#Dearme: Mining the Wisdom of Experience

Contributed by Debby Stone.

If you were on Twitter in the past couple of weeks, in addition to all of the tweets about March Madness, you may have seen the new hot hashtag – #dearme.  The idea behind the hashtag is that each tweet reveals the writer’s message to his or her younger self.

I first heard about the hashtag on the radio one morning and was struck by the value of reflecting on where we’ve been and what we’ve learned.  So often we move through life, and although we learn as we go, we do not stop long enough to consider what we’ve learned and how we can apply those lessons to what comes next.  I have believed in this concept for many years and use it when I am coaching.  I even have a book on my bookshelf with a similar theme – What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins – and there are many others like it on Amazon.   It seems that a lot of us agree that it makes sense to stop and reflect on what we’ve learned.

I read some of the #dearme tweets and was struck by a couple of things.

First, the tweets, although obviously quite short, were incredibly insightful.  Second, I saw that the tweets from those who are famous and those who are not famous (at least not yet), shared themes around courage, authenticity, boldness and contribution.  Many were full of insight and wisdom.

Wisdom is defined as “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment.”  The #dearme tweets show what an incredible storehouse of wisdom we all are.  The tweets I read also reminded me that while wisdom comes from experience, wisdom ultimately resides within us – all of us – if we merely take the time to tap into it.  The majority of the tweets I read came from ordinary people who had great wisdom to share with the younger version of themselves and through their tweets, with all of us.

The #dearme tweets reminded me that we all store wisdom and that this wisdom can light our current paths as well as our future direction.  What would you tell yourself if you could reach back and advise the younger version of you?