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To My Daughter, In 10 Years…

To My Daughter, In 10 Years…

Dear daughter,

As I write this, you’re still young. You don’t know what to expect from life. You still glow with childhood innocence. I’m writing this for you to read in 10 years. This is for you to prepare yourself for everything I had to learn on my own. I’ve had to learn from several errors, but I’m sure I’ll never admit it. This is for you as much as it is for me. To let you know that everything that you will go through I have been through as well. So, my daughter, here I give you everything you need to know to survive the real world.

1. Any decision you make has to be yours.

Trust me, I get it. At 18, the world demands you to pick what you want to be doing for the rest of your life. It will command you to know exactly what you want to do and exactly where you want to be. If you do, that’s wonderful. If you don’t, that’s okay. Whatever you do has to be something that makes you sprint out of bed in the morning.

2. No dreams are too big or too small.

If they are your dreams they have to be chased. Don’t let people make you feel like you aren’t good enough or that you can do better. Because if it makes you happy then it’s the best thing you could be doing.

3. Don’t let anything or anybody stand in the way of your dreams.

If the person you are in love with wants you to turn down your light so he can shine brighter, he isn’t worth it. If he loves you, he’ll want you to shine alongside him and not block you out. Don’t be afraid to cut the cord. The person you are meant to be with is out there.

4. If you’re happy, I’m happy.

That sounds incredibly cheesy, I know. It’s the truth, though. I may give you a hard time and pressure you into doing things you may not want to do. It’s only because I want you to have the best life. But if you find something that makes you incredibly happy, and I may not agree with it at first, I will eventually. Deep down my happiness is solely based on your happiness.

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5. Soulmates exist and yours is out there. Don’t settle.

Know when to call it off. Know that someone who loves you will show you love and patience when you need. Don’t feel like you’re asking for too much when all you’re asking for is happiness. This is what you are entitled to.

6. Your self-worth is not dependant on anyone or anything.

You were born beautiful inside and out. Nothing material you lose in life will decrease that beauty. No one you meet can take that beauty away. You have to love yourself first before anyone else can love you.

7. Life will knock you down many times. The only thing that matters is how fast you get up to knock life back.

You know how they say good things happen in threes, well a similar rule applies to bad things. When one pillar of your life falls, the other ones might too. What you have to do is take every fall as a life lesson and go right back to building back up. Don’t ever sit and cry over the pieces. You can cry while you’re building them back up.

8. I’m always a phone call away. Even if it’s two in the morning.

I may question what you are doing up at such a late hour, but I will always be at the other end to hear what you have to say. I will be your safe base whenever you need me to be.

9. There are no problems that can’t be solved with chocolate and a little bit of The Carpenters.

My grandma and I would listen to The Carpenters all day and it would fix everything, even if nothing was really fixed. Karen Carpenter just knew how to be sad and she knew how to be happy. Trust me, she gets you.

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10. Eat as much pizza as you want.

Stay healthy, but enjoy food. Don’t deprive yourself from deliciousness because you want to fit into a size two. Eat what you want. Excercise. Eat your five a day.

11. Don’t let numbers define you.

Your weight doesn’t define you. Your dress size doesn’t define you. Your GPA doesn’t define you. Your salary doesn’t define you. None of these numbers define you.

12. Make mistakes.

I’ve learned that mistakes are part of my life. If I didn’t make any I wouldn’t be where I am. If you make mistakes in life, leave them in the past. Learn from them and then move on.

13. Don’t let yourself become jaded.

If you have a bad relationship that’s either romantic or just a friendship, don’t let it control how you approach your new relationships. What happened with that person was due to circumstance, or just simply personalities clashing. When you meet someone new, don’t be afraid to give them your heart. I was a person who went from being closed off to being more open. I realised that I wasn’t being foolish for giving people my heart. I was being trusting, which is a good quality to have.

14. When you see something beautiful, don’t stop to take a picture.

In the 30 seconds it takes you to take out your phone and the next 30 seconds that it takes you to click your camera on, you’ve missed a beautiful eagle gliding across the setting sun. Just watch the sunset, take it all in, and enjoying being in the moment.

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15. Choose friends that you can be yourself around.

I spent so much of junior high with friends who made me miserable. I spent a lot of time trying to be someone I wasn’t. When I got to high school, I met people who allowed me to be myself and loved me for it. I was the happiest around them. Don’t feel like you need to change to fit it. When you find people you know you’re meant to be around, you won’t feel like you have to change at all.

16. Travel limitlessly.

If you have the opportunity to see the world, do it. Take only what you can fit into a backpack. You’ll never experience freedom until you do that. Broaden your horizons.

17. Learn how to cook.

No, I’m not joking. It sounds like such a mother thing to say, but it’s true. Trust me. It saves you a lot of money and there’s just nothing as satisfying as eating something you’ve made yourself.

18. The best thing you can do if you can’t sleep because you’re upset is eat Nutella straight from the bottle.

I think that says it all really.

19. Always wear flats to places that involve walking and/or strenuous work.

If you think you can handle it, you can’t. After an hour and a half, you are going to wish you were dead. Then you’re going to want to kill some people. So to save all that pain, just wear flats. They may not look as nice but they save lives.

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20. Remember that I was once you.

I was once in your position and I do understand everything you are going through. It may seem like I don’t but that’s what age does. It makes you forget. Do your best to remind me that I was you, but understand where I’m coming from. Know that the only thing I care about is what’s best for you.

21. Love your life.

Even if there are aspects that you don’t like, try and put them in the corner of ugly things in your mind. Focus on all the positive things. Daughter, your journey is going to be a long and beautiful one and I can’t wait to watch you start it.

Featured photo credit: Mother Child Daughter Love Kiss Together Black/Takmeomeo via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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