What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Author: AB Staff

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Learning Purpose

What if you could travel back in time and grab coffee with your 18-year-old self? What would you say? What advice would you give yourself that you know would help the younger you get through the tough times or live a richer, fuller life?

We asked 1,000 baby boomers and beyond to hop into a time machine with us and answer the same question. Their responses were wise, only occasionally tinged with regret, and deeply inspirational.

Ten themes emerged, and these were our favorites:

Quotes on Experience

“Don’t waste money on trivial things.  Save it or spend it on experiences.”

“Collect experiences and not possessions.” 

“Don’t put off things that interest, excite or challenge you.  Follow your passions.  Always be open to new experiences.”

Quotes on Risk

“Concentrate on opening, not closing, doors throughout your life.”

“Do more things that interest you sooner rather than later.  Be bold!”

“Don’t be afraid to try new things and don’t be afraid to fail.”

“Plan for the future but live for the present.”

“The key to life is how well you deal with Plan B.”

Quotes on Money

“Start a 401(k) now.”

“Don’t drink so much coffee in your 30s and 40s!  That and save more money so you can do things when you retire.”

Quotes on Faith and Service

“Always be involved in your community through volunteer work.  It is especially important to support the groups whose purposes you feel strongly about be they social, political or religious.”

“Build your self-confidence by volunteering where you will be working with experienced people.  Ask them questions.”

Quotes on Integrity

“Compromise less.  Feel less concern about conformity.  Seek fulfillment.”

“Do not fear life.  Do not fear failure.  Don not fear success.  You are perfect just the way you are right here, right now.”

“Follow your heart first and head second with career decisions and lifelong pursuits.”

“Who cares what other people think!  Be yourself and follow your dreams.”

Quotes on Learning

“Explore, do things outside your comfort zone, say ‘yes’ to adventure.  Never pass up a learning experience, and they are everywhere, every day, if you look for them.”

“Don’t listen to answer, listen to learn.”

“Learning is not a destination but rather a lifelong journey.”

“Be informed about your own country and the rest of the world.  Always remember that our way is not the only way.”

Quotes on Friends

“Girl friends are the best.”

“Don’t be so self-conscious.  Be more outgoing when meeting others for the first time.  Everyone loves to be asked questions about themselves so ask away!”

“If your friends don’t want to travel, find new friends.”

“Smile at a stranger.”

“Surround yourself with positive people.”

Quotes on Fun

“Have more fun instead of working all the time.”

“Chill.  Life is short.”

Quotes on Travel

“Go to Paris sooner.”

“Get on a plane right now, before you get afraid!”

“Hike more, eat less.”

“Get acquainted with the world’s people and learn from them before making opinions.”

Quotes on Love

“Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Learn to accept and love yourself.”

“Be more careful with your heart.”

“Love intensely.”

“Live hard.  Love more.  Laugh often.”

What advice resonates with you? What would you add?