By Charlie Huero

You’ve heard it before. You have even SAID it before. “If I could do it over again…” or “If I knew then what I know now…”. Most of the time it goes ignored by either yourself, or the young ones you are talking to who just don’t seem to hear it. And then you are quickly reminded on how that is EXACTLY how you were back in the day. The learning curve for a lot of us took a while. For myself, I am still learning. For some you, the curve was small. You got it right away. What would your older self, tell your younger self to do?

I was having a conversation with my daughter and trying to explain to her that back when I was younger, there was no social media. No cell phones. The telegraphing of my young heart breaks had to travel mouth to mouth through the school and sometimes it took days to find out that I did not want to “go with” Lisa anymore. Even back then, things traveled quick. Now with social media, things can be broadcast in seconds, to EVERYONE, even people who don’t care, and that can be devastating if not thought about with care and concern.

I know it’s a silly example, but it got me thinking about what I would tell my younger self. My grandmother is 91 years old. She is living a long and wonderful life. She has more wisdom in her little finger than I have accumulated in my lifetime. Just watching her, and listening to her helps me understand the basics, and how important they are in life. The simple things mean more. The simple ways are most of the time, the best ways. What would my 91-year-old Grandmother say? I got to thinking about the top 5 things.

  1. SLOW DOWN. We are all moving so fast. The mind and actions can only move together when you slow it down a bit! Especially for important decisions. Before you post. When driving in bumper to bumper traffic. Stop. Think. Proceed. I watch Grandma move slow. It’s on purpose. Maybe not all of the time, but most of the time. Not only will this allow you to make better decisions, but it will probably lower your blood pressure as well! The less stress we have, the better everyone around us becomes! Think about that one!
  2. BE HEALTHY. Like everything we use, a car, an appliance, anything…as it gets older, it needs more attention! What you put in your car is important. The right oil, fluids, you wash it, change the wipers, make sure the lights work…you have to maintain your body. GO to the doctor. Get checked up! Why wouldn’t you? We take better care of our things than we do our own bodies. Those 4 donuts you ate this morning, they are not going to work out as well as when you were younger. Eat less. Eat better. Being healthy leads to being HAPPY!
  3. GET ACTIVE. You can look at this in a few different ways. Get active as in exercise. That’s one. You have to MOVE AROUND. We moved around a lot when we were younger. Walking to class, running around in sports, hanging with friends. The we got older, and the jobs today are sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen reading blogs. (yeah, I said it) Less active. It could mean get active in your community. Yes. Know what going on. Get to know people. Vote. Know who you are voting for. Go to events that help you with you. Maybe how to be a better employee or entrepreneur, or maybe to speak at a school or your church. Teach. Go to school meetings with your kids. Go out with your family. Get active.
  4. FIND A HOBBY! So you work 9-5 someplace, but when you get home, this is YOUR time! What are you doing? Hopefully it does not always involve an electronic device. I’m talking about binge-watching Netflix, or surfing the web all weekend. What do you like to do? What are you good at? Do it! Crafting? Do it! Golf? Do it! Home business? Do it! Selling for a profit on-line? Yard sale weekends to fix it up and sell for a profit? Do it!
  5. BE SMART ABOUT MONEY! Being physically fit is good. Being FINANCIALLY FIT, can be just as important. I am learning this as life moves on. Either from my parents when I was younger to my grandmother who to this day balances her checkbook down to the penny. You have to! They have said that money cannot buy you happiness, and for the MOST part I will agree with that. Dropping a million dollars in the lap of someone who has no concept of what to do with it, and you will see what happens in a short amount of time. (almost any lottery winner falls into this category) I do think that money can bring your piece of mind. Think about it this way. When you were broke and living check to check, you were constantly worried. You had stress. You destroyed your credit, or reputation. If you know how to use money, how to save money, how to spend money, you will be much better off in the future. I’m still struggling with this one!
  6. My bonus thing I would tell my younger self, HAVE A PLAN! If you don’t have a plan, make one up. Take some time on a weekend and seriously ask yourself the question, what is my life plan? Will it stay that way all the time? NO! Life happens. Plans change. Things happen. But if you don’t have a plan, what are you really doing? I’ll just wing it. OK, if it works for you, then God bless ya. We all require structure to some degree. Some more than others. Why do you need a trainer at the gym? Because HE has a plan and he will keep you on point. Your plan can be in “wet cement”, but it’s your plan. You can change it and modify it when you need to. Again, life happens, but when you have a plan for yourself, your family, it helps.

What would you tell your younger self?

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