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Advice to my younger self

An ongoing list of things I would have said to my younger self growing up (last updated 29/11/2021)

Life is a very long time, so treat your body with respect.

Be nice, but don’t be a pushover.

Past a point don’t try to solve other peoples problems. You only have about a 1-2% influence in their lives if you’re lucky.

You are privileged in one way or another. So are most people. People will try to demean you by pointing out your privileges and you will be tempted to point out their privileges in return. Don’t bother entering into it. Acknowledge your privilege and take on the challenge regardless. If you feel a sense of responsibility then show others how you do things to help the next lot benefit from your experience.

Communication and respect are important.

Chances are you could be in the same situation as one of those people you look down on one day, so learn to suspend and halt judgement. Life is full of situations where we sooner or later experience things we laugh or judge others for.

Realise your worth. You’re valued. Don’t forget that.

You are often a victim by choice alone. If you can learn from a negative experience, you’re stepping out of victimhood.

As much as possible, be what you say you’re about – That’s integrity, and people can sense it.

Read more books.

People will try to intimidate you. They are usually insecure and want to even the playing field by implanting an insecurity in you. If you ignore it, the behavior will continue. If you confront them about it and they don’t listen, walk away.

We’re all crazy so don’t be afraid to be open and honest about your craziness. The people that give a shit will stick around. Those that don’t aren’t your type of crazy.

People (yourself included) will make up their minds about things. Be open to criticism where appropriate and be stubborn with what you don’t accept. People can only put you in a conceptual box if you allow them to.

When someone is plain wrong about something, speak out; it’ll help them. Listen when someone points out an error on your part too, it’ll help you grow.

If someone doesn’t want to listen or contribute further, walk away.

Be considerate and honest whenever you can and distance yourself from people that don’t show the same respect.

You will make mistakes, get things wrong, and fail. It’s a sign you’re pushing into new ground. Get used to the feeling. If a person is involved, acknowledge your mistake, learn from it, apologize and move on. It’s part of taking on responsibility for your life.

People will disappoint you. Don’t take it too personally and remember the times you fucked up to balance things out and keep your anger in check.

Anger is the adult word for tantrum. Control yourself and pick your fights only when necessary.

When you get good at something you’ll start to develop an ego around that thing. Put that ego in a drawer in your mind. Close that drawer and only open it temporarily when you feel dissuaded.

No matter how much you do, some people are never going to acknowledge or accept you so don’t bother trying to please everyone.

You don’t need to be popular to be a cool person. There is such a thing as an inward popularity – Enjoying your own company is a lot more important than it seems.

A consistently flaky or critical friend is not a real friend.

Learn to detect enviousness early and distance yourself from it.

‘The people that are the hardest to love often need love the most’.. but don’t make yourself into a martyr.

Learn self compassion before you put time into anyone else.

People will make you their rivals. Don’t bother to enter into competition, just keep bettering yourself daily.

Kindness is an external behavior, not a sign of any internal goodness. Observe peoples actions instead.

If you’re being civil and respectful and your presence still intimidates someone, that’s their issue, not yours.

Learning is much easier if you follow your curiosities.

‘Knowledge is knowing, wisdom is doing.’

Everyone has a dark side. Fully acknowledge your own and in doing so you’ll learn about other peoples dark side.

When you’re feeling really messed up, regardless of what people will tell you about medication; it can make a big difference. You can come off them when you feel better.

Everyone’s messed up to some extent and messed up people create more mess. No one is entirely free of fault. Don’t trust a story if you’ve only heard one side of it and don’t believe your own victim story either until you’ve analyzed it from multiple viewpoints.

If it’s too good to be true it probably is. Be grateful for what you have.

Don’t listen to people that brown nose you constantly. They’re usually manipulative and after something.

Some people are going to befriend you initially because they’re scared of you. Either don’t bother with them or show them you’re not to be feared.

You’re going to have a really tough time, but it’ll give you grit.

When someone criticizes you, look for how that criticism could apply to their life. If the criticism rings more true to them than to you, they’re projecting their issues onto you.

Don’t work with people you can’t communicate effectively with.

The more you do something the harder it will be to stop down the road. Moderation is key.

Secrets are heavy cognitive burdens, particularly secrets you’re not proud of. Lighten the load as much as possible.

At some point you will get fed up with everything. Talk to someone instead of doing something stupid.

pg 19. ‘Hold your misery’ – from Knowable Knowns; Unknowable Unknowns – A neurotic book of shadow integration

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