What Would Your Younger Self Think?

Recently while I was watching the witty “8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown” show Johnny Vegas read out a poem (in what is meant to be a funny segment) which actually turned out to be a heartfelt, touching poem and in it at one point he notes how his child self would see him now.

This got me thinking of what my younger self would actually think of the life I’ve created. I had a bit of fun with that thought, thinking back about what I was like and my plans back then, and it was really nice thinking back to what my younger self would’ve set as priorities and where I measure up to what that version of me would think.

This is a really great exercise and one I would recommend you try and here’s why:

  • It might increase your appreciation of what you have now as you realise you’ve surpassed what your younger self could’ve ever imagined.
  • It might help build your confidence as you remember everything you’ve been through and achieved.
  • It might wake you up to some old goals and dreams that you had as a kid that you forgot all about.
  • It might remind you of some old important things you used to do back then and should still be doing now but due to life they’ve simply slid down the priority list that you might want to get some focus back on.
  • It might be the kick up the backside you’ve been needing to clean up your act and become the person you always wanted to be.
  • Either way, it’s worth five minutes of your time to see if “Little You” would be proud of you for the person you have become.

Just to over share, as I always do, here’s my thoughts on what a 10 year old me would ask me if he met me now. You can use this format yourself or just think back to what you liked, dreamed of and wanted to become when you were older. It’s a good measuring stick and might even be a confidence booster, well it was for me.

My conversation with my 10 year old self:

Me 10: You’re 40, wow that’s ancient!! 

Me 40: Thanks, so what do you want to know?

10: Ok, first things first, are we married? do we have kids?

You see as a kid all I wanted was to grow up and be a dad, have a great wife and create a loving, happy family. If you were to ask me now, I would still say that is my number one priority in life.

Undoubtedly having that as my highest value has impacted my career (not willing to sacrifice a happy home life by relocating the full family to a place I know would not suit us, not willing to miss out on large chunks of my kids childhoods due to working excessive long hours or being away from home for months at a time).

It’s probably even affected some friendships as well as I may not spend the money on what others think I should … that I see as luxuries, instead putting an annual family holiday etc as first priority.

40: You can relax, you get married … to THE best wife you could ever imagine. She is so supportive, beautiful, caring, hard working, witty, great company and shares the same values of having a happy, loving home. And man is she a great mum!!

10: We have kids, Yasss!

40: Yes, you have one amazing son and one step-son. Your boy is very much like you, similar personality … only maybe a level up for everything – cuteness, excitability, humour, sensitivity, creativity … he’s so unique it’s unreal.

Your stepson has some of your qualities as well – sensible, caring, witty, respectful, very hard worker, left footed footballer … even played left back and left mid where you will end up playing.

10: Excellent, that is amazing … but wait, we only have one son and a step son, why didn’t we have more? We always said we wanted 3 of our own.

40: It’s a whole lot harder than you expect, especially when we are an over thinker like we are. Being a dad makes you go in to worry mode about everything, and our wee guy gave us lots of frights at the start to scare you away from having more.  Don’t worry though, the first 2 years will be rough but after that everything is fine … so please try to relax a bit and enjoy being a dad. We have 2, be happy with that. Trust me that’s more than plenty!

10:  OK I’ll take your word for it. You mentioned football a minute ago, did we make it as a football player?

40: Nope, never came close to being professional … but don’t let that put you off playing. Football was huge part of your life up til your late 30’s so keep playing … you’ve got some very special memories ahead, enjoy them.

10: So what do we do as a job then?

40: We work with computers, I suppose kinda like the BBC one mum used to bring home from school in the summer that you used to love writing stories on but much more advanced and cooler. 

10: Awesome, what like in an office? What do we do with them?

40: Yeah, in an office surrounded by good people and with a wee team working for us. We work for a forklift company and do their planning, trying to guess how many different kind of trucks each different sales teams from all around the world will buy and then how many each of our factories need to build each month. That and managing the team, writing reports and stuff. It’s pretty interesting.

10: Cool, I can deal with that. Did you even try to become a lawyer or architect? That’s what I want to do.

40: Sorry wee man, we didn’t. The lawyer thing, it turns out, isn’t really for us. The architect thing, we would’ve enjoyed but just went down a different road. You’ll like what we do though.

