“Have the courage to go for your dreams” – Melissa

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Our latest letter to a younger self is from Melissa (43) in Johannesburg. Dear 20 year old me, Stop being so hard on yourself. The greatest obstacle to our success if your own timid mind, afraid of your own thoughts, afraid of what other people might think of us. Have the courage to go for your dreams. Our parents will want us to study law, but you know deep down inside that we are supposed to pursue our art and music. Do not let them force you to waste five years of your life in studying something that you will ultimately move away from. Go for it now. Believe in yourself. And don’t be bitter towards them – they only want the best for you, even if they don’t really get it. You are talented and even though it will […]

Pete Sampras: “Play hard and do it on your own terms” – letter to his 16-year old self

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Tennis player Pete Sampras wrote a letter to his 16 year old self, as published on and reblogged from www.theplayerstribune.com Dear 16-year-old Pete, You’re about to go pro, and you’re pretty excited. Deep in your heart you know you’re eventually going to succeed. But believe me, it’s coming a lot sooner than you think. You’ll have your early ups and downs, but in just a couple of years, you’re gonna fight your way into the Top 5 in the world rankings, and you’ll win the U.S. Open, beating the likes of Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi in the process. At 19, you’ll be the youngest player to ever win the U.S. Open. That’s when everything will change. You’ll be an up-and-coming American with no exposure one day; then, when you wake up the morning after winning the Open, […]

“I look back at you and I smile” – Victoria Beckham to her 18-year old self

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Victoria Beckham recently graced the cover of Vogue Magazine in the UK (October 2016 issue) and as part of the magazine article, she reveals a letter she wrote to her 18-year old self. The part of the letter that struck me the most is where she addresses her 18-year-old self sympathetically, revealing the insecurities that she faced as a teenager.                 “I know you are struggling right now. You are not the prettiest, or the thinnest, or the best at dancing at the Laine Theatre Arts college. You have never properly fitted in, although you are sharing your Surrey school digs with really nice girls. You have bad acne. You think the principal has put you at the back of the end-of-year show (in a humiliatingly bright purple Lycra leotard) because you are […]

Zunia Boucher-Meyers’s letter to her 18-year old self: “You are beautiful! You really are.”

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My wonderfully talented and artistic friend Zunia Boucher-Myers recently wrote a wonderful letter to her 18-year old self, after a friend that she studied photography with posted some photos on Facebook of her, when she was 18. She writes of this photograph: If I tell you that I had a physical reaction to them, I am not kidding. Here was a familiar face staring back at me, and I realized how wrong I have been for all these years. Not only was the girl in the pictures thin (!) she was delicately beautiful. Behind the images is a story of a girl that was sexually abused as a little girl, physically abused by a lesbian girlfriend*, and an insecure and vulnerable individual who hid her pain behind her sense of humor. Looking at myself at 18 has made me walk […]

Liz Gilbert: I would have told myself to focus on me, instead of boys, but I wouldn’t have listened.

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Well-known author Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat.Pray.Love-fame said during a Supersoul-Sunday interview with Oprah that there is no advice she could give her younger self that she would have listened to. “I was surrounded by all the grace and wisdom in the world, and I was just like: I got this,” she said. If she, however, could give some advice that she would have followed, it would be to avoid romantic entanglements in her youth and to focus on herself, using the many hours to instead feed her mind. Watch the full interview here: http://www.supersoul.tv/supersoul-sunday/the-advice-elizabeth-gilbert-would-give-her-younger-self I don’t know. On the one hand, I’ve always had this feeling that I know best for my life. This doesn’t mean that I don’t listen to other people’s advice, just that the locus of control and surety about the right path has always resided within […]

Serena Frank’s letter to her younger self: “Have more fun!”

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Yay, our first letter to a younger self, has arrived, all the way from Durban, South Africa. Letter to my younger self… Dear Serena You should have had more fun when you were young, like going out with friends and socializing, rather than being confined to home and school and family occasions. You could have made more informed career choices and traveled more before starting a family. Become wiser in the world. Become freer and more mature to make life decisions rather than following the normal process of doing what is expected of an Indian female, born and raised in apartheid South Africa. Learn well, choose a profession, study, get your degree, get married, have children and live for your family. Pursue your passion and live your life with passion, rather than with rules and regulations that restrict and confine. […]

Oprah’s letter to her 20-year old self: Love yourself from your own heart

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Oprah wrote a letter to her 20-year old self, as published and re-blogged from here Dear beautiful brown-skinned girl, I look into your eyes and see the light and hope of myself. In this photo you are just about to turn 20, posing outside the television station where you were recently hired as a reporter. You’re proud of yourself for getting the job, but uncertain you’ll be able to manage all your college classes before 1 and arrive at the station by 1:30 for a full day’s work. Even so, your biggest concern is how to manage your love life with Bubba. Yes, you are dating someone named Bubba. On this day you’ve brought him to the station to see where you work, hoping he’ll be proud, too. He seems less than impressed. The truth is, he’s intimidated. You don’t […]

Richard Branson’s letter to his 25-year old self: Let your dreams guide your path

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Richard Branson recently wrote a letter to his 25-year old self, as published and re-blogged from here. He explained in the blog that he wrote the letter because he was sent a #ChallengeRichard to write a letter to the 10, 25, 50, and 65 year old versions of himself. As each stage in life was so different, he decided to pen four separate letters. Here’s the second: His letter to 25 year-old him. Dear Richard, I’m writing to you from 40 years in the future. You’re now 65-years-old, and while you’ve lived a happy and healthy life with no regrets, I have some advice for you. Congratulations on launching Virgin. I know you’re still trying to find your feet and work out the ins and outs of business, but stick with it. I can guarantee the best is yet to […]

The letter that started it…

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A letter to my 20-year-old self, (as published at the beginning of my book Dive In) My dearest, darling girl I’m sitting here, writing this to you, on a gorgeous, autumn morning in the Cape. Yes, that is where we live now, in the year of 2016. It is honestly the most beautiful place on earth, (except for a certain bridge across the majestic Olifantsriver, which we’ll discover in a few years…) In this moment, you are in your second year of university in Johannesburg. The year is 1996. I can just see you there, through the mists of time, swinging your book bag carelessly, humming a tune under your breath as you walk along, on your way to class. So innocent, and so unprepared for what is to come. My heart just wants to break with love and compassion […]