If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Last week I attended a Young Professional Network conference through work. Our CEO was a speaker and candidly sat on a stool in front of the group with the intentions of having a round of real talk. We got to surface whatever questions came to mind. “If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?” was asked into the microphone by a colleague I’ve still yet to meet, and I smiled. What a great question to ask…well, anyone, really.
The CEO’s answer was refreshing, especially since it came from the leader of one of the world’s biggest brands. Want to know what it was? He took a few seconds to really ponder it all, and then confidently stated, “I would tell myself to be more curious.” He then went on to explain that he wishes he would have sought new experiences more, and taken more risks, because that’s really where growth happens.
His answer wasn’t stiff, it wasn’t pre-planned or un-relatable. Quite the opposite. Here was the leader of our company, telling us to stop thinking so damn much. That being in a progressive environment means not doing everything perfectly, and that we all have his full support to take action on our ideas, to take risks and be more curious, because that’s how things progress.I came home and told Doug about the conference, and how impressed I was with that simple piece of advice. It got me thinking, what would I tell my younger self? It’d actually be pretty similar to the advice I heard that day, with one tweak. I’m proud of the fact that I’m already a pretty curious person, interested in new ideas, people, places and things. But at the same time I often find myself with so many ideas that I want to do, that many of those thoughts never come to fruition. So with that, here’s what I would tell younger Emily: “Harness your curiosity more.” Don’t just have curiosity for curiosity’s sake. Instead, do something with it. Talk with more people. Hear opinions that differ from my own. Read, read, read. Make a list of places to travel to, and plan those trips. Act upon ideas that are worthy.
While thinking about this, I came across an article that has some great advice on really taking curiosity and harnessing it correctly. I’ll let you dive into it on your own, but here’s a quick overview of its advice:
- Always ask questions
- Never be satisfied with the answers
- Be distracted (Don’t be afraid to let your mind wander when it needs to)
- Read constantly
- Learn a new skill
- Don’t be afraid to fail
Simple, really. Yet definitely practices that I personally would like to be more diligent at. It seems like I’ve fallen into the habit of excuses lately, particularly with the always-present, “I have no time!” And really, that’s an excuse above all else. Because while time is limited and certainly I do feel like I have limited amounts, if it’s important I can certainly prioritize better.
My younger self could have benefited from the advice of harnessing curiosity more, but you know what? My current self can too. In fact, there’s no better time than now. Speaking of curiosity, wondering how to get this look? It’s no secret that pleats and I have a thing, and this dress is one that incorporates them perfectly for the holiday season. It was really nice on the day I wore this, so I went bare-legged, but you could easily “winterize” this dress with tights and a scarf. The actual dress is no longer available, however this option is beautiful, the color of this one is stunning, and this is so on trend with velvet being all the craze (And it’s only $55!). You can shop similar tassel heels here & here, and similar earrings are here & here!