In our previous Wisdom Note, we learned to accept responsibility using the phrase “The Buck Stops Here.” In this note, we will provide advice for a younger generation. If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes please go to the blog to catch previous installments.
In times like this, it seems like only one thing is on our mind. Right now, that is Covid-19. Our lives are on hold for the next couple of months, and this is something most of us are not comfortable with. It gives us time to pause and reflect on how short life really is and how important it is to live our positive legacy each day.
Since I will be 64 this summer, I am reaching the age where I have gained enough experience and wisdom to be able to understand certain truths about life. Our current crisis will be over eventually, and life will resume with some normalcy. Some of this advice may have to be delayed for a time, but not forever. If you learn the following truths while you are younger, they will help you to live the rich and satisfying life that we are designed to live at every age.
So whether you are 5 or 105, here is…
Advice for a Younger Generation
- When you are in your 20s through 50s, you won’t feel like you are that age. – Adults are just older children. When you get older, you won’t feel as old as you imagine you will. For the most part, you still feel exactly the way you feel right now, just a little wiser and more confident. I certainly find this to be very true. Don’t fear growing up. Look forward to it. It’s awesome.
- Bad things will happen to you and your friends. – Part of living and growing up is experiencing unexpected troubles in life. People lose jobs, get in car accidents, and sometimes die. The smartest and often hardest thing you can do in these kinds of situations is to be at peace and be filled with compassion. When bad things happen, you may feel like becoming angry. Instead choose to be wiser and more disciplined. Remember that emotional rage only makes matters worse. Also, remember that tragedies are rarely as bad as they seem, and even when they are, they give us an opportunity to grow stronger.
- Everyone can make a huge difference. – Making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but at least that person’s world. So, start small and start now.
- First impressions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. – Everyone and everything seems normal from a distance or at a glance. The 10th, 20th, or even the 50th impression is when you start to truly understand someone else for who that person truly is.
- Big results come when you narrow your focus. – Concentrate your efforts on smaller and smaller areas. In other words, niche down. When your efforts are diffused over a wide area, they won’t have much of an impact. So, focus on smaller areas, and your efforts will be felt more fully. It could take time for change to happen, but keep that focus narrow.
- Love yourself. Become your own priority. – Strive to be the “you” you want to be. Nourish your body, mind, and soul. Invest in self-improvement every day until you die.
- Sometimes you just have to go for it. – Put your uncertainty and fears aside for a second and ask yourself this, “If I try and I don’t get it right the first time, what will I have lost and what will I have gained?” The answer is, “You will have lost nothing but a little bit of your time while gaining an important lesson that will help you get it right the second or third time.” People rarely get it right the first time. The people who are successful are the ones who did not quit.
- In order to get, you have to give. – Supporting, guiding, and making contributions to other people is one of life’s greatest rewards. Everything you do comes back around.
- Not much is worth fighting about. – If you can avoid it, don’t fight. Step back from arguments with your spouse, family members, or neighbors. When you feel anger surging up, and you want to yell that vulgar remark on the tip of your tongue, just close your mouth and walk away. Let yourself calm down. You don’t have to be right or win an argument. It just doesn’t matter.
- Don’t try to impress everyone. – Purposely impressing people is an act that brings nothing but a momentary ego boost. Be real with people instead. Connect with fewer people on a level that is deeper and more profound.
- Keep having fun. – Fun is way underrated. With all of life’s responsibilities, fun will sometimes seem like an indulgence. It shouldn’t be. It should be a requirement. Make time for fun in the everyday pleasures of life. The real fun does not have to be expensive, and many times it is free.
- Keep it simple. – There is a world of magnificence hidden in simplicity. Pick the five most important things in your life now and focus on those things. Let the other stuff go. Stop the busyness and really enjoy what’s important to you.
- Little things stick with you. – So pay attention to them…Watching your child sleep. Preparing a meal with your family. Sharing a great laugh with an old friend. This is the stuff real life is made of.
- Less advice is often the best advice. – People don’t need lots of advice. They need to live. They need to see others that have lived well so they can learn from their lives. Your life stories, like the answers we give to long essay questions, are uniquely yours. We just need to be a beacon of hope for others. We all just need time to think, be, and breathe, and continue to explore the undirected journeys that will eventually help us find our direction.
- Manage your life. – Your situation and environment is ever-changing, so be careful not to confuse things that are urgent with things that are important.
- Manage your money. – Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Don’t spend more than you make. Don’t let your money manage you.
- What you learn in school does matter. – While you may not use the specifics of every classroom lesson, every lesson does expand the core thought process of your mind. Over time, you will develop problem-solving skills that are universally applicable.
- Dreams will remain dreams forever if you don’t take action. – Don’t dream about it anymore. Start doing it. In 40 years from now, what is it that you will regret not having accomplished, appreciated, or attempted? Do it, appreciate it, and attempt it NOW!
God’s faithfulness in our lives is available with each new morning, regardless of your age. As Lamentations 3:22-24 states, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’”
As we ponder this advice for a younger generation, we realize that it is never too late to put this advice into practice, no matter your age. Over the next couple of weeks, we will explore the trails that will teach us that you always have a choice. So, encourage your friends and family to join us, and then come along tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.