrs now. My husband tolerated all these yrs. I am only child. Only in 2010 did he voice out to me. And I never complained to him. He’s no angel but anyone else would have kicked her out long ago.!!! I have 3 wonderful children, the youngest is still a pain sometimes. Half baked potato. Love them and would do anything to help and protect them. Life is good. So that’s my little secret. Too bad for her, she doesn’t have the time to change. LIFE IS GOOD

The secret to creating a sustainable habit is to start (and even stay) small.

If your goal is to start reading, don’t start by reading for an hour a day. You will quickly burn out and give up in a few weeks, if not a few days.

Set your goal to reading 1 page a day. You will most likely end up reading more than one page. After a day/week, you can increase your goal to 2 pages, etc. This also works because on days that you are extremely busy, it takes very little effort/willpower to read just 1 page of a book.

Yes, brilliant idea. As a teacher when I have students read one page a night, they read much more usually because they get into it and feel they’re in control. Harvard study said it only takes 6 min, or 1-2 pages p/n to increase vocabulary and mental acumen.


people live in their heads. It’s rarely about you. Most of the time they’re acting in their own ideas and filters about you and how they think the world works.

Exactly this!! I spent way too much time over-analysing people’s actions towards me and have spent many years being held back by self-doubt even when I knew I was doing the right thing. I wish I hadn’t given those people that amount of power over me. Only now, in my 30s, have I realised how little my actions actually impacted people’s opinions of me and my life, because, to paraphrase what you said, it is mostly about them. There will always be people who don’t want to acknowledge your achievements, even if you do things exactly right.. The key is to focus on the significantly larger group who are on your side and will be honest with you, and look at your achievements as motivation or inspiration rather than a threat. It is a lesson I will definitely be teaching my little girls because I want them to grow up being true to who they are, not trying to fit an ideal set by people who don’t have their best interests at heart.

Spend more time focusing on your power base of friends/colleagues earlier and ask them for guidance. It’s okay to ask for help.

Focus on mastering one skill intensely at a time – trying to do too many things at once will slow your progress

Haylee Buono

I would tell my younger self to be good to my parents. To spend more time with them, and to absorb every lesson they tried to teach me. I wish I had done that, my dad passed away unexpectedly few years ago and I’ll never get that time back. Don’t always assume will be more time for the most important people in your life.

That’s a great sentiment, Haylee, and one I agree with in general. However I really would caution against wasting too much of one’s own life helping one’s parents to sort out the mess resulting from their own conscious, adult mistakes and omissions : this can be at the expense of being free to enjoy one’s own life.

Haylee, I wish for the same. My dad passed away a year ago in November and there hasn’t been one moment that I don’t think about him and how he’s missing all the things new in my life. I wish I had spent more time listening to more of his stories and enjoying his wisdom. I wish I had really paid attention when he was trying to show me how to make all sorts of wonderful knots. I wish I could hug him one more time right here on Earth. I have been too focused on keeping my head above water but I’d like to change that and start to enjoy my family more.

‘Following your dream’ it not a strong way to find fulfillment and a career your enjoy.

To my 17-year-old self:
You are perfect just the way you are. You do not need to diet or lose weight — your weight is perfect. For the rest of your life, your current weight will be the goal weight you hope to achieve.
What you need to do is learn to exercise and be active. Find activities you love to do, and do them. Meet people who are also active and spend time with them.
This way, you will eliminate the one useless preoccupation that keeps you from achieving anything in your life, and a find greater focus on health.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Wish we both would have been able to tell our younger selves this information. Best of health and success to you, Camilla!

I’d try to make my younger self understand that I will not die or be unemployable if I make a mistake in the process of trying to do something bigger or better. I’m still trying to believe that… actually…

Don’t waste time on every new diet/nutrition fad. Sit down and learn your body– what foods cause you to gain weight and what foods make you lean. And just follow that! It works!

Don’t be afraid of women; go to more parties and talk to them.

Go to an university in a bigger city where you’ll have experiences and opportunities to grow and learn.

If you want to move abroad, do it before you’re tied to debts or family.

Start your own company while $25k sounds like a good income, because it’s hard to accept that later.

To my younger self. One day your going to develop a dream that is uncharacteristic of who you are. You will follow that dream and quit when the opportunity is right in front of you. You will decide that it’s not what you want in life. A man will give a chance at a second start for the dream at a later date. Don’t wait until your 37 to figure out if it’s really what you want! Get off your ass now and get physically fit, study hard and get good grades. That girl you think you love so much, well you do but she doesn’t. Get away from her and stay away. She’s bad news dude. Don’t get married until after you’ve paid for your Harley, and never take the chance at losing a good job because your wife can’t handle being alone for a little while. That is all good luck! You’ll fucking need it!

I wish I had known earlier that working for others can never pay off, and I would have taught myself money making & management tips at a much younger age. I wish the younger me had known that Success is not about going to school, getting a job and blah blah blah……..Thanks for the nice article Sethi

Steve- I’m right there with you. I started working at the age of 13 and made so much money as a kid, but didn’t understand the importance of saving. I also didn’t have someone to teach me salary negotiation. If I had only known those two things…..

Yup! Start early, make a plan & invest. In my Twenties, when I was “eternally young”, I bought a Mercedes, paid cash, depleted my savings account. Would have been a nice down payment on a piece of investment property. A few years later, got married and bought a boat! That money could have purchased another Investment property. The Mercedes and the boat are both gone. We now have investment properties, but an earlier start would proved to be a big boost in our current situation.


If you learn valued skills, put in the work, and nurture others’ trust, then you probably will never have to live under a bridge.

Don’t chase accolades – do the real work to become better.

Real success is like natural selection – lost of failure, regrouping, doubling down on what’s working, learning to limit the downside, etc. If success were as easy as it looks on TV, nobody would actually learn any skills.

Also, start reading IWT much sooner;)

“Networking is a teachable skill that even introverts like you can master and is more important than you can possible imagine. Find a good teacher and start practicing.”

You don’t have to be nice to everyone all the time.

Being nice is wonderful, but there are situations where other skills are called for. Because you’re a girl and your family is Lutheran, no one is going to teach you how to stand up for yourself when necessary, so you’ll need to find a way to learn it for yourself.

I could not have said it better. I would have told myself to dream beyond the kitchen, make peace with upsetting others with my ambitions, and allow myself to see the world outside the cultural limitations of a small town.

How and when to listen to yourself. And how to distinguish between the voice telling you you deserve to have the whole pint of ice cream and the one telling you to have an apple. And to know that the one telling you to have an apple is sometimes also the same voice telling you it’s ok to take a day off from the gym. Truly listening and making that distinction is something we all struggle with but it’s possibly the most important thing to learn. But start working at it NOW. Don’t attempt to block the things that hurt you because in some ways those things can become your rudder and your compass in life. You need to learn to just sit with it. Don’t try to run from it or numb it or hurry it along. Pain is like your mom coming as a house guest. Sometimes it’s a big pain in the bum, but – if your mom isn’t a narcissistic sociopath – you’re usually better for the visit after.

I would tell my younger self to trust herself more. We are often so focus on the stuff we “feel we need to learn or need before we move forward with any dream.

I have learned that I have all I need to take the next step and I totally trust that God & the Universe will bring me what I need to continue at the perfect time.

Do not let fear drive your personal, relational, and prices professional decisions. Communicate even when it is hard and may hurt. Don’t bottle things up because it fosters fear, guilt, and resentment. Instead, live for today and this moment because that’s all you are guaranteed.

In the words of R.G. Collingwood: “Perfect Freedom is reserved for the man who lives by his own work and in that work does what he wants.”
Have no fear Tiffany. Look not at the circumstance in front of you but instead at God’s promises. Things are hardly ever what they appear to be.

Take every opportunity that can make you grow and learn something new. You’re too young to be tired, and you can’t know it all. When you feel like you can’t take this anymore – you just have to make another step. It will be life-changing.

Not to be so damn independent and try to do it all yourself. Accept, no, SEEK OUT help from others. Use your connections, but never assume your colleagues will also be your friends.

What I’d say to little Matt:
“Every time you say “yes” to something you know you don’t want to do, you say “no” to the real you.”

When you turn 18, YOU are entirely responsible for your life. NOT your parents. This may sound strange to someone growing up in America or Europe but it’s not uncommon for parents to continue to “control” their children after they turn 18 and decide what they study in school, who they can date/marry, etc.

No, I’m not saying you should disobey your parents as soon as you turn 18, unless maybe if they stubbornly hold on to a “my way or the highway” school of thinking. But it’s time for you to start setting your own goals and taking responsibility for your own life instead of handing that to your parents or blindly following their rules and expectations. They may have your best interests at heart (knock on wood) but they don’t necessarily know what’s the best course of action to achieve it. YOU need to find out and perhaps consult other experts, your parents being only ONE of countless trusted experts out there.

Graduate school is a complete and utter waste of time unless you’re at one of the very super-elite schools.

instead go to work, start a side business while paying off your student loans. Get ready to make the jump out of corporate america as soon as possible. Do not waste your life rotting in a cube.

The first decision to make is almost always “Is this worth worrying about?” or “Does this de-rail me?” If the answer is no, then go with whatever makes you and other people happy with the least effort. Yes answers are rare, and when they happen, you’ll have energy and resources to devote to them.

Work hard, play hard.

In undergrad, I was overly reserved with both. Let me explain – I had terrible study habits and time management skills. I’d waste my time watching pointless movies or playing video games. But then when it came to the really fun stuff actually worth the time, like concerts, holiday parties, road trips, and so on – all of a sudden, I ‘had to study’ and would refuse to go. So my fun time was mediocre, which provided a very mediocre level of motivation to work hard, leading to very mediocre studying habits. My grades sucked, and now I’m paying for it. 3 years later (which still isn’t all TOO bad, considering), I’m working my tail off to make up for my years squandered.

work hard, play hard. (or if you’re really disciplined, work hard, play harder)

One of the most important thing that I learnt from my past experience is HESITATION that hinders a man from taking a first step. Once you have taken the start, problems will disappear with the passage of time. If you are determined and patient, you can achieve your goals. Look at my Youtube Channel:

Though, it’s not great as it ought to be, yet I’ve achieved what I never thought of. In the beginning, I was unable to produce a single video, but with the passage of time and investing some time and money, I have made great improvement in making videos. For example, watch this video:
When compared with the rest of my video, I think, it’s far better than them.

Hi younger me,

There is more to late nights getting drunk on beer. Use that time to expand your IT knowledge. Learn Ruby or other web based language.

Your older self

I wish I could go back and teach myself personal responsibility – that is that I’m the only one responsible for the choices I’ve made and the life I’ve led. I wasted all of college and most of my 20s feeling entitled, being completely miserable and blaming other people for my unhappiness when things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to. I look back at my 23 year old self – who, by the way, made double the income I make now, and wonder what on earth I had to complain about. I spent all my time at work being self-righteous and superior and no time trying to make meaningful contributions. I’m glad I finally wised up because today I feel like a completely different person and am so embarrassed by my past attitudes.

When an opportunity comes your way, seize it, don’t over think it.
And there will be plenty! All that money in your piggy bank? Invest it NOW. Listen to your gut, its right. (most of the time) And although you always like to color in the lines, ALWAYS think OUTSIDE THE BOX.
Do what you love, not what someone else thinks you should do. And SCARE YOURSELF SILLY . . sometimes.

