Birthday Advice to a Younger Me

June 1 is my birthday and by no means do I dread turning another year older. The fact is. I’ve come to embrace it. Plus, June is my favorite month and I can’t think of a better way to kick it off than ushering in the first month of summer with a celebration.

As I reflected on the day and gaining the wisdom of another year, I asked myself what advice I would give to a younger me twenty or thirty years ago. In no particular order, here are some thoughts I would offer:

Chill Out and Relax: This doesn’t mean you don’t take life, your job and relationships seriously, but assuming accident or disease doesn’t get in the way, you’ve got a long life ahead of you so relax and soak up each moment. There is no doubt I can get wired up at times, but as a younger me I would suggest not overreacting to most issues, especially volatile or emotional ones. Often times they work themselves out absent our involvement.

Listen more than you talk. That’s a challenge for me, even as I’ve “matured” a bit. If you have been in sales you’re constantly told the best strategy is for our customer to talk as we listen. I believe that advice is also true in almost every type of relationship we encounter. Human nature is such most of us enjoy talking about ourselves or what we enjoy more than we do listening to others. The problem is, we never learn when we’re the ones doing the talking but you ALWAYS learn when you’re listening. And don’t just listen lightly. Hear what people are telling you.

Save some money. And speaking of dividends, you need to have a long-term financial vision. Coming from someone who thrives on instant gratification, that’s often difficult to hear and implement. It doesn’t have to be much, but compound interest is a mathematical fact and over time, a little can turn into a lot. Plus, it will help maintain discipline in other areas of your life.

Read the list of the list here.