Don’t you wish you could jump ahead 25 years (or 5 or 10) and know now what you’ll know then so you could have that perspective now and act on it? Of course, you can’t—but in a way you can: Talk to someone 25 years older and ask them what they’d do different. Then think if there’s anything in that for you.
Odell is 25 years ahead of me. I asked him what he knew now that he wished he knew then. Three things:
Be home more evenings and not have a job that travels so much.
Get more education.
And listen to his wife. He said he joined the Army Reserves to make a few extra days pay for just a few hours work per month. His wife told him, “Don’t do it!” He did and a few months later was activated and sent to Korea for over a year. He didn’t want to go to Korea, he just wanted a little easy money. He never told his wife she was right; “she knew I knew.”
There are some perspectives you only get by being there. But once you’re there, sometimes you can’t do anything about the new perspective because the past is over. Talking to someone who’s been there might be the second-best way to get your priorities straight. The best way is to find out you’re dying soon; but that usually leaves a little less time to do something about it.