Hi! It’s Diane Money. How are things? I’ve been thinking a lot lately. (I know, it’s dangerous
with a capital D.) But have you ever read any of those “Letters to My Younger Self” books or
blogs? I thought I’d take a look at a few online, and, well…I emerged 300 clicks later asking
myself what advice I’d want to give my younger self. I started with a few things like
1) Remember that the bad days don’t last any longer than good days do
2) It doesn’t matter that you passed your road test, you really do need to know how to
But then it occurred to me: I can’t change the past. My younger self didn’t know what I know
now because she hadn’t lived through everything I have—at least, not yet. And honestly, I’m not
sure young Diane would have paid much attention to what older me had to say any more than she
did to Aunt Jeanne Alice or all the other advice-givers who come out of the woodwork at your
absolute worst moments. (It’s like they know!) And did I really want to be one of them? No.
Definitely not. (Did I say no?)
The truth is, most of us learn more than a few of things along the way. And some of us insist on
learning those things “the hard way.” (I have stories to prove it.) But we can’t take all the
wisdom we’ve gained from experience and pay it backward. We can, however, pay it forward
and write a letter—or at least a few bullet points on a sticky note—to our future selves.
This is mine:
Dear Diane of the Future,
How are you? But more importantly, what are you thinking?
As you continue to live your best life, don’t forget these three things.
1) Plan to live to 100. You may not get there, but if you do, at least you won’t be caught off
guard. Instead, you’ll see life like the marathon it is and pace yourself—and your
finances—accordingly so you have enough to see you through. What will 100 be like? I
hear it’s the new 75.
2) Think in 25-year timeframes. Big goals take longer to accomplish, but they’re the ones
that are worth the effort. Don’t shortchange your goals or the time you’ll need to reach
them. You can achieve that by looking at life in bigger chunks. The things that are
beyond reach in 5 years are likely to be well within your grasp in 10 or 12. And taking
the long view means you’ve already allowed for a few wrong turns and
recalibrations—without sacrificing what matters.
3) Slow down and enjoy the journey. Resist the urge to rush from one thing to the next.
Most of life is lived in-between and on-the-way. The destination counts, but so does
everything it takes to get there. Forget about “smelling the roses.” If you don’t slow
down, you won’t be able to enjoy the journey. It’ll be so blurry you may not even
remember most of it.
Come to think of it, that could work for just about anybody!
Remember who loves you, ;-)