Casen Phillips

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What advice would you give a younger you?

Consider, for a second, your life. Consider all of the life lessons you've learned and the experiences you've undergone during your brief existence here. Consider the trials and tribulations you've faced and the lessons you've learned "the hard way." If you could write a letter to you, at any point in your life, and give yourself as much advice as you saw fit, what would you say? Would you remind yourself that life goes on? Would you promise that things always get better no matter how terrible they might seem? Would you take the philosophy of Frank Sinatra and explain to your younger self that "That's Life"? Would you plead with yourself to turn to God sooner? Would you warn yourself to stay away from soda, salt, and red meat?

Of course, this arouses the argument of "I like my life the way it is now, and everything that happened happened for a reason thus I would not change anything." If that is your stance, then I pose another question: What advice would you give to a younger being? Age, culture, ethnic background, and special circumstances are arbitrary, irrelevant, and up to you.

This is your chance, here and now, to give any and all of the advice you've found so essential to happiness and well being, to a youth that might sincerely need it.

P.S. I created a duplicate post of this question to allow those who have not found this page yet to continue to engage in an exercise that leads them to inspire others, motivate themselves, and allow those who really need your advice to easily receive it.

To answer this question after the expiration date go to:

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    Jul 23 2012: Dear Casen,

    Thank you for posting this question. It challenges to seek deep within for an answer. There are already so many great answers in this thread you could compile them in a book. Lots of wisdom in this TED community. TED where were you in my teens!!! :)
    Although I’m with Mark Meijer on ‘no regrets about my life whatsoever’ here is mine:

    “Hi sweetie, You’re here to have an amazing life. Make gratitude the center of your life. However difficult it may be to understand the ‘why’ at times, learn (as soon as possible) the value of saying ‘thank you’ for everything and everybody that comes your way and ‘I’m sorry’ when you’ve done wrong, even if unintentionally. Your life will then not only be amazing…it will be awesome :)”

    Warm regards,
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      Jul 29 2012: Compiling them in a book was a thought I entertained. :p I thought it would be cool to do and sell then have all of the profits go to some nonprofit organization. The problem is that I am transitioning between high school and college so I have little to no time at all to do this. Plus I honestly wouldn't even know how to go about doing it. Also, I don't exactly know the legality of taking peoples' comments, publishing them, and selling them for a profit.

      :) If any other TEDster has the time, means, and know-how to accomplish this and possibly do with the profits what I had wished to do with them, then power to any person willing to do it!

      -Casen Askew
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    Jul 3 2012: Defend yourself against those bullies, but use your logic, not your anger. You are different, but not less. This is all temporary and you will rise above it all someday. Now go, and don't be afraid to make mistakes, but cherish everyone you meet because they will shape who you are, even if their intentions are negative.
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    Jul 20 2012: It's not the older me that should give the advice to the younger me, but the other way round.
    I realized that me aged 19 was a much better personality than me aged 29. I guess I allowed myself to grow up, and that was a mistake!
    So, the advice to the "old" me would be- remember who you were, remember who you truly are, stop being the person the society prefers, and just go back to being a corageous and adventerous 19yo for the rest of your life :)
    • Jul 20 2012: “You're never too old to become younger”
      Mae West
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    Jul 15 2012: Dear Robin,

    Daddy was wrong about you. Daddy is not well. You are not unworthy. You are not bad. OK, don't draw on the windows with your crayons. You were 3-years-old. But, I agree, don't draw on the windows. Still, you are a good girl! Listen to Mother, not Daddy. School will not be wasted on you. Daddy has problems. You did not kill your mother. She died of breast cancer. Daddy was wrong. Daddy has problems. You are a good girl.

    GET A GOOD, SOLID EDUCATION! Don't quit school. Stick with it. Get a few degrees under your belt. Most importantly, study what you love, study that one thing that you love and can take with you into the world and make a contribution to mankind. It will never feel like work if you do this.

    A good education is your ticket to freedom and a secure life, at least one hopes. If you do anything in this life, make certain that you stay in school. Don't quit, don't stall - stay with it until you have reached your goals. All of them. Don't let money, relationships, partying, and/or drugs put you on a destructive path. You can partake of these silly time wasters once you've finished your education, if you're still bent on doing so. Hopefully, you will have grown up by then.

    I hope and suspect that you will help your neighbors and strangers alike. Give whenever and wherever possible and be a compassionate, kind, patient person. Love, laugh, cry, sing, help, teach, listen, learn and contribute in every way possible.

    Make your mark on the planet in the most positive way imaginable. FIND HAPPINESS. STAY HAPPY.
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      Jul 15 2012: Indubitably compelling.

      Thank you for sharing, Robin.
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      Jul 15 2012: Very good advice for a Young! I wish i'd have been told all this when i was a "Bully"!! But life teaches you in a very hard way. Thanks for sharing Robin!
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        Jul 15 2012: Thank you, Naeem. Very kind of you.
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    Jul 6 2012: My advice to myself would be very very simple. "Everything is going to be okay. Just pay attention."
  • Jul 18 2012: Don't change yourself at all to meet other people's needs. Be happy and proud of who you are, and the best has still yet to come. Life is too short to get upset and angry about silly things, just let it be a lesson and let it build you into a stronger man. Be happy.
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    Gail .

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    Jul 15 2012: Dear 4-year told me: Please do not believe much of what they tell you, and certainly don't take anything to heart. They don't know what you know AND THEY DON'T KNOW THAT THEY DON'T KNOW IT. You can't fix them, but you can remaiin unbroken and not become like them. Do not FEAR - no matter what. Do not fear the spanking or the bad grade in school and especially Mrs. L - your kindergarten Sunday School teacher.

    And no matter how much trouble you MIGHT get for asking questions in school when you are told something that your inner voice says is really stupid - ask the question that your innver voice is asking you to ask. And never stop asking how one body of knowledge relates to the others.

    Oh, and because I didn't learn this until I was in my 30s, you have a really high IQ. You are good at MANY things. Don't let anyone - not a parent, a teacher, or a friend, convince you that you are stupid. You're not! You are an absolutely awesome creature. So trust that inner voice, for it is me urging you on. I believe in you and love you dearly.
  • Jul 9 2012: Don't focus so hard on achieving certain things (life goals, career goals, etc) becuase you may blind yourself from things that are a better fit for you. Keep your eyes and mind open.

    Don't get down about the things that don't work out, you'll be surprised at what opportunities come about once you stop being depressed about your best laid-plans that failed.

    Stay humble, the only thing you can count on in life is that everything is bound to change at one point or another.

    If all the doors of opportunity are closed, break through a wall and create your own passage to opportunities.

    Disconnect yourself from anyone or anything that brings you down.

    It is not your job to fix other people's bad habits. Don't get sucked down a dark road trying to do that. They're perfectly capable of figuring out their own life.

    Don't let negative words get to your head, you know you better than they know you. If they can't see all the great things you are, then find people that do.

    Find a company that matches your personal values.

    Find a company that has a company culture you will enjoy working in.

    Trust your gut, it typically knows what is right or wrong before your heart and head confuses you.

    Take chances when you're young- this is the time you can afford to faill or mess up.

    Don't let anything or anyone take away your optimisim no matter how ridiculous or naive it seems... at least your happy.

    Dont' be scared to believe in something and make things happen, even if you're going in it alone.

    Don't let the hardships of life make you forget your dreams and passions.

    Don't lie to yourself. Stay true and figure out a plan of action based on that.

    Remember that it is a huge world out there and you can find the things you hope for. And if you don't, you have the capabilities to create it.
  • Jul 7 2012: First off, you're gay. You've always been 'different'. You've known this since kindergarten. Embrace it in the face of what others will say. Seek out those who's company you enjoy. Play with the smart [nerdy] boys & girls. Respect you body. Don't drink so much in college. Save & invest your birthday money for a thing called, "Google". Buy low, sell high. Look for a community where you can make a Home and keep good friends close-by. Get a dog. Be nice to others along the way. Kindness is self-generating. People will like you for YOU. Don't be so afraid; cautious yes, afraid, no. Don't go thru the intersection Downtown on your way back from the furniture store in your purple Neon, take a different route. Stay in the West 112th street apartment. Learn Hungarian. LOVE freely and often. You get back what you give out. YOU create your own reality. Your father loved you.
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      Jul 8 2012: I've read all of these, and for some reason, yours is one of my favorites so far. I'm not sure what made it stand out, but I just felt like sharing that with you. lol
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      Jul 31 2012: I second Casen. I really like your comment!

      Best Wishes!
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    Jul 6 2012: - Don't rely on others too often and don't trust people too much.
    - Develop a sense of inner judgment to determine what's right and what's wrong. Don't follow the rules blindly.
    - Time and effort are your building blocks. Have the right plan, choose the right building materials, have the best bricks and do it right from the ground up.
    - Open your eyes as wide as you can. Be as curious as you can be. Find the right answers to your questions. Seek the truth; you won't ever really know it unless you try with all your heart and mind to find it.
  • Jul 3 2012: I'd say "Look at me, and see what you can improve"
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    Jul 30 2012: Seek information, make your own experiment, draw your own conclusions.
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      Jul 30 2012: For me it would be:Stop worrying! Pick the hardest, most interesting thing you can find and keep going!
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        Jul 30 2012: Yea stop worrying is a good one :)
  • Jul 29 2012: As much as you believe you know it all and been through it all, you have. Heed the advice of your mom all she is trying to do is help. She might come across in the worse ways but its because she been through so much in her life that she doesnt know any way else to say it. Forgive your dad, even though it seems impossible to do so. Cherish the moments who have with your grandmothers, they love you so very much and need you for strength. Your friends have feelings too so watch what you say and most of all what you do. Open your heart more and don't be so hard on yourself when you succeed at everything. Continue to find God and make him first in your life. And most of all, be happy. Don't let anyone or anything depress you, with time your pain and suffering shall pass.
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    Jul 28 2012: A credit card is not the answer. Too many college students don't understand what debt is or how to be financially literate.
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    Jul 23 2012: Focus on what you want to do from high school.. and build towards it. Also do'nt date bad boys... you cant fix them.
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    Jul 20 2012: If you want to do something, do it. If you have an idea, show it. Don't be afraid to try new things and let yourself be swallowed into the unknown. That's where you learn more about yourself.

