Don’ts of life

Adilson S. Proença
2 min readJul 17, 2018
A letter to myself

Throughout life one unwantedly commits countless mistakes. What tells them apart is how distant into the future they linger on, causing the unaware perpetrator the deepest regrets, self-embarrassment, humiliation and a sense of helpless naïveness. Being the good guy ought to be most people’s furthest reaching mistake.

Unlike most people, I don’t wish I could hop inside a time-machine and zip back in time in an attempt to dodge the mistakes I’ve commited over the years. Rather, I’d like to meet a postman who’s got that time travelling device and have him deliver to the younger me a handwritten letter written by the older, present-day me. What would I tell myself?


Dear young myself,

For your own future’s sake, follow through the don’ts listed bellow and you shall spare yourself tears in the near future:

  1. DO NOT be the good guy 24/7, for a logic threshold for helping others is that above which helping someone else equals causing yourself to be in a position where you’ll need help.
  2. DO NOT be the bad guy either, for helping others undoubtedly is a worth-doing and love-packed gesture so long as doing so does not clash with DON’T number one.
  3. DO NOT tilt life out of balance, for indeed it seems that striking a balance in all pillars of your life is a wise thing to do. As innately stubborn living animals, human beings do seem to have the urge to put their hands into fire only to make sure that it does burn. Listen to your future, more mature self and strive for a balance in life.
  4. DO NOT fear selfishness, for if there is one thing your future, more mature self has learnt is that it is not a sin to do what is best for yourself as long as doing so does not classh with DON’T 2, which in turn clashes with DON’T 1.

Yourself, with love.

July, the 17th, 2018




Adilson S. Proença

An International Relations degree holder; a language, history and economics aficionado; and a soon-to-be Economist who sees writing a thought-untangling act.