As a generation X’er born in 1979 and being in the workforce for over twenty years, I have learned a thing or two about what I would have done differently and how my frame of mind may have been different.
- Do Let people situations get to you
Growing up I grew up in a home that verbal abuse was a constant due to my grandfather who we lived with. He would tell me how I wouldn’t do something right; how worthless I am and add a daily dose of profanity and vulgar language since the age of five.
This had a direct impact on working to please people. I would constantly want to please my teachers, my bosses and even today I struggle with letting go and not getting situations get to me, things out of my control. But if I could tell myself many years ago is not to sweat those things, we have no control over. Don’t let hardships, struggles and everyday life get to you and to appreciate what is important like family, friends, good health knowing that all things may not aways last especially having family and friends around.
- Save, save, save
Growing up, my family was considered low income. Mom did her best with the little we had but failed to teach us the importance of savings from a young age. Yes, I did allowances growing up but would often spend it on toys, candy, and waste it. When I got into adulthood with my first real job I did save at first but that was because I lived at home with no real expenses. I had no real concept of saving for a real purpose like a home, a car. When I started my family I really have no savings at that point which were in my thirties. I would also dip into my 401K at times often wiping it out to pay off debt and bills, which to this day I wish I would have done differently.
- Watch the debt
Debt is something that can sneak up on you if you are not careful. Most of us carry some debt like a student loan, a car, a home, credit card. We must do our best to live within our means even if that means we go without. Do not subsidize debt like credit cards and loans to live on. I will say I know because I have done this myself when at times I did not make enough money, I would relay on credit to help get by but in the end I ended up owning more then I wanted to causing financial hardship.
- Have Fun no matter what
Some would say well doesn’t fund cost money and yes it does but doesn’t have too. In my twenties I often focused on my job, never really focusing on having fun such as traveling, which I regret not doing more. In those years of your life when you don’t have responsibilities like a family to support its important to focus on doing those things that you may not have a chance to do. Its so important to enjoy life no matter what age, but its particularly important to enjoy your twenties and thirties and those may be years that become really foundation to the people we become later in life.
- Stop the comparisons
Some of you may not do this, but I often did. I often compared my accomplishments, the money I earned and my lifestyle to my peers who had similar backgrounds to me. In college I remember feeing quite resentful of my peers who made much more money than me and had better positions. Remember our careers and how quickly we get there is not a race although we sometimes feel we need to hurry up to reach a certain level of success early on. At times we will see success comes early for some, later for others and no success for many. But we all have a different journey in this life. You will see in life we all have success and failures, and we all are here to play the long game in life, so enjoy the ride and remember you have your own unique gifs and talents.
- Everything happens for a reason
I have had many failures in my life in pursuing a career. I have taken jobs that have failed me, and I have failed on the job for not being a good fit. It’s important to remember that not every situation is meant to hurt us, but it’s meant to be a lesson. Often when we work for others like a company, we will experience layoffs and even firings which can be hard to take for many because we tend to take that as a personal attack on our abilities and us as people. Its not personal and we have to remember in work its only business. I know that is hard to grasp at first because we care about our work, its our livelihood but we to remember there are other opportunities for us and everything happens for a reason.
- Be Kind
Being someone who has suffered with manic depression and being bi-polar I have experienced a great deal of unkindness from people who frankly do not understand someone like me. I can be incredibly sensitive at times to feedback, criticism easy to take personal. I have gotten better and know in a way I have right to be angry if I choose too. But kindness is a choice we can all make, one that will allow us to be content in this life. We live in a culture that has the tendency to be very angry. Especially since 9/11 I believe our culture has changed drastically and even today its easy to be angry and unkind to others, but don’t. I feel we will all live , longer , happier lives if we choose to be kinder, happier to everyone.
- Don’t be too trusting of people, organizations and government
Growing up I always felt people did not and could not have bad intentions that people really do want to just help one another. But as I got older, I could see that people are often out for themselves. I tried to live a life of ethics, of kindness and trustworthiness. I think its so important not to take anything at face value especially what you read and watch.
- Take risks
I often felt afraid to take risks in life especially my career. I wish I would have taken on more entrepreneurial risks to make it out on my own early in life instead of relaying on an organization to make money. Today we happen to live more in world that encourages independence in work because of the gig economy. I encourage you to take leaps of faith on your own, I feel the fear is real, but we may see its not as bad as we all make it out to be. In the end we may find ourselves more successful in our career and life when we take risks.
- Never give up
This life gets tough its easy to want to give up. I did almost give up, attempting to take my life in 2007 but failed (thank goodness) I am still here. I let life get to me, I let worries get to me, I let people get to me. I should have realized that I am enough and not let others like friends, family, bosses place value on me. We all have value, but we have to see if for ourselves and believe in our value never letting anyone tell us otherwise. Keep pushing for your dreams no matter what stands in your way. Live your best life for you.
- You’re not alone
It often feels in this big world we are alone, even when we may not have friends or loved ones, but we need to reach out and connect with others, seek help. I have mostly kept everything in which caused harm to myself. We do live in a very connected world with social media but that is not the same of actually reaching out to people physically. Social media is a great tool but its no substitute for having a real conversation and building good relationships, focus on those and you will live a happier life.
- Journalling is so important
I find documenting one’s life and legacy is so important as there are people in our life who should know how incredible you are. Sadly, many my loved ones have passed on and I have lost that history of their life, who they were and how they lived. Now one could say why live in the past, but I have found we learn from the past especially those people from our past. That is one reasons I blog, Vlog and podcast so my future generations like my daughter can look back and know who I am, how I lived, my thoughts, beliefs and values.
- Don’t live in regret
We all have regrets from choices we have made or not made, failures and mistakes in life. We all have them big and small. Living in regret does nothing for us to move forward. Yes, we can learn from our mistakes, but don’t dwell on them move on and forward no matter what and never look back.
- Cut yourself a break
Cut yourself on slack, don’t be so hard on yourself it does no good but harm. I am not saying don’t care. I am saying those things in our life like work we tend to take very personal. There is nothing wrong with having a mission and doing well in life but when you have failures in life, move on and remember your only human but being so hard on yourself only harms your wellbeing and mental state, its simply not worth it.
- Create goals
Goals will give you focus which will help fend off procrastination, fear and fear of failure. Goals will allow you to create a plan for your life that you can focus on each day. Whether its to save money, get an education, getting healthy or any kind of goal close to your heart, make it happen and put it in action.
- Get Healthy
Growing up, I was often overweight and obese from a young age. I would say I was probably at my heaviest starting around age twelve. I was bullied at school and lived in a home full of aggression, vulgar language, and verbal abuse from my grandfather. Its important to start with the basics like exercise, eating right and consciously thinking about our bodies and keep ourselves at a healthy weight. I understand we are all different, sizes and shapes but we all can shed the extra weight at times for those who struggle. For those who don’t struggle with weight issues, finding ways to live a healthier lifestyle which would only prolong our life. Letting go of drugs and alcohol. Today I am a healthier weight, eating better and feeling better. I am not talking about getting on a diet or starvation but focusing daily on our wellbeing, total self -care.
17 .CEO’S are not more important than you or more valuable
Often growing up we were told to look up and value the CEO, business letter and politician equating them to be more important, more intelligent and more valuable today but not true. Yes, they do have important positions but their value as a person as a human is no more value then you and I. Lets stop placing those individuals with such high importance, they are no. What matters is you, your story and path.
This article was originally posted on : https://myneedtolive.com/what-i-would-tell-my-younger-self-as-a-generation-xer/