I turned 40 back in November, and although I didn't really panic or get especially depressed about hitting that particular milestone, I couldn't help but pause to take stock of a few things. My 30s were a busy blur. Ten years seemed to go by in 10 minutes, and I don't feel much different now than I did when I turned 30. But 20 seems like forever ago. I moved to Chattanooga shortly before I turned 20, and turning 40 brought back a lot of memories of who I was and what I was up to back then.
Sure, hindsight is 20/20, but I wish my 40-year-old self could somehow travel back in time to share a few things with my 20-year-old self. If I could, this is what I would say:
—Time flies whether you're having fun or not. Don't waste it.
—Even if you were to spend the rest of your time on this planet alone, you will never be the most important person in your life.
—Opposition is no reason to abandon your convictions.
—Eat better and exercise more. Go to bed earlier, and get up before you have to.
—Never stop dating your wife. And tell her and your kids that you love them every single day.
—You will fail. A lot. You're supposed to. This is how you will ultimately succeed.
—Live out your faith, and tell more people about it.
—Stop rushing. Stop trying to do everything you want to do, and focus on doing what you were meant to do.
—Spend less money than you make, and save as much as of it as you can. Get rid of debt, and fall in love with the concept of compound interest.
—There will be times when you just don't fit in. And that's OK. Keep moving.
—Take the time you spend worrying and use it to help others.
—Don't settle. Don't let the mirage of security hold you back from working hard to make your own opportunities.
—Don't get too attached to your hair. It will get less and less attached to you. Literally.
—You can't be friends with everybody, but you can be friendly.
—Read your Bible more. Pray more.
—Be prepared to learn from anybody, anywhere, at any time.
—Don't be too proud to ask for and receive help.
—Consume less and create more.
—Never place politics above people.
—Live lighter. Don't seek fulfillment from "stuff."
What would you tell your younger self? I'd love to hear it. Feel free to share some pearls of wisdom in the comments below.
Bill Colrus writes about (in no particular order) news, culture and media. You can find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.