6 Tips From Your Future Self

In an episode of one of my favourite TV sitcoms “30 Rock”, CEO Jack Donaghy has a hallucinatory encounter with his future self, from whom he receives life advice that helps him avoid major mistakes.

Pretty cool.

I’m sure most of us would also like to know which choices and decisions we make today that will benefit us later on – or come back to haunt us. Of course there’s no way to step into our own futures, but we can get a very good sense of what mistakes we should avoid in life by speaking to those who have “done life” before us – our elders.

Based on this premise, Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University, has over the past six years conducted several studies involving 1,200 older Americans regarding the advice they would offer to members of the younger generation.

The surveys addressed questions like “What mistakes should younger people avoid?” and “What are people most likely to regret when they get to the end of life?” And so, according to America’s elders, here are the top six  biggest mistakes young people make as published by CNN:

1. Putting too high a priority on money.

2. Getting into debt.

3. Worrying too much.

4. Excessive drinking and drugs.

5. Rushing into marriage before you’re ready.

6. Passing up opportunities.

I’d love to hear your own thoughts on  this advice. Do you think it’s spot-on, or misguided? What advice would you add to this list?

9 Replies to “6 Tips From Your Future Self”

  1. I’m sure the only one I’m gonna regret, from the options above, is worrying too much. Aside from that, working too much.


  2. This is something I have thought about as well…What would I tell myself? Perhaps more than anything, I would tell myself that no matter what happens, it will work out in the end…basically, although some of the valleys of life seem deep and insurmountable, you will pull out of them and there will be good times still to come…when a chapter of life ends and all that is familiar seems to leave, it is the start of a new chapter and something great to come. More than anything, I would tell myself to enjoy life to the fullest, to take full advantage of various opportunities and learn from everything.

    This is similar to something I wrote on a previous entry: http://rjhenry.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/when-its-story-time/

    I sometimes write reflections/lessons so feel free to read through my posts and let me know what you think.

    Thank for the thought-promtor, Tom!


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