Sunday, February 9, 2014

Life lessons for my son

That's a fairly dramatic title, I can hear you thinking. Damn right it is. There are a million things I want to teach my son, and I've only just started composing the list. Poor guy will be sick of listening by the time he's 18.

I can't write a post about the lessons I am currently teaching Sebby as it would go something like this:
  1. Do not sit in puddles
  2. Stickers are not edible
  3. A sheep says baa, it doesn't growl as you seem to think it does
  4. Just because you cover your eyes doesn't mean you have disappeared
  5. It is not good to poo in the bath
Nothing too life changing about that list.

So here are a few things I want Sebby to know as he grows up. Advice that I wish I could give to my young self and that hopefully Sebby will remember and take with him as he embarks on his own life education.

You will encounter fear at every junction. Acknowledge it, embrace it, rationalise it, let it drive you but don't let it stop you doing the things you love or want to try. 

Find something that you love to do and make a career out of it. Jobs exist that you couldn't even imagine, so if you have passion and drive, you can make a living doing just about anything. You will spend a lot of time working, you should make the most of that time.

Learn a language, play a sport and learn an instrument. You will have many times that you want to quit one or all of these hobbies but stick with it. You will be grateful later that you have.

Have ambition and don't let the fear of failure stop you going for it. Put your hand up in class. So someone says no or you're wrong. You will feel embarassed and think you have made a fool out of yourself. No one else thinks that and if they do, they have forgotten about it by tomorrow.

Travel - there is a lot more to the world that what you have seen so far. But don't live with a grass is greener attitude. You are lucky. Be grateful for what you have.

Be the best version of yourself. You are not perfect, you have weaknesses and things you want to change but you are amazing. Be the best you can be and the people around you will be very lucky.

Don't live with regret. You will make mistakes. You will make bad choices. You will hurt people. Learn from it, make amends and move on. Know where you've been but look where you are going - or you will fall.

Don't go to bed or walk out of the door angry. Pick up the phone, hug it out, apologise, vent or forgive but resolve it first.

Life is now. Don't go through life waiting for it to begin. This is it.

Invest in kindness. Kindness doesn't cost a penny but pays dividends. Small acts of kindness impact people hugely. A smile or kind word can transform someone's day. And it makes you feel good too.

Don't be intimidated by people who you believe are better than you. Because they are not. Each life is as valuable as the next and everyone deserves respect, regardless of wealth, status or background. They may have a big job title or a lot more money but we are all headed to the same place, we're just taking different routes. 

Phew I'm spent! I think that's more than enough wisdom for today.

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