I’ll tell my younger self, you don’t have to agree with everyone just bec they are older to you. also, that you should hear; think ; question/verify, n that its okay to fail sometimes.

Kairis Chiaji

The one thing I would teach my younger self is that none of the things I did (or didn’t do) determined my value. Because it was a given I could take my time and choose things that were valuable to do. Trying to earn my value (love, importance, inclusion, eternity) actually only serves to diminish it.

I would have told my younger self about nutrition. In middle school and high school I decided that ice cream bars were a perfectly fine replacement for a decent lunch. I didn’t know much of anything about why some foods were unhealthy. I believed that the only real danger of eating that way was tooth decay, so as long as I kept my teeth brushed and clean I would be fine.
Now looking back, I can only shake my head at how much I didn’t understand about nutrition.

Dear 27 year old me –

Don’t fuck the old acquaintance you meet up with on vacation when you’ve just met the woman you’ll end up marrying. And don’t tell half truths to cover it up, dumb ass. It always comes out in the end. I don’t care how drunk and horny you are, I can’t believe you’d let it cross your mind for more than a nanosecond.

– 43 year old me
Imminent divorcee

It does get better. These are great times (the teenage years) but the future is much better. You will fall in love, feel loved, and be loved. And it will all be worth it.

Dana Wohlwend

Dear 8 year old self: Be yourself and if no one wants to play with you, that’s OK. Don’t try to buy friendship – it won’t be real.

That when you choose your career you are not choosing one for the rest of your life. I would also point out a few courses in the creative industries that I might like to consider as alternatives when I went to University!

shubhankar dasgupta

Do whatever you want don’t by any means suppress your desires full each and every one of those.

Tell my younger self:
People aren’t watching or judging you nearly as much as you imagine. Get out there, do your thing. The consequences of a “failure” aren’t nearly as catastrophic as you imagine.

I’d tell my younger self::

Force yourself into uncomfortable situations (as an introvert, this was pretty much any social situation, giving a presentation, etc.). Being uncomfortable means you are growing because growing is uncomfortable. So force yourself into as many of these uncomfortable situations as you can so that you can grow faster.


A house is an expensive liability and not an asset. It costs way more than you think.

Andreas Louca

I would tell my 20 year old self to get off my ass and workout and eat good. It produces a ripple effect and improves almost every aspect of your life.

I would tell little Amy that wearing Levi’s shrink to fit boys jeans, sewn to look like tapered skinny jeans, was NOT a flattering look. 😕
However to see the creativity I had for fashion and design. To have asked what fashion design was and to have sought out exposure to learning about design.
As an early 20 something, I would tell myself, to listen to the gut intuition and not get married at 21!!! I knew it, but again decided to go with what others seemed to be the next step in life.
Found out that only I really know what that is for me and to allow for those chances in life to learn what my next step is.

My advise to myself at about 8–push your parents to help you find the “right” stuff for you (sport, mentors, etc.). They did okay with helping you change schools after you told them. Take that as a cue that they have no idea how to help you further. You need to tell them more what they can do to help you.

Be choosy about the people you are with. They will influence you a lot. Hang onto the healthy people. Get good experiences with people who inspire you to become better. Your social circle is pretty much your compass.

Dont be afraid to fire or move on from poor performers or staff members.
Having big goals is a great thing and if the people you have on your team are not delivering you need to move on and do it quickly. For a long time I felt like if I pushed harder, enticed with future rewards, ect the person could get it done.
Other times I might have been afraid of the outcome of bringing in a new person to clean up the previous persons mess, and the loss the investment with getting rid of the original team member, which caused me to stick with people far longer then I should have

I would tell myself to stop listening to my dad after I get the degree I want. His life is different from mine, and he hasn’t travelled the path I want to go on from here on out. Also, stop feeling like you have to justify everything you do when someone asks… usually the effort to explain is a complete waste of time.

How to make friends with high quality people. Specifically:

-how to be a good friend
-how to tell when you’re in a toxic relationship and how to respond
-how to set boundaries so you’ll eliminate the toxic crazy makers and everyone else will respect you

I didn’t have a clue and put up with a lot of bad behavior for years. It was only once I worked on my relationships that my quality of life and self-esteem skyrocketed. I could lose everything tomorrow but as long as I had my relationships, I know I’d be okay and rebuild.

I would tell my (much) younger self to find a career or passion that makes you (me) happy. I was raised to be responsible, practical, employed not necessarily happy though. Although all those things have merit, I would have been far more successful, and happy had I pursued something I actually liked, or made me happy.

I would tell my younger self to focus on what matters in life. Don’t waste my time with unnecessary things and do what needs to be done. And to also try new things.

I would tell myself that I should not listen to those arguing I do not have a talent for sports. I won two silver medals in a niche sport after my sports teacher told me I cannot throw a ball. I would tell myself instead of arguing, thinking, i should start to work hard AND smart. And then detail what to do, step by step, every step i have learnt about along the way. And also, who I can trust with information. This all retains to one thing: Talent is inborn, you cannot change it, but if you listen to talent, you will never understand how practice pays off after years.

I would tell my younger self that I don’t have to save everything; that tomorrow has “stuff” in it waiting for me, and I don’t have to drag “stuff” from the past into the present into the future. I can let things go. (I actually did teach myself this, and I became a professional organized, to help others learn what I most needed to learn back then).

The only constant in life is change. Don’t fight it. Expect it, embrace it, and flow with it. In careers, relationships, your body, and your spirit, change happens. It can be growth or decay. Both are necessary.

My career advice to my younger self after ten years of working: Your career will not be a meritocracy. Working hard is not enough, you must choose work hard at the right things. More importantly, you must work for the right people in order to get where you want to go.

My relationship advice to my younger self after ten years of dating: It doesn’t take years to know that you want to be with a person. Your gut instincts about a person within the first hour or two after you meet them are often the most accurate.

My advice on personal development to my younger self: Do not confuse passion with addiction. Meditate regularly (and in the proper manner) in order to strengthen your mind and take more control of your emotions. It is important to learn how to let go of the emotions you need to let go of, and enjoy the moments you should be enjoying.

Dear Young me, don’t fall for that easy credit trap. And it’s OK for you to take time for yourself. Most important, don’t stop working out. Ever.

I would tell my younger self not to believe that everyone has your best interest at heart. I would warn her to be careful when selecting a school to attend and help her understand student loans.

Being an Indian kid I was always given a staple diet of milk and wheat(chappatis).I never quite felt good or my stomach would be gaseous all the time.Now my stomach remains clean as a whistle and barely bothers me.I feel light and fit all the time.I wish i could tell my younger self to go dairy and gluten free.
meditation is another thing i could have told my younger self to do,or read the book “Influence” by Cialdini.Damn! you make me wistful Ramit.All these feels…

When someone (especially a close family elder) tells you to “know your limitations” you should tell them “my limitations are set by my desire” … when someone (especially a close family friend) tells you “at some point beauty fades and you will notice yourself not being looked at” tell them to call up Sofia Loren, Vanessa Williams and Helen Mirin and ask if that’s happened to them yet” and if at any point the person who you love and cheer for is not your biggest cheerleader, know you have a whole universe of fans dying to meet you.

I would tell my younger self to take some time to figure out and honor what she really wants to do in life and then go after it. Not to let other people dictate what you should study. I would also take more time to learn about investments at an early age before getting married and finally I would tell myself to treat my husband as a king.

I would tell myself. The voice inside is the only one that counts. Give respect to good advice but only if it feels true for you. The love and acceptance you seek so desperately has to come from you. No one placed you here to be what others want. Be you 1000%. The purest and highest form of love comes from you loving wholely with out any expectations or need for reciprocation. Appretiation feels really, really good, so appreciate the shit out of everything in your path. P.S. I love you! You’re freaking awesome:-)

little Bobby, from old Bob

what old Bob would tell young Bobby:
When you had all those duplexes and foolishly sold them all because they were too labor-intensive and taking all of your time and strength, you should INSTEAD have asked other property owners how THEY handled furnace repair, painting, plumbing repair, tenant relationships, NOT just sold all the duplexes and put the money in the stock market. Stocks were good then but they suck now. Meantime, rental properties are GOLD now though they were troublesome then. STUFF GOES IN CYCLES, and cycles are not forever, dummy. It’s the #3 rule of life’s 7 rules: GET THE MONEY, even if the source of the money changes from year to year. Money is the root of all GOOD: puts food on the table, pays doctors and hospitals, gives you freedom of choice.

Make your bed.
Every. single. fuckin. day.
Starting your day with organization and good habits is a small start to the the things you will need to do down the road. And if it pisses you off that much to make the damned bed, use that energy to get yourself to the place where you hire someone to make it for you.

Love is a behavior. When people who say one thing, but do another, pay attention to what they do, not what they say.

Chill out and enjoy life. Turns out no one cares about the things you’re insecure about.

I did not know that exercise was a “thing” that people did. No one in my family worked out or did anything of the sort, so I didn’t grow up with any kind of exercise ethic. I’d tell my younger self that daily exercise is as important as studying and good grades and saving for retirement. I excel in so many areas, but exercise and eating right have plagued me for years. I just always think if I’d grown up with that mindset, it’d be easier today.

I would tell myself, that listening to advice and diagnosis (about my daughter) is all good and well – but first listen to your heart and second BELIEVE in your knowledge about your own kid.
My daughter was born with a rare chromosom-defect, for 6 years she was regarded as “normal” and her retarded development was my fault. I beat myself up for years, for not doing enough, for not beeing enough, when my feeling always told me, there’s something “wrong” in all this. It took me 6 f****** years until I had the courage to question all those experts. And go looking for people who trustet my feelings and started looking at my kid. And I was right the whole d*** time: it wasn’t her fault or mine, it was just not in her genes 😉

Vince Murrey Jr

Anyone who is sexually active, whether straight, bisexual, or gay, (I’m straight!), make sure you use protection when you have sex!! Make sure your partner(s) are std free. The only way to know that you don’t have a sexually transmitted disease is to get tested if you have had any kind of sex. That is protected sex, or the big No No, especially if you don’t know your partners status, is unprotected sex. I’ve been tested for stds and I’m happy and blessed to know that I’m std free. Know your status if you have had sex and make sure you don’t have any STDs!!! I’m currently trying to bring more chastity into my life and not have sex until I’m married. There’s also more meaning to being chaste along with not having sex until you’re married. Look it up if you want to know more about it. Use protection for oral, vaginal, and anal sex. They have female condoms, oral damns “mouth condoms”, and of course latex condoms for guys. Stay healthy!! Exercise and diet well!!!

Jessica Juarez

I would say to myself…the ultimate success is having love and life skills which create the freedom to live your life in anyway you chose.

The advice I would give my younger self is, “Hey, this learning and school stuff isn’t b.s. If you don’t see how it applies to you, go figure out how it does or will apply to you…and do it now. Keep learning. Seek out and try new things. Before long you’ll know what you want to do with your life and be way ahead of the other folks who can’t even decide on a major until halfway through college.”

Just ONE?

Your happiness and self-worth is not directly correlated to pleasing others. Break some rules. (Shit. Break them all.) Besides, no one is going to hand *it* to you.

If I could offer myself three insights, I’d add:

You’re depressed because you’re eating Pop-tarts for breakfast. Just leave the gluten and sugar alone. SRSLY.

