“What I know now” – a missive to my younger self

To Whom It May Concern,

I cannot say ‘je ne regrette rein pas‘ as I have many regrets and have made many mistakes. But a few random thoughts and bits of advice for you.

1) Life is never fair. But the trick is to grow stronger and wiser – never let the bastards grind you down. Tomorrow might be the day when it all turns around. As Churchill said, “if you are going through hell, keep going“.

2) Work hard. It gets easier when everyone else isn’t, trust me.

3) Accumulate knowledge including the trivial stuff. You never know when you will need it or use it.

4) Patience and tolerance are two virtues worth cultivating. Good things will eventually come to those who are both. Kindness helps too, but sometimes it doesn’t.

5) Music is one of the most wonderful things on the planet and learn to appreciate art – never give either of them up.

6) Use your head more than your heart. And always have an escape plan. Always be aware of what is going on around you. And what isn’t.

7) Save money. As much as you can. Learn what you can do with it and how to make more (without falling victim to the fraudsters and the shysters and fly-by-nighters). But also remember that money is not everything as you cannot take it with you when you die and somethings can’t be bought.

8) Watch your health – lose it and you die. Simple as that.

9) Remember family – spend as much time with them as you can.

10) Learn to make considered decisions. Don’t make them in haste but make up your mind in a timely manner!

11) Respect is more important than being liked or wanting to be liked.

12) Learn something about the law – like contracts, trusts, company and commercial law, the law of evidence. Stuff you can use.

13) You need at least two languages in life. Three is better but two is a minimum.

14) See the world. You won’t regret it.

15) Evil will always be stronger than the good. But the good will outlast the evil eventually.

16) Be realistic and make the best of what you have. Hardly anyone gets everything they want. Most of us get part of the way there. But learn to make the best of whatever it is you have. Sometimes, you can turn sand in to gold.

17) You can forget your wallet but never forget your sense of humour. And if you don’t have one, work on it.

18) Finally, learn to trust. But never ever forget to verify !

Yours until Hell freezes over,


About TI

TI is based in Auckland, New Zealand. TI's somewhat eclectic interests include (but are certainly not limited to) legal humour (the law can be funny), good wine, the search for the best possible chocolate, alcoholic beverages, travel, commercial aircraft, photography, weird news stories and classical music.
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