To Younger Me – Matt Mikalatos

This is the third installment of six of a blog series about, ”What would I tell my younger self? What advice would you give, yourself?” Matt Mikalatos is a friend of mine and fellow monster enthusiast. Here’s his advice to his younger self.

Like anyone, if I could go back in time and give advice to my younger self, I would start by sharing the secrets of time travel, along with a manual for its use.

 Once that was out of the way, I would share these five things:

1. Be a student of people. What you study in school, what you do in church, where you travel in life matters very little if you don’t care about and understand people. Watch them, interact with them, get to know them. If someone does something baffling or hurtful, figure out why. If someone doesn’t seem to be functioning correctly, see if you can discover the reason. It’s not an exaggeration to say that human beings are the most important part of creation. Let your time and energy spent on them reflect that.

 2. It’s likely you’ve already heard everything you need to be successful in life. Sort it out and actually put the advice into practice.

 3. Being successful in life has little or nothing to do with your finances. It has a great deal to do with human beings. Don’t make money by sacrificing relationships.

 4. Don’t make fun of other people’s art. Show that that their art is ridiculous by making something better.

 5. Honesty is more loving than “sparing someone’s feelings.” People will trust you and care about your opinion more if you’re honest. You can say honest things in a loving way, but don’t ever think that dishonesty or “white lies” are more loving than the truth.

Bonus thoughts: keep expectations low for any movie franchise based on things you loved in your childhood; cherish “Weird Al” while he’s still making music; never, never feed that cute little Gremlin after midnight. Also, don’t hold your breath for a flying car. And investing in some “bald is beautiful” shirts might not be a bad idea.

Matt is a friend, clever author at www.mikalatos.com, & podcaster with the Storymen at www.storymen.us. Follow him on Twitter: @mattmikalatos.

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