Yesterday, one of my clients was expressing his regret at the opportunities he missed 20 years ago when he was 17 years old. He said that he wished that he could go back to that time and speak to his teenage self from his perch as the wise 37-year-old. I asked him what he would say.

He said, “Don’t be afraid! Sing! Dance! Kiss the girl!”

I imagine we all have such regrets. As my Dad used to say, “Too soon old, too late shmart.” The adolescent has no way of having any kind of perspective. But with age we begin to experience the epic sweep of life, and we can apply our learning from our past to our present.

So I asked my client, “When you are 57, 20 years from now, and you look back at the 37-year-old, what will you regret then? If that 57-year-old could speak to you now, what wisdom would he offer?”

If you could receive advice from the person you will be in 20 years, what advice would he or she offer you right now?

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