Save. Save more. Save MORE. Invest your inheritance.

And I’d also say, Good job. You had your head up about love and lust and didn’t throw yourself around or put yourself in compromising or unsafe situations. Your standards and self-care have served you (and your daughter) well!

I would tell my younger self that her body is hers. That she never has to have sex just because a guy wants it. I would tell her about the importance of loving herself, all of herself, because that will make a solid home for her to come home to again and again, even if things in the outside world are challenging. I would encourage her to be true to herself, knowing that even if the truth hurts a little bit in the moment, it hurts a lot less than withholding it.

So very true! I feel that we’ve been conditioned to ignore it and just trust in reason.

I’d say to myself:
Set big goals that make you stretch in all ways – especially in the ones that scare you and never ever give up.
As you move toward your goal, you don’t know what you don’t know, so read books and educate yourself way beyond regular school.
Read authors that have abundance mindset – you gotta be after the results.
It’s nice to explore the world outside but take time to know yourself. Read psychology, practice mindfulness, practice meditation.
Push forward hard but have the foundation ready first. And don’t make a move until you certain that you’re ready.
Skill with people is number 1 skill to learn, practice and master.

Don’t be so scared. Of everything. The greatest things in your life will come from the times you were scared and went ahead anyway, and the ones you will most regret are the ones you never even tried.

The number one thing I will tell my younger self is to take a chance in life and constantly try new things. Then the second thing will be is listen to your pain because it points out the ” weakness” and use the knowledge to help propel you to grow and develop.

Read about narcissism and know the signs. And do NOT tolerate narcissism in a partner, it will create a living nightmare. Also, do not assume that you’ll be able to see health problems developing in time to do something about them. Your health can tank overnight.

I would tell my much younger self to listen to my gut ( that sense in me that just knows) and not what other people advise me to do (including the truths from “gurus” and other well-meaning advisors) unless that advice feels right. A lot of it has to do with self-confidence. When we’re not sure of ourselves we tend to listen to others instead of ourselves. No one has your answers so trust your Self. Of course that would mean knowing to distinguish between your true Self and the tricks of the mind. By getting quiet and still that can easily be accomplished.

Risk is a great source of failure, but the only source of great rewards. I wasted way too much time fearing failure.

I would tell myself to be genuine with everything I do. Don’t look for the easy or quick way around something. Embrace problem solving, and enjoy the process.

I would also tell my younger self to surround yourself with good people. That’s a simple concept, but something I didn’t always do when I was younger. I would encourage myself to invest in genuine friendships and to be less selfish. To be a sponge, and embrace learning.

And last but not least, I would tell my younger self to not invest in the idea of “money” when entering a businesses opportunity. Don’t chase money. Chase opportunity and growth. Invest in building and creating something of true value to someone else.

“You are not the loner you seem to be; you are a creative genius and everyday saint. Your authentic self is compelled to be brilliant and serve others. This is your bliss.”

Don’t marry the wrong person. Being alone is infinitely better than marrying someone that doesn’t share your same values, drive and parenting goals. Most importantly don’t marry someone that doesn’t treat you like the best thing that ever happened to them.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! Your mother’s business techniques and attitudes are what has caused your family to prosper. Whether or not you like or respect someone, figure out what they have done to be successful, and use that. Don’t wait until you are 30 to be assertive and ask for what you want, just because someone you don’t like has does the same.

Hudson Handel

Anything you want in life needs to be earned. You will not value anything that is handed to you.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid to not try at all. You won’t die just because you didn’t succeed at something. And WHEN you fail, learn from it. Learn from other people’s mistakes and successes.

Jonathan Shultz

I would tell myself, don’t smoke cigarettes, and if you find yourself “addicted” to them you CAN quit! Don’t listen to the biggest lie of all time, which is that they are more addictive than heroine. Says who? If I had known that that was false, I would have tried quitting decades before I actually quit – and I would have saved myself unknown amounts of damage and my grandchildren would get to know me a lot longer.

I would tell young Oxana that I admire her for being so brave when at the age of 22 she left her family, friends and everything she new in search for her adventure, dreams and fulfilment by moving to a new country. I would also tell her to believe people when they say how amazing she is instead of making meanings and focusing on negative events, thoughts and feelings. Every single person you will meet on your path will be your teacher – appreciate knowing them and look for a silver lining in every situation. But above all, my dear younger self, trust that all is well and your dreams will come true. With love, from your 20 years older self!

Couldn’t agree more. Also, set up an environment that’s conducive to brushing your teeth.

Your biggest enemy are the scripts you learned as a child to make sense of your chaotic world but never changed when the contex you learned then in did. You never think to ask Is this script valid in the context i am living in now?

Anyone who is sexually active, whether straight, bisexual, or gay, (I’m straight!), make sure you use protection when you have sex!! Make sure your partner(s) are std free. The only way to know that you don’t have a sexually transmitted disease is to get tested if you have had any kind of sex. That is protected sex, or the big No No, especially if you don’t know your partners status, unprotected sex. I’ve been tested for stds and I’m happy and blessed to know that I’m std free. Know your status if you have had sex and make sure you don’t have any STDs!!! I’m currently trying to bring more chastity into my life and not have sex until I’m married. Tough, yes. There’s also more meaning to being chaste along with not having sex until you’re married. Look it up if you want to know more about it. Use protection for oral, vaginal, and anal sex. They have female condoms, oral dams “mouth condoms”, and of course latex condoms for guys. Stay healthy, use protection/get tested if you have sex, and even better…BE CHASTE!!!

I would tell a younger mike that life is about exploring, and so try more things and literally put myself out there because if I fail- I will not die.

I would tell my younger self: Don’t be in such a rush to grow up and be an adult. Live in the moment and enjoy every minute of it. The grass isn’t always greener on the the other side. Don’t be in such a rush to get married that you marry the first guy that asks you. Wait. Wait for the One. The right One. Never settle for anything less than what you really want. Marry your bestfriend and enjoy the world with him. It’s never too late, there’s always time until your last, dying breath.

Study slightly more when I was young and not waste school years doing nothing (which is what I did). Many doors will never open for you because they assume your worth is tied to your grades, that’s the only objective measure prospective employers have when you’re 23. You’ll need to be a hustler for the rest of your life if you want to catch up with your potential.

I would say to my you g self not to be afraid of trying new things and sometimes best things happen when you take risk..

I wish someone would have told me how to train my mind. It is amazing how much our unconscious affects our daily decisions and actions yet most of the priming and shaping that our unconscious receives is left to our environments.

I spent a lot of time focusing on things that were out of my control and getting frustrated. I spent a lot of time focusing on results and outcomes which were out of my control instead of focusing on improving my attitude, effort, and actions which were all in my control.

I would tell myself to keep my greatest ideas to myself. Figure them out and then after maybe a year of development then tell other people. Because the best ideas are squashed by well meaning friends and family

I would say to myself, “If a girl says to you ‘it’s me and you against the world’….RUN!!”

I’d emphasize to my younger self the importance of getting it DONE over getting it perfect, and of being willing to move to action even while feeling underprepared. Taking the action itself will teach you so much more than you can possibly anticipate–and the consequences of waiting too long to act or never acting at all can be profound.

Don’t let the noise fool you; even the compliments can be deceptive and some of that “wisdom” isn’t wise at all — the Bible says “prove those things that are good”. Be aware of your surroundings but don’t be paranoid — God DOES have your back. Laugh laugh laugh — the people who tell you otherwise are caught up in their own lost world. Keep reading, it will define your future, but don’t eat so much while you read — that too will define your future. It’s okay, another boy, a kinder boy will come along.

Intelligence is not enough you need to put in the work.
Take care of your health and diet this will allow your body to carry your mind.

Listen to your inner voice, honor what you are hearing and feeling;
Let the universal Soul be your guide in your life’s journey…

This is your Life and you can do whatever you want with it. You can be whoever you want to be, you can talk to anyone you wanna talk to, you can have anything you wanna have. If one human being can do it, so can every other human being. Never allow yourself to be fooled into thinking or feeling otherwise, especially not by those who say, do or act like the opposite is true; they are either playing to lose or playing to make others lose in order for themselves to win. Go for what YOU want, trust your gut, ignore the haters completely and take to heart only what likeminded people have to say. Support those you’d like to have suporting you, and always live a Life that is first and foremost dedicated to mastery as well as providing value to others. Everything else your heart desires WILL follow. Lastly and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and PLAY – after all, Life is just one big game for you to have fun with while learning and growing.

This might a big lump of several teachings, but overall, I feel like they make up my current viewpoint that I would wish anyone at any age to operate from. It’s quite a different world to walk around in when you look at it from this angle. I definitely wish I knew half of this when I was 10 years younger.

I’d tell my younger self to FOCUS ON WHAT WORKS. I lost so much time crying about what I didnt have or couldn’t do because of, say, lack of opportunities, or lack of skill/talent or lack of will power/ focus. It was a loser mindset because what’s helped me build a good life that I love is just persistent work in ONE AREA. Alternately, for other skills that I needed to build, all it takes is to try and improve on ONE THING at a time – starting with what comes easiest. Just one. I still can’t do most things well, but when I focus on what I CAN do, just a little bit better than i used to before…then its like magic!

I will tell her to not run away from dance and tennis lessons even if she was mediocre at it. Not to discount your elders because you don’t like them. Listen, reflect and verify. Trust instincts.
Do not make decision of whom you marry lightly. Do not mess up your life to show others that you don’t change your mind. Change your mind. Sometimes quitting is okay. Be a little more humble.

There are things you can change about yourself and things you can’t. You are gay. Praying and pleading with God to change that will only mess with your mental health. You can however improve your study habbits and communication skills. You don’t have to do that on your own. There are life coaches and counselors at school whom are there to help you with these things.

I would tell my younger self that you are valuable and you can do anything you set your mind to.

Tom Vaughan-Mountford

To my younger self:

You’ll have lots of good ideas, yet you’ll spend years giving-up on them the first time someone says “That won’t work because…” Quit listening to ‘advice’ and pursue your ‘silly ideas’ no matter what people say to dissuade you. In your thirties you’ll cringe at the list of missed opportunities.

Report cards will tell you to be ‘more focussed’ and ‘concentrate more’ because ‘you can’t be good at everything’ – tell them all to get lost! Specialism doesn’t suit you, and you’re not alone in questioning whether that means you’re not really very good at anything – far from it, you are amazingly adaptable and can learn the skills to tackle new challenges very quickly. A thing called ‘e-learning’ comes along, your teachers never saw it coming.

You have no interest in exams and don’t study for any of them. I get it, you hate the idea there’s only one right answer – trust me, it’s actually a mindset that defines your career. You will fail your A-levels abysmally. Don’t concern yourself with it – not one person will ever ask about your grades. Ever. The Internet came along and made much of what you were taught, especially about careers and life choices, totally obsolete.

Most of all – when people provide you with ‘advice’ you never asked for, don’t goddam listen to them – you’ll eventually resent them for it.

I’d tell my younger self that people who make fun of you/are unnecessarily mean tend to be jealous of you for having something that they wish they had and are too lazy to put in the work to get it.

I would like to tell my younger self. Be yourself and dont listen others too much.Protect your heart. And work for the things others cant take away from you. .

Don’t be afraid of failure. Even if you don’t win, at least you know you’ve tried and if you would like to win the next time, ask yourself “how can I improve?”.

