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The things I would the tell younger me…

I know it’s not a new trend, but I’ve recently come across quite a few “Top 10 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self” articles on the web. They cover everything from business to athletics to love lives and so on. Regardless of the topic they all generally talk about mistakes they’d avoid and things they would have done better. So I began thinking about what I would tell my younger self to help avoid some poor decisions, some brutal relationships, and poor career choices. That’s when I came up with the following list of things I would have done differently in my past….

1. Absolutely Nothing!
2. See #1

Sorry, not much of a list.

Now, some of you may be thinking; “Of course you wouldn’t change anything Paul, why would you change perfection?” To which I would have to agree…but then after I awoke from my daydream I’d realize you were still standing there wondering why I’m wasting your time with a list that isn’t a list. Contrary to what my inner voices keep telling me, I’m not perfect and I have done plenty of things in the past that many people would classify as mistakes. The main thing here is not that I’m saying “Screw you, learn it the hard way” to younger Paul, it’s that I don’t regret any of the mistakes or decisions I have made.

All of the events that have occurred in my life, good and bad, have led me to where I am today, and I’m pretty happy. I’m not saying this is my final resting place and nothing will ever change, but for the most part I’m very satisfied with my current lot in life. Now, how could I have ever gotten here without all the things I have done this far?

For example, why would I go back and tell 17 yr old Paul not to pursue a degree in Engineering? Yes, it was 5 expensive years of brutal classes that would lead to a career that would trap me in an office for at least 40 hrs/wk and upwards of 70 hrs/wk if I wanted to advance up in the company. Yes, I would leave that career within a short 3 years. However, without pursuing that degree, chances are I never would have moved to San Diego, discovered my love of endurance sports, and most importantly met the woman that I’m going to marry!

Should I go back and tell college Paul to avoid the seemingly endless chain of crazy that he attracted in the form of the fairer sex? (No offense to the few that didn’t fall into this category.) Hell no! For one, it was fun and the stories were well worth it. But more than anything, I never would have learned what it was I truly wanted from a woman. And I think I’ve finally found the perfect amount of crazy…which is to say none!

The list of things that I have done in my life that have led to unexpected or less than stellar results is quite long. But without all of those events I would never have learned many of the lessons I feel are most important to who I have become.

Besides…why dwell on things you can’t change anyway? Learn from the mistakes, appreciate what you have, sack up and live life!

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