Maria Khan

Director of Outeach, TEDxUCIrvine

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If you could meet your kid self, what would you say to him or her? Do you think he/she would be proud to meet you?

My papa always told me "Maria, everything happens for a reason. God has the perfect plan for you, just believe in yourself" and I could never fully grasp what he meant. Today, as a college student aspiring to dreams bigger than myself, I understand what he means. I understand that every small and big moment in my life that hurt me led to greater achievements. I wish I could go back and tell myself "Don't worry so much!"

  • Nov 1 2013: Great question - I would tell myself is do not be afraid to take a chance.
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      Nov 7 2013: We should tell ourselves that everyday! :)
  • Nov 4 2013: "When one has not had a good father, one must create one"- Friedrich Nietzsche
    Someday you will be the one to create a good Father.
    “When the student is ready the teacher will appear”- Buddha Proverb
    There will be many teachers and they will take many forms, some of this world, some not.
    “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”- Buddha
    You will someday know this is also true.
    "Nirvana is this moment seen directly. There is no where else than here. The only gate is now. The only doorway is your own body and mind. There’s nowhere to go. There’s nothing else to be. There’s no destination. It’s not something to aim for in the afterlife. It’s simply the quality of this moment."- Buddha
    It would have helped if I could have explained this to you then.

    Happiness is not found in religion or any mankind. It is found within, it is understanding, it is contentment.
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      Nov 7 2013: Every quotes holds so much value and I think they all say the same thing. Every one is asking you to think of yourself.

      Sometimes, I feel that children know happiness better than us. Why do you think we forget being happy about the little things or to love ourselves?
      • Nov 7 2013: Children are closer to Nirvana. Our priorities get mixed up with other peoples and organizations that we somehow flock to for comfort and companionship when instead we should be looking inward for those things.

        "Your mind is your only true friend"- Keith W Henline

        “Wanting is pain”- Paramhansa Yogananda

        "What lies behind you and what lies before you are tiny matters compared to what lies within you"- Ralph Waldo Emerson
      • Nov 7 2013: Kids are smarter than us! They use there brains to have fun and make other people happy.

        "Healthy people play, unhealthy people fight"- Keith W Henline

        Bruce Lee is an example.. Most the people he came in contact with wanted to fight him, that is because of there own unhealthy insecurities. A really good fighter like Bruce Lee who was healthy and secure in his own knowledge did not want to fight and would play instead with an opponent. Most martial art schools are not about fighting but rather about protection and learning how to avoid a fight. Monks are another even better example- they can be warriors but they live for peace. Even though they are the best fighters in the world they do everything in their power to avoid a fight.
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    Nov 4 2013: I think my "kid self" would be extremely proud to meet my present self. I don't think telling my "kid self" any words of wisdom would be of much use as I think the wisdom I have gained is through living the life and only through living the life would my kid self also understand what the wisdom I impart to him means. Perhaps I won't even tell him that I am him in 20-25 years- he might make choices to change things which I wouldn't want. Every mistake has added to my wisdom and every weakness has made me creative and resourceful. I might just spend some joyful time with the kid self!
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      Nov 7 2013: I completely agree! Anyone can tell you anything but you only understand it on your own time.
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    Nov 3 2013: Never grow "up". Then I'd slap him :B
  • Nov 3 2013: 1. Love this question. I would tell my kid self that its all going to be OK, you're smart, beautiful and you should start believing it. Don't worry about things you have no control over. Let God handle it all, and just be happy. Smile more, you have a beautiful smile.
    All my life i wished someone were to tell me these things, but then i realised it was inside me all along, i just needed to listen.

    2. I think so, or at least hope so. I've built plenty of new bridges, making myself the most important person in my life, listening to my gut instincts. I hope that she is proud of how far i have come, and the person i am today.
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      Nov 7 2013: That's really awesome Mulki! Your response correlates really well with Keith's!
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    Nov 2 2013: Fabulous! Two different questions that kept me awake for a long time last night...

