Dear Younger Self,
I write this letter more in the hope that it will remind me of some things I already know but sometimes forget, than in the expectation that anything I say will influence you, as I know you will have to beat your own path across life’s torturous tundra.
In this letter I am going to talk about striving to get things done but before I do that, I would like you to know that no one is better or indeed worse than you. I am not suggesting that everyone is equally talented, equally intelligent or equally beautiful but that everyone is unique and therefore comparisons are not appropriate.
Now on to the striving, there is a Thomas Edison quote that I like that says ‘Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration’. I think if can safely be applied not just to genius but also to anything you wish to achieve in life however small or large. Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers – The Story of Success, is one you might like to read when you are older, it’s well written and informative and one of the chapters, the 10,000 hour rule is a much longer take on the Thomas Edison quote; apparently for greatness in any field practice (10,000 hours of it) is more important than innate talent. I am not suggesting that you strive for great success (you can of course if you want to) just letting you know that even the smallest achievements in life require sustained effort. One thing that may help when something seems impossible, too difficult, or simply not worth the effort is to say repeatedly to yourself never give up, never give up, never give up…
I wish I had known these things when I was your age. I am not going to drone on and on so I will stop now but I will write to you again to talk about other things.
Your Older Self