In a random Twitter thing tonight someone I don’t follow and never heard of asked people to tell her things that they wish they had known or been told when they were 24 years old. (She’s turning 24 tomorrow.) Someone I do know and follow on Twitter had answered, I liked some of the other answers that were popping up in my feed, so I thought for a minute and answered. That answer in turn has been liked and retweeted a few time, which in turn got me to thinking.
I think there’s a huge perspective issue at play here. She’s looking forward, asking for pearls of wisdom from those who have been there, which is great. Advice is always easier to get than to actually put into play, but good for her for making the effort and asking an interesting question.
But my answer, given in the context of “what do I wish that I had known when I was 24,” implies that I know it now. But is that necessarily true?
Somewhere along the line I had the realization that while I might “know” what I was advising this internet stranger, it wasn’t necessarily something that I was doing yet myself. Or, at the very least, while it might be “wisdom” that I had earned, I couldn’t be sure that I had changed my actions to implement the lesson learned.
Could I look back in five years (ten years? two years?) and wish that right now I was keeping that advice in mind instead of waiting another two years (five? ten?) before acting?
Perhaps this old dog should not just learn that particular trick, but practice it every once in a while.