What would you tell your younger self?
It is the most often asked question to anyone who has achieved a moderate level of success in life (subjective to the lens of the person asking the question)
Google search results in nearly 500mn+ responses to this question However, when I re-phrase the search to – Why do we ask this question – “What would you tell your younger self”? – Google goes bonkers, well yes, this happens to the best of technology
The question both intrigues and fascinates me, I find it fundamentally flawed for 3 reasons:
first, it is asking me to look backwards with a “corrective” lens, as if something was broken that needs fixing by soothing that younger self now
second, it undermines the learning from the mistakes and failures, as if I could have avoided them only if I knew what I know now and
third, it is dis-honoring to that fearless, naïve, beautiful younger self who took the bull (aka life) by the horn and kept getting back up
I want to change this narrative by changing the question to:
What do you tell your current self and will continue to do that in the future?
No one said it better than the iconic Maya Angelou “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better” In other words, Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
Our inner monologue is a powerful tool – it is our responsibility to channel us towards a forward propelling momentumTweet