Just to give you the back story, we continued to only give about 60% effort at Primary and Secondary school so you don’t get amazing grades. That’s ok.

You leave school at 16 to become a joiner, it’s not as cool as it sounds, it was hard work and a very bullying atmosphere so your dad helps get you out of there at 18 to work in the Glacier where he works.

That wasn’t really wasn’t for us either as didn’t require much thinking, not great for an over active mind like ours … so eventually we went back to college, we discovered we weren’t as stupid as many people had made out and we absolutely blitzed it. Every year, you dug in and tried super hard, you even managed to end up with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

10: Am I still best friends with Marcel?

40: Sorry pal, you’re still friends with him but he lives in Kilmarnock now, he moves there when you’re in your teens and you just naturally grow apart but you still see each other from time to time and when you do it’s like you’ve never been apart. That’s the good thing about great friends, it never goes away. Don’t worry though about friends, you make more … lots more, and they come and go as friends do, some good ones stick around.

10: Are Gran and Papa still around?

40: Sorry again wee man, by time you’re 25 sadly both are gone but they live to a good age. I know this won’t help right now but you get to spend Gran’s final 3 years with her, seeing her just about every day as you chose to go to college in Hamilton and stay with Gran three nights a week.

Papa died before you start college in Hamilton so it really helped out so much that you were there to help Gran in her last few years and give her company. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way, sometimes things just work out and being there with Gran right up to the end is something I will always be thankful for.

10: Mum and Dad still ok? How’s Grant?

40: Yeah, Mum and Dad are retired now and get to go to a sunny place every winter for nice long breaks. They love it there and when they are back here they help out with the boys. Both still bowling and dancing, dad still golfing. Grant has a stepson as well and a daughter now, you will love being an uncle. Grant ends up a crazy good bowler, like winning loads of major trophies. 

10: So what else have I got to look forward to?

40: Well, don’t think at your age we thought about this … but wee pal, you’re going to get a whole lot of enjoyment out of singing. You’ll sing at weddings, other gigs, main event a camp show and actually run loads of karaokes all over Scotland.

10: No Way!!! 

40: Yip, it’s true. Your son takes that after you as well. You’ll eventually get over that fear of speaking in front of loads of people and eventually grow to really enjoying doing it instead. You’ve got a gift, I know you think you’ll never LIKE speaking in public and stuff but trust me, you end up getting a buzz from it.

10: Tell me more, what have you done that I’ll really like?

40: Well we went to work on a summer camp as the head soccer coach, that was a life changing, amazing experience. You make up material for training courses and deliver them, official courses for a college and even other wee workshops you designed yourself to help others.

You become a manager in work, you deal with the head guys of your company on a daily basis … wee tip, they are just normal people like us so once you start dealing with them you realise that and it takes off so much pressure. You become an official mentor and trainer where we work.

Outside of work, you go back to writing and share help with thousands of people all over the world. We did some amazing charity fundraisers, volunteered at TEDx … don’t worry you’ll learn about that when you’re older and you’ll love being there. You end up being a certified SFA coach for kids and coach your stepsons team for a few years as well, so plenty of big stuff coming.

10: Anything I need to know now … you know, that will make it life easier?

40: Where do I start? Just know that if you ever get down you’ll learn ways to build yourself back up … remember to get back to using the lessons and habits you learn.

You will face some right tough times, I won’t go into them as I don’t want to worry you but eventually you will realise what a great person you are, you’ll finally start realising your own worth again and you’ll build your confidence and toughness up so that others can’t drag you back down.

One final word – relax and enjoy the journey. Try hard and get involved but most importantly, just try to enjoy everything.

Life, football, work, time with family and friends – don’t take everything as serious, try to enjoy them instead! Oh, and stay away from negative people, it’s catchy. Try to spend as much time with happy, friendly, confident people … the ones that see the real you and respect it, and the ones that make you laugh.

That was my take on it, actually quite a fun therapeutic exercise to get some fresh perspective. It’s always useful to reflect.

Have a go yourself and let me know how you get on.

If you want to see the video that inspire this wild ramblings of fun filled imagination, check out the below video.

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