    I wish I could tell my younger self to take control of things more. All the ideals, dreams, and visions of my future life seem altruistic and almost utopian. I would tell myself to don't stop believing in what I can achieve in the world.

    Finally, know that every should be a day worth living; accomplish something and perform a task that will benefit the world in some way.
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    Jul 15 2012: What advice would you give a younger you?

    I'd go back to around 10 years of age and say.
    You're instinct and vision of what the world should and could be are correct.
    You're right now, and you still be right in twenty years.
    Stand your ground and allow nobody to tell you, and never accept that 'its just the way things are'.
    Allow nobody to shoot you down for being idealistic.
    Be as idealistic as you possibly can and ignore all those that try to restrain your spirit.

    Also, never allow anger to dominate your actions. And be kinder to your brothers.
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    Jul 13 2012: At this moment I just turned 38. I am going to write myself a letter from my hopefully alive future self at 76 years old:

    Dear 38,
    You are two years from 40 now. You are now entering the second chapter. By 40 some people have given up on many of their personal goals and dreams. I want you to realize 38, you have only used half of the time you have been given to live, maybe even less! Sit down and think of all the things you have managed to cram into this life so far! You learned to walk, talk, ride a bike, and mathematics (kind of). You have had your first love, your second, a long endearing marriage, you have traveled the world, you have learned a second language, you have had several good career paths that have kept you mentally engaged. You have developed some long term, deep and wonderful relationships, you have pissed your parents of and you have made them proud. You have developed many interests and passions! You have been full of energy and exhausted. Stressed and fancy free. You have had good sex! You have had times in your life when you laughed so hard that you almost peed your pants! Just think 38 of all the wonderful things in life you have done in the last 38 years! Now just think of all the things you can still do in the next 38!!!!!!! Don't spend your time doubting yourself or thinking about "do I still have time to accomplish this"? Just do! Do everything you can! Everything that will make you happy! Make the world a better place, learn yet another language, meet wonderful people who will inspire you to do even more! Just go and when you are filled to the brim of things you can do, then let your life catch up to you!
  • Jul 10 2012: It'll be difficult for a younger me to understand what I have to say to him, but here goes nothing! :)

    -Nothing you do is insignificant. Learn to believe in yourself, but don't let your gifts get you arrogant.

    -You will achieve more with patience. The storms in your head are meant to cause wrecks in your head, not wreck the people around you.

    -You will not understand your parents, and neither will they you. But don't let that keep you from trying.

    -There are people in the world, who are kind, and there are people who are not. Don't let either become your standard of how people should be.

    -Be serious about life. But don't forget to have fun when you can.

    -Great things in life, don't come cheap. Be willing to pay(in hard work, cash, kindness and compassion).

    -Respect people. But don't let them disrespect you.

    -Listen to what someone has to say, the most wasted learning resource that we waste in life, is each other.

    -and most of all, don't forget to run! ;)

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      Jul 10 2012: "There are people in the world, who are kind, and there are people who are not. Don't let either become your standard of how people should be."

      Amazing advice!
  • Jul 9 2012: Enjoy the journey. Don't be in such a hurry to "get there". Know that there is always more than one right move and more than one right time... so don't worry so much about needing to know all the answers and needing to make the right choices.

    Relax more. Have more fun. Travel more. Pursue more experiences rather than things. When things don't go as planned, remember that things always turn out better than you imagined... eventually. So have a little more faith.
  • Jul 9 2012: My advice to a younger me (or you!!)

    -- Learn about and truly appreciate the diversity of thought and experience in people around you, especially the people least like you.
    -- look strangers in the eye and smile
    -- take risks but don't risk your life
    -- share your ideas, and respect those of others even when you don't agree
    -- walk
    -- appreciate your body and honour it's vitality and fragility
    -- seek out and nurture deep, close, meaningful friendships
    -- learn constantly on every topic that interests you, even some that don't!
    -- find the kernel of truth in every statement you hear
    -- make no assumptions
    -- if there is a good bottle of wine in your collection, drink it now and share it
    -- give random gifts
    -- if you are treated poorly, try to understand why the person who wronged you is in pain
    -- listen more than you speak
    -- value quality over quantity
    -- live to your income level
    -- revel in the wonder and success of your kids and partner and parents
    -- love every season
    -- find time to think and reflect
    -- keep a journal, draw a picture
    -- respect yourself, your unique talents and skills, and always use them to help better the world and the lives of others
    -- use sunscreen, never smoke and protect yourself from avoidable injury
    -- revel in the wonder of nature; hike it, swim it, paddle it, climb it, touch it, nurture it, protect it

    Thanks for listening.....
    • Jul 9 2012: That's sound advice!
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      Jul 10 2012: Great advice! Some I already implement in my everyday life, some I know I need to, and some I didn't think was of that much importance until reading it.

      Thank you, Darren.
      • Jul 11 2012: My pleasure Casen
        Wouldn't it be cool to analyze themes based on stage of life?
        Like.... Would my letter now in my mid forties be the same as 20 years ago or 40 years from now (should I be fortunate enough to live to my mid eighties!!))
        Cheers to you .
  • Jul 9 2012: I would have to provide more in the way of words of encouragement to a younger me... I love where I am now, but that doesn't mean I didn't struggle to get here.

    Dear younger Jason, a couple pointers for you:

    - That girl you're going to date, she won't be right for you. In fact, she'll wrong you in a lot of ways, and it's going to hurt. But it's going to teach you much about what you thought you were looking for, so stick it out.

    - Be nicer to your brother. Family is so important growing up, and it doesn't get any less important as time goes by, so take every second you have and cherish it.

    - In your endless pursuit of excellence, don't forget to take time to stop and take in your surroundings. The point of the journey is not to arrive.

    - You will have good managers and bad. The bad ones have as much to teach you as the good ones... they're just different lessons. Pay attention, and take it as a development opportunity.

    - These are nowhere near the best years of your life. Not even close. Life just keeps getting better. When one good thing ends, another is just around the corner, so waste no time being sad for what's gone.

    - Respect the rules your parents set for you. They have poured so much time, energy, money, and love into raising you that it's the very least you owe them. You will never make up this debt, except by being the best you can be so that your parents have stories to tell of how proud they are of you. Those stories are why people have children, and you have no right to deprive them of that joy.

    That's it for now... this was a really interesting exercise. I'm grateful I stumbled upon this thread!
    • Jul 9 2012: Wow Jason, that was moving! I applaud your openness and willing to put something somewhat personal out there for us all to read. Beautiful!
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      Jul 10 2012: Melissa is right. Thanks for sharing, Jason!
      • Jul 10 2012: Thank you both for the kind words! I know that some of what I said was specific to me, but I say it with the hope that it will encourage others to do the same... to think of the specific experiences they've had, and dwell on what it meant to their personal development. It was a powerful moment for me that set a positive tone for my entire day!
      • Jul 10 2012: And thank you Casen for starting this conversation! I suspect you are wise beyond your years. You may never be fully aware of the positive ripples your question created. Stay curious.
  • Jul 7 2012: If I could go back I would say:

    • “ Love God, but take a step back from the church and see the world.” There are so many beautiful things around you that you are going to miss, trying to place life in categories of Right and Wrong.

    • Experience everything, be present in every moment in every situation you find yourself involved in, you’re going to want these memories.

    • Get outside of your comfort zone. Ask more questions, not merely just to know answers, but to share in experiences.

    • Find a way to see the world. Explore the world outside of your culture. There is so much more to be known.

    • Go to Princeton, Forget Rutgers, go somewhere where your mind can be pushed and expanded.

    • Take Latin, you’ll be glad you did.

    • Believe when they constantly tell you that you are greater than this moment, when they tell you that you have a gift, own it.

    • Listen to people. They will always have stories to tell, there is always a journey. Listen to the lessons they share.

    • Give up trying. You will never fit into the world the way you thought you would. Perfect you as you because they people that are drawn to you are the ones you want anyway.

    • Only take a few people into your heart as charities, knowing they will never give back what you give. You will be tempted to love everyone unconditionally. You will be tempted to give and give without getting much in return. And because you believe this, you will give until you are empty. Though, it is a noble jester, it will break you at some point, because you will find yourself surrounded, even in your intercircle with people who will drain but not always give. You must learn balance.

    • Never hold on tightly to someone who wants to go. Though letting go is hard, the pain of struggling to hold on is crippling. It will do lifetime damage. Allow people to come and go with the seasons. Appreciate what they can teach you and then move on.
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    Jul 7 2012: The Beatles had it right, "all you need is love..." Do what you love, surround yourself with those you love, keep only the things you love, take care of what you love. And most importantly, the type of love found in fairy tales really does exist - wait for it and never settle for anyone or anything less...
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      Jul 9 2012: Loved it. On that note ... I'm stealing it and posting it on my FB page for others to benefit from your Beatle inspired wit. :) ... don't worry, I'll give you credit. ;). Ciao bella.
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    Jul 7 2012: I would not write a full letter to my younger self, a text message would be enough, as my advice is just one word : "DARE"
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    Jul 6 2012: What I would tell myself is (18 years, now 23):

    If you don't listen to anything, listen to this: learn how to meditate. A lot of scientific studies have been done already and a lot of them will come and confirm that it will reduce your worrying and sleep behavior. Read up on it. You will become more happy, it's crazy but true. The same thing applies to running and cycling.

    Some advice on being social:
    If you feel like a social outcast, know that it is possible to become anyone you want. If you feel like a popular hipster, it is still possible to become anyone you want ;-)

    Some advice about girls:
    A lot more people are secretely a bit attracted to each other than you assume. You can see this via their eyes, how they smile, their heartbeat and in general if they enjoy talking to you (most situations). If you feel insanely attracted to a girl for no particular reason, she likes you, you're picking up the signal unconsciously.

    Some advice about school:
    If you put your mind to it school is way more easy than you think, in fact you can do two or more years in one. If you want to do this at high school, talk to the director of your school. University is more fun and easy by the way than your curriculum right now.

    Some advice about friends:
    Even the relationships with your best friends will change over time, most of the time it's subtle. Know that relationships are not static.