    I would tell my kid self that he is OK. Nothing more.
    All my experiences brought me to what I am now, and I am not unhappy. I know what my life has brought me so far and I learned al lot. But I don’t know my future. My present success after many failures could be a prelude to another massive collapse or a huge mistake.

    Would he be proud to meet me? At first glance he would be disappointed. My kid self was very ambitious and so am I today, but my targets have changed dramatically. It would take a while to explain him the details and that’s not my intention.

    What would you do when you were God but you could not look into the future?
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      Nov 7 2013: I absolutely love the reasoning you have provided.

      While you may not think that your kid-self would be proud, I do. Your kid-self would be proud of the person you have become, not disappointed in the dreams he would probably still pursue.

      "Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

      If I were God and could not look into the future, I would just be. I would enjoy the present moment and make this moment the greatest it could be.
  • Nov 2 2013: I would tell him to drink more water prior to sporting events; the rest of the world is focused on how they appear to the world, not how you appear to them; to focus more on thoroughness of learning, not speed of accomplishment; take fewer subjects in school, but do well in what you take; learn to play golf and play a few rounds with your dad; to recognize that while you have a lot of talents and gifts, they do you no good if you can't find a way to use them for the benefit of mankind.

    I think I would be proud to meet my later self, but I would want to have all of what he told me erased from my mind except that I was proud to meet myself. In that way the surprises and tragedies that made me what I am today still had the same effect, but I would have more confidence that my solutions, decisions, and choices would ultimately result in a life I was proud to have lived.
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      Nov 7 2013: The second portion of your response is the most creative conclusion to the "my mistakes brought me here" debate this question preludes!
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    im boo

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    Nov 2 2013: Q. If I could meet my kid self, what would I say to her? Do I think she'd be proud to meet me?
    A. I would tell my child self to speak up more and that she will not remain an extremely shy, self-conscious child; that she should focus on personal growth and spirituality throughout her life. That all the adversities she will experience in life will prepare her for even bigger future challenges, and that it will all be worthwhile. I think she would be amazed to meet me to see how so many aspects of her being develop as a mature adult.
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      Nov 7 2013: :) sounds like a beautiful journey! thanks for sharing!
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    Nov 1 2013: The boring answer is that I'd avoid him at all costs, because any influence I exerted would change the course of history and therefore destroy the self that I have become.

    That aside, of course you could tell your child self not to worry if, in fact, it did all turn out well. The question is whether that may not lead to a complacency or recklessness that may actually have a negative effect.

    There is no short-cut to living your life.
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      Nov 7 2013: I see your point Daniel. I posted the question with the intention of hoping to learn what main values others have learned throughout their life.

      The question is personal, but this "meeting your kid-self" question allows answers that are personal without giving away details. Reading the answers feels like picking up a book with just a face and name on it, flipping towards the middle/end to read the lesson but never going back to read the story. Perhaps the story isn't as important especially because most of the answers are very similar.
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    Nov 1 2013: If I had the opportunity to do this, I probably wouldn,t try to change a thing. We as kids , or teenagers receive advice various times by different adults close to us. Anything that I could say to myself wouldn't really make a difference in my perspective because we only start to understand that advice when we start experiencing for ourselves what it all means. Thanks to those little moments when my father gave me advice, I realized that he was right once a mistake was made. I like my experiences, ifeel it made me stronger, and able to react to more serious things.
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      Nov 7 2013: That's great! I too think mistakes need more attention and we should be proud of them because it shows that we took a chance, did something that wasn't a guarantee. It's all about what you gain from the experience.
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    Nov 1 2013: I am sorry but you must forget all the things which began with "Now remember this - young man" , and any thing which was a sermon which began with or ended with "in my time this was the right way"
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    Nov 1 2013: Nice question!!
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    Nov 1 2013: Wow what a Question, Maria.

