If I knew then what I know now, I would have done many things differently. Yet, no regrets. The paths were meant for me to take as I now realized the the invisible Sovereign hands were guarding, guiding, and steering me all along.
10 things you need to learn sooner in life
1. Cultivate a relationship with God
I believed that there is a God. As a kid, I talked to an invisible being but did not know who I was talking to until I became a Christian in my later adult life. How I wish I knew Him sooner. Learning early in life the order of honor (God first, family second, all others next) would help put everything else in the right perspective. Find Him sooner.
2. Listen more to your parents and spend quality time with them
Honoring one’s parents is the first commandment with a promise. Though I disagreed occasionally with my parents, I never disrespected them. I loved them dearly. As a parent, I recognize that parents are not always right. The truth is that parents are also learning-on-the-job as they raise their children. But most parents desire the best for their children, young or adult, and might sometimes not know how to communicate those desires in a manner that the children might understand.
I never lived with my mother and missed the mother-daughter bonding and connection. Though I had a strong father-daughter relationship, I acknowledge that the roles of fathers and mothers are so uniquely different yet interconnected and one cannot be substituted for the other.
Spend quality time with your parents now and, when you leave home, visit them frequently.
3. Listen more to your instincts (intuition, gut feeling, etc.)
Whatever you call it, know that it is a gift that will work the more you use it. Pay attention to it, accept it, follow it, and don’t second-guess yourself or your gift.
The first step toward change is awareness. The second is acceptance.”Nathaniel Branden
4. Speak the truth more in love rather than abrasively
No one wants to hear your truth until they understand you care for them. You might be right, but might shut-off people with loud or harsh words. The truth spoken in love, coupled with soft responses, are a true disarming pair.
5. Always let your parents/family know who your friends are
My grandmother always advised that there were different categories of friendships: acquaintances (slight, but not close friends), colleagues (work but not necessarily close friends), activity friends (e.g. sports, party, etc.), and buddies (close friends). Know who your friends are. Never lump them all in one bucket and never be friends with anyone you will not be proud to take home or introduce to your parents. Note that not all friends will pick up your call or be enthused to open their doors to you when you knock at 3:00 a.m. Categorizing your friends will also help you avoid unnecessary disappointments.
Invite your friends home so your family knows who you’re hanging out with. You’ll be glad you did.
6. Just as there is a reason why meals are differentiated breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there’s a reason why you ought to do life in the right order: go to school (middle, high, college) before getting married or having babies
Order is the law of life and life is manageable when the sequences are followed. True, there are rare exceptions to all sequences, but except you’re a genius in your craft, those exceptions might not apply to you.
If within your power, choose to complete your education first before marriage and starting a family.
7. Life development is essential, may be critical, in these areas – educationally, financially, physically, and spiritually
Decide on what you want to study, how long you’d like to study (for example, 1st degree, 2nd, PhD, JD, two 2nd degree, add a vocational, etc.) and go for it.
Schools have never been known to teach financial education; wish it will be added to the k – 12 curricula. Nonetheless, there is some teaching you can do on your own. Research and learn it sooner. What is the best saving instrument? What does the FICO score mean? What do I need to do to increase my score? What are the requirements for buying a car or house?
Physical development includes healthy habits (eating, sleeping, playing, exercising, no drugs, etc.). It also includes your regular wellness check-ups. Do your part early and your body will serve you longer.
Everyone is yearning for things in life that can only be satisfied with the knowledge of and intimacy with God. As a Christian, how I wish that everyone was or became a Christian. However, connecting with God is personal. Find yours. As you take time to develop yourself in other areas, it is equally important to develop yourself spiritual for a balanced life.
8. Are you cut out for marriage or singleness?
“There are eunuchs that are made by God; there are those made by men, and there are those having made themselves so for the kingdom of heaven’s sake …”Matthew 19:12 KJV (King James’ Version)
Know what each (institute; yes they’re both institutes!) entails; responsibilities, benefits, and disadvantages, etc. and be prepared to work it truthfully till the end; except, of course, God redirects your steps.
9. Look for potentials in your mate and not necessarily the cool dude or prettiest girl in town. Not that this is bad of itself, but it is vanity
If you decide that marriage is for you, look for potentials with the longer-term in mind. Ask yourself if your partner is the type of man or woman whom you’d be happy with for the rest of your life, do you have the same values or anything in common, will you still be the loving spouse when the physical characteristics change such as becoming bald, putting on weight, etc.?
10. Be intentional about success.
Think early about being successful in life. What does success mean to you? Paint a picture of it and pursue it relentlessly.
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All the best to you, My Younger Me. I wish I knew these sooner in my own life journey.
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