    Some advice about your current mindset:
    It's good that you have a philosophical mindset and question a lot of things. However, when you're in a conversation, question yourself this: are you seeking for truth at this moment? Or do you want to strenghten the relationship with the one your talking with? If your answer is the latter, then don't be so overly specific/truth seeking. I love your openess!! :)

    Some advice about opinions:
    Some people will say that you're weird and dissapprove of you, but companies will pay you for it. You even get friends because of your 'weirdness' / 'creativity' ;-)
  • Aug 1 2012: Hey Younger Me,

    Try to not take this whole "life" thing so seriously. You are "good enough" .. just as you are. You have a good heart and you will always try your best. (In fact, it is your nature to try too hard!!) Focus less on how to do things the "right" way and follow your heart .. it will lead you .. even to your BLISS .. and yes .. it is okay to feel BLISS ... In fact, you are here to feel some bliss.

    You don't have to be miserable to show that you care about the suffering around you. Think about it .. how can your misery do anything to heal anyone or anything on this planet?? Might it not even contribute to the suffering around you?

    This may be hard for you to believe because you are so young and life has been very hard thus far, but happiness is a part of this human expereince. Believe me ... there will be enough pain in your future (and you have survived enough already) ... So please do not deny yourself the pleasure that you find.

    And remember ... all that love that you are pouring into others is only going to last if you share it generously with yourself. That "smell the roses" philposophy is really a good fit for you .

    So .. it's okay ... take your time kid ... smell the roses and know that you too are a part of this beautiful garden. Just be YOU. Tend the garden .. care for youself .. you will bloom... you are blossoming already.

    And one more thing ... You know all that "life goes fast" talk that older folks are always muttering about?? Well .. it is true ... so very true.

    Start loving yourself now. UNCONDITIONALLY.

    I wish you love, happiness, gentleness that the knowing that you are WORTHY of these good things.

    Much love to you Younger Me,

    Juniper Blue
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    Jul 29 2012: Draw that moral and ethical line in the sand...and then do the very best you can to honor it.

    Be the best human being you can be.
    Observe, listen carefully and walk that mile in the shoes of others before you speak.
    Be honest without being hurtful.
    Be fair without splitting the baby.
    Be respectful to all people and in all things be humble.
    Seek knowledge in all the disciplines you can and never stop learning.
    Love unconditionally.

    You won't always be successful, but always give it your best shot.
  • Jul 28 2012: You are better than you think you are.
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      Jul 31 2012: or...
      You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
      – Winnie the Pooh
  • Jul 28 2012: Stop looking elsewhere for what you will find much closer to home.
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    Jul 27 2012: I’ll talk to the blossoming young man me.
    Now you are a man. Now you can play according to your own rules.
    When you were a child you understood yourself, the others and the world through the beliefs and behaviors of your parents and significant adults.
    When you were a child, you had the experience of a child, you thought like a child and you understood like a child.
    When you were a child you made most of your belief system.
    My dear intelligent young man! Since the childhood when you made your belief system:
    How many books and articles did you read?
    How many knowledge did you gain through your senses?
    How many persons did you interact with, who had different sets of beliefs than yours?
    How many situations did you go through and how did you experience them according to your beliefs?
    My dear! Do you accept that an intelligent, experienced, skilled, well-educated man like you lives with sets of beliefs made by a cute little child?
    My dear! Examine your beliefs and decide according to all what you gathered through your life tell now, which beliefs you want to keep and which you want to change with other more developed ones.
    My dear! Don’t be afraid to let the dysfunctional beliefs go. Don’t be afraid of losing your identity if you lost some beliefs. You are not your beliefs. You were not born with these beliefs. You already existed before these beliefs and you will still be there after letting them go. You are not your beliefs. You created your beliefs in the past and you may update them now and believe me, even the updated beliefs are not the final versions. In your coming days you’ll know more, experience more and understand more and you will update some beliefs if you saw that a new version would be more functional in the here and now.
    My dear young man! You make your beliefs and your beliefs make your life.
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    Jul 23 2012: My dearest,
    I am writing you this letter, regarding your future life.
    First, you have to know that life is hard, very hard. There some unpredictable events, that are horrifying and that you can not prevent. Life is trampling over you, it doesn’t ask.
    But you have to know to recognize a moment, when you have to react. Grab it! Do not be afraid. Listen to your heart at all times. If somebody steps on your toes, do what you think is the most appropriate. Sometimes it is good to fight back! But, at all times try to be polite, it is the only way to succeed in your chosen field.
    Be brave. Take care of your body as well your soul.
    At all times, try to take care about your friends and all those close to you.
    To those that disappoint you, forgive, but do not forget.
    And finally, smile. Life is precious unique gift we were given by some mysterious reason.
    There will be no replay!
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    Jul 20 2012: Never get a job, always work for yourself. Don't buy into the traditional route of study hard, go to college, get a good job and do 60 - 100 hour weeks.

    Instead, take responsibility for your own income generation and focus on creating passive income. This allows you to achieve financial and time freedom, something that only a very small percentage of the worlds population achieve.

    Pay good deeds forward, give more of yourself to help people wherever possible.

    Never give up on the dreams you had as a kid. Instead you should always keep moving toward what you want and love the most.

    Focus on what you want, not the bad news that is in our face every day.

    And last but not least, know yourself, continue to learn and create and love yourself for living with integrity. :-)
    • Jul 22 2012: Create passive income?
      Could you elaborate it more?
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        Jul 22 2012: Passive income is income derived from either work or investments done in the past that pay you an ongoing income but require only limited time and energy to maintain.
  • Jul 18 2012: Don't sweat the small stuff because right now i can't even re-call what the small stuff was. Also be a little more daring and don't always be so afraid to get into a little bit of trouble, you're supposed to be immature, take advantage of it.
  • Jul 11 2012: I am 48. I have a lot to say to the 24 year old staring back at me. But…

    Its your life!; and I know already it is what one makes of it. Whatever you think you want to do, do it and persevere. Persevere and you will be successful and can be happy.

    Looking for things or people to make you happy is perhaps every human’s failure and this is his only real learning as he grows older. I hope you can learn this from my telling you so, and not have to wait long to know this.

    Remember the lovely moments of togetherness you have with every loved one, friend and family. These moments are treasures and a source of unlimited joy when they are not around. Photographs are not memories and don’t come anywhere near it.

    Learn to take risks but considered ones. Learn to save.

    Learning is living, Keep learning and keep growing

    Be Happy for there are those who don’t have the looks, the support, the love, the body, the finance that you have. Be grateful always!
    • Jul 14 2012: Thanks, Pradeep! wise advice...especially I liked "Looking for things or people to make you happy is perhaps every human’s failure and this is his only real learning as he grows older."
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    Jul 11 2012: -Read more books
    -Travel to more places
    -talk to more people
    -play more
    -learn at least 2foreign languages
    -challenge myself more
    -care less
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    Jul 11 2012: Would like to add to my contribution ... I'm a "Reflector", it takes me time to really conclude and simplify what I want to say ...

    Be happy, make other people happy.

    This comes after reflecting on two friends who I am fortunate to have met, that have an incredible ability to make people smile and laugh. Deep down, we all just want to be at peace and be happy. If you can make people laugh ... the sky's the limit.
  • Jul 9 2012: Don't be afraid of who you are, come out of the closet, you're missing half of your life by not being able to share it with someone.
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    Jul 8 2012: Never be afraid to challenge traditional thinking.
  • Jul 7 2012: I think I would rather ask my younger self for advice. What were my dreams, have I done everything my younger self dreamed of doing, it is never too late.
  • Jul 7 2012: The letter to me who has been through all since birth until the winning moment:

    Dear myself,

    You are always in my heart and will be. I know you have made mistakes, took false decisions, been arrogant and suffered a lot. But I will always be happy for only one reason. You have always trusted yourself. You have also had a good will and always wanted to find the truth. You felt sad when you saw a beggar at the corner of the street, when somebody was punished so bad. You have trusted yourself and said there has to be a better world and you went for the search of it. You said sorry to people that you thought you might have hurt them known or unknown. You did it because you care about them. I would always be thankful to you for that.

    Your best decision in life was when you went for the search of truth. It was to find own potential and all that is good with your deep consciousness. I can still remember the time when you were writing 18 hours a day, 4 hours sleep and 2 hours for everything else. I can still remember it only gave you more life, energy and passion.

    You cried many times because you were betrayed, abandoned, used or fired. My friend, today I have got a news for you. You are now in the moment of your life, you have found the love of your life, became your own boss, helping mankind and finally found the truth. Yes, it's only you who can bring light to the world. Thank everybody who has rejected you. You are a winner because they have been their true self and now you found yours. Enjoy and be happy forever.
  • Jul 7 2012: I see you in the front yard of the little wartime house you grew up in close by the Detroit river. You keep walking around a large old bush planted close by the house -into the shaded secret place and then back out in the world where is it bright and exceedingly real. I want to tell you that this is good. It is practice for everything that is to come.

    I visit you in your childhood room, there you are crouched over your little desk, penning your first book 'Jim, Jan and Kojan Escape from Spies'. I want to tell you that I still have that book treasured away, laminated by Aunt Kiki. Every time I look through it and I come to the page where you changed a sentence by writing it out in your wobbling hand and taping the correction over the laminated page, I want to tell you how very much I love you, for you are the beginning of what I have become. I would tell you that you began something that I am ever trying to finish off and that you began me despite the parched soil you felt around you. I am here to tell you that it was worth it.

    I see you playing with some children in Mitchell Park. You are on the swings. You changed something that day. You parted your hair to the side instead of in the middle. It seems so small from where I am sitting now. A miniscule gesture. But, you knew when you did it that it was the strongest of rebellions and that later on that day at the swings, your face burning hot with shame as all of the neighborhood kids ridiculed you, that you would not budge from this decision. I wish I was able to be there with you afterwards. I would have just told you to hold tight, the eighties would be your decade and that you would leave that town without looking back. That you would find allies, gypsies, artists and freaks and that you would feel at home.

    I wish you had the same ability to see me as I do to see you. I think it would have reassured you to know that it all worked out. I would thank-you for picking the road less travelled.
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    Jul 7 2012: you don't need to look the goal , just take a first step, Life is about success from failure and you have the found the right place to start this conversation as TED is also about it. However , Look before you leap!
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    Jul 6 2012: I recommend you to watch the " tuesdays with morrie" film. It has changed my view in last decade, and you will find a lot of lessons during the film such as :
    - When you learn how to die, you learn how to live
    - Death ends a life, not a relationship
  • Jul 3 2012: Figure out what your real values are - this is hard. If you don't like working and are easily stressed out, learn to live within the boundaries of your limits. People who try to contradict their biology will always fail.