Also, always be honest and true to yourself.

I wish I didn’t tell myself that I wasn’t good enough to follow any of my dreams. It launched into 30 years of me not knowing what i wanted to do with my life because I never committed to the things I was passionate about! How great it would have been to start chasing my dreams at the age of ten. I’d probably be an amazing author, dancer, and performance artist by now.

I would train my younger self to keep my mouth shut about things I see and hear,especially in the office setting.
No one cares and it only causes problems to bring up issues to a management that does not care about employees.

Who tell me younger self to always read the fine print in contracts and save medical/ Financial paperwork.

I would tell my younger self to not be disheartened by failure and I would answer back at people who put me down because I failed at something. I wouldn’t care for not having cool or many friends. I would be happy to be myself (a bit shy but empathetic) and see what I am capable of.

I would like to tell my young self to always investigate and do due diligence before making an investment no matter how rosy the returns sound. Again take due consideration of your wife’s views in any venture you intend to make. Women have special gifts from God to advice their husbands and children for good.

I’d tell myself to live slowly and focused, to ignore arrogant thoughts and fail often. That is what I’m still trying to put in my mind as of now.

I would tell my younger self that the best thing I can do to enable myself to continue to grow is to get comfortable in my own skin and really own who I am. More than anything I can point all my successful phases of growth to this attitude.

I would tell myself to spend less time worrying and to invest the gained time in nurturing relationships.

I’m having a bit of difficulty narrowing it down beyond three:

* Damage is not defect. A LOT of things that you don’t like to acknowledge as being there (because they look like weakness) flow into habits and attitudes, and doing anything about them requires digging into those things.
* Responsibility is not blame. We need to be the ones to sort out our own issues even if external events caused them, but that doesn’t equate to needing to feel guilt over having them.
* Obsession isn’t necessarily a flaw, as much as people tend to suggest otherwise. People who do truly impressive things – Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Van Gogh – were obsessed with their work. For every disaster that’s come from jumping too deeply into something there’s also a book finished, a song written, a skill learned. Learn to harness it rather than just suppressing it.

I would tell my younger self not to be afraid of all the opportunities that are in front of you. The ideas that you have about starting your own business is something you should look into regardless of what the people around you say. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because it’s too risky!!

I would tell my younger self to balance hard work and fun. I would pay more attention to my own desires rather than trying to please everybody else around me. I would forgive myself for mistakes I have made and move on as anything that is in the past can not be changed. To sum up, I would encourage younger me to love myself rather than expect to receive help and support externally. Forgive, forget and learn from your experiences and use that knowledge to become a better version of yourself!

I want to share not fear change
Life shifts daily be ready to ride the unknown
Do not allow fear to stop you from what you want

I would tell my super talented self not to rely on my enormous natural talents as they can only take me so far, and to study MUCH more to be able to see the true extent of my extraordinary potentials come to fruition.

I would tell my self it’s OK to fail; failure is an event, not something that define’s who you are as a person.

I wouldn’t tell/teach my younger self anything every choice (right or wrong in that moment) has led to the man I am today and I wouldn’t change that

Trust your instinct and stop doing things because it’s what other people think you should do.

I would tell myself, “don’t be afraid to fail because you worry about what people think.” Every failure/setback will have a lesson in it that will contribute to my success. So embrace the freedom to fail and succeed alike. Keep going and trust life.

Listen up younger me:
When opportunities for a greater and better life come your way FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY!
If you don’t, you will find yourself at 54 years old trying to accomplish in 6 years (before you hit 60), what you should have been accomplishing in the past 3 decades of your life. Wake up! Time passes by a lot quicker than you now think.

I would tell myself, Do not take arab class at college it will help your G.P.A but it will be much more useful if you take portuguese. Specially when you will have to spend 12 hours in a brazilian airport

I’d tell little Brian not to be so hard on himself, be patient, and hold out for the things you really want.

I would tell my self to stop pleasing everyone else and start thinking and taking care of myself first. I’m sure I could avoided years of being sick if I wasn’t working and stressing so much as an employee in an corporate organisation ….. it’s not worth it and no one will ever thank me….. ☺

I wish I had studied more! Not just because I would have had more knowledge earlier in life, but because you learn so much about how hard work and discipline pay off.

I wish I could have told my younger self that there is no such thing as perfect. As long as I always work towards excellence, that is good enough. I have wasted a lot of time not being decisive enough because the fair of failure and not making the perfect move, not understanding that I was just hurting myself and not allowing me to have the real experiences I was supposed to have.

I used to think that I needed to be like others in order for them to like me. In reality, this just pushed them further away.

Theresa C.

Just because someone is one of the most important people in your life, it doesn’t mean their advice is always the best choice for you. My mom has influenced a few decisions over the years & I would have been MUCH better off listening to my own instincts.

I would have told my younger self to have some fun and not be so afraid of failing. Today i am different experience gave me the time management and motivation i need to work full time and have fun with my kids.

You’re going to mess up, you’re going to fail at some point in your life at something or another, everyone does, there is nothing wrong with that- the worst thing is if you don’t take any chances, you fail by default.

An easy one: I’d recommend the exact food antibody tests that my current dietitian recommended so that I could change my diet and get my health back right away instead of spending five years at various doctors trying to figure out why I was miserably ill all the time.

I’d also tell myself to not listen to myself and others who said that software engineering was too difficult or not a good fit for me. Turns out I have the skills and am really good at it, and I should have gotten started earlier instead of wasting time thinking I wasn’t talented enough for it or wouldn’t enjoy it.


I will tell my younger self:
– to stay focus and follow my passion rather than wasting years trying to chase my parents dream.
– that I can be anything I want to be in life.

I would tell my younger self to stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Everyone has skills they’re great at doing, and some they’re not so great at doing. I wish I would have quit my high paying software job years ago and started teaching like I wanted to do. I let money and fear stop me for years. Finally I stopped making excuses and worked really hard to make my career change. Now I’m really happy and working at my dream job that fits me very well. I’m not trying to jam a square peg in a round hole anymore and I’m much happier in a career far better suited for me.
Same thing holds true for dating. Stop trying to make someone who isn’t the right match for you partner if they’re just not a good fit. There is a lid for every pot. Don’t attach yourself to someone who isn’t the right fit.

Think of what you want. Make a plan, write it down. Read it regularly. Do what it says and dont stop until you succeed.

Golf will be a lot more fun if you stop thinking you’re better than you are. Don’t confuse sex for love. When real love comes along, you’ll know it (maybe).

I would tell my younger self:

Read non-fiction. Read it critically. Test the ideas, record feedback and results, and improve the process of applying content.

Stay curious, but more importantly take more action. If I had to give it a Diablo II analogy: knowledge= map hack. You can see the entire level, but you still have to work through it and defeat the boss. Action can be measured and seen and will internalize much faster than reading can. Start before your ready, and often times you’ll realize you were born ready.

Hi Ramit. Looking back I’d tell myself to hold on to the madness that I exhibited when I’d walk up to random strangers to find out about them, what they did and how they did it. I’d tell myself to never lose sight of the child within and the curious way I looked at life thus explored. I’d remind to constantly chase after the seemingly elusive things with the very same wide eyed regard I smile at everyday today. I’d caution myself to not be influenced by what ,y peers think and to dare to live a little. I’d choose my mantras and abide by their truths and strive to not be swayed. Then I’d re-read this letter and pin it to my mirror and do it over again and again and again.

I could kick myself for not taking a trip overseas when I could have.

I would tell my younger self that I deserve to spend money on myself and on things that aren’t necessities.

There will be people coming into your life who will want to make you unhappy. It is perfectly okay to avoid those people.

Angie unduplicated

I’d take this a step further. Haters are numerous and often organized, and you cannot always avoid them. Start networking to find non-hating achievers now, before they get ahead of you for life.
Don’t let phys ed teachers ruin your confidence. Somebody will always be last in the class. All the improvement in the world is ahead of you, and exercise eventually will save your life.

I wish I could teach my younger self not to feel responsible for other people’s happiness. People will be happy, or they will not– nothing I do will change their emotional patterns.

The one thing I’ve learnt that I wish I could tell my younger self is be yourself! I’ve learnt that people will try to box you in either because they think you can’t do it or because your dreams make them uncomfortable but I’ve learnt that in order to be successful you have to keep pushing despite the whisperers and naysayers keep your heart right remain humble eyes on the prize and remember that being the smartest one in the room means you’re in the wrong room! Each day is different and a chance at a fresh start is eagerly waiting come midnight! Embrace you and love you!

Jake Kempen

16 year old Jake, you’re not a cool guy. Stop trying to make people think you are. Instead, show others how cool they are. It’s reciprocal.

You’re never too young to do awesome things. Don’t wait to “grow up” or for people to take you seriously to try your biggest and most daring ideas. Try them now.

Dear younger self,
Do no listen to people who do not have the skills and experience to give good, sound, and honest advice. If you want to build wealth, talk to people who have it. Do not speak with people who have no understanding of money and are long term dependents of government services.
Older self

There are a lot of things I would tell the younger me. Most notably, I’d probably tell myself to have more confidence in my own abilities, and to utilize those abilities to start myself on the path of entrepreneurship much sooner.

Don’t worry about changing your mind about what you want to do with your life, even after twenty years. Happiness is worth way more than lots of money.

Go after what you really want.

C Nicole Sullivan

I wish I’d taken more risks. I played it way too safe in my 20’s.

I also wished I fixed my health and lost weight then.

I would have told myself that not everyone leads the same life. 9-5 is NOT the way it has to be. There are so many ways to make your way in the world, make sure you know you don’t have to do it the way “they’re” doing it.

Alright, Ramit you always say be brutally honest, so here it goes. NO FAP. Seriously, the long-term impact that it has had on my mental and physical health is insane.

I would have also loved to learn how to think rich and big when I was young instead of having to rewire everything now.

Seconded. Porn addicts, young anon, and it makes you an objectifying coward. Steer clear and preserve your dignity, peace of mind, and happiness in the company of women.

Try harder in everything! Try harder in school, try harder in play, try harder when cleaning house, try harder when doing hobbies, try harder when decluttering. Try harder in everything!

I’d tell my younger self to buy and live in a 2 family house the moment I could swing it. Live there until I could refinance and take out enough equity to buy another – and repeat. By now, I’d have amassed a dozen rental properties or more and had that passive income coming in.

The tax benefits, price appreciation, pride of ownership and security of owning a home make renting the wrong decision for most people – especially with rents in many areas so high that a mortgage is less expensive.

I’d also tell my younger self that I shouldn’t have waited so long to propose to my wife. 36 years later, it was the best thing I’ve ever done! (Why oh why did I wait 6 months to propose, when I KNEW she was the one on our first date?)

Sarvesh Kanodia

I wish someone told me that each individual is responsible for his own life and no one can else can take a better decision for me on my behalf.

Don’t be afraid to take a different path. If most of your friends does A, you need to think whether A is the right thing for you?

Ask yourself: Is A where you want to go? Is it something you like? Is it going to make you happy in the next few years or more? and is it the kind of rich life that you want to live?

