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What Would You Say to Your Younger Self? Inspired by Oprah Winfrey

I am rather intrigued by this month’s issue of ‘O’ magazine! On the cover, Oprah Winfrey is standing next to her younger self (a photo of her at the age of 21). Inside the issue, she discusses some of the key life lessons that she has learned over the years that she wish she would have known at that time. Oprah shares a formal written letter of advice that she would give herself, and she also features several other notables sharing what they would tell their younger selves as well.


Here are some of the statements featured that stood out to me the most:


Stay out of your own way.”—Whoopi Goldberg


Be prepared for how long change might take and how hard it will sometimes be.” –Marian Wright Edelman


When the time comes to chase your dreams, and it will, they may seem elusive; but know you won’t catch them all at once. Just one challenge at a time.”—Michael J Fox


If there’s a choice between companionship and anything—especially career—choose companionship. It’s the only thing that has the potential to last…….fame is not acceptance.”—Carrie Fisher



As I read these words of advice and what Oprah had to say, I began to reflect on the state of my mindset at age 21 and my own life journey thus far. I can honestly tell you that at 21 I truly had no idea that the world would evolve into what it is today. Nor did I think that I would go through so many ups and downs, hills and valleys. There is so much that I know now that I truly wish I had known back then—it would have saved me a tremendous amount of heartache!


  me at age 21 🙂


So then I thought, “Out of the many things that I would say to my younger self, what would be the top three things?” That question took me quite awhile to answer as there is so much; and I wanted to sort through everything to determine what would be the most beneficial and the most important words of advice.


After a great deal of pondering, I came up with the 3 things that I would say:


*Don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore life outside of your usual circles and environment. The world is available to you: the only thing you have to do is try your best.


*Slow down and take your time. Other people’s views, opinions, demands and expectations of you are not what’s important. What’s most important is how YOU feel about you. Never jeopardize that for anything or anyone.


*Planning is extremely important, but know that plans can change. Always prepare yourself for the unexpected.


After I decided these and reviewed them carefully, it occurred to me that the same 3 key words of advice that would have been beneficial to me at age 21 would also be helpful to apply to my life right now. Of course, they would need to be tweaked a little (lol), however not by much.


I decided to take my mini-list of life advice and make little decorative note cards to place all around the areas where I spend most of my time. I figured that it would be a great, non-intrusive way to remind myself not only of how far I have come, but also to be wiser in my journey going forward.



I would like to encourage you to take a moment to think of the 3 most important pieces of advice that you would give your younger self, and see how they measure up to your life’s journey ahead. Create a way to be often reminded of your life lessons: whether it is with notecards like I ones that I made, or by other methods such as setting them as a reminder in your computer or phone’s calendar. You will find that doing so will inspire you along your path to success and happiness.



What are 3 pieces of advice that you would say to your younger self? Share with me below to tell me about it at: melisasource@yahoo.com.


photo credit: oprah.com



Wife. Mom. Believer. Writer. Advocate.

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Deeone Higgs

Oh man, Makeba, this was really good! I have got to go get that copy of “O!” Thanks for the heads up, FOR REALZ!!! OK, coming back down now… My three things that I would tell that guy who thought he had all the answers and not a care in the world, would be: 1) Not everyone who says they love you or act as though they love you, really love you the way you deserve to be love. Never settle for a half-time or part-time love when a full-time lover is available. 2) Common sense is a gift. Use… Read more »

Makeba Giles
Reply to  Deeone Higgs

1Greetings: First I want to say that I’m so very glad that you enjoyed this post! 🙂 Next, I really your choice of the 3 things that you would say to your younger self–especially number one. That is one that I was really close to being in my top three as well! I think that one is one of those things in life that seems to only be learned the hard way. It’s bittersweet because even though it causes you pain, it also makes you stronger in the end. I also like the third one about not being so hard… Read more »


great post .. I don’t even know where I would start on giving my younger self any advice.. it would probably be 3 things.

1. Do what you love
2. Believe in yourself.
3. Be yourself.

So much.. to say though, lol great post

Makeba Giles
Reply to  phoenixstar9

Greetings: Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad to know that I am not the only one who struggled with what 3 things I would say to my younger self! (Lol) It was a tough call for me as well. I really like your three because those words are so very powerful and inspiring to a young person–then if you add to it another person telling them also that they believe in them too? –That’s true empowerment!

Thank you so very much for sharing here with me! I truly appreciate it! 🙂

Val Boaten (@kaicongroup)

Wow! Very Nice. Ok My 3 things.

1. Eventhough you may have a different outlook on life, do not jeopardize your relationships that matter. People can only love you the best way they can. Not always the way you expect it to be returned. Know the speaker.

2. Common sense is not common. 🙂

3. If you have 5 True Friends you are extremely wealthy. It’s not the quantity but the quality of the friendship that matters.

Makeba Giles

Greetings: What a great list that you have!! I absolutely love number one–that is so very true and a life lesson that many don’t learn until the damage to the relationship has already been done (trust me, I know! lol). It’s so very important that if we value the relationship, that we love the person as they are and embrace and value their uniqueness. This applies for how they are with us as well. That is such an awesome lesson!

Thank you so very much for sharing here with me! I truly appreciate it! 🙂

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