    The world works on natural laws. Everyone gives thought and advice contrary to what is scientifically true. Humans are machines that require energy and break under stress they can't handle.

    Modern society is a toxic brew of nonsensical crap, don't define your success by money, work or prestige. Don't look at what your society values. Find out who you really are, what you value, and ignore the worlds opinion. Don't look to society for who you should become, find out whats true about the functioning of your own body/yourself (patterns of behavior, what you predominantly do in terms of habits, what stresses you out, etc).

    It may be painful at first, but in the long run you will have no regrets if you come to see yourself clearly in terms of scientific functioning. Most people can't think straight about themselves or the world, so 99% of all advice they'd give you is useless. Thinking clearly is not human beings forte. Each person has a different nature (i.e. energy levels, stress tolerances, etc). So what they would give as advice for themselves, is not advice for you!

    Working hard won't bring you success, success is more luck of the biological hand you've been dealt then a anything else. If you disbelieve this go visit a hospital for sick kids or watch documentaries on genius. "work hard = success" is the biggest lie since what jobs and their pay are constantly shifting and institutions change, die or go extinct. There are plenty of hard jobs that pay nothing that are creative and demanding (writing, animation, etc). What can be automated will eventually be automated.

    There is no free will.
  • Jul 3 2012: Here is the best advise you will ever get kid. If you never want to be confused about why things didn't go according to plan and if you want to make good judgement, always find things out for yourself.
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    Jul 3 2012: Major in something useful—there's time later and on weekends for philosophy or creative writing or any of the other un-employable outlets for the idealism you have bouncing around in your head.
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      Jul 3 2012: To be the best you possible is an unattainable feat regardless of how hard you try, and to try to become something you're not does not always directly lead to regret. As humans, as individual thinkers, we retain the ability to change our lives. If, hypothetically, I am a smoker, and I wanted to strive to be the best me possible, I would start with that aspect. I would work to quit smoking. Striving to be the best you possible, is just that. It's you TRYING to make your life better bit by bit. I didn't say anything about actually becoming the best you possible. The point of that advice is for the listener to strive to make their lives better one step at a time, not promising them that they will become perfect if the advice is followed.
  • Jul 30 2012: I would remind my youthful self that spending more time taking care of me, allows everyone else around me to BE BEtter.
  • Jul 29 2012: Perhaps I would say a lot, forgetting the most important but then "the most important" is quite personal and that's how it should be so it is gonna be ok even like this, even more - because of this. What I would have liked to have known back then is that there is no shame to take yourself as a beginner but most probably back then I would not be able to see it the way I do now. So the next is that every time comes with its reasons, images, lessons, still you can always approach any matter in a better way, you can always change and not be afraid to explore no matter the age but only when you know what you are doing and really taking the responsibility - in the meaning of being able to explain to yourself and, if necessary, to any person involved in the situation, what you did and why you did it, simply being consious and present, without overdoze of fooling around. Sure, be reckless, passionate, totally crazy but just for the sake of joy. Listen to music, listen to yourself (go for a ride or a walk in a place you think you know so very well and try to see it as if for the first time), look at people and their reactions (without your interest standing in their way), consider your reactions as if from a distance, travel and while you travel talk with the people you meet, not push it, if the conversation happens, most of the times it's in a very natural and, risking to sound pathetic, nourishing way, just because usually it gives some food for thought, at least gets you out of your nest and you start thinking about other matter, different from yours and still they lead you to your matters hopefully in a better way. The distance sometimes can be a great chance to have a closer view. Read whatever you love, find new authors, share what you have read, discuss or simply tell the story, share your passion, do the things you love whenever you can but again don't rush it, it works with your presence (not with your intervention). Don't be afraid to risk. Love, love, love.
  • Jul 27 2012: You are lucky.
  • Jul 25 2012: to listen the heart
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    Jul 25 2012: "Stay cool. Things are going to be tuff but you're even tuffer. So act like it without fear."
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    Jul 23 2012: Casen Askew, I can say that you are very aware young man.
    When I was 18, I was not thinking about possible mistakes I can make.
    I thought that I have all the time, and that I am here forever.
    Now, that life has thought me that it is not so, I only can say: maybe you'll be wiser after this conversation, and bring it into your future.
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      Jul 31 2012: I was thinking the same thing. Great question!! I love reading the answers.
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    Jul 22 2012: Spending one hour every day chatting with who care you
  • Jul 22 2012: Don't be afraid, girl!
    If you do, just overcome it.
    The majority of the things you worry about will never happen.
    You are your best advisor!!
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    R H

    • +3
    Jul 21 2012: Note to self: You already know what to do. Do that. Only you has to live with you 24/7.
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    Jul 19 2012: Life is full suprises and challenges, sometimes it's smooth sailing but there are moments that it's kinda bumpy. But always remember to live each day with so much enthusiasm and joy even there are times it's not worth to smile. Just boost yourself and believe in what you can do. Don't forget to trust yourself and ask For God's guidance. We can't do everything on our own, we need our faith to live.
  • Jul 18 2012: Things don't go your way. Plans fail. But here's what you don't know: it doesn't matter.
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    Jul 15 2012: Dear Casen,
    I guess I would tell a younger me the same thing I've been telling myself for 60+ years. Life is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve in myself as an individual, as well as an opportunity to contribute to the whole. Live life with gusto, with integrity, with an open heart and mind, with unconditional love and the curiosity of a child. Live life, so that at the end of the human life experience there are no regrets.
  • Jul 15 2012: "Hey. Think before you say. Some people just can't take a joke. "
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    Jul 13 2012: Stay curious .......................
  • Jul 11 2012: trust in your self
    every one have to trust in his or her self,,every one have unlimit abilities and talents.
    so at first,, every one have to discover him or her self,,, and searsh first on his or her goodness and try to improve it :) if every one proud to be him self,,, it will be easy to make himself happy :)
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    Jul 11 2012: Accept the fact that you'll never be able to understand theoretical philosophy in terms of Immanuel Kants' theory "thing-in-itself". Your intellectual self will grasp at it until it bleeds, while the featureless, shaped and defined by words, will stay ever so elusive.

    Understand that; what you perceive and then react to is merely an reaction generated from an earlier perception.

    You'll need to trust your intuition but confront it with rational thinking.
    Always leave it open for another person to question you "why", then ask for the same in return.

    There's knowledge out there you don't yet know of. Don't rush getting there. You'll need to spend a lot of time with your past to get a grip of patterns. Patterns are important.

    Casen, this is a wonderful thread you've started. I'm happy you did.
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      Jul 11 2012: As am I :D

      Thanks for sharing, Jonathan!
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    Jul 11 2012: Don't take advice from someone older than you :)
    • Jul 11 2012: :) hi leo ,, may i ask you why?!
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        Jul 14 2012: Just joking.My real advice would be...

        "Keep an open mind. Try new things on. Expand your knowledge, skills and expose yourself to everything you can.Travel. Listen for coaching everywhere--even a child can say something that you can benefit from-- but always stick to your guns and think for yourself. There is a reason why the saying, 'If you find the Buddha on the road, kill him' is a Buddhist tenet. "
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    Jul 11 2012: Pick a skill and stick with it. After 10,000 hours of doing any one thing, you will absolutely hate doing it... and you will be phenomenal at it. It doesn't matter what you pick... Just get exceptionally good at anything, and you'll do alright.
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    Jul 10 2012: To my 4th grade self,

    Listen up kid, you're not always right. Your parents know what life is like. They are there for you. Take their advice once and awhile, trust me they are right 99% of the time. They have been where you are now. Learn from their mistakes. I'm going to give you a bit of advice from the future now. Convince Dad to buy stock in Google not Yahoo, trust me. Learn how to use computers. I don't mean play games and surf the internet, build software. You'll figure it out if you want to be surrounded by intelligent driven people. Lastly, drop out of high school freshman year and begin college immediately. I don't have much time because the portal is closing but heed these words!

    From the future you,

    p.s. The first time you ever go snowboarding watch out for the ski lift, it's an ankle breaker.
  • Jul 9 2012: The most important lessons my parents ever taught me that I wish I would have practiced every day growing up. I can't recall how many times I have been really thankful that I learned these lessons and practice them daily.
    - Be nice to everyone always. It's a small world out there. Don't burn bridges.
    - Don't judge a book by its cover, or a person. You just never know...
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    Jul 9 2012: When I was teen, I climb a tree to get up onto the roof and think those blue-sky thoughts. One evening as I ponder a difficult life question an old man climb up that front terrace that I never was able to top. He tried to persuade me that he was I all grown up and strongly wanted me to listen and learn of things I would need to know. I listen I was intrigued how he knew so much about our shared memories and that over the years have been amazed how precise he was in his directions. Alas, I still never completely believe he was I so I just discounted his advice. Five decades pass …and I had completely dismissed the event until 5 years ago when early one morning I awoke recounting the dream I just had. In which, I remember how I had just climb over the top of that terrace to see its top that I had never seen and remembering all that advice once again.
    The main point I wanted him to know was that it is not evil to know that he was the smartest person in the room but not to use that gift would be wasteful. Now in my old age after knowing so much and having the answers so desperately needed I cannot grab a stage like those with fame and speak. No one accepts me as one that knows not even my young self.
  • Jul 9 2012: I believe the woman I am is because of the experiences I've had. But who knows what I would be like if those experiences had been different? Therefore, I would tell a younger me the following:

    1. Love yourself so much you won't do anything that might possibly cause harm.
    2. Respect yourself so much you won't let anybody treat you disrespectfully.
    3. Trust yourself enough to know that what you believe and value is right for you; it doesn't have to be right for anybody else.
    4. Challenge yourself so that you continuously learn and grow.
    5. Believe in yourself and never give up until you've exhausted every possibility of accomplishing what you set out to do. There is always a solution and if you can't see it find somebody who will help you see it.
  • Jul 9 2012: Truth is...our younger selves would probably not even listen. advice: Learn to listen. Listen to your heart; listen to the heart of others; listen to others; listen to nature; listen. Before you speak; before you jump; before you act; before.
  • Jul 8 2012: Happiness, contentment and inner peace come from:

    Accepting yourself as you are; not trying to be anything or anyone else, you are perfect as you are
    Reminding yourself daily of all you have to be grateful for
    Being fully present in every moment
  • Jul 8 2012: I would say everything is relative, except what is inexistent. So even relativity is relative. And to do only what feels right at all times.
  • Jul 7 2012: Firstly a quick heads up - you will grow too tall to be a fighter pilot in the RAAF. However, this is not an excuse to stop trying in school. Even though the subjects you're studying were all chosen to get you into a career you can no longer have, in a few years time personal interest will drive you to gain the same knowledge anyway, so you might as well get it over and done with now.

