Greetings from the future! I’m sure you have a lot of questions for me (us?) on how things turned out. I’m not sure how much I should tell you; I’ve seen a few too many time travel movies to believe there wouldn’t be some consequences to spoiling the wait for you. That said, please know that in general:
- Some things are better than you could even imagine, but some things are worse. Progress through time doesn’t necessarily mean progress toward perfection. There are many things I wouldn’t trade for the world, but quite a few others I’d love to have back. I guess that’s life, regardless of when you are living it.
- That thing you think is a big deal right now… I won’t always be. It seems big now because it’s right in front of you, but with time and perspective it starts to shrink and fade into the distance. That doesn’t mean I’m minimizing the impact it’s having on you, but just realize that this too shall pass.
- You are going to win some and lose some. Surprisingly some of the losses did more to form your future success than the wins. I know it’s hard to believe that now, but you’ll relish what you learned from those failures. They forced you to grow and get stronger.
Although I can’t tell you much more on how things turned out, I am providing you some insight into the things that will help prepare you for what’s ahead.
- Don’t stop yourself from learning something completely new just because you are comfortable. Those things you think you shouldn’t have to learn because you’ve already put in your time… those things are more important than you realize. You can either tackle them now or learn them later when they become a barrier to you moving forward.
- That thing that you are scared of doing… it’s holding you back. I know that you see it as a risk and something to avoid. Even worse, you may be holding back from doing it because you think you might just fail at it the first time. It’s ok. We’ve been here before…remember? And we conquered it. We took the training wheels off and rode down the sidewalk on our own. We jumped into the deep water and doggy paddled back to the edge. We entered the onramp and merged onto the freeway. We didn’t want to at first… and we may not have got it right the first time… but we did it and we moved on. You’ve got to trust me (us)…when in doubt, refer to #3 above.
- Count your blessings daily. I know it’s hard to see them sometime through all the challenges you face, but they are there, and they always outnumber the curses. Get used to finding them like a needle in a haystack and remind yourself of them often. Speak them out loud whenever you have a chance. You’ll soon find that there are more than you can verbalize and your problems will seem pretty small in comparison. That’s perspective… and it’s the most valuable gift I can give you from the future, and in the present.
So that’s it for now. I hope this helps.
<PS> I don’t care what the futurists are saying… spandex unitards will NEVER be in style. Stick to jeans and khakis.
Think I missed something that would have been included in a letter from Future You? Drop me a comment and share your future wisdom.
Have you seen some of my reflections on returning to corporate work? You can find them here.
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