I’m sure you’ve heard a variation of the following question before:
“What advice would you give to your younger self?”
Celebrities in their 30’s get asked what they would say to themselves in their 20’s. People in their 20’s get asked what advice they’d give to their teenage selves. Chances are that you yourself have been asked this question before.
But beyond a fun thought experiment, there’s little value to be gained from the answers. Are you going to travel back in time to help the teenage version of yourself? Probably not.
A more productive question to ask would be this one:
“What advice would I receive from my older self?”
You may argue that the answer is impossible to know. But have you actually tried it? 😉
I used to do the following exercise very often. And it always helped me whenever I wasn’t sure how to deal with a problem or which steps to take next.
Advice from Your Older Self
1. Lay down on a bed and close your eyes.
2. Take at least 20 slow, deep breaths and tell your body to relax more and more with each breath.
3. Visualize yourself walking through a door, into a room, where you are visiting your older self.
4. Ask your future self any questions you would like to get advice on.
5. Thank him or her, and make your way back out. Write down your answers and act on them.
But… Are You Not Just Talking to Your Present Self Then?
But that doesn’t really matter, does it?
Whether you are talking to a time-traveling older version of you, making some spiritual connection with an alternative reality or if everything is just a projection of some shadow aspect of your present psyche, the end result is the same:
You receive advice. And it is often surprisingly useful.
Whatever the underlying mechanism is that makes them work, exercises like these show that your mind is way more resourceful than you often think.
Just try it out for yourself and see where it gets you 🙂