    Just because you were brought up with the idea of "Treat others the way you want to be treated" doesn't mean that it exists out in the real world. Trust is something people need to earn, not something to be given away without a second thought. Sadly, the world we live in is less golden and wonderful than we were led to believe and a lot more dark and twisted. But as long as you are aware of this and take it into account at all times then you will be protect from it (to a certain degree). "A pessimist is just an optimist with experience"

    Your parents are right, despite how many times you tell them otherwise. However, you wont fully realize it until you send your friends kids to their rooms (while you're babysitting), for the first time, in the exact same way that your dad did to you and your brother with you were the kids ages. No matter how many times you assured yourself (and your folks) that you wouldn't resort to the same methods they used on you, you still did it, just like they said you would when you were older. Suddenly you realize that every time they ended an argument/discussion by saying "When you are older you'll understand" they were actually referring to this exact moment, when you finally accept that not only were your parents right, but you knew less than them.

    NEVER lend friends money

    Don't ever learn from other people's mistakes - Because other people might have screwed it up and you could be the first person to do it right!
  • Jul 7 2012: If I could write a letter to my younger self I’d include:

    1. Compliments disarm someone. If you are having difficulties with someone, give them a genuine compliment.
    2. No one wants to look like a jerk. Think before you speak, if what you are going to say will make a person look bad. Try to just express how you feel without saying something negative about that person.
    3. The only one you can rely/depend on always is God. Everyone else (not intentionally) will probably let you down at some point in time, so don’t put all your hope in one person.
    4. Grown ups are just big kids. Sometimes this helps to think of in dealing with a difficult person. People who are hard to deal with often stopped developing emotionally at an early age.
    5. Relationships are like a ship navigating at night through icebergs. You have to steer clear of them even though you can’t see that most of their mass is floating under the surface and you don’t want to scrape up the bottom of your ship. When I was in first grade, I had a teacher, Mr. Pelander, who had us write creatively every week. This one time, while everyone was at his or her desk quietly writing, I asked him if I could sit this one out because I disliked writing. I don’t remember what he said, but he didn’t say no. Somehow he got me to turn around, walk back to my desk, sit down and try to start writing again. If you can do that with people, instead of letting things escalate into an argument, you will be much more at peace.
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    Jul 7 2012: stop thinking about sex all the time & start thinking of future career or what you want to really do in life even if it wont get you rich.....
  • Jul 7 2012: To my younger self,

    Invest in people; they are the key to a happy ending.

    In order to get there, love yourself, understand who you are and what you want to become.
    You can find that out by following a simple recipe. Along the way it can become harder to follow, but don’t give up … try again. Don’t cheat by skipping or reversing the steps; because in the end it will do more damage than good.

    1. Free your soul; find God within yourself
    2. Free your heart; accept your feelings and let them run wild
    3. Open your mind; seek for knowledge and be open to new perspectives
    4. Embrace your body; a beautiful interior is not enough

    After you accomplished all that You are complete. Doubt and fear will disappear and you’ll become the master of your fate, the captain of your soul.

    But to make it even better, don’t be selfish and share your secret. Love others as you love yourself. If you manage to make even one life breathe easier because you have lived, then you have succeeded.

    As for your happy ending, it will live forever in the hearts of all whose life you changed.

    No matter what, be patient, it is all about the journey. And I know that this one will be worth watching!
  • Jul 7 2012: Don't join the armed service for any reason!
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    Jul 7 2012: EVERYTHING happens for a reason.
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    Jul 7 2012: Anything worth having comes with time. Learn something from everyone. Knowledge is power. If you can't explain something simply then you don't understand it. Nice guys finish last. Family first. Balance in life and in love.
  • Jul 7 2012: I would just tell me, NEVER try to change anyone or wait for them to change... I f you like them but you cannot stand the differences, NEVER start any type of relationship. That would cause you lot s of your time...
    Stick to God. THINK more. God is watching you but you should think and do, and then hope the best comes in your way...
    And you are much better than you think. ( I wish my older me would tell me that now too, cause i still dont believe in that!)
  • Jul 6 2012: "Don't worry about what others think"
    "Enjoy every day and don't try to grow up so soon"
    "Trust your instincts and stick to them"
    "Always look for the positives"
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    Gord G

    • +3
    Jul 5 2012: If you were older you wouldn't feel compelled to answer this question. The reason you feel compelled to answer it is because you're inexperienced and you don't have the experience to realize we all stumble through our lives looking for our true selves...while hoping like hell that person is someone we respect. It's a MF (you can figure out what the letters mean ;-) )
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    Jul 5 2012: "Change nothing, your life will be awesome."
  • Jul 5 2012: A lovely question, my advice to my younger self would be; 'just keep going it wil be alright in the end'.
  • Jul 4 2012: Worry less. A LOT less!
  • Jul 4 2012: I wish I had realized sooner that: if you are going to take a difficult class buy the book a semester ahead and read it.
  • Jul 4 2012: Whenever you happen to have a sense of inferiority, don't blame yourself or chalk that up to the circumstances.
    Don't compare yourself to other people because they can never be like you, and so do you.
    Also, don't be cocky.
    There's no such thing as a better one or an inferior one.

    When you're in a very tough situation, you would try to change the situation.
    But don't do that again.
    You need to learn how to let things go,
    And remember, don't you ever feel that you're a failure just because you failed to do something.

    Be powerfully positive.
    You don’t need to be always certain.
    But “never stop believin’ in yourself” lol

    Don't let your dreams be shallow or empty.

    There's no enemy.
    In the Bible, that says, "To love your enemy."
    I know that it's very difficult for you to do that, but the reason for doing that is also very reasonable.
    To be an enemy to someone is apparently your loss.
    Learn to get along with the people you work with.

    Even though there are a ton of things I want to advise, but let me just stop here because I also know that knowing something theoretically isn't that helpful.
    So don't try to memorize all of the messages here.

    I’m not preaching, and I’m not asking you to be perfect.

    Just put them into practice whenever you get sick of your life and get selfish.
  • Jul 4 2012: Trust yourself. Follow your intuitions. Work harder than you need to. Choose positive. Hang out with positive people. Hang out with your peers. Express your true feelings and thoughts as much as you possibly can. You are the sculptor of your life. Breathe deeply. Breathe slowly. Relax. Enjoy. Remember that you were born to have fun.
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    Jul 4 2012: This is the advice I wish to give :
    Learn from others mistake rather than you making the same mistake so that u grow up more wise painlessly :) Nevertheless don't hesitate to take calculated risks and be proactive,caring and altruistic all the time ..

    Get into habit of reading more books on life

    • Jul 4 2012: Hi Bharath

      I do give that advice too.

      Life is too short to make mistakes, learn from others' mistakes and you will be twice as smart.

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    Jul 4 2012: Don't buy an Xbox...
  • Jul 3 2012: To be grateful is the light which will bring happiness. I create my happiness simply through the clearness and solitude of thought. I would have told myself...... "learn to quite your mind" :)
  • Jul 3 2012: Life is a Journey and every opportunity is and was created by you, for you to grow, and to move closer to your true self; embrace and love yourself at a deeper level = freedom.

    There are no mistakes only opportunities for growth and movement forward
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    Jul 2 2012: I guess I can give it a shot as well. :)

    Live, love, and laugh. Forgive and forget. Learn from each mistake you make. Realize that life does go on, and it's more like a rollercoaster than anything. Don't give up on your dreams. Apply yourself, be less lazy, and procrastinate a lot less. Strive to be the best you possible. As cheesy as it is, always remember the Golden Rule. Stick up for those who won't/can't stick up for themselves. Don't refuse to fall in love, but be cautious when doing so. Try to come out of your shell more. Being a loner in life can get, well, lonely. Be quick to think but slow to speak. Do not be so quick to judge someone. Give multiple chances, everybody slips up occasionally, but don't let that mindset transform you into a door mat for people to walk all over. Understand that things aren't always what they appear to be, and sometimes things are exactly what they appear to be. Find the perfect balance between the pessimist, optimist, realist, and opportunist. Remember that your future is like a fresh canvas, and you, and only you, hold the brush that forges that canvas' fate. Be an individual, a leader, a friend that a friend would like to have, and yourself. Live each day like it's your last, and wake up happy that you woke up at all. Remember that any day you're not six feet under is a good one. And lastly, though you may not have found her yet, keep searching with an open heart and open mind. With over 7 billion people in the world, chances are you'll find her yet.
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        Jul 3 2012: Actually I'm 18. :p sorry for the outdated Bio.

        Regardless, I understand your point. And no, I wasn't really writing that so much to a younger me, I just wanted to put the life lessons I learned for others to read, in the hopes that some kid, quite similar to a younger me, might read said advice and maybe take at least one to heart. :)
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    Jul 2 2012: Remember, that every situation is not permanent. That impermanence and understanding that concept as much as you can is probably the most important thing you can do. DON'T date'll regret it! =] Work on your patients and your not as alone as you think you are. The patience thing....yeah it affects the way you meet people too! Good friends will come it's just a bit harder to find the right people with the similar interests but they come!

    Stay positive, keep in touch with family and love as many people as humanly possible.
  • Jul 1 2012: Just a letter? I think I would need a book.

    It would probably start with TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH.
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    Aug 1 2012: Spending at least 1 hour thinking deeply (for learning to think)
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    Jul 31 2012: Very nice philosophical question (and amusing)...

    Maybe the answer is the advise you give to your children...

