Unsolicited advice to my teenage self.

If you had the opportunity to speak to your teenage self, what advice, support and guidance would you offer yourself? Here are a few pearls of wisdom I would consider offering the overweight, spotty faced teen I once was…

Matt, your self-worth must come from within. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and ditch those negative influences that drag you down. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.

Fear is the number one source of regret. When you look back on your life, you will lament the chances you didn’t take far more than you will your failures. You will never fail, you will however find thousands of ways that won’t work out. Have faith, stay focused and don’t take the path of least resistance.

Great success is often preceded by failure. The biggest breakthroughs typically come when you’re feeling the most frustrated and the most stuck. It’s this frustration that forces you to think differently and see the solution that you’ve been missing. 

You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive someone. Grudges let negative events from your past ruin your happiness. When you forgive someone, it doesn’t condone their actions; it simply frees you from being a victim.

Being busy does not equal being productive. You are the product of your output, not your effort, success doesn’t come from movement and activity, it comes from focus. 

Choose your attitude, it is your reaction to what life hands you, and it is only you who can choose that reaction. You can be subservient to external events, few of which you have any control over, or you can take charge of your own response.

Chasing girls is a misnomer. The paradox is that you often find the one you’re looking for when you stop looking, do the things you love and she may just be there.

You are the total sum of your experiences, everything that has happened to you both positive and negative has made you the person you will become and you will be thankful for all those events. Life is unfair but you will thrive in spite of it, in the words of Martin Luther King “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.

And finally… buy some stock in Apple, seriously… you will thank me later.

Maybe the question isn’t what advice would you offer your teenage self but would you actually give yourself any advice at all? You are you because you discovered, learnt and grew by making mistakes, taking risks and living through experience on your own personal journey through life… and surely that is what makes being alive so special.

Information cited from Dr Travis Bradbury and the FISH Philosophy, charthouse.com.

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