Time flies. Before you know it, you’ve reached your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. You’ll often wonder where the years went.
I know I do. I look back and wonder how I got to where I’m at today.
It seems like just yesterday that I was a 5 year old boy, having the time of his life.
When you’re 5 years old, there’s not much you have to worry about. Your mom and dad take care of food and shelter. There’s always someone to play ball or run around the neighborhood with.
You’ve got it all covered. Or so you think.
Looking back, there’s advice I’d give to my 5 year old self.
Be kinder: You never know the struggles people are going through. The mean boy who hit you may not have a dad at home.
As an adult, it could be the driver who blew the red light and almost hit you. He might be rushing his pregnant wife to the ER and he’s scared to death.
Be kind to those people. They need it today.
Be a sharer: As a young boy, it seemed like my toys were my toys and no one could borrow them. This came out of an attitude of greed and put a lot of people off.
Imagine if you were a sharer. You let people play with your toys. You shared what you knew.
When you share, you create connections with people. Don’t be greedy and horde everything for yourself.
Be a connector: Kids can be cruel and want to take, take, take (That’s what the above advice about being a sharer was about). They want everything their way and if it’s not like that, it’s too bad.
Learn to be a connector though. Be someone who can help others find the resources they need. When you connect others to people they need, they begin to remember you and what you do.
Be more focused on relationships: Good grades and perfect attendance were really important to me as a kid. I wanted to make the list of good boys. I wanted to be the one who could say he never missed a day of school.
Looking back, I ask myself why this was so important. Today there’s rarely anyone who cares about this metric.
Instead, focus on building important relationships. Find friends who are doing and going to do great things. Build those relationships that will last a lifetime.
Be easier on yourself: It was easy to beat up on myself if I failed to live up to the expectations I set for myself, even as a 5 year old. I had lofty expectations.
And I’d fail. And then fail again and again and again.
Then I’d beat up on myself and feel worthless.
The truth is, you’re not worthless. You’re worth more than you can imagine. You have greatness in you.
Lighten up dude.