WHAT would you say to your 18 year old self, if you can go back in time?
It's just another way to say, I wish I knew then, what I know now.
It's just lamenting about the things that should have been...
Like Sinatra said, Regrets...? I have a few...
Ironically, I fancy that I have a chance to talk to my 18 year old self. He has manifested himself in my son, Afiq. I should not insult him (Forgive me, Afiq). He is at least a few hundred times better than who I was 33 years ago in many ways, except maybe in frivolity. I was frivolous. But, I realise, too, that frivolity is a sign of a person who like to enjoy life. A person who lives in the present and in the now, not wanting to care nor worry about what the future holds.
Now that I am the future of my 18 year old self, I feel bound to ensure that my sons (both Afiq and Aiman) will not make the mistakes that I have made. Then, I ask myself, didn't some old guy came to talk to me about not being frivolous? Didn't someone tried to make me understand that I need to think of my future? I don't remember. Even, if there was, knowing who I was when I was young, I would have lingered on until the old man finished his rants, out of respect for the elderly, and then totally forget whatever he said. It did not compute.
One thing, though, I think that I would have really appreciated and listened to intently, is the advice I heard only less than a decade ago. Even then, this advice had to be hammered into my brain, because simply I did not understand it. It's hard to unlearn things.
It's about how we see money.
In my young and frivolous way, I see money as the reward of doing something. There were so many things in life that I could have been really good at, be a musician, be a writer, be an insurance salesman, be a business man, all of it were prematurely halted because after a while, my motivation was not there, i.e. the was no money in it.
Only now, I realized that, had people like Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg (to name the billionaires of this millennium) and people like Henry Ford, if they were motivated by money, we would not have Microsoft, iPhones and Facebook, and in the case of Mr. Ford, automobiles would only be toys for the rich.
If Thomas Edison was motivated by money we would not have had the electric light bulb....
All these inventions would have been invented by one person or another eventually, but that person would be the one who, in his mind, has a mission to change the world.
So, if there is one thing I would tell my 18 year old self, is, "change the world, kid".
The money is just a bonus.