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What I’d Say to Myself 10 Years Ago

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So 10 years ago today, I graduated from college.  Maybe I’m feeling a little bit wistful, 10 years is kind of a big deal, or maybe it’s because I’m going to be a Dad in a few short weeks.  I was thinking the other day, what if I could teleport back to my 10-years-ago-self and give my former self a pep talk.  What would I say?

First I’d give myself a disclaimer and say “Hey self, you think you’re way smarter than you are and you’re probably not going to listen to me.  But that’s okay because truthfully, the only way you’ll learn this stuff is to mess it up anyways.”

Then I’d go on to give my former self some pointers of what I did learn over the years…

  • Don’t dress for the job you have, don’t dress for the job you want, but dress to be yourself.  However, looking dapper does not hurt.
  • Don’t be worried that you got a degree that’s not business oriented.  Revel in it.  You’ve just learned a set of skills that are applicable in any business.  Problem solving?  Check.  Public speaking? Check.  It’s not what your degree is in, but what you choose to do with it that matters.
  • Tattoos hurt a lot less than you think.
  • Keep on taking the long view.  It makes failures seem that much smaller and successes feel more like a stepping stone than the destination.
  • Speaking of failure, buckle up, because you’re going to have a lot of those!
  • Don’t ever stop loving Volkswagens.  And (hint, hint), you’re going to build one of the best of them.  You’ll succeed because you stuck to it and didn’t give up.
  • Spend as much time as you can with your family, it’ll be the best times that you remember.
  • Don’t ever quit playing music.
  • Growing up sucks so resist with all your power!  Keep that child-like interest, it will serve you well.
  • Stay tuned, because in a year P90X will be invented.  Buy it and never stop doing it.  Sometimes you’ll fall off the wagon but keep on getting back on, you won’t regret it, not ever.
  • You’ll catch the biggest fish by spending more time with your pole in the water.  Every cast you create an opportunity.  This works for fishing and life in general.  Keep trying to create opportunities.
  • It’s okay if you say “Awesome” a lot.  Just make sure that you are doing something awesome.
  • Speed is motion.  Velocity is motion with a direction.  Think velocity, not speed.  Pick a direction and keep moving foreward.
  • Keep on having a good time, no matter what.  You have one life, live it dude!

I’m sure I’d be tempted to tell my former self to invest in, get a job in the cloud technology and make sure I go to the first Dreamforce, but I’d be a little worried about creating a fold in the space-time continuum which would probably destroy the universe.

Question for you – what advice would you give 10-years-younger self if you could talk to them right now?  Feel free to leave a comment with your pointers!  Thanks for reading.



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