When you’re in your 20s, you tend to think you know everything. The challenge is that you don’t know when you don’t know something. As a result, you don’t shut up when you should and let people with more experience do it.
When you’re in your 40s, you’ve realized that you knew something in your 20s, but may have been naïve about other things. At the same time, you realize there are people in their 60s and 70s who know a hell of a lot more. The challenge is figuring out which is which.
And, I’m guessing, the challenge when you get into your 50s and 60s is that sometimes you overweight experience.
I have been wanting to write a letter to my future self to remind me that, once upon a time, I was in my 20s. I had a pretty good understanding of technology, the Internet, and what would be its impact on the world (although, I didn’t see all of it, of course). Where I was really naïve was in how to commercialize it, how long it would take, among other things, but I was on the right track.
So, I want my future self to know that, one day, I am going to meet a 20 year old who will be full of energy, talking about how the world will change and that, while he or she may be off on a few key things, s/he will be spot on about others.
I just hope I am wise enough to pay attention.