A good topic as our first #bloganuary challenge because I usually avoid this sort of question. I am happy with who I am now, where I am now, and if I were to go back and change any of my choices along the way then I may not have become the person I am today. However there are a couple of things I think I could have changed that may have improved my life so maybe I will start with those.
I was influenced by my peers and more particularly both my parents to see alcohol drinking to excess as acceptable and regrettably I did my best to follow them. As I look back I did end up a functioning alcoholic who struggled without a daily bottle of red wine to get me through the night. Thankfully I have managed to shake that dependence and am quite happy to enjoy just a single glass of red with a pizza every month or so. Similarly tobacco smoking almost went hand in hand with the booze as well, another example from my parents, and I do regret my 40-year contribution to tobacco company profits, maybe I would breathe a bit easier these days without it. I did manage to give up the dreaded weed nearly thirty years ago and I wrote about the process here.
I would suggest to my teenage self to learn meditation as soon as possible. The twenty minutes or so of peace every day I believe would have helped me perform better through my peak working years and would certainly have helped in handling the high stress of my occupation so much easier. I had of course heard of meditation in my younger years but dismissed it as a little out there and was never in a position where learning it was a real option at that time. A little hard to see it through the fog of smoke and alcohol.
Be curious about everything. About how things work, about other nationalities, about other countries. Travel as much as you can. Resist becoming set in your ways or your thinking, be open to change and embrace it. Remember, everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
Money and a career are not an end in themselves, do not allow them to dictate the course of your life. Enjoy your life, it is probably the only one you will get and accept the reality that it could end at any second, there is no guarantee of longevity.
Finally, learn to love yourself, it is essential if you wish to love another person completely.