Can you go back in time to correct past mistakes? No. But, you can still learn from them. Today’s idea, is simple. Sit for a 5-15 minutes and write a letter to your younger self. Only by looking backwards can we connect the dots. What is in that time spent something you have learned and want that younger version of yourself to learn too? Maybe it’s not to late for your future self to gain some nuggets about it’s current trajectory.
Here’s an example from a painter I admire, Mariam Pare. What I want you to know about Miriam is they make paintings by mouth. After suffering a major injury, they took a trip back and had this to say to their younger self:
“If I could talk to myself twenty years ago, I would tell myself to focus on my strengths, and not on my weaknesses; on things I could do and not the things I couldn’t do; to strive to excel and hone those skills to the point of excellence. That this was the best strategy to secure my future. I would say to myself that the only real obstacles you have are those you create for yourself.”Source: In the Company of Woman
It’s again a very simple look back, a telling story, and something that could still impact your career/life today, tomorrow, or near future. It’s not too late. Lean into that inner story. Do two different exercises. One, that focuses on your daily life. Another, that focuses on the life you lead at work. I believe there are two stories, one for each. Learn from mistakes you’ve made, try not to make them over and over again. Only in those moments of truth, in the stillness of unpacking them, can we achieve that.
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