Don’t flow with them just because they do it or because you’re afraid that if you do E, you’ll get criticized, rejected or disrespected by your family, friends, teachers or people.
By the end of the day, it ain’t about what they think or feel, its about the kind of rich life that you want to live. Don’t live a miserable life full of regret. Go and do something you like and interested. Live life to the fullest my man, no “ahh i should’ve done it” type of regrets instead get the “Well at the least i’ve tried it” type of regrets with a plus of “anything else that i can do differently?”
I know you like the freedom of choice, i know you like to help people, i know you like to teach, i know you like to play, i know you like to experiment, i know you like to do things without having to worry about the money, and i know you like to build things. So find something that goes within these categories.

Do some research, meet the people in the field, get some insight of the things that they do, and learn from them. You’ll leap by bounds if you do so. Don’t be lazy, being lazy won’t get you anywhere and if you are already lazy, go and hang out with the same type people, get excited, do something together, be accountable with each other or build a system of schedule the flows for you. Something along with what i just said should work for you.
Remember to work hard but smart and don’t miss out on relaxing (ITS IMPORTANT) Its such a backlash when you have to take a long rest due to stress. And one more thing Bryan, be wary of opportunities when you’re already working on something. Don’t immediately jump right into it just because you’re excited or because it could make a lot of money. Keep those opportunities somewhere, put em in an excel sheet or something. So that once you’re done doing the current one, you can start doing the others that you were interested. REMEMBER: Focus on one thing at a time.

Dear Younger Angela,

You know how you were always told you could be anything you wanted, as long as it wasn’t an actor, teacher, or scientist? Well, forget all that!

Kiddo, your family is going to make such a hard-right turn, you’re not going to recognize them. No matter *what* you do, it’s going to be ‘too Left’ from their point of view – you might as well go for what you really want.

I suggest teaching adult students in some form, plus see if you can get a side business going. Your field won’t pay much, but it’ll be very rewarding. I know you want to work in an office because it sounds like the safe option, but believe me it isn’t – and you are not an office person. Go teach. Then go from there.

Love ya,

Don’t be disappointed if everything does not turn out when or exactly as expected or as planned. Enjoy every day, live in the present, rejoice in the good and everything beautiful you experience but also enjoy every trial you face, and know you will one day look back and rejoice at all you have learned.

Stop looking for something outside yourself to feel complete. You will not find it in relationships with others, romance, food, stuff, education, and on and on. Look within.

The one thing I would earnestly teach my younger self would be: take yourself seriously and don’t let others shield you just because it’s easier to live like that, that kind of life won’t make you the man you want to become.

To little me:

Your mental health is a lot more important than you think. Work on improving it and becoming mentally tough even if it means delaying starting a business for a couple years. It’ll be worth it in the long-run.

I would tell my younger self to not take everything so personally and to loosen the stark lines of what success means to you. I used to assume that the ‘failure’ of a relationship, being business or personal, a project, a diet or something else would be my ‘fault.’ Instead of hard pressing yourself for not creating what you thought the successful outcome should be, understand that there are many factors to and meanings of what success is. Just because you didn’t achieve the overall goal the first time, doesn’t mean that you lost something and became ‘lesser’ along the way. Actually, you learned much more from trial and error than in simple succeeding. Good luck girl! Your future is bright and you are beautiful!

one little, tiny bit of advice: perhaps 22 years old, after a painful divorce (yes, I know) this heard on the radio “even if you are the most delectable apricot of all time, some people just do not like apricots”.

It’s okay to quit. Schlumping through something that isn’t working and makes you miserable isn’t heroic, it’s unnecessary

I have always felt that even though people are only trying to help, their message is typically “playing it safe” whether it is trying a new sport, dating a new person, or your career path.
When it comes to career advice, people give you their feedback based on what they would do in your situation. Their advice always left me doubting my decisions and that gut instinct.
Looking back I would tell my younger self to follow your dreams and go after it. Instead of giving into, “I told you so”, fight for your dreams and go after it!

Aadesh Dubey

Little Aadesh,

There are few things i would like to tell you.

1) Make your fundamentals strong.This is the key to success.
2) Always ask questions.
3) Try everything within your reach atleast once.
4) Never ever hesitate.

Still….(Aadesh – above 4 points)

Sometimes there’s this thing you know you have to do, and you don’t want to do it because it’s hard, and you keep putting it off till you feel ready. Well, just do it already. It’s not going to get any easier. Just do it, maybe it will be as hard as you think, maybe it won’t, but don’t waste time and energy putting it off.
Also, to 18 year old self, you are hot. Yes, you. You won’t realise it till years later, when you are no longer hot, at least not without making a lot of effort, but even if you don’t look as good as a supermodel or the best looking girls your age, you are still hot.

Rubal Singh

I would like to tell my younger self that fear is the biggest killer in life!!
Never fear anything and do everything with full passion!! Doing things half heartedly is equal to not doing anything.

about money. teach it to yourself, ask questions as stupid as it may seem. don’t rely on people to give you the answers at a period of your life where you should have it all down packed

I’d tell my younger self to not keep dipping into different ‘savings’ pots that I’d set up at 19 years old in London. I was young and like “I’ll just pull this £2000 for a nice Christmas, I’ll put it back”. Twenty years later, none of the pots have been refilled and I’m looking for work to start over.

Don’t worry so much about what other people think. Be your OWN person and go your OWN way without regret. Also, don’t buy CD’s when you think you’re cool for owning so many. You’re not. Listen to the radio!

Kim Thibault

Do a masters’ in electrical engineering. You like it more than astrophysics, and it’s easier to find a job you enjoy with that background.

I was often known for being nice and gentle and obedient by teachers and friends, but inside I was turning into a perfectionist and a stress-case! If I could do it over again, I would have worked hard for my own happiness and set goals that made me feel fulfilled instead of busting my butt trying to please everyone around me. I accomplished a lot but burned a lot of energy in random directions. Focus in on a few things you want to master that give you joy and go ahead and let a few people down. You don’t have to be all things to all people.

I would tell myself ‘Don’t change – the criticism you are getting will not improve you and is, in fact, simply mean-spirited and irrelevant.’ I regret internalizing mean spirited criticism when I was really looking for experienced advice. I’ve had to unlearn a lot of it as it complicates my adult life. I’ve learned so much from not listening to others and instead making observations, building models, and applying fair challenges against myself.

I would tell my younger self this –>”Do not take advice from folks who don’t have their own sh*t right.”

I would tell myself to believe in yourself more. Trust your instincts and don’t always do the thing that will someone else happy. You deserve to be happy too!

1-You fail, so what. Get back up and do it again. Failure is just part of the process. It’s a poorer reflection on you if you don’t fail, because it means you’re not trying.
2-What those assholes think of you is none of your business. Trying to please them will hold you back. They don’t matter.
3- There will be times you ROCK IT and somebody hurts you for it. That’s on them. You survive. Don’t be afraid of it. Being your happy successful self is the sweetest revenge.
4- Stop playing small and/or dumb. You’re not helping them. Let them feel uncomfortable. It’s good for them. You’ve gone through the discomfort and reaped the rewards. Don’t steal that from them. If they’re ready, they will rise.
5- Stop defending the “underdogs” at work. You piss off your superiors and the underdogs don’t appreciate it and even bite that hand you extend rather than use it to elevate themselves. Sometimes they’re the underdogs because they have shitty attitudes and bad work habits.
6- DO. IT. NOW. Stop daydreaming and put shit on the calendar and make a plan. You will never regret anything you do. You will regret the things you don’t.
7- Enjoy your body more. Fuck shame. Work through that shit and chase more pleasure. It’s the key to everything.
8- You don’t have to wait until you are a grown-ass woman to be totally yourself. Life is short. Do it now. The right people will be drawn to you. Just as you are.
9- Listen to your gut, even when it feels “mean”. It’s always right.

My advice to myself would be “Be wary of taking other people’s career advice. No matter how well meaning.

Last thing you want is to waste four years of your life pursuing the “safe” option, only to find out it was not a viable as you had been lead to believe. Meanwhile, missing opportunity after opportunity in what you really want to do.

There are more opportunities in art than people believe and it comes effortlessly (so to speak) to you. Don’t let them talk you into putting it on the side.”

I would have told my younger self to listen to myself more and other people less – yes, even my parents. What they said and told me went against everything I wanted to do, but I was a good daughter and listened (take what job you can, work hard, you’ll get ahead someday; get married, be committed; don’t strike out on your own, it’s too risky!).

Years, a divorce, student loan debt, and a side tracked career later, I’m finally in a position to focus on myself, my life, and listening to myself – and I have never been happier in my entire life. The only problem is that now I’m not 20, 25 or even 30 years old. I’m closer to 40 than 30 and just getting going on MY life. Those years weren’t completely wasted (I got a lot of good “life experience” and things that will help me in the future) but I am definitely WAY behind the power curve. At least I now have the ability, desire, drive and determination to make it happen!

Don’t be afraid to leave something you know is bad or toxic, even if you don’t know where you’re going to go next. That applies to jobs, relationships, and even long, boring books. There are no rewards in life for “toughing it out” too long, the world doesn’t owe you anything for that.

I wish I could tell him that you can do what you want whether you feel like it or not

I wish I could tell him that you can do what you want whether you feel like it or not.

Abisade Dare

Three things:
1.) “Don’t let other people talk you out of trying new things or asking Q’s”
2.) “There is nothing wrong in trying to understand yourself and others”
3.) “It’s not about how fast you finish things in life, it’s about how well you’ve done the job and what you’ve learnt”

Bonus piece of advice : “Don’t worry what others think, it’s not important”

I would tell my younger self to not let fear to stop him… you play a game and you’ll lose sometimes, that’s fine as long as you learn, improve and try again… that’s not fine when you won’t try again…

16-year-old Pat, take some risks. Be more vulnerable. Do the things you want to do and pursue them till they’re not worth it. Don’t be afraid to quit things that aren’t working. Try harder than you think you need to. Most of those girls you know aren’t really crazy and might be worth your time.

I would tell my young self: 1. Stop over thinking EVERYTHING… Just stop! 2. The only person that you need to worry about it is yourself. In the end, people always have something to say whether it’s good or bad….who cares! Focus on you. Work on you.

Don’t flip cars. Hold on to the Sentra until it stops running and you’ll be able to buy a Ferrari in cash by the time you’re my age.

Also don’t stop lifting. Consistency is key. Maybe you could literally flip a car now if you stayed in the gym.

I would tell myself that it’s ok not to follow conventional patterns and paths and to do what felt right for me.

Be grateful for everything good you have. I learned this through taking my ex girlfriend for granted.

I would tell my younger self stop apologizing for thinking differently than everyone else, because your instincts are very strong.

Number one thing I would tell my younger self is that you can’t look to other people for happiness, that only comes within. As cheesy as it sounds.

I put all my happiness in one person, my first love, which as you can imagined backfired majorly, I stopped being me and thought I could only be happy if they were still in my life. Couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I would tell myself a year ago (when I was 16 and starting my first “job”) that I hate working with the general public. People will treat you like c**p, and all you can do is smile, while inside you feel like a blender has ripped you to shreds. You’ll be sick and tired of it, but you need the money to save for college (or so you’ll keep telling yourself), so you’ll stick with it. Get out ASAP. Don’t ever go back.

I wish I did not smoke joint as a Teen. It caused me untold difficulties in life.

I would tell to my younger self, to stop being so critical an negative about her self and caring so much about other people think of her.

I would tell young Kate to not wait until her forties to share her truths.

Hiding all those years did damage that’s very hard to overcome.

