Sunday Firesides: Your Younger Self Is Your Greatest Mentor

What are some ways you can learn from your younger self? How might have the game and world be different if we had listened to our teenage minds more often?

The “mentor definition” is a person who provides guidance, support, and advice to another. In the case of Sunday Firesides, your younger self is your greatest mentor.

illustration of younger man with arm on shoulder of older self.

Everyone want to have wonderful mentors in their lives – someone who mold their character, guide them along beneficial routes, and show them new ways to live.

Mentors are often thought to be older people who may be found in school, work, church, and other places. They may, however, be younger and closer than you ever anticipated.

When anything triggers memories of a previous time in your life, it might elicit strong emotions of nostalgia; for example, driving by your old high school can elicit strong thoughts of nostalgia.

However, the farther you go from that historical period, the more disconnected you get from it. In fact, the person who inhabited those memories starts to feel like a different person. As William Wordsworth, a poet, put it:

… The void between me and those days, which still have such self-presence in my memory, is so large that sometimes when I think of them, I seem Two consciousnesses — aware of myself, and conscious of some other person.

It may seem strange to conceive of your previous and current selves as separate entities, but once you understand that the former don’t simply represent anybody, but rather a succession of your life’s greatest teachers, this perspective becomes rather revealing.

Your former selves are clearly not mentors in the sense that they know things that your current self does not. Rather, the habits your younger selves acquired and passed down shape who you are now; the books they read, the connections they built, and the practices they created shaped who you are today.

“To the male, the kid is father,” Wordsworth remarked. Similarly, your twenty-something self is your thirty-something self’s tutor. Your thirty-something self is your forty-something self’s tutor.

Given this, what behaviors will you start today to help steer your future self in the correct direction?



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