    I would probably try to push the person towards curiosity and critical thinking.
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    Jul 30 2012: Cherish everything I have, without the pressure, being able to hang out with friends to have some fun. Also always be nice to my parents.
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    Jul 28 2012: It's not easy. Maybe you have to keep dreaming, doing what you think is up to you, but being aware of the following: everything you did yesterday have configured the person who you are right now, and everything you do today will influence tomorrow not only yourself, but EVERY PERSON and THING you even won't meet or imagine whether they exist. Remember: you live in a great theatrical setting. If you love beauty and simplicity, you have to give the best of you for the improving of Humankind.
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    Jul 28 2012: I would say share your thoughts, don't keep all those crazy ideas to yourself.
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    Jul 28 2012: You really are the center of the universe.
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      Jul 30 2012: Is it Michael reincarnated?
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    Jul 27 2012: Even though there would be a laundry list of topics i would inform my younger self about, just thinking for a moment i kept coming back to only one. Do not be afraid to fail. For failure is the beginning of experience, experience is the opening to wisdom, and wisdom is the key ingredient to changing for the better.
  • Jul 25 2012: Live, love, believe, write.
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    Jul 25 2012: The stuff you take so seriously, doesn't matter. The things that you think can wait, can't. But all in all, if you are healthy, you're 99% there.
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    Jul 23 2012: Read and write MORE!
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    Sym !

    • +2
    Jul 23 2012: Stop believing in things just because you born and saw that you HAVE to believe in it!
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    Jul 21 2012: IN MY VIEW:
    Life is meant to be lived not questioned so cherish it as much as possible
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    Jul 17 2012: Choose Carefully ...
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    Jul 17 2012: Happiness lies within
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    Jul 15 2012: I would tell the younger me that life is a sum of infinitely tiny moments and that we are all products of our choices and decisions. That no matter what or who I may try to blame for my present circumstance, the small choices I made in those tiny moments have brought me thus far. I will tell myself to always do things from my guts and with courage knowing fully well that I and only I shall be praised or blamed for my failures and successes. I shall tell the younger me to be strong enough to be myself as long as that me is loving enough to purse at different moments to think about others and their welfare.

    I shall plead to the younger me never for any reason to think of considering the crossing of those ethical lines that define who I am for the vain promise of making more friends because no one wants to walk life's road with another lost man with no values or principles. I will advice the younger me to love life and make the most of every moment I have been presented with in life for that is the only thing that I can't gain back.

    Above all I shall tell myself to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all mind, with all my soul, spirit and body and to consider anyone who claims that there is no God with pity because all men are fallen and are living in a fallen and broken world where everyone's pride and relentless pursuit of self glory has blinded his eyes and prevents him from seeing the boundless evidence of God in all creatures of His.
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    Jul 14 2012: "Stop making faces at your 2nd grade teacher younger me!!!" "Trust me, the principal was a real scary guy."
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    Jul 11 2012: I would tell myself to read more. I believe the more a person reads, the bigger their imagination grows. Reading about anything that comes to mind gives a person a healthy perspective on life. Perspective is everything.
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    Jul 11 2012: Great Scott,

    I shouldn't be telling you these things, younger-me, so remember my words well;
    First of all, listen to your folks a bit more often when it comes to education and focus more on what they're saying.
    Secondly, get out there and meet more people. Enjoy life more and stop caring so much. Stop listening to all those nay-sayers and bullies and always remain true to yourself anyway you can.

    One more thing, I might be disrupting our timeline with this, but weir all the protection you can before you go out skating! Trust me on this one.
  • Jul 11 2012: Slow down you are doing fine. . .
  • E K

    • +2
    Jul 11 2012: Please take more risks in life!!! You are more capable than you know. Don't worry about being 'good' or pleasing your parents, BE BOLD.
    Don't let the expectations of your family define you. Live, fully, for yourself.
    Stop being so serious and just have fun. You have decades to be an adult, stop rushing to get there.
    Also, say what you feel, don't hold it all inside.
    Trust in yourself and you will be okay.
  • Jul 10 2012: To myself as a teenager: Saying sorry and admitting you are wrong are 2 of the finest qualities it a person. You dont always have to be right to be strong.

    Travel more! New cultures bring new means of thought.
  • Jul 9 2012: Forgot your ego and then you'll arrive to live your own free life.
    Don't think you're better than anyone , neither your preferences, criteria or judgments are superior .
    Look for evidences against your more solids beliefs, not for those that confirm what you think is indoubtable
    Look for exemplars human beings . There are a lot of them, especially in the insignificant places and moments.
    Be aware you can learn a lot of every person. You only need to focus your atention and sensivity in their acts , emotions and words.
  • Jul 9 2012: Instead of aiming for the goal aim for the experience. Most of the time you can enjoy the journey more than actually achieving the goal, because once you reach the goal, the journey has ended. People you meet along the way can become friends for the rest of your life.

    Sit down and have a conversation with someone new as much as possible. You may think you have met all the friends you need in life but there is always more to experience. It could be a story or a business idea. Take five minutes and get to meet a new person no matter where you go.

    Also always surround yourself with people who foster the best in you. Never waste your time with those who can never help you when you have spent the last year helping them.
  • Jul 9 2012: Be present, live in the moment, give it your absolute best effort at ALL times and no regrets!
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    Jul 9 2012: Nice reminder ..!
    To borrow something from a sport I love ...
    1. Touch ... get close to the people and the problem.
    2. Pause ... take time to reflect on what the real business or pesonal problem is taking your time.
    3. Engage ... come up with solutions for everybody.

    Of course, without being through it all you won't have any idea of what I'm talking about
  • Jul 9 2012: Start a business. Make sure it helps people. Make it fun. Make lots of money and give most of it away.
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    Jul 8 2012: Great question and topic for discussion!

    I would tell my younger self several things...

    1. Invest sooner. Be sure to prepare for the future as early as you can. You may think that you are young and that time is slow...but it is not. So, prepare now so that you can enjoy more in the future.

    2. Along that same point...TIME MOVES FAST!! So follow through with things and get them done. Dont hold off and think that you have plenty of time. Before you know it, you will have a pile of things that you wish you would have done (like I do now) and nowhere near the free time to do them. Live life like an adventure!

    3. Learn. Learn as much as you can about everything that you can. Your brain is huge and is an amazing tool with tons of capacity. Fill it. Then use that knowledge the best you can and focus on helping others.

    Those three things would be great to pass on to a younger me. But, then the paradox occurs...the younger me that I was will not really listen to the older me that I am now and will continue along the path that I was going, thinking that I know more as a young person that most older people knew. It is the timeless problem that will forever exist. Young people think that older people have lost touch with facts and just dont understand how the current world works. Hence, their advice does not apply to this moment.

    But oh, to have a time machine...
  • Jul 8 2012: I would say: "you are amazingly resilient. I know things are tough but from where I'm standing in 2012 it's mostly just stuff. Even the really painful stuff is a building block to now. Real life is challenging. Your challenges place you well to help other people. When it gets overwhelming, the seaside, cats, creativity and sleep are all ace. Try to laugh everyday. Especially on the bad days. You can and will survive domestic abuse and worse, the loss of a child. You are bipolar, it's not easy. My best advice is that pain is survivable and makes you strong. As Ghandi suggested, be the change you wish to see in the world. Love yourself. I love you " x
  • Jul 8 2012: First off I wouldn't talk to my younger self unless I had to. If I had to I would say "Keep trusting yourself".
  • Jul 7 2012: I would make my younger self read the essay essay titled "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" written by Mary Schmich. Here is a link to the text version: and here is the video version entitled Sunscreen Speech:
  • Jul 7 2012: This post comes at such a timely point for me. I have recently been diagnosed with Advanced Breast Cancer which gave me great reason to look back at my life and wonder what I should or could have done differently. What it all is boiling down to now is, not that I could have done anything differently but that if I had the knowledge I do now, I might have eaten better, added more veggies (which I still don't have a taste for) to my diet. I certainly would have taken the time to slow down a bit more and not constantly try to be the best.

    I realize I am a workaholic and I always put that down to loving my job. Now I realize I need to love my life and family and job and balance them all, because by not having done so, I've had to take time from the job I love so and time from my family who are my world, to focus on my healing so I can be here for them in the end.

    Here is a link to my blog if you would care to know more about my story.

    Live life with care on love!
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    Jul 7 2012: -Be a skeptic. But beware of getting stuck in pointless questions. Sometimes a valid answer is "its a stupid f***ing question, it doesn't matter, we will never know, but what we do know is that we're right here right now, so let's do something constructive instead".

    -Spread your efforts in different areas, but never too thick or too thin. Having countless interests is a beautiful thing, but it will also slow your development, and whilst some of the smartest people in this world like Erwin Schrödinger and others recommend you never narrow your specialties to one, don't have too many, pick a few things and be the best you can ever be. (e.g. carpentry, rock climbing and experimental physical chemistry)?

    -You don't owe your life to yourself, you are human and therefore a social entity, your happiness and well-being is dependent on those who are around you. You have a moral obligation to others and the act of helping others is a duty, not an act of kindness, and it is encouraged to take pride and be happy in fulfilling your responsibility.

    -Take pride in doing things differently, but have a malleable mindset and the courage to admit when your wrong and adopt a better way of doing things.

    -Strengthen yourself in philosophy and mathematics. Those two disciplines are in every area in your life.

    Finally, know how small you are, that will instill the highest quality of humbleness that is needed...just read the basics of astronomy and understand or at least try to get a sense of the scale of things and what you measure against an entire universe.