    I will say my kid self, to stop being naughty; once adult you are not suppose to do so.

    Kid Self says Don't you worry, others will change but you will remain the same, so I am Proud of you.
  • Nov 1 2013: Winning lottery numbers from the future sound like the best bet.

    Failing that however, advice of the practical kind. All those big philosophical statements meant to me about as much as a child as they do now, which is not much at all.
  • Nov 1 2013: Who knows? As a quant my big problem has been communication Not real helpful for a lawyer

    I can see some changes I would try if I could retuen to the current timeline

    But the biggest problems are the growing bubbles in America and the collapsed wage structure.
  • Nov 1 2013: I feel like if I go back and talked to my kid self, I would A) tell him exactly what my parents told me B) tell myself to don't change but be more confident in myself. I think telling myself more than that could change my present self... (even though.... it might not.. never listened to anybody as a child...)
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    Nov 1 2013: I had a very happy childhood, if I could go back to it. I 'd like to advise my little self not to give up the training in the choir and persist the dream of being a singer or study English and Spanish earlier to be more successful for the future.
    But this is only a daydream.:)))
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    Nov 30 2013: I would hug him, and say "Don't worry about a thing, you will make it". And to let go and forgive along the way so you will travel light and free.
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    Nov 18 2013: I think I'm one of the few people that truly understands how smart children are. A few people have mentioned it in other posts, but If I were to meet my kid self, the only thing I would want to say is "Tell me what you're thinking."

    I would not try to impart any wisdom on my kid self, I would only try to learn from her. I was always much happier as a child, and adults always told me I had "an old soul" I used to think about how the world sounds like music and the stars look like paintings. I had dreams and wrote poems and stories. I wasn't afraid to fail because it didn't matter.

    My kid self was the best version of me that existed. If I could, however, I'd go back at meet my teenage self. I'd have quite a few things to tell her. I'd tell her to stay a kid for awhile. I'd tell her to not be afraid of sexuality, and I'd tell her to stay optimistic about life, even when that seems really hard. I'd tell her not to change for anyone and to stay who she is and do it only for herself.
    • Nov 20 2013: I agree with you children and their brains are a wonder. Few things in life bother me as much as old people with their old brains in the guise of science telling us that children's brains do not make good decisions.
  • Nov 14 2013: Nice Question

    I would tell my kid self
    Pay more attention to the people around you; it is the best gift and its free
    don't rush your career - it is a marathon not a sprint
    don't worry about spelling

    My kid self would recognize me and he would be happy with where we are
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    Nov 8 2013: I would tell her that I love her and that everything will be fine. Don't be afraid and trust the flow. Trust the universe
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    Nov 8 2013: I would like to return again and tell the little jerkass one more thing, I love you.
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    Nov 7 2013: Dear Maria,
    I would say. Young man I understand that you are a fool, fear not time changes everything. He would not be proud to meet me, a fool has a very limited understanding.
    Regards, Larry
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    Nov 7 2013: Hi Maria,
    My "kid self" is still with me, and I talk with her often:>)

    I was encouraged, from the time I was a wee little lass, to believe in myself, and my mother recognized her "kid self" into adulthood....even in her 80s, just before she died, so I learned from her behavior.

    The child-like parts of "self" are open minded, open hearted, curious, honest, trusting, joyful and unconditionally loving. These are all qualities that at some point, we may put aside because we're "supposed" to be grown up! Then we sometimes spend years trying to re-connect with these qualities again!

    I believe every single moment of the life adventure is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve as an individual, while contributing to the whole. As I am on the path of the life journey, I often tell the kid in me "good job"....."hang in there"....."be all that you can "be"" in each and every moment:>)

    There are no dreams that are bigger than yourself Maria, although it may seem that way at times.....everything starts with a dream. You can tell yourself right now...."don't worry so much"....."BE" all that you can "BE" in each and every moment:>)