And I’d tell her that she should be proud of herself. Her family lived and modeled criticism. She will survive it and surround herself with a family that she self selects.

Don’t wait so long to get there young Kate.

I would tell my younger self to stay out of debt. If you don’t have the cash, don’t buy it. If you really need it, try to find it in a thrift store first. (There was no internet or computers for that matter for my young self to use.)
Don’t buy that house…don’t marry that guy…learn to be happy by yourself. Find five different ways to earn money.
Try to connect with more like minded people. Don’t be a loner all the time.
It’s ok to be sad sometimes…it will pass.

10 years ago, I would have been 14 which is when I decided to stop writing fanfiction because it was “silly” and I needed to get “serious” for high school. Except now, I would tell my past self to FINISH what you start especially when it comes to writing no matter how bad I thought the stories were going to be.

You are your biggest priority. This is the biggest lesson I learnt. (ok, I am still learning)

It’s good for relationships, career, health… anything really. Something I kept (ok keep!) forgetting…

I’d tell my younger self: Learn from your mistakes, in school, at work and in relationships. If you don’t, you’ll repeat them and the lessons get more painful as you get older. Just remember each mistake can be a step toward gaining wisdom– if you’re willing to learn.

Don’t be naive. Everyone you ever work for – EVERYONE! – will screw you at some point in your career…
Your manager might be friendly but when push comes to shove, you lose vs the company…

I would tell myself that putting yourself last does not serve you but everyone else. You will stay last. Put yourself first at least once in a while, you matter as much as everyone else.

You are capable of achieving A LOT more than you think can do – you’re smarter than you think, you’re emotionally tougher than you think. Don’t be afraid to push yourself. Don’t be afraid to allow yourself to be a little vulnerable. Don’t be afraid of failure. It is from those instances of failure and from those setbacks that you will make tremendous comebacks.

Be Awesome. Be Fearless.
Fuck what anybody else says or thinks about you. Because at the end of the day you only need to answer to yourself. Be Bold, Be a man and extract every ounce of potential from yourself…and you have 3 months to do it. Go.

I actually wrote this a few years ago, in my own letter to my younger self. Here’s an excerpt:

“Your instincts have always served you well, Sheree. When you’ve followed your instincts you’ve made forward progress. When you’ve ignored your instincts or been a bit too timid to act on them you’ve had to learn the intended lesson the hard way.”

Learn to drive! It will allow you to rely on yourself instead of being a burden to everyone you know.

Daniel Ulin

An absolutely spectacular article. Thank you so much for sharing this, Ramit. Being able to read, absorb, and take action on little gems like this goes straight to the top of my gratitude list!

I would tell little Mary to be brave and to choose faith. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come and today is all she got. To live life to its fullest and to cherish every moment. To smile more, laugh at herself and not to take things personally especially dealing with hurt or pain for it’s all part of life.

I would tell myself finish school no matter how hard it seems. It’s going to make your future much easier. Don’t marry that guy! Also, manage your fiances.

When friends or someone you’re dating treats you poorly, talk it out with them if possible. If they keep treating you poorly then walk away and don’t look back. There are other wonderful people to be friends with in this world. Keep looking. Continue to be a wonderful person and attract wonderful friends that are keepers.

Forget this ‘save the world’ by becoming a doctor in the UK NHS. What you really want to do is what you really want to do, which is be an amazing listener, questioner and writer i.e. investigative journalist/documentary maker/film maker. Oh, and that art and music that you think you’ll have time for, and you enjoy more than anything, that’s the thing that if you work at, you can make it pay. Go to St Martin’s and learn about metal sculpture from Anthony Caro. Following the fall-back, secure, good-girl option of medicine is not going to work for you.

Attaining that perfect body means you will not have periods and not be able to have children later on. It’s better to overeat than undereat while you’re still growing (you’re still developing through age 35). Also, being the pretty girl is more of a curse than a blessing a lot of times. Eat as much as you want and if some people think you’re less than a perfect 10, good! The worst guys will be less likely to pursue you and you’ll be freed up to be with quality men. Focus on loving yourself so you will know how to love others rather than focusing on getting everyone’s approval.

Little Pat:
DON’T BE SO SCARED TO LIVE, to try. Leave those books behind and go outside more, make new friends, not all experiences are learnt with good manuals.
Yes, you can look for a job but be open to build your own job or company. Continue your search for mentors and ask more questions. You will find love, you will have peace, be the warrior you’ve always been but with that peace of mind that in the end all will turn up fine.

Valerie Pauline Blair

Yhe first five boyfriends you have bash ghe fuck out of you. You agill have to hoose the path and tale the hiding as they all lead you to having you beautiful daughter. After her birth dont go with ronald and hopefjlly from that time on lifr will make a turn for the better. Thr knifrles youve had hidin for protection shoukd never be put were you left them. You never use them and your daughter is the only 1 hurt by them protecting you. Please dont plant them around. . You lead a very poverty life because your friends rip you off dont be friends with felicia kylie or kim. They were never hour friends. They all lead you down the gardsn path steal you wealth and the only undecent man is done over by kylie hour friendly neighbourhood slitherin. Hope you do more than just survive this world. Like live in it.
Good luck

I would tell myself that persistence, and not intelligence, is the real greatest attribute of a man.

I would tell my young self, it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. I regret not taking a few chances that were real opportunities, looking back….

I would tell myself that it WILL get better. Your best days are ahead of you. The pain, hurt, fear will lift and give way to love, courage and hope

I would tell lil’ Russ to embrace any and every interest you have throughout High School and college. I learned (a little) later in life to embrace every new experience. There is a lot out there to experience

Hi Ramit!

I would tell my younger self to just be who I want to be despite what friends, boyfriends, parents or society want or expect me to be…to live my life my way because it will be the best way for me.

Little Known Philosopher

I would tell myself

“Buy Apple, no matter what Dad says (listen to his advice about women though).”

Don’t spend so much time thinking about which clothes to take for a trip; it consumes so much decision energy. Get a few things to save yourself a mental headache

Cynthia laija

The one thing I wish I knew back then is this, “don’t rely on your looks to open every door”. I neglected getting in my education while I was young because I was getting so much help from others and then at the age of 48 found myself laid off, and behind in education. I needed to make myself marketable again but this time with credentials to back me up. I got my degree at 50, but know I would have been well into a career had I had it younger.

I’d tell my younger self that having a sense of humor and a sense of fun makes life fantastic. Stop taking life so seriously.

It’s not all about you!
You will find more satisfaction in life when you learn to give.

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar

I would tell myself to pursue what intrigues you and not be confined to the “right way” of doing things. I most admire my friends who have left college to pursue their passions such as singing, modeling, and boxing. Not saying that you shouldn’t go to college, but there are many ways to learn other than higher education.

We all need help along life’s journey. The one thing I learnt in getting the most out of people around me is, before you can make a withdrawal you first need to make a deposit. People will follow you and people will help you if they know you really care about them. Get your eyes off yourself and onto other people and watch your own problems become smaller.

I would tell myself a lot of things, but the first that comes to mind is:

You get ahead either by kissing ass or being exceptional. It may be more work, but choose the latter.

I would tell my younger self to seek help from other experienced people or get help if I can’t do something myself especially when things or circumstances were beyond my control.

I would tell old me what I tell my brother and his friend nowadays; FUCK UP FAST! Don’t worry about trying to get everything perfect before you begin. Just START and see what happens. And if you “fuck up”, fine, move on to the next task and scratch that one off the list. But do it NOW while the only thing it’s affecting is your ego.

When you push the boundaries of your comfort zone opportunities appear that would normally not manifest…..I’d tell my younger try more varied activities because failure is much better than regret.


I would be very cautious on whom I select to marry-I would know them at least two years first-before marriage. I would be more careful when making major life decisions-Thanks!

Life lesson-stop trying to be someone’s savior.It’s ok to offer help and/or advice but they have to do the work themselves.Your help will hurt them more than helping them.Everyone appreciates and values more something that was earned through their own efforts rather than something that was given without any effort on their side.

Chris Justin

That my self-worth is not dependent on the succeeding in the work I do. This strategy made me feel great when I was a metaphorical rockstar in high school, but was a ticket to depression when everyone was on equal footing in college and beyond. It also led to years of procrastination and perfectionism that I’m still working to unravel.

To my younger self, go vegan. You recently did it as a 37 year old and your health has improved. In fact, tons of things have improved in your life. You will enjoy yourself and others better with better health. Learn to cut out the meat, dairy, and junk food in your life.

Adrienne Billman

I would tell 17 year old Adrienne that it’s okay to be upset as long as you’re learning. It’s okay to be selfish as long as you are working towards your goals. It’s okay to put yourself first to make yourself better. You can’t be the best anything unless you work on yourself. Doormats don’t get ahead. They catch all the dirt.

I would tell 17 year old Doug that my interests and hobbies are worth pursuing. More so than anything else. Politics and photography, and to think outside the religious box I grew up in.

I would tell myself to stop breaking promises that I made to myself, and to take them as seriously as the promises that I made to others.

No matter how much you may be in love- or how little you think you own or are worth… Have a departure plan.

Take some risks with your career — don’t just do the safe, secure thing. Otherwise, you may end up starting all over in your 40s, when it’s a lot harder and you have more to lose.

Tell little Claudia that most people have regrets about their lives because nobody’s perfect. She doesn’t have to be perfect either. 😉

Viral Soni

I would like to tell my younger self, that never ever trust anybody with your money.

If I could only tell my younger self one thing, it would be:
“Hope is not a strategy.”
Would I understand what this means? Not sure. But it would certainly make an impact if I did.

I would tell young Jack to tattoo these three words on his left arm so he would see them over and over again every day: Relentless Self Promotion

To my younger self , don’t be afraid of doing everything and don’t overestimate your choices and how they will affect the future, school isn’t fun but so is not having a good job so start looking at school as a good thing and show you care, don’t bother yourself with crushes or frenemies, it won’t matter in the future if you ever made up with that other kid about not getting a drawing back from her, try being a healthier person and be less stressed. Study more about business cause it will be your favorite thing to learn about in the future.

You are in charge of the energy you take in and put out. Ignore the negativity and focus on making yourself the best that you can be.

Andy Nissen

Look at the fruit of those you are following…is it not what you want? Find someone new asap! (“Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.” – Dan Pen˜a)

To sixteen year old Diana: a healthy relationship is not built on excitement, drama, and passion. While exciting, it will leave you feeling insecure and unhappy. When you’re ready, the right guy will find you. And you’ll be drawn to his respectfulness, selflessness, and desire to understand you. And that, it turns out, is much more exciting than you realized

I come from a long lineage of “dead horse kickers”. I would share with my younger self that all though persistence and a never give up way of life is admirable, knowing when to walk away is just as important.

You bring happiness to a situation.

Your creativity will overcome any worthy obstacle.

Keep having fun!

Don’t share all your business. People don’t always have good intentions towards you and it’s good to be mysterious. Also, some things are better left unsaid.

At 22, I truly wished I had learned how to manage my money more responsibly at a younger age.

I would work 60 plus hours a week in the summers throughout high school and truly wished I learned how to save and learn to make my money grow for myself.

Also- to not care so much about others opinions. Haters gonna hate. That has nothing to do with how others see myself or what I have to contribute to the world.

My younger self I want to teach her now, that she hes spent so much time in her life trying to help her mother and her sister. At the end she has lost somehow her guidance and strugle to find her Own way
.It is not at all easy after many years of fears
and codependency. How she will find again her way!?