    Have funn.
  • Jul 7 2012: You´ll understand your mother.
    Don´t cry because of these guys. They really don´t deserve it.
    Save money.
  • Jul 7 2012: 1) Question Authority.
    2) Breathe.
    3) When needed, Scream. Let "it" out and watch "it" flow out of your inner prison.
    4) Breathe Again.
  • Jul 7 2012: Be careful with the advice you give because the wise don't need it and fools won't heed it.
  • Jul 7 2012: I want to tell myself that once you start punishing yourself, you're never going to stop. Life's never going to stop being confusing and so very, very frustrating, but you really can handle it. Asking for help doesn't make you less than perfect--it makes you braver and smarter and more resourceful. I want to convince myself that harm to yourself and others isn't going to help you. I want to tell myself to roll with the punches, because you really can't imagine what happens to you next.
  • Jul 7 2012: everything about you is just as it should be. nothing is in vain. even if you don't yet understand why.
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    Jul 7 2012: Don't be so afraid, take a risk!
  • Jul 7 2012: I would advise young me to dream big and don't buy into the script written for you by others. I would tell him to sort out the issues with your parents sooner than later. I would tell me to find a mentor (or two or three) and get counsel on the way forward in your life. I would tell him to challenge himself as much as possible in high school because college IS going to much tougher than you think it will be. I would advise him to find his passion and then find work using that passion. I would tell him to live every day like it will be your last and to live in the moment.
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    Jul 7 2012: Dude,.....Take Things Seriously for God Sake...Your Present is effecting my Past, Present & future....!!!
  • Jul 7 2012: i told my young son "take a look at everything i have done then do the exact opposite... and you'll be just fine. :-)"
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    Jul 6 2012: Travel more.
    Don't take those early relationships so seriously.
    Avoid Babylon and don't worry about religion.
    Be nicer to Mum and Dad, they don't last forever.
  • Jul 5 2012: Just close your eyes and jump.

    Just go with the flow.

    Whatever will be, will be...
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    Jul 5 2012: Adults can say hurtful things about you or to you - try not to believe them.
    Eat fiber.
  • Jul 5 2012: God has given you Time and Energy, make more Value out of it.
    Nothing is Permanent.
    Do whatever it take for Good Health, especially maintain your weight.
    Make reasonable rules for yourself that you don't violate.
  • Jul 4 2012: Btw,
    Love your question!
    Best topic ever! :)
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      Jul 5 2012: I just figured, what is TED for if not to make the world a better place? This was the first idea that came to mind when I thought of trying. :)
  • Jul 4 2012: Discover yourself by trying yourself, explore the world, explore your world, ask questions, search truth, be whoever you want, that is all.
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    Jul 4 2012: Spend more money, you are going to get old but not as much as you think. There is nothing like wrong decitions, it´s ok to be impulsive sometimes. Put the stress aside, that is going to help you to reduce anxiety. Believe in yourself, be confident... no one is going to remember well behaved people.
  • Jul 4 2012: Dear young one, The world doesn't get easier to live in unless you get better at navigating the world. You cannot steady the ocean, but you can steady the boat! If you want peace, don't talk to your friends, talk to your enemies. Your brain is a muscle, flex it regularly through meditation and other brain excersises.
    You will be ok as long as you remember who you wanted to be.
    Save your money for traveling instead of things, you'll get rid of the things, but you won't ever get rid of the memories of the places you've seen. Worrying is useless. Try not to do it. You'll be able to smile more if you don't worry so much. Avoid using credit cards.
    Brush your teeth. AND
    Don't take psychedelics in large groups of people... You'll like it better in nature with one or two friends(:
  • Jul 3 2012: You are the best you when humble, love it and love everyone crossing your path.
    More people cross a bright path than one that is not lit.
    Use your energy to enlighten yourself and others souls will spark with you.

    Listen intently.

    Sometimes I find myself thinking about how I think, about how I think, about how I think...
    Maybe I might start to think about how I think, about how others think, about how they think.
    Will you join me?
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    Jul 3 2012: Part of my letter would go something like this:

    "Politics and media are full of poison. Don't listen to them. They will only try to make you think the way they do.

    Your truth is the one spoken by your own voice. Everything else is just mere influence - for you to choose or not to choose, if your own voice has the confidence..."

    My generation has left the world in such a bad mess for your generation to clear up, precisely because I DID listen to politicians and the media, and I did NOT listen to my own voice.
  • Jul 3 2012: Learn as much as possible while at school rather then wanting to grow up too quick.
  • Jul 3 2012: do not drink.that is the one thing that will destroy anyting you work for
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    Jul 2 2012: Even with my grandkids I provide a direction and a base to return to and communicate with. Providing a clear path and outline the desired outcomes do not provide the individual with a opportunity to fail or succeed.

    I feel it is important to know that they accomplished or failed at their challenges. I think failure is very important. What occurs after a failure is the sign of the person who lives within.

    If you have been (or had) a proper role model then all the rest is a piece of bacalava.

    All the best. Bob
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    Lejan .

    • +2
    Jul 2 2012: .

    None, because I know I am not going to listen to my own advice anyway...

    Also none, because it would lead to time-paradoxa we better not wiggle with.
  • Jul 2 2012: Get a PHD
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    Jul 1 2012: Always stay positive with any situation. Remember to look on the bright side of things, because somewhere out there in the world, someone has it a lot worse than you. And never forget that in the end, it'll all be okay.
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    Jul 1 2012: Every time that you abuse yourself physically, with drink, cigarettes, excessive exercise, sunbathing...your body will remember...maybe in a year maybe in 30 years....but it will remember and it will not be happy.
  • Qyv Qyv

    • +1
    Aug 1 2012: Which has better lines? The Princess Bride? Or The Guide?

    "Printed in LARGE... Friendly letters... DON'T PANIC!"
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    Jul 31 2012: You (I) could do it sooner and better.

    Also, loan Bill Gates some money to buy a Heath Kit.
  • Qyv Qyv

    • +1
    Jul 31 2012: Very, very well constructed question.

    Let's go with:

    "Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now."
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      Jul 31 2012: That scene is probably my favorite scene from that book/movie!
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    Hue Vu

    • +1
    Jul 28 2012: Loving and Sharing!
  • Jul 28 2012: I would say ' hey , don't eat so much, keep a good shape and find a beautiful girlfriend then give your first kiss to her'
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    Jul 21 2012: Self-reliance complements inter-reliance complements self-reliance (with the right partner(s).
    Virtuous cycle.
    Human autonomic system is the only automatic system around, everything else is learned.
    Find what you are passionate about.
    Deeply passionate about.
    Pursue this passion with deliberate abandonment.
    And importantly, "Tomorrow is forever, love's enough for anyone today." David Ackles, singer, song-writer, from album, "American Gothic."
  • Jul 18 2012: What is YOUR FULFILLMENT EVERYDAY when you come home END OF THE DAY?
  • Jul 18 2012: Take bigger chances.
  • W Chan

    • +1
    Jul 17 2012: When watching videos online, you should never start off with the right hand. Always start with the left hand. That establishes the bass clef and from there, you can move onto the treble clef notes with more ease. I am right handed so really, just work on the dexterity in my left hand when learning to play piano on YouTube
  • Jul 15 2012: Your internal observer is so free it created a materialistic, lustful, boring you, as to restrict itself from being as free as it could, cause then there would be nothing to prevent it from dream like state, dreary walk, head filled smoke, lack of electric the fact that you are a lover of beauty and find it wherever you are.
  • Jul 15 2012: yeah,, understand you,,,really you r right
    thanks leo :)
  • Jul 15 2012: always be happy :)
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    Jul 15 2012: I always tell them, "let it be YOU first, then follow the greats".
  • Jul 15 2012: To a younger me I would say " There are many things to learn and experience." You have one Life to live and no time to waste.
    • Jul 15 2012: I agree with your point of view , any experience is valuable.
  • Jul 14 2012: Hello younger me. Sit down and look me in the eye. What I have to say is very important.
    Learn to eat as if you have a very slow metabolism. After 30, you will indeed have a very slow metabolism for the rest of your life. You will gain weight twice as fast eating half of the calories that you eat now.
  • Jul 12 2012: Life is good no matter what.
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      Jul 15 2012: Life is no good, unless you make it good!
      • Jul 15 2012: :) You're right.

        As long as you don't take your life for granted, and you make it prolific.
        It all depends on your attitude, right?
        I believe "life" is a gift from God.
        I should be grateful no matter what.

        Thanks for your reply:D
  • Jul 12 2012: Life will always have challenges. It's what you do with those challenges that makes a difference in your life. Be an expert on yourself. Get to know how and why you are the way that you are. Be compassionate and forgiving to yourself. You will always make mistakes, it's part of being human. Life is what you make it, so create the life that you want. Your perspective is what you choose. If you want to see beauty and love in the world, the world will be full of beauty and love. It is very easy to make a habit of being negative and critical. Try to notice when you do this. It can take hard work and skill to make a habit of being positive, but the end result is worth the effort.
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    Jul 11 2012: I would have shot the sob that my mom married the 2nd time. I wouldn't have married my first wife. The biggest regret I have not changeing the out come of my 2nd divorce when had the chance. That's all I would change or advisea younger me except give myself more detail on shooting it.
  • Jul 11 2012: What i learnt all along is...whatever happens life goes on :)
    It is upto us to see every event either from optimistic or from pessimistic perspective,our perspective of viewing peoples/situations and things makes all the difference and they are responsible for our state of happiness or sorrow !!
    So follow the simple take it easy policy in life and keep going and be happy !
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    Jul 10 2012: I've posted another question with similar intent. The question I posed was "What do you love?" I'm hoping that, just like this thread, the TED community will inadvertently help those among them who need the help. If the topic seems in the least bit interesting to you, you can find the question at the link below. :)

    Remember TEDsters, no matter what may be happening in your life or how bad things may seem, any day you wake up in the morning is a good one, because, in the end, things can always be much, much worse.

    Live, Love, Laugh.

    -Casen Askew
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    Jul 10 2012: Invest in real estate, early and cleverly. Then leverage that to finance your dreams and make the world a better place. If I could go back I would buy land. Lots of and today's prime real estate locations around the World! It is difficult to do justice and leave the world a better place without either financial, political or celebrity leverage....great ideas are many and disappear like dust in the wind.
  • N SHR

    • +1
    Jul 10 2012: As many people already said: Listen to others!! Don't be so stubborn. You don't have to re-discover all the lessons many people have already discovered :D Also, take things less seriously. Many things that at the time seemed the most important thing in the world now look so funny and insignificant. And of course, I already did that but.. have BIG dreams!!
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    Jul 10 2012: I wished I had learned to consider that which comes after and heed it.
  • 2gno ME

    • +1
    Jul 9 2012: That is a great question. It really depends on how you grew up and how much self-knowledge you have at that moment. The more awareness you have, the more valuable feedback you will be able to give your younger self.

    For more on us see:
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    Jul 9 2012: Be brave, you are stronger than you, or they, think you are.

