Dear Younger David:
This is your future self coming back to give you some advice. Yes, those science fiction movies are true and time travel is totally achievable. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you 7 things that may help you…
You are not as cool as you think you are. It’s good to be confident, but you are not really God’s gift to the ladies. Skinny leather ties will eventually go out of style. And that hot rod car you drive can actually be pretty loud and annoying.
You are not as dorky as you think you are. All those times you feel like you don’t fit in, you actually fit in just fine. It’s alright to be you and not try to live up to someone else’s expectations. Your best friends will find you accidentally, and stay with you intentionally.
Remember the teachers you like. They are connecting with you in the way you like to learn. Seek out more mentors like them throughout your life. Forget the teachers you don’t like, especially the ones who seem like they don’t care about your success. Their real value is in teaching you what not to do.
All your friends do NOT have a clear plan for their lives. Sometimes, it seems like you are the only one who doesn’t know exactly what you want to do in your career, but trust me… most of your friends are as confused and uncertain as you are. Go ahead and pursue what feels right. It’s OK to start humbly at the bottom, as learning the business from the ground up will make you a better leader someday.
Do not fear change. The biggest changes in your life will lead to some of the biggest leaps in learning and growth. The pace of change will get faster, not slower, as you get older. Therefore, your ability to adapt is really your most important skill.
Keep in touch with your friends. There are people in your life right now who will still be there for you three decades later. Some of them you will rediscover through a thing called Facebook. It’s like the Purdue Freshman Registry but searchable on the Inter….oh never mind. Just trust me on this one.
You’ll turn out just fine. In spite of all the mistakes you make, and all the trials you live through, you end up being a pretty decent human being. You will love and be loved; you will leave a legacy with your children; and you will never stop chasing the meaning of life.
One more thing – you will write a letter to your eighteen-year-old self someday. And it will be pretty solid advice.
P.S. Apple stock eventually makes a huge comeback, and the Buffalo Bills will lose 4 Super Bowls. Bet accordingly.