I think true confidence , trust and daring!
Otherwise she know that it is so wonderful and heard thousend of times on her life.


My younger self would be told to listen, believe and trust her inner voice. Never waver. Even when told that she could not or would not be permitted to pursue certain interests in order to develop God given talent. Always be true to who you are. No matter what. Your true self will always be with you. Your true self will win if you let it live.

I spent years trying to manage my weight. I would lose some and then, a few months later I’d drop the ball. It seemed impossible to do. Finally, thanks to my wife I decided to look for the help of a personal trainer. It made all the difference. I lost 20 pounds over the last eight months and I’m still going strong. What would I tell my younger self? Never give up, keep trying until you find what works for you. Also, you don’t need to be rich to afford a really good personal trainer.

I would tell myself to learn about dysfunctional people- how they behave, their tactics on how to take your resources, etc., and most importantly, how to stay the hell away from them.

This x 1,000

Boundaries are very important. I used to wait hours for my mom to show up places; now I give her a start and end time of my participation at any event and I stick to it. If she shows up 8 minutes before I’m set to leave, so be it. See ya.
(I of course love my mom but she is a manipulator/loves drama. I finally learned this after 37 years. Now I have a dignified way to deal with it proactively instead of falling into the trap of begging/fighting/crying/chastising – which she would then use against me.)

Mohammed Ali Algarawi

I learned to not eat any sugar before my soccer game. And when I did, i was really slow and my performance was really horrible. That’s the lesson i learned.

“Don’t sweat the little things!” Don’t worry about things being in place, messy work space or home. Spend the time in the moment enjoy friends and families company, enjoying the art, the scenery. Spend the time to take care of yourself (and loved one) making healthy meals getting exercise and making people feel loved and appreciated. You can not get back health that is lost and time with people when they are gone.
No one will remember you for a clean house or an orderly work space, but they will remember that you took time to love them, support them and hold their hand.

Dear younger Tobin,

Spend less time smoking weed and more time studying, reading, and trying new things. You’re causing your parents and little sister unnecessary hurt. You’re chasing good feelings I stead of respecting yourself. You’re not surrounding yourself with smart, content, and motivated people.
Take pride in your curiosity and pay more attention to things that actually fulfill you!

“You’re chasing good feelings instead of respecting yourself.” Oh how I can relate!

Is me by my own leaving my life here.
I’m just following dream And doing what I think I do best and keep doing more to improve my lifestyle and even implement new skills.
I have young guys on street here they wanna do like me
So I think focusing one inspire them for them to inspire me back
Street life .

I would learn myself how to manage long-distance relationships: how to surrender to the unknown, the importance of commitment, how to keep it exciting and what to do when your feelings for your partner degrade when in a long-distance relationship

I would tell my younger self that life is about change and constant learning. If I want to succeed, I must break the shell around me and move forward. New things are scary but if I didn’t quit my previous job, I wouldn’t know that I could teach.

Smoking overdo’s we don’t talk more
We just here just to let it happen
So lil Ts hare get in the busy and do it business.IS WE THE TSHARE

I thought education equals success. I had realized as I grew and have life experienced, education is just one of the tool for success. After getting a college degree, I thought I know everything. The world outside is a huge different arena, where you need more to equip yourself to succeed and at the same time be happy with what you are doing.

1. build good habits, like working out, EARLY. the habits you need to succeed won’t change – and the earlier you implement, the better.
2. trust YOURSELF first, then take the advice of others.
3. don’t assume everyone is always out for your best interests – but know that your mom is the one exception to that.

“N.E.G.O.T.I.A.T.I.O.N. will become your key to a more balanced life. Learn how to do it well. Practice it. Use it early and often, in EVERY area of your life. Make it fun. Make it meaningful. Give and get – at the same time. Less black and white and more shades of gray. “I win” and “You lose” will eat you up, but answering to others needs AND your own, in the same moment, will hold a little bit of magic and make for a much happier girl.”

I grew up as a military kid. Let’s just say the counselors really didn’t know how to react when a girl was asked what she would like to pursue in college and she said geology. I was promptly told to go back to class. Now, I know to take myself seriously if it’s meaningful.

Outside of my chosen field of practice in almost every arena it’s not what you know, its who you know. Right or wrong this is the way that it is. I wish I would have accepted this reality sooner. Networking from day one would have made my life a lot easier.

I would tell my younger self to not fear making the right choices but rather have faith and determination in your passion.

Be consistent and develop the habits you will want now while it’s still easy and you still have time: exercise, pray, study, learn. Research, invent, and code instead of playing video games. Write those thank you letters your mom nags you about.

Network, network, network. If you know where you want to go, find a mentor already doing that or in that position. I thought my effort and results would be noticed, but I learned too late things are only noticed if I point them out. But if there’s no one to tell, and if no one notices, did I achieve anything (kind of like the proverbial tree falling in the forest – did it make a noise if no one heard it?).

1. Learn guitar.
2. Play hockey.
3. Learn about building computers, not just configuring them.

Lorraine Gallagher

You have to be ok with yourself alone before you are ready to bring anyone else in. By learning to love yourself, you become aware of your own strength and what you deserve in a husband. You’re not ready yet. Deal with your insecurities and self doubts. Then you will make less mistakes. Lastly, listen to your mother. She only wants the best for you.

Tyannah Abdul - Malik

I regret not telling my younger self no to dwell and worry so much. God always has a Plan and one should always remember that and keep moving forward! ❤️☝️🌍

To my 12-year-old self,
It will be all right. You will find many things that will disappoint and hurt you, but you will be stronger for it. Don’t give up living and sink into the dark places in your mind. It’s just in your mind, you can take control of yourself, even if you cannot control your circumstances. And it’s ok to fail.

Live determined and learning, it’s just the way you look at things that makes it seem so unhappy. I too abit too long to remember what happiness, laughter, and joy look like. But I know better now. It’s not as bad as you think, as hard as it is to believe at the moment. You will be fine. :) Just remember, you are in control, yah? You can do something about it. Don’t give up on life just yet!

Angie unduplicated

Women will watch your hands when you play concert bass. Avery Sharpe is the sexiest man alive when he’s on stage. Not that I’d tell a twelve year old…

How to set achievable goals. I used to set goals like “exercise more”. My focus was on the thing I wasn’t doing (because I didn’t like doing it) and not on the result I wanted to achieve.

I have been thinking about this off and on today while working, and I think I finally settled on the one thing:

Take (well-meaning) criticism well, and act on it. Analyze it, do something about it. Reflect on why a person said it.

I was so stubborn and angry when I was a young man that I missed a lot of opportunities and made mistakes because I didn’t listen to others. Sure I did it sometimes, but it took a lot to get through my thick head.

I would tell her:
“Don’t be afraid to do something creative for a living. Go ahead and get that MFA in Creative Writing! In the future, there will be this thing called the Internet that will need good writers and your skills will be in demand. Don’t listen to the naysayers–they know nothing of the world that is to come.”

I would tell my younger self, it’s okay to feel and to cry, however you will find that crying is not an effective form of communication. Words are much better. Trying to figure out how to stop crying when you feel overwhelmed in a situation is the wrong battle to fight. Instead learn how to first own your feelings and then express them appropriately through words. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to say that too.

Achieving each dream in my life with excitement,passion,dedication at each turn down the journey ,motivates me.We need to fulfill our ‘dreams’ not dream , and then just sink in the intense cloud of soothing satisfaction.So dream dream dream every minute , every second .Consider every obstacle on our path as a blessing that is present there inorder to make us aware of our immense potential in life.Dreams dont need a specific time or date to start up.You just need to live your dream as your reality.Well,thats something, isnt it! Also,nothing should hold us back ,not even the right time.Make the first step and its the perfect right time.Self reliance ,independence of thought, self – belief and in short being self – sufficient in todays scenario are the core ingredients to pave your own beautiful path of success and happiness.Follow the heart ,Follow its every desire and suddenly you will God blessing us.

Barbara Mattoon

Don’t worry about what other people think of you. They probably don’t care.

I would tell my younger self to not listen to anybody unless they were helping me achieve my goals. FTW!!! Do what you want and need to do follow your interests not that of those they feel they know better than you!!

J C. Raymond

I wrote a small-business-oriented book to tell my younger self, and other young adults, what to do. I plan to publish it in 2016.

I would tell little David: don’t be afraid to try new things. Habits and routines are useful, powerful tools; but they can be taken too far. They can make you bored, and boring. So, try new things often. Different sports. Different places to live. Different jobs. You don’t have to stick with one way of living, forever.

I got two:
#1 learn proper study habits. The amount of time I wasted not studying properly has cost me at least a couple of foreign languages that I’d know by now and ton of other knowledge that I re-learn now but wow how much of a difference would it make.
#2 that guy that comes home with a ring (that you accept) after you caught him dating another behind your back? yeah, that one: cut his balls off and kick him out of your life – save yourself six months worth of drama.

I would threaten and then teach my younger self into spending ONE HOUR a day doing something that my -mind- knows I should be doing (but that every other aspect of myself says ‘no’ to)…

…and obviously to cut my dumb hair and work out

1) Don’t devote one iota of effort to being “cool”.
2) Take excellent care of your body and mind.
3) Learn everything you can, but…
4) Truly master at least one thing that helps other people.
5) Meet, study, and emulate the successful.
6) Travel often.
7) Learn at least conversational Spanish and Chinese.
8) Take typing class.
9) Start a business early.
10) Listen to your father.

If I could go back and tell myself one thing, it would be to stop over-thinking. Be confident and trust yourself to make mistakes. It’s going to happen and how you react to those mistakes will determine your future.
Failure can be good. It’s just a matter of perspective and mindset.

Jagraj Singh

I would like to tell myself don’t do what people think you should do. Instead, follow your heart and do what it says. Do what you love and turn it into a business early and give your soul to it. Don’t be afraid of failure as its perfectly fine to make mistakes or fail when you are young. Learn music, take good care of your health and pursue happiness. There is no point in living a life which does not make you happy.

Sheila Smith

Parents don’t always protect you, and all men are not Ev il. And life does not necessarily get easier as you get older. And that you have to be your own applauding audience. Don’t expect people to cheer you. Envy runs rampant in the world. Its okay if you dont want to be rich and you choose to live within your means.

I would tell my younger self that there is nobody in the world that you need in your life. There are certainly people you want to have in your life but you don’t need anyone to support you. I realized so many times that there are too many people who are just talking too much and not taking action. These are probaly the people who tell you why your particular plan won’t work out. Don’t listen to them and don’t stay in close contact. Don’t settle for these kind of people. Even if they are rare to find, look for those who are happy to see you thrive and support you in all your endeavors. The moment you realize that you are not dependent on anything or anyone you are free!

If I am to ever meet my little self in some crazy time travel dream, I’ll tell my little self that music and art is where life is and that girls will break your heart more times than porcelain in a land of tremors.
Music has always been a part of me and I will take it even more seriously now.

Excellent topic.

To 18 year old me – don’t go into debt for movies, dinners and weekend trips.
To 20 year old me. Don’t ignore the thrill you got out of Electrical Engineering, since you don’t have to take a semester off to pay off debts, get an EE degree with a comp sci minor (I work in EE now anyways and firmware programmers have great job prospects).
To 38 year old me. Stop saying away from the hard work that will bring the next career breakthrough. You can handle it and God will provide the support you need.

