What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight and 41 years more experience, I would tell my 20 year old self …

  • To stop worrying so much about what other people think and what they think I should or should not do and and to live my life on my own terms
  • Not to eat quite so much Kentucky Fried Chicken!
  • To join a choir because waiting till I was 45 was such a waste!
  • To persevere with playing the piano because with 10,000 hours practice it would become easy and would be a source of joy in my life
  • That a computer revolution was coming and to buy a few shares in Apple, Microsoft and Facebook on the first day I heard of those companies
  • To leave that £1,800 Civil Service pension where it was because it would make a real difference one day
  • To try to get to know my Dad again … and again … and again … until it worked because he’d be gone when I was 37 and it would be too late then
  • To walk just a little every day – just for 15 minutes – so that I could be 5 stone lighter later on
  • To go back to university, switch to maths and finish my degree and not wait till I was 43 to start!
  • To read “If” by Rudyard Kipling again, and properly this time, and to apply it to my life whenever I can … just to try and be a better person

Above all, I’d tell my 20 year old self it’s OK to cry when things move you but it’s not OK to feel sorry for yourself because – aside from one or two tragedies – you’re actually going to have a reasonably good life.  Certainly better than many people get and that’s just “blind luck” for being born as the person I am.