21 things I’d tell my teen self:

July 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

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1. [Continue to] put God first.

2. Believe in yourself because you will go on to do great things, plus possess a wealth of untapped potential.

3. At times of difficulty do the following: overcome personal vulnerabilities, pride & ego. Continue to pray, remain faithful, maintain perspective – remembering that this shall be ‘But for a small moment’. Ps, learn how to exhibit growth & grace under pressure.

4. There will always be people who do not like you. So what.

5. Never apologise for who you are, nor for your ambition. By the way, less than 100% is not a fail so set your goals & be flexible.

6. You will experience a vast juxtaposition of love, judgement & hatred. The latter two are not about you personally. Remain unchanged & kind (do not become bitter). MLK said “Do not hate – it is too big a burden to bear” for a good reason. Learn from this growth experience.Love more & hate less.

7. In walking your own path, there will be times that you are alone. Equally, there will be times when others will accompany you.

8. Natural is beautiful. I heard a guy at a church convention adapt hymn number 85 & sing it as “how firm her foundation, how orange her face” to the girl sat in front. Over doing anything (tweezing brows, processing hair, wearing too much make up etc) will prematurely age the skin & appearance.

9. Live without regrets. They are seldom of any use and breed discontentment.

10. Find your tribe = people who understand, encourage, inspire & accept you as you are. Who can provide that sense of community & support. They will become your family.

11. Let go of experiences, people and circumstances that no longer serve you.

12. Do what you love.

13. Understand your individual worth. Never let anyone diminish it – nor your spirit.

14. Continue to develop your character according to what your Father has taught you. Do not assume the traits of those around you as a means of expediting popularity or appeal. Character, reputation, integrity & the sum of you life’s works are what people will remember about you.

15. Return to university sooner. Education is valuable, vital and can propel you to your dreams…if you use it wisely.

16. You are quite right to date sensibly, safely and selectively. Do NOT date anyone who does not respect your standards (or who is younger…it’ll cause quite a social stir).

17. You’ll do everything in reverse order. As a young teen you’ll have a lot of responsibility taking care of young children & supporting your family, however, this experience is not in vain & will serve you well in later life.

18. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s also ok not to have it all together 24 hours a day & to have a bad day – however, the only thing you should be faking is confidence.

19. Enjoy your life & single-dom. It’s not a race – use the time to get to know yourself. It is correct to pursue things (including marriage) in the Lord’s time rather than with the perspective of mortality.

20. Health is important. Start good habits early – including frequent & moderate exercise.

21. Your ability to find solutions & remedy difficult situations (which might otherwise minimise your happiness) will empower you to bring about far greater change than has been witnessed in two preceding generations.

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