In 25 years of this rollercoaster of a life, I have been through plenty of ups and downs. Good times and bad times both have taught me an invaluable lesson. Whether that was trying to get into a good college, getting good grades while participating in extracurricular activities, shifting to a new country, saving money while living my life to the fullest, finding a good job or trying to create my own identity, there has been so much that I have learned over the past 25 years.
Turning 25 years old has brought in so much perspective. Initially, I thought it is a quarter-life crisis but all it really is, is a learning curve. These lessons are inspired by own personal experiences and are in no particular order. My New Year resolution is also to abide by these 25 lessons to live a more abundant life.
1. Be realistic– When I was in college, I was extremely sure of what I wanted to do after graduation. I wanted a full-time job, be a specialist in my field of work, travel as much as I wanted, have massive savings and have an active social life- How Generic!! As it turns out, life is not all rainbows and sunshine. Although I did have all of it, I also had my fair share of hurdles and I still have them from time to time. What keeps me going is being realistic and prioritizing. Remembering that it’s all part of my journey and instead of cribbing about why things happen to me and not to others, I can learn from them and be grateful for learning these lessons now. If you feel sad about what happens to you then being sad is all you will feel your entire life. Move On! Appreciate the journey of achieving your goals.
2. Identify your values– It’s very important to set your values right. If the things that make you happy are short-term and are not under your direct control, you will end being miserable most of the times. For example, gaining x number of followers, buying that car, or getting that job. Don’t make your life about chasing x goal in your life because once that’s fulfilled, you will be chasing another and then another. You will always feel like there’s something more to life and achieving that one more thing will make you happy. In truth, you will never be fully satisfied and happy. Be content with what you have and strive for growth and improvement. In saying that, all of us have different values. So, spend some time identifying what your core values are. Identifying your values will help you achieve what you want out of life.
3. Eat good food– Oh, I love trying different cuisines. Eating good food is not a lesson but just a reminder.
4. Be compassionate– One of the most important values that my parents have taught me, and I swear by is to be compassionate. This positive outlook will attract some shrewd and negative people, but it should not deter you from helping them. You know why? Because I wholeheartedly believe that karma is a bitch. Of course, you need to draw a line somewhere or else you will end up getting hurt but till then if you can, you should.
5. Be ambitious– Be ambitious to improve your life and of those around you. Be ambitious enough to self-educate yourself on new skill sets. Be ambitious enough to set yourself apart from the crowd and establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
6. Don’t hold grudges– I hold them and have held them for years but my new year resolution is to not hold any grudges. Life is too short and it’s a waste of my time to sweat over the small stuff. Do it for yourself. Choose forgiveness and it will give you more happiness. Maybe it will even help you build beautiful relationships that suffered due to holding grudges. Remember, everyone makes mistakes.
7. It’s okay to not feel okay– Not like it’s bad enough to feel bad, social media is constantly there to make you feel like everyone else is living their best life. Trust me they are not. I am guilty of putting just the good parts of my life on social media, but it takes a lot of strength and pure hard work to be able to show you what I do on social media. Everyone goes through the same struggles and no one has a perfect life. If you are not okay, that’s okay. Talk about it and seek help if you need to. OR listen to your favorite music. It really helps!
8. Family is everything– I cannot emphasize this enough. I am forever grateful to God for giving me such a loving and supportive family. They are literally my backbone. They are your most honest critiques and most loyal supporters. Spend time with them and value them. If you are getting old, your parents are too. You will cherish these moments your entire lifetime.
9. Have meaningful conversations– Listen more, talk less and give genuine advice.
10. Don’t bitch– No matter what your values are, what you have achieved in life and where you live, don’t bitch. I learned this very very early in my life and it’s probably the best lesson I have learned till date. Keeping secrets will not only help you maintain strong relationships but also avoid all sorts of negative energy around you which restrains you from living a carefree life. Good leaders always maintain secrets because they never want to be threatened by their colleagues or their competitors. That’s how they get ahead of the game. I have heard from people that it’s okay to bitch sometimes if it helps you fit in and my standard reaction is to move away from those people and from that toxic environment. Of course, if you want to be bitchy and that’s what you value, then it’s your choice. No judgements.
