Letter to Self at Sixteen

The New Year is typically a time to make resolutions that seldom outlast the week. The pledges to lose weight, quit smoking and make more money are well-meaning but, more often than not, ineffective.

This year I thought I would try something different and challenge you to do the same. Inspired by a couple of UK bloggers, I am going to write a letter to myself at 16.

The rules are quite simple. You need to offer three brief points of advice to your 16-year-old self. For some of us this is 24 years ago, for others it might be even longer. Irrespective of the time past, what words of advice would you give yourself decades ago that would improve your life today? Here’s my attempt.

November 1985

Dear Cory,

There will be so many good and worthy things you will want to do in the years ahead. Make sure you do them. Don’t put them off until you’re older or richer or wiser. There will always be an excuse not to do something and that is why the world belongs to those who actually get in and take action. However, this doesn’t mean you should rush out and buy a motorbike. It would be much wiser to leave that indulgence until you turn 40 and trust me, you’ll enjoy it more then.

We both know that sport hasn’t really been your thing but believe it or not it will play a major role in your life. Don’t take the opportunities you will be presented with for granted as they will be over all too soon. Work hard as part of your team, knowing that you alone cannot claim victory. The result will only be as good as the weakest member so do what you can to lift others along the way. Your sporting success will depend on them. Whatever the result, cherish the memory and enjoy knowing that you did your best.

Finally, you might not like to think about it now, but one day you’ll have children of your own. They’ll give you so much joy it will make you want to count your blessings dozens of times every day. You’ll also understand how much happiness you have given your parents – even when you’ve been a right pain at times. Take some time out every week to have a chat with your parents and let them know you love them. When you are a parent you’ll realise just how much this small gesture means.

See you in 24 years.


P.S – It wouldn’t hurt if you put every spare dollar you have over the next 20 years into bank shares. Then you could afford a custom Harley Davidson when the time is right!

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