We are not the same person as we were a day ago or a moment ago. We had learnt from the mistakes and the experiences from then until now. We had become wiser and more intelligent. We learnt new things and picked up new skills. We also constantly change our thoughts and preferences over time.
I am sure we had made mistakes in the past that we regretted. Mistakes in retrospect that were so stupid and embarrassing that we wondered why we did it in the first place. The things that we said that now, seemed so idiotic and the feelings of others that we had hurt. There were also the moments of indecision that led to lost opportunities and failures that changed our lives. There were so many things that I would have done differently.
There were so many things that I would have done differently.
Therefore, I had a thought, what advice would you give to your past-self if you had the chance?
There are so many things that I would advise my past-self. Things that if I had done earlier, would have changed my life now.
First, I would have advised myself to be more confident and adventurous. In the past, I was not fond of trying out new things and always keep it on the safe side. You can say that I was in a bubble of my own. I was also not fond of meeting new people and was socially awkward, not knowing how to start a conversation or present myself to a crowd. I believe it is because of that that I missed out on a lot of opportunities like organising events and meeting creative people. The realisation that I needed to step up my adventurous and confidence game came when I was in National Service. It was during that period of time when I learnt that going out of the comfort zone is a common trait in successful people. They are always the first to try out new things and hold a wealth of experience. I also realised that being adventurous opens the mind and allows you to see the perspectives of others on life or on anything at all. Maybe, if I was more confident and adventurous in the past, I would have achieved so much more.
Also, I would have advised my past-self to be more proactive. I believe that I had so many missed opportunities in the past. Since I had been in positions of power, I could have done so many things that could have made the experiences in school and even in National Service much more fulfilling. If I had been more proactive, I would have experienced so many new things that would have given me a better foundation for life. Currently, being more proactive and have the initiative to do things I guess, is a lesson that I am still mastering.
However, even though I would have advised my past-self to be more confident, proactive and adventurous and so on and so forth, this does not mean that we should regret our past actions. It is just not worth it. Why? We will never know what will happen if we had been different at that point in time. For all I know, if I were to be more adventurous in the past, I would have failed my examinations and would not be where I am today. What I am trying to say is that all our past experiences and lessons learnt are for the benefit of our future-selves so that we will learn to appreciate the knowledge that we have gathered and understand the impact of those lessons for future decisions.
Therefore, it is important to recognise that our past should not be something to be forgotten but instead, something that we can learn from. We should appreciate that the past happened so that our future-selves can grow from it.