(I’m 38)

Listen to your inner voice. It’s right most always. Be kind. Be helpful. Invest. Believe in yourself. Learn to say “no”.

i will tell the younger me, don’t depressed and go ahead to achieve your goals and ambition.

Hasan Kavish

I would tell my younger self to stop stressing too much about future. Take things as they come. Future will automatically unfold. Take decisions which primarily concern your present happiness. Most decisions/opportunities at any stage of life are unique in a way that they go away with time. What I could have done 10 or 5 years before, I cannot do now. Even if I can, it’s not gonna be that exiting and it will come at a greater price considering the present commitments. The charm of doing anything lies at the right time. Else, all you have is regret.

I would tell myself to stop taking the easy way out, to get out the comfort zone, a zone which leads nowhere.

– question everything
– set priorities

But i don’t think little chris would get it…
So maybe it’d be better to tell him “live your life like you would with out this advice, but make sure you learn from all your choices”.

Some advice is hard to really understand without a lesson by life itself.

Counter-Question: For every advice you would give your child/adolescent-self, can you guarantee 100% that no one actually gave you that advice back then, and you just disregarded and forgot it?

I would ignore my career guidance teacher & my parents who told me what job categories were hiring. No one ever asked and I was too naive to know what they should have asked me was what do I love to do? and tailor my plan to revolve around that.

Slow down, get some help for your depression, research marketing and entrepreneurship, and remember that no matter what, good relationships are the key to a good life.

I’d stop day dreaming and imagining and pining for things I couldn’t have. I’d also stop believing in a**holes in aluminuim foil masquerading as “knights in shining armour”
Organise your mind and the rest will follow……

Love yourself. Because you are the one who is responsible for your own happiness and wellbeing. When you love yourself, you listen to your own feelings and thoughts and use them as your compass in life. You will not spend your life trying (and never succeed) in meeting everyone elses expectations, and you will not wait to take whats left when the others have taken their share. It means taking up the space you need, appreciating who you are. And from loving yourself, comes a great ability to love, appreciate and tolerate others.

Sudarshana dhamapurkar

Hi ramit. If 1 thing I like to tell my younger self that would be your are as good as any Other actress n u can do what ever u like . its OK that u have a bad experience but see the positive side of it. And that your worth of every good thing you wished for. Just believe in yourself n don’t lose hope

Faizan Zafar

Two things, hard to decide between them:

1. You change change. Learn about Habits.

2. Read a shit ton of books.

Schafer Bomstein

I wish I could tell myself that just because I had a master’s degree, I didn’t know everything at the age of 22.

I would like to tell my younger self that,
(a) big thinking and
(b) realistic planning and time management are important things in life to excel in any damn field.

Little Claudine, you are in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. You are loved, lovable and loving. Don’t hold back, about anything. Go for every single ridiculous dream you have. You’ll get it. I know it.

Old Akash to Young Akash:
No-one is looking, so don’t worry uselessly over if someone is watching you starting to do something new, just do it.
Just stop being so self-aware.
Just do it.

Good Morning!
I will tell my younger self to be yourself, add value on everything you do. If you want to be happy make other people happy, if you want to be relevant, make other people relevant, no matter what career you follow or the position you hold at work, or with friends, or family, always add value at what you do. I wish I could have realize many things earlier in my life, from relationships to managing money to administer business. Is never late and I think I learning a lot these days.

Nancy Dave

I would tell little Nancy to value and thank my mom for everything that she did and gave up so that I grew up well. Secondly, I would tell her to stop, let loose, breathe and enjoy every moment. I wasted so many lovely office trips and offshore gatherings missing my boyfriend, and ended up becoming a cry baby for no reason. Sure I loved him but I should love myself too. I should have utilised that time in discovering the new place and knowing people, making new friends and enjoying. I now tell this to my husband and practice self.

I would tell little Marlena that there’s nothing wrong with her and she doesn’t have to try her best to make her parents and others happy so she can be loved. We are worthy of love because we are.
That self-acceptance is the best recipe for happiness even if she was never taught this by anybody.

i will tell little comfort to be herself not allow people to live her life for her in the name of church doctrine and discover who she really is and want to be not allowing things expecially peolple around her live their on life instead of being herself at the place of worship and also learn to socialise and not be to those in the fellowship but be open minded to listern to people and not be angry with critic but learn from their critics and be patient and not too emotional if i had know all this i would have been better.

I would tell my younger self, when setting out to accomplish a new goal or skill, plan ahead for patterns of sabotage, destructive behaviors and disempowering thoughts – be kind to yourself during the process…if everyone was able to accomplish all things outside of their comfort zone, everyone would be doing the things they want to do, but never accomplish. You can be, have or do anything you set your mind to.

When I was 15 my birth Father was shot to death by his business partner and when I was 17 my adopted Dad took his own life. I was profoundly affected by these two events.
I am now 56 years old. If I could share anything with my younger self I would ask him to try and not worry so much. It seldom improves the future and it robs the present moment of joy.

There are 3 things I would tell my younger self:
1) Social skills are can be *learned*. The sooner you learn them, the more confidence you will have around strangers, and more opportunities will open up.

2) Don’t try to be somebody you’re not. Stacey, you are a weird little geek girl, and the world doesn’t have an obvious place for you. However, when you follow your gut and OWN your weird geekiness the most amazing things will happen in your life that you will never find while trying to pretend to be normal.

3) Don’t be a dick. It is completely unnecessary and will only lead to regret later in life.

I would tell my younger self that sex is not love. That the actions of others are not my fault. That even good people make decisions that later they will learn was bad. That what others believe to be right and true may or may not be for you. That I am capable of greatness. That I should read more, eat only whole good for me foods, walk daily, laugh daily, forgive daily.

Cat Donnelly

I would tell myself that I should believe in myself and that the only thing holding me back is me. I think I would be receptive to that idea because I applied that logic to someone else’s life before mine fell apart and I had to drop out of college, then I felt like a failure and pretty much gave up.

Then, cheating, I would tell myself to run AWAY from the man who would eventually become husband #1. He will be poison. His hold over me will stall my life for a DECADE or more. I honestly don’t know which one would have been more important to know, but maybe the second thing.

I would say to my younger self: you have this brain that pays attention to everything. Use it to your advantage. In regards to career advice, find something you can do well and something that people value and become the absolute best at it.
You are different from those around you but don’t let those differences put up a barrier in which you completely cut others out. Just because you may look different, act different, or have had different experiences than others doesn’t mean you aren’t valued.
Focus on the present, and ask yourself “what can I do today?”
Also, try to trust people more even if it scares the hell out of you.

I would tell my younger self that when I feel awkward and scared of unknowns when trying something new, other people doing the same thing probably feel the same way.

I wish I could teach myself 5 things instead of 1 so that’s what I’m going to share
1. Regret nothing, Learn from your mistakes and move on
2. Be happy for The sake Of being happy.
3. Be adventurous, experience NEW places and things and get out Of your comfort zone
4. Live in The moment, remember The past, prep for The future
5. Enjoy your own company, their is only 1 person you spend every single day with and that is you.

#1: Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Ever……. If it sounds too good to be true, then 95% of the time, it’s probably filled with artificial sugar and preservatives and broken promises and non-disclosure agreements and money-hungry business partners and ex-hookups who don’t return your ipad mini and selfish girlfriends just going through “a phase” and un-returned security deposits in Brooklyn and sidewalk deals for “the best haircut you’ll ever have, just $20!” and bodega fruit that goes bad in 24 hours and Groupons for sketchy spa treatments that spell it “Swedish Mesage” and some other ingredients you can’t even pronounce… But always check to see if it’s the good 5%. Because it might be.

To my 20 year old self – You don’t need to follow your passions, but you must follow your curiosity. The harder you work now, the closer you get to mastery later.


One thing that I’d like to share with little Chris is,

That you don’t have to wait until you know what is your purpose in life, or what kind of career you want to develop to start working in some core skills. In the long term they are going to help you in the process.

For example: Languages. I could not have read Rammit’s blog a few months ago, because I couldn’t speak English. Now I have a clearly idea of what do I expect from my career and how to get it, additionally I also learned English.

Never is too soon, skills like communication, languages, networking, or confidence, are going to be there when you really need them, for that course you’d like to join, for a job opportunity , or for that business launch.

A couple things I’d tell my younger self:

If you follow average advice from average people, you too will become average.

Go after what you want and don’t listen to the naysayers. Most people are too lazy, afraid, etc. to chase their dreams so they never do. Stop being complacent/lazy/fearful/making excuses and go after yours.

Think and dream big. Like really BIG!

Little Julia,

You should be the number one priority in your life.

Always remember that. Don´t be fooled by people who enter your life and make you think they are there to stay giving you the all kinds of advice. You should listen to your heart. Some people appear to be close to you but turn out to be your worst enemy. You´ll later realize they never had your best interest in mind. In order to avoid any problems originating from that, you have to remember: you are the number one priority in your life. Always. When something important to you is at stake, that´s what you should focus on and not something else relating to other people.
Listen to your heart and beware of advice by other people. Value each small progress and seek opportunities! Do your things first. You are the priority. Not a boyfriend or anyone else.
Believe in yourself. You are capable of amazing things.

Stefan Hench

Ask for what you want. If you don’t get it, improve your approach and ask again.

I would tell myself that its ok for you to fail little Erik. Its ok for you to screw up. This is how you will learn, its how we grow. Be willing to believe in yourself, and you will do amazing things. Don’t be scared to try something new, for this is how you will discover yourself. Always be faithful, loving and kind, and you will recive these in turn. Understand the world is always changing, be willing to change along with it. Above all else, remember to smile little Erik. The world needs more smiles!

You. Cannot. Buy. Love.
Or acceptance.
Or self worth.
You can improve. But buying designer clothes, bags, shoes, tech toys, “miracle” creams, “must have makeup,” etc etc. This is all a horribly expensive, horribly degrading delusion. You will pay in ways you can’t even imagine. Learn to love who you are. Keep the money and spend it when you finally do.

I would tell my younger self (literally from last year) that if you want to get bigger and in shape, you can’t just blindly eat a lot. You have to follow a plan. Learn what foods to eat, and stay away from the food’s that don’t benefit you.

You cannot fix people, you can only fix yourself.
You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
Your habits create who you are.
You have to begin.

Younger Self, get out into the World. Volunteer at something you enjoy that will allow you to get to know other people (and them to get to you). This is where opportunities are, in interactions with others. Creative opportunities, earning money opportunities, work opportunities. Can be trade associations, volunteer opportunities, after work activities, socializing in all kinds of arenas. The secret is people.

What I would tell my younger self is to have faith in my own abilities and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to lead. That just because I’m always learning more doesn’t mean that I am not knowledgeable – it just means I want to learn more.

Don’t ever ever underrate yourself, ever!!! if you work hard for a company you have to be paid accordingly and have a life or else don’t do it, find another job or start a business but don’t let other people take advantage of you and your skills and pay you peanuts. The world is a big place.

I would tell younger Stephanie that she will start as a business major in college and then drop it. I would tell her not to do that but to stick with it and also add a second major of graphic design. You may not realize it now but what really gets you going at the current age is creating things, specifically graphic design and photography. You will come full circle and start a photography business and will really need that business degree more so than photography.