Advice I’d Give My Younger Self

2014_06_23_15_08_31If I could go back in time, here’s what my middle-aged self would tell my young adult self (in no particular order):

  1. Life is often hard but God is always good
  2. Loving and serving others almost always trump accomplishing tasks
  3. Often the solution isn’t either/or; it is both/and
  4. Sometimes the best way to end an argument is to agree to disagree
  5. It’s OK to get angry with God sometimes.  He expects it and He can handle it
  6. Let the people you are close to see you cry, struggle, and make mistakes.  No one is perfect; honesty creates intimacy and community
  7. Be prepared but then relax and be flexible with your plans
  8. Don’t worry so much about what other people think of you – God’s opinion and your opinion of yourself matter more
  9. Miracles still happen today.  Pray for them and watch for them
  10. In the long run, grades and degrees don’t matter much; it’s your character and your relationships that really matter
  11. Many friendships will come and go but family is forever – make healthy family relationships a priority
  12. That imperfection (scar, blemish, etc) is not as noticeable to others as it is to you – what people notice more is your attitude
  13. Wear sunscreen – the temporary tan today is not worth the permanent wrinkles later
  14. Your body will soon be like a “vintage model” car; you need to take care of it now so that it will run well later (eat right, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, don’t smoke, don’t drink too much)
  15. Don’t sweat the small stuff; in a couple of years, you won’t even remember this “crisis”
  16. Spend less time worrying about “what if?” and more time praying and giving it over to God (Pray more, worry less)
  17. Appearance isn’t everything. In fact it’s very little compared to what’s truly important, lasting, and valuable in life
  18. Choose friends that build you up and bring out the best in you, rather than those who are self-absorbed, critical, and materialistic (“toxic friends”)
  19. Don’t be in such a rush to get to the “finish line”.  Take time and smell the flowers along the way and enjoy the journey
  20. You can’t please everyone; stop trying so hard to make others happy
  21. It’s OK to say no to people, opportunities, and activities.  Sometimes the good keeps you from doing what’s best
  22. People will disappoint you and let you down.  Treat them the way you would want to be treated if/when you disappoint them and let them down
  23. Spend more time reading and being active and less time in front of a screen
  24. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry
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