11. Save money– YOLO is good but saving money is better. Don’t spend all of your hard-earned money. If it’s not raining today doesn’t mean it won’t rain tomorrow. Save it for something big or those special days. Save it to take your parents on a world tour.
12. Dance your heart out- Do it once on your favorite tracks and see your stress melting away with every inch your body moves
13. Move away from people who are constantly criticizing you. Understand that there is a difference between constructive criticism and people criticizing you just because they don’t like you. Stop wasting your time and energy on them.
14. Travel, Travel, and Travel- Because there is so much this world has to offer you. When you travel, you are the most vulnerable and feel every rush of emotion. Don’t miss out on making the most beautiful memories of your lifetime.
15. If you want to follow your passion and do what you love, you need to work thrice as hard as everyone else. Being an entrepreneur or doing what you love sounds fancy but being one is altogether a different ball game. At least for the first few years, you will be constantly working but you would be happy doing it even if it’s hard. Even if you fail, you won’t regret that you never tried. It’s a win-win situation. It’s almost like making a lifestyle choice.
16. Eat healthy and exercise- No matter what your age is, eating healthy and exercising is of utmost importance in life. Health trumps everything for me in life. I have seen people suffering immensely just because they did not care about their health when they were young and made all the wrong choices. I clearly do not want to be one of them. 2019, here I come!
17. Spend time with yourself- Have you ever spent time with yourself and you are comfortable with it? Well, I do from time to time. I sit in the cafe’s sipping coffee while working by myself over the weekend, or I watch a movie by myself. It’s possibly one of the happiest moments of my life and I really look forward to it. I have not fixated my idea of enjoyment on a group of people but on myself. I love myself enough to value my own company and the amount of peace it brings me is unparalleled. It’s amazing to be able to do your own thing without being bothered about how the other person feels.
18. Personal development- Spend time in improving yourself and your skills. In this extremely competitive world, it has become so important that you focus on yourself, spend time in educating yourself and keep up to date with world affairs. In very simple words, personal branding sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. If you are not convinced, read here.
19. Cut yourself some slack- Don’t push too hard. Take a break, breathe and keep going. It’s useless to compare yourself to others. Even though it’s hard not to at least you can try not to. Not everyone has to be the next big leader. If everyone was, there won’t be any meaning to it.
20. Express your feelings- If you love someone, tell them. If you don’t like someone, tell them. Just do it!
21. Compliment someone every day– I make it a point to do it every day and It gives me a lot of happiness. Sometimes that might be the nicest thing that person has heard all day.
22. Being social is a skill and it can be learned- Some people are born with this skill and if you are not, don’t worry. It can be learned. One of the ways is to talk to random people in a social setting. You might just end up making lifelong friends. There are plenty of videos on YouTube on how to start conversations with strangers or how to be more social. Try and see what works out best for you.
23. Volunteer- The only year that I did not volunteer was 2018 and I can feel that gap. Giving back to the community is the most beautiful feeling ever. I have spent time in an old age home and with children both. I must that their energy is so infectious that it makes you look at life in a more positive way. Try volunteering and you will immediately realize the difference it can make in your life.
24. Get into a relationship or marry because you want to and not because everyone else is doing it. There is no right time to get into a relationship. If you found your special someone, do it but if you haven’t then it’s okay too. Do not make a mistake! The stakes are very high.
25. Read more– Watching movies is good and so is listening to podcasts but it cannot replace reading books. I am not an avid reader, but I do read a few books a year and it really does add a lot of value to my life. If you find reading hard, don’t give up. Try with one or two books in 3 months and you will see the difference.
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Until next time xx