    Take a deep breath and jump.
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    Jul 9 2012: be with you is my lesson
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    Jul 9 2012: KISS HER YOU FOOL ! KISS HER !
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      Jul 10 2012: Advice we've all needed at some point.
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    Jul 9 2012: Never Regret Anything you have done.

    Live in the present.
    Concentrate so much on the present that you have no time to brood over the past and waste too much time on the future.
  • Jul 9 2012: Right now, this is what I remember from all that I happen to have read: "A young man who does not cry is a savage. An old man who does not laugh is a fool."
  • Jul 9 2012: It just crossed my mind that what if I send all of the comments in this conversation to "a younger me" and add some memo that says, "instead of reading a novel, today, you would have to read these comments all day long. Trust me, it would be incredibly helpful and change your life"
    We can make a book from these comments. lol
    If only there was a time machine...!

    These are really awesome comments. Unforgettable!
    TEDsters! You all seem to be like Deepak Chopra lol

    Now, don't regret what's gone.
    We can always start over.

    High five, everyone! :)
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      Jul 10 2012: I'm really happy that I created this conversation! :D

      I have read every single comment, and there's a lot of advice I can take even now. And the advice that doesn't seem suited to me, I'm sure is suited for someone else who reads it.

      And if that's not the case, I hope that the person who wrote the advice took this opportunity to reflect on their life, say what they need to say, and feel as if they've helped someone else out because they almost certainly have.
  • Jul 9 2012: I'll write to myself it would be better to born on 80 and die on 18 like benjamin button but maybe not,
    now i understand when all my hair are black i can but i don't know when they get gray i know and i can when they get whit i know but i can't ,so i like to enjoy the life when i know and i can the philosophy of destiny is totally different from what the people around me thought to me i understand i can change it if not others will change it to me i want to play my guitar and enjoy others playing as well to realize the differences between the themes and catch that i am alive, and the most important thing is that loving people make easier the life.
    I got that i like and respect myself so much and it caused to love and respect others to make them pay it back to me but all these are hard-earned experiences , i thought speaking more than listening cause terrible,
  • Jul 9 2012: I would tell myself to look beneath the surface of all relationships and feel them as well as see them. I would say stay true to what you love doing and be mindfull of my ego trying to own me and what I am connected to--that can starve creativity.
    And lastly I would say ,stay light -neither the past or the future are real or can hurt you if you live in the present,dive into yourself and focus.
  • Jul 8 2012: Be more serious in figuring out your career path. Take the harder path. Be confident in your self, your opinions and your abilities. Know that you are a beautiful person.
  • Jul 8 2012: My advice would be to question more. Don't participate unless you can add value or learn more. Be decisive, then patient.
  • Jul 7 2012: “Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.”
    ― Robert Downey Jr.
  • Jul 7 2012: Life is short. Really. Trust the One who is trustworthy. God thru His Son Jesus Christ. Stop worrying so much about what others think about you, be you. If you are not you, no one else will be, and the things you were put on the planet to do, won't be done. Take one day at a time!! Don't loose the dream. Don't allow others to denigrate, dampen or destroy YOUR dream!!
  • Jul 7 2012: I could give my younger self a tip for the future: sun cream would be it. (not original quote just an adaptation). It is as true now as it was in 1997).,0,4054576.column
  • Jul 7 2012: Live Life to fullest .. Dont worry about the world.. live life!
  • Jul 7 2012: I would have borrowed some lines from Pound:

    What thou lovest well remains,
    the rest is dross
    What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
    What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
    Whose world, or mine or theirs
    or is it of none?
    First came the seen, then thus the palpable
    Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
    What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
    What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee

    The ant's a centaur in his dragon world.
    Pull down thy vanity, it is not man
    Made courage, or made order, or made grace,
    Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.
    Learn of the green world what can be thy place
    In scaled invention or true artistry,
    Pull down thy vanity,
    Paquin pull down!
    The green casque has outdone your elegance.

    "Master thyself, then others shall thee beare"
    Pull down thy vanity
    Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail,
    A swollen magpie in a fitful sun,
    Half black half white
    Nor knowst'ou wing from tail
    Pull down thy vanity
    How mean thy hates
    Fostered in falsity,
    Pull down thy vanity,
    Rathe to destroy, niggard in charity,
    Pull down thy vanity,
    I say pull down.

    But to have done instead of not doing
    This is not vanity
    To have, with decency, knocked
    That a Blunt should open
    To have gathered from the air a live tradition
    or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
    this is not vanity.
    Here error is all in the not done,
    all in the diffidence that faltered . . .
  • Jul 7 2012: I would approach advice to myself based on avoiding the regrets of today and trying to increase the life experiences I look back at with joy.

    From that standpoint, I would first tell myself to stand up for people, especially those that are different or weaker. My biggest regrets in my life are from when I treated someone poorly or when I saw someone being abused or taken advantage of and stood by idly. As I get older, the best memories that have stuck with me are the times I had the guts to "stand up for the little guy".

    I would tell myself to take more risks early. As you get older, risk taking actually gets harder, not easier. Take that job at the start-up company instead of the Fortune 500. Take the year studying abroad, try to get funding for your idea, learn kickboxing, shoot the ball when it's game point, ask for the promotion, try to make new friends.

    Also, invest that $50K you had in the bank in 1999 in Apple stock and leave it in there!!
  • Jul 7 2012: Trust your instincts, listen to what they have to say, they'll see you right.
    Dreaming is good, it will make you into a creative person, but you need to seize more opportunities, stop being so scared and stop worrying because at this point your worries aren't worries at all. (you'll also look the best you've ever looked, one day your teenager photos will be envied by your 30 year old self)
    Also remember that all terrible moments pass and eventually are nothing more than vague memories, problems solve themselves, tempers cool and nothing is as bad as it feels.

    Go for things, ask that guy out, you know which one, you'll spend the rest of your years thinking about what might have been.
    Don't make out with that guy at graduation in the boys toilets, it's gross and he turns out to be a loser (great kisser though)

    Those people that were mean to you? They're living boring uninspired lives and still living with their parents, you find out that there are lots of people out there that are interesting and different and that think you're great to be around so don't let it get you down or you'll find it shapes the way future you interacts with people.

    They don't tell you this but the subjects you choose at 14 are terribly important, you chose useless subjects, it seems hard to plan your career so young but you need to pick wisely, choose things that will give you options, don't pick things that can be done as hobbies. You're also going to wish you'd paid more attention to French. You suck at Maths, but guess what you mother was right, once you've passed the exam you never have to look at another math book again.

    Overall, always ask for more, question everything, trust your instinct and don't be afraid to be yourself.
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    Jul 7 2012: I will never bound myself from anything which i wanna do coz it will led me to explore this beautiful world more and even in a better way.
  • Jul 7 2012: Don't take advice from anyone, they hardly know what they're talking about but feel compelled to help - this can be damaging as you won't be able to own your mistakes. Learn to differentiate between advice and wisdom: the latter does not originate in the person telling you about it, but it is a gift passed on to you from a larger, older, unknowable source.
  • Jul 7 2012: I would tell my young self that listening to my parent's views is a good thing, but that you need to know and follow your own mind and heart and not surrender your future to anyone else. That even the adults who love you can be misguided and you can't rely on them to tell you what or who is right for you; that just because you are young does not mean you should not decide that for yourself. That feeling passionate about something or someone is not a bad thing - that true passion is rare - and to listen to your heart as well as your head, because your head isn't always right and you can talk yourself out of your life if you aren't careful.

    I would hope to point out the value of love from a true heart and a loyal soul, and that she would be able to recognise it when she experienced it. I would plead with her to be strong and courageous, agree to disagree as needed, stand alone if need be, and say and do whatever is needed to express her heart even if its terrifying - and to not just give up at the first 'no' -and not to run away to forget her pain. And I would tell her that God will be with her whatever may come.
  • Lea Son

    • +1
    Jul 7 2012: Don't go to law school.
  • Jul 7 2012: The decisions you've made previously affect you currently... and the decisions you make currently will affect you eventually. Make decisions wisely & well. Make Time your best friend & trusted ally. How Time is spent/invested in the past affects the current... and how Time is spent/invested in the current affects the future. The destinations you reach in Life... and the journeys you travel a tapestry of Time spent/invested & Decisions made.
  • Jul 7 2012: "What advice would you give to a younger being? Age, culture, ethnic background, and special circumstances are arbitrary, irrelevant, and up to you."

    I would say, It is a long journey pack light. Literally and figuratively. Life is a wonderful journey if we remain open to challenge and persevere over what we think we are limited to have.
  • Jul 7 2012: Stay in college full time. I would show him the awful results of putting it off, of being too emotional, of dating that fool girl and falling into doomed love.
  • Jul 7 2012: I would tell him to be who you are! becuase whenever I contemlate the year before I find myself to have been more stupid by a serious margin, so I guess I am on the right track :D
  • Jul 7 2012: The advice I would give my younger self is don't think a highschool relationship has to be "the one" (ie dump the guy) and learn to ask for help. If I would have learned to ask people for help,information, and advice ,instead of thinking I had to go it alone, I would have gotten so much futher so much faster. The only thing is, I don't know if I would have taken my own advice!
  • Jul 7 2012: Explore your dreams.
  • Jul 7 2012: Find happiness and accept, rather than worry, that you will make mistakes;-)
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    Jul 6 2012: It will be rough. You will not always listen to those red flags....your whisperer and you will fail. Know this, failure is part of the molecular structure of life. You will great at whatever you do, as long as you do it full out. It might be hard sometimes, listen to your heart, it is the only thing that knows the next step and when to retreat.
    Love you
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    Jul 5 2012: Take time to meet people, to listen to what they say, to see what they do. And keep up with them from time to time. Especially with those that struck a chord, either when you first met or much later.
    It's a great ride.
  • Jul 2 2012: Play these lottery numbers, then do whatever you feel like doing.
  • Jul 2 2012: Work harder on quality of work produced.
    Pay less attention to what others think of you.
    Demand more discipline of myself and my kids.

    Invest in Apple and Microsoft.

    Learn to play golf sooner. Play a round with my dad.
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    Jul 12 2012: Dear TED community,

    I've posted yet another question with the same intent as this one. If you find it equally interesting and have the free time, feel free to write as much or as little as you see fit. The question posed is "What is the key to happiness?" and can be found at the link below. :D

    Thank you, and have a great day TEDsters!

    -Casen Askew