This post is part of the #YPSportsChat Series! This series will give young professionals an inside look at the intricacies of the sports business world and advice on how to navigate it.
Dear Younger Me,
I know you think you already know this, but trust me, it’s worth repeating: every decision you make will impact your life — sometimes trivially, sometimes tremendously. No matter how much you obsess over planning the next few years of your life, you have no idea what lies ahead.
Don’t worry — that’s the fun part.
Here are the things I think you should do while life is dealing its cards.
Listen to Your Heart
There will come a time when you realize you made a decision for the wrong reasons. And yet, after that realization, there will still be a voice inside of you that tells you it is the right decision despite the fallout you’re living through. Listen to that voice. Following through on the decision will ultimately be a transformative experience, one that leads to some of the best people you’ve ever met.
Take that lesson and apply it moving forward. Bet on yourself. You’ll never regret a decision if you make it with a clear conscience and committed heart.
Although you love to look at words on pages, you’re not getting enough from them right now. I want you to dedicate yourself to reading in three specific ways: read about your industry, read fun things, and read writing that takes you out of your comfort zone. That’s the only way to improve as a professional, let your imagination run wild, and grow as an individual.
I know you hate being bored. Instead of doing nothing, pick up a book, go outside, and lose yourself in it.
Pay Attention to Patterns
Take some time for yourself, and use it to reflect on what’s going on around you. Try to seek out patterns in your life, even if you have to guard against seeing what isn’t there. Try to track when your energy is lower and when it’s higher — and, when you can, redirect your energy to positive places.
This will come in handy during the job search. That posting looks familiar, doesn’t it? Hasn’t that job been open three times in a year and a half? You might want to research, get advice from colleagues, and — above all else — trust your gut when figuring out your next move.
Use Your Phone To Touch More Than Its Screen
Yes, it is true that you’ll meet some really cool people in the industry via social media. But don’t lose sight of your phone’s intended purpose — to keep you connected with your loved ones. Pick it up and call them. Remind them how much they mean to you. Do this especially when you feel isolated and you don’t really want to talk to anyone.
Those people love you. Their love will rejuvenate your spirits, instill their faith in you, make you laugh and make you feel better, I promise.
Spend Your Money on Memories, Not Things
Listen to Grandma: she’s right. Take trips to see loved ones. Immerse yourself in new communities and everything they have to offer, and make them your own when you can. You’ll be visiting and living in new places now more than ever and in the future. Make the most of it by being wise with your finances.
There’s not a lot in life you’re destined to regret. Stay true to yourself throughout every experience. You won’t make it through without slipping up, but as long as you stay humble, strive to be graceful, dream big and follow your happy heart, you will love who you come out as on the other side.
Nicole Boyett, @nicolecbo