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  • I wish I had known that no matter how hard I worked, no matter how many weeks I worked eighty hours, I would not be seen as an equal in the engineering field and I would be paid less than half what my male counterparts were paid. I wish I had known how much joy I would live doing what I do now. I wish I had trusted what the Universe and my soul inspired through me, instead of trying to fit in where I didn't really belong. I wish I had known that passion and interest came from the deepest part of me, my core and authentic self, and that it is the clue to our greatest success. I wish I had known that money was not the only or even best measure of success. That success can be measured in terms of how much joy we bring into the life of others as well as ourselves, how much good we can do here on this planet. And that as we dare greatly toward that end, we somehow attract to us the resources we need to make it happen. I wish I had known that life takes so many twists and turns, that it is unnecessary to save things for unknown futures that may never require or make use of those things. They just take up space in the garage, and need to be given to those who can use them while they are in good shape. I wish I had worn that cream silk outfit that I saved for a special occasion and then never wore because it no longer fit me in the same way as that day I bought it. I gave it away years later, unused. I wish I had known that light colored silks and linens discolor over time. So don't save any of them. Enjoy them. I wish I had known that I didn't have to buy ten pairs of shoes of that style that fit so great. Because I got tired of them, and found so many more to buy later. I wish I had known that there is no rule in style. That the fashion designers make it up each year to get me to spend money on their stuff. I would have worn whatever I wanted whenever it matched my soul, and not when it was for fitting in. I wish I would have allowed myself to dress sexier and younger in my thirties. I stopped because I thought I was already too old. And I repeated that mistake in my forties, though most people thought I was still in my thirties. I think I might be doing some of it again in my fifties. When do we ever learn these lessons?! I wish I had worn that frilly flowery dress for my rehearsal dinner, instead of those brown slacks and shirt, just because fall was beginning. I wish I had known that the cheerleaders and athletes seemed to peak in their high school or college years, and that those of us a bit more awkward then would still be climbing in beauty and life well into our forties and fifties. I wish I had known how bad soda was for my brain and memory, how processed food taxed my liver and kidneys, and how my skin, my eyes, and all of the rest of me deserved to be taken care of better than my car. I wish I had not taken my younger years so seriously. Instead of building my resume, I wish I had been building more joy. I wish I had known that my coworkers don't necessarily move faster just because I ooze anxiety out on them. I wish I had known that constant fear and anxiety would give me chronic bronchitis. But I'm glad I listened to myself instead of the doctor who told me I would be on inhalers the rest of my life. I was right that by getting aligned and balanced in my life, my health would thrive, including my lungs. I wish I had known that perfectionism isn't fun for anyone.And that it is technically impossble anyway. I wish I had known how much I would blossom by 30, that the thirties are way better than the twenties. I wish I had known that marriage is best put off until we are ripened, the peak time for our harvesting, because that is when we attract the peach that really feeds our soul. I wish I had known that the sooner I would learn to be myself, the sooner life would be full of dreams come true. I wish I had known that youth is the time to try as many new things as possible, to learn what all we can do well, and to not confuse experiences for mistakes. Here is an article where 80 top leaders share what they wish they had known back when they were young. Check it out! http://blog.linkedin.com/2014/05/20/if-i-were-22-80-influencers-share-lessons-from-their-youth/