I have a group of friends in a 1990s cover band, Gump Fiction. A couple weekends each month, I can be found in the audience listening to them belt out some of the most memorable tunes from that decade. Full disclosure, I've always loved music and the louder the better. Twenty years later, it continues to be a powerful force in my life.
When this amazing band plays, I'm transported back to when things were simpler. Personal email had just come on the scene, most cell phones were too big to carry in your purse (or they were bolted to the interior of your car) and you didn't have to have your body scanned before you boarded a flight at the airport. I miss all of that.
Now, it seems we have all these gadgets to make our lives easier, yet life is more complex than ever before. Not only do we need/want a device for every person in the household, we need to ensure these remain fully charged. We feel the need to share pictures of our stuff, our kids and our most recent vacations to show our online "friends" we have a great life. Don't get me wrong, I love some of these conveniences, but come on. I long for a day at the beach when you actually spend two hours floating on a raft in the surf, not watching those next to you try for twenty-five minutes to take a group photo with a selfie stick.
If I could go back and talk to the 1990s version of me there are three things I would share.
Be thoughtful. Every decision you make, personal or professional, will have consequences. Think things through and make a mental list of pros and cons. You'll look back on that pivotal moment and thank yourself.
Be caring. Care enough to listen to those around you. This doesn't mean you have to take all their advice, but let them know you appreciate their opinions and respect their perspective. This is a good habit and will take you far in life.
Be in the moment. Pay attention to what is happening around you. Drink life in. Smell the fresh pasta you're about to eat in Italy, remember the sting of the salt water in your eyes as you swam along the Great Barrier Reef and, most of all, tell those you care about how important they are to you. You may only have one chance - embrace it.
Life is short and in the blink of any eye it will be 20 years later. How do you like them apples?