Advice To My 25-Year-Old Self (Part 1)
I was asked this recently and I’d thought I’d share my response.
Maybe it is just where my head is these days but I’ve been giving a great deal of consideration to choices. You may recall I wrote a bit about that recently with the concept of Be. Just Be. If you missed that you can read it here.
It’s really Simple
Don’t Worry, Be Happy….and those are both choices. Just choices.
The only thing that affects whether you worry or whether you are happy is the little voice in your head. You know that little voice right? We all have it. That little voice that seems to feel obligated to remind you of your fears, your uncertainties, and your doubts. That little voice that reminds you of your preconceived notions of how things ought to be…who you want to be, what you think you need, how you think it should be, etc.
You Are In Control…Of Your Perception
The only thing in this world that you control is that voice. You can decide what it says and when it says things you don’t like you can choose whether you want to listen. The reality is the world can take away all of your freedoms but it cannot take away how you perceive the world. When you start to control your perception then you really begin to control your world and your reality.
And Your Perception Is Your Reality
I don’t always practice this and historically I have had the propensity to worry and see how things can go wrong. To see the things that aren’t and the things that could be. I think as I get older that gets better. Maybe it is confidence. Maybe it is because of where I am in life (I am very very lucky…crazy lucky). Maybe it is maturity. Maybe it is just self awareness. Maybe I have decided to choose happy over right. Maybe I realize how much of life I’m not in control of after all…Maybe it is all of those things.
So here we are 25 year old self. Don’t Worry, Be Happy…those are both choices you make. Just let the dice fly. It’s all going to work out in the end. After all, your perception is your reality.
This isn’t easy. It’s hard. And bad things happen. Really bad things. We lose people and that is hard. It happens, we come together, we process and for their sake we get back in the fight. That is what they would want. But as we’ve talked about you should go head first into hard. It will be worth it. For me the above requires my second by second attention. Maybe that will get easier. My gut tells me it will. Hit me up and I’d be happy to share how I am approaching all of this in more detail. Doesn’t mean I’m right just how I’m trying to get better everyday.
A few thoughts from Bruce Lee that seemed appropriate for this topic.
“For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.”
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
“The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.”
“Not being tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”
“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.”
“A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.”
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.”
“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”