A Letter To Myself
I was flipping through an old scrap book a few months ago, looking for pictures to include in my book, Ria’s Story From Ashes To Beauty. I found a few, but I also found something else that caught my attention. It was sort of a letter to myself, a list of character traits that I compiled when I was about 11 or 12. I wanted to have these qualities as an adult. I thought it was so important that I wrote out the list by hand and taped it into my scrapbook as a keepsake. What a strange feeling to come across this list as an adult and ask myself how many of those traits do I truly have today.
I still value those character traits, perhaps even more so today as I realize the struggle to be true to my ideal. I ranked the top two with a focus on God – Godly, Faithful and True to Him and those are still important to me today.
I’m not where I want to be with each one on this list but I am always striving to be better tomorrow than I am today. I wish I had lived truer to myself through the years. For example, #9, “Smiling, cheerful, friendly and helpful” is one I haven’t always lived up to. I can remember times when I let stress from work or school or life create tension in me that certainly didn’t help me be smiling and cheerful. I know I’ve messed up #8 more than a few times too. I’m not going to get down on myself for not being perfect however, that’s not the point of this blog.
What I do want to focus on is how I set these ideals for myself a long time ago and I wish I had kept them more central in my life over the past twenty years. I can’t go back and change the past, but I can look forward toward the future. What if I now keep this “Letter to myself” more central in my life? Will the next twenty (plus) years be different?
Oprah Winfrey said, “What we focus on expands.”
You may not have a letter that you wrote yourself as a child, youth or teenager. That’s ok. Mine’s not even a real letter, it’s just a list. But, why not write one today to yourself to read in five years or 20 years? Set your vision for your life in five or 10 years from now, and write it down. What will you be doing? Will you be working somewhere different? Will you accomplish your dream? What qualities do you want in your life? What character traits do you want others to see when they look at you? You don’t even have to handwrite it – you could type it. (Please print it out. Don’t save it to your DropBox somewhere to be lost in the cloud forever!)
“What we focus on expands.” ~Oprah Winfrey
Better still, encourage your children to write one if they are old enough, or write one to them to be read in a few years. Tell them how much you love them. Tell them your hopes and dreams for them. I guarantee you that’s a keepsake they will treasure long after the toys you give them and the games you buy them are gone.