This following excerpt was not written by me, but was copied out from my friend’s notebook. He wrote this for himself back when he was 20, and intended it for his 21 year-old self. He didn’t expect to remember even writing it, but approaching his 21st birthday, the thought came to him, of this little letter he wrote more than a year ago. This is the letter, along with some latent thoughts from him to go along with it. I hope you guys find good meaning in his words.
I don’t usually write, but when I do, I do it to remember important things in my life. So I guess this could be considered as such. This was something I wrote to myself when I just turned 20 and it was for my 21 year old eyes. After reading it I was content to know some of the points still hold dear to me today, as my 20 year old self had expected it to disappear deep in the recess of my brain due to knowing that I would have started uni by then. I apologise for my poor English, but c’mon I was in the middle of my national service, which discouraged productive brain activity altogether. Anyway, here goes:
I don’t know if I will read this, but hey! You are sorta officially grown up! I say sorta cuz you will forever remain young at heart HAHA! At this juncture in your life, I’m sure you have tasted the very good new chapter in your life! University! With that, keep these few reminders you have learnt over the years:
You are responsible for your own happiness:
Nobody is to blame if you are unhappy with your life. If you are unhappy, go do something about it! Take responsibility. Go out there and make the changes you need to and make peace with your heart. Also, pursue your dreams RELENTLESSLY! Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something because you are not good enough.
“Two choices: You either accept conditions as they are, or accept the responsibility to change them.”
Don’t fret over things you cannot control:
C’mon, you are mentally strong! No point stressing yourself over things you can’t control! Instead, take that energy and do something about the things you can!
“The difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude!”
Confidence is key:
You know you are worth being listened to and respected. Don’t demand for respect; earn it instead. Look at how far you have come! All the successes and failures leading up to them! You can be invincible, but you must choose to be, you know you can. YOU DAMN SURE KNOW IT.
“ Don’t live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.”
Live in the moment:
Yeah you know this, don’t be so focused on the future you forget to live in the moment. There is more to the journey than just grades. Ultimately, what you take home is the joy and laughter with the people around you. Remember to make time for your family, friends and your loving girlfriend who loves you and supports your goals. Plan a holiday or an outing; even a simple meal can make their day. What may seem insignificant to you may mean to the world to them.
“ Lose not yourself in a far off time, seize the moment that is thine.”
Resilience is a choice:
Failures, as you have tasted so many times before(so bitter), has made success taste so sweet. Failure teaches you what went wrong and most of all moulds your character. Faced with failure, remember to accept it humbly and keep pressing on!
“ Desire for success trumps the fear of failure.”
Be a team player:
Be an asset to any organisation you join in the future. Make sure that your contributions matter to their vision and be disciplined to accept whatever role you are given! Be it a leader or a role player, do it to the best of your ability. Respect those around you by listening to them. Empty your cup.
“ If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
You can’t do it alone:
Learn to accept help. This journey is not one that is meant be walked alone. Humble yourself and know that help is always available and that the only obstacle hindering you is sourcing for the help and asking for it. Likewise, be keen to help those around selflessly and build that synergy with the people around you. At the end of this road, you can celebrate with those whom you have built that special bond with and it will be something beautiful to commemorate.
“No man is an island.”
Health is number 1:
You are probably teeming with eagerness to do what you want to do, but never at the expense of your health. Healthy body healthy mind happy Clement! Exercise, eat dirty sparingly, play your favourite sport! Sleep reasonably and remember that there are no excuses for not taking care of your health!
“Greatest wealth is health.”
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I know it sounds like a broken record, but time really flew by. It is quite amazing to see how much has changed in one year. Things may not be as it used to be, but that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Smile and enjoy the journey. Cheers to adulthood.
Take note, 22.