The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.Oprah Winfrey
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they get all philosophical and start thinking about the past. These thoughts could range from how life could have been different if you took different choices while you were younger or how it could be in the future!
I am no different. I was recently thinking about where I was in my life! And suddenly I felt a gush of all the memories that came back. The school I selected, the college I attended, the friends I made, and so on. In a tiny corner of my brain, I carry the regrets for things that I did and things that I did not do!
And so started my journey of evaluating what went right and what went wrong! I have come to the conclusion that there are things or outcomes I feel I have missed out because I did not take certain steps in my youth.
And if I were younger in my 20’s, I would to the following things:
#1. Take More Risks:
I was always taught to be happy with what I have. I am. But one thing that I was also taught was not to take any risks in life. So I grew up thinking taking risk is all bad and that the outcome of this is a life in hell.
Turns out, I was completely wrong!
Your younger days are the days when you can take real risks. I am not talking about the risks that are related to life. No. I am talking about the things like starting your business, talking to strangers, taking a trip to the place you’ve never been, taking a more challenging course in college.
I sought comfort. I sought predictable results. It goes without saying that if you take this route, the outcomes also are mediocre.
I particularly remember an opportunity presented to me by a friend to start up a stock broking franchise in my early 20s. I shied away due to the ‘risks’ I perceived. My biases were working against me. Needless to say, that business has not become a great one. I do not regret the financial aspects. But the mere experience of running a business would have given me the opportunity to be in a league of my own.
Whenever you get an opportunity to get into the unknown and if you are in your 20s, take the chance. Even if you fail, you have a fair chance of getting back on your feet.
Visit that place you’re scared to visit, start that business you dream of starting, attend that class which you feel challenging, propose to that girl you like/love. Take risks. You would not know the outcome if you did not.
#2. Get A Mentor:
Another aspect I deeply missed in my younger years was that of a mentor. Yes, you do have your teachers, professors, priests. But have you reached out to for suggestions?
I never did. Why?
I thought my knowledge was sufficient. I thought that whatever these people taught me in the classroom was enough. But that was not the case. I was also of the opinion that these people could not help me in my life. How wrong was I!
When I did realize this, I reached out to people who I knew could help me. And to my surprise, I was accepted with wide open arms. I always thought that ‘why would anybody want to share their ways?’ I am happy to say that there are people in this world who are looking forward to help you with their wisdom.
Another misconception I had was that the mentors or coaches I needed had to be perfect. This is merely a wishful thinking. It does not have to be that way. I also used to think that mentors needed to be older than you.
Another important factor I realized was that to be successful in the future, you will need to understand what the new generation is looking for. And this knowledge only comes when you network with people who are much younger than yourself.
People who are successful constantly look out for new ideas, new trends to keep updated about the world. Generation ‘Z’ is your best bet to understand how the new world is evolving.
To be a step ahead of others, you should be able to see what lies after the curve. The world as you see is rapidly changing. To be ahead of the curve, have a mentor who is well rounded – does not matter whether they are younger or older than you.
#3. Study Great Personalities:
A friends argued with me one day that, history was irrelevant.
I was not too happy with that comment. Because I felt that the statement was not correct. If we have to look into the future, you must look into the past. Because the seeds of the future are planted in the past. Every event that is happening today has some bearing on how the world is shaped tomorrow.
To that end, if you have to get a gist of the past, learn from great personalities. And one of the best ways to learn about them is to read books. Loads of books have been written on the great personalities who have expired and who live.
Whenever I read a biography or autobiography, I am on the lookout for the following:
- The early life
- What subjects did they study in school and college
- Were there any catalyst events in their life
- What ONE thing they believed strongly
- What were their dreams
- How they viewed the world
- What sacrifices they did to achieve their dreams
- What was their mission / purpose in life
- How they leveraged available resources
- What books they read
When I have this information, I am pretty sure about the secret to their success. I would not copy their life. But I would find inspiration in their life and try to keep me motivated with the stories.
There is so much you could learn from the life of people who have walked this earth and who are still on this earth. The trick is to keep an open mind and learn stuff. These great personalities became ‘great’ because they did something right in their life. Keep learning. Earlier the better.
#4. Don’t Feel Entitled:
- Breakfast ✔️
- School Bag ✔️
- Lunchbox ✔️
- Fees ✔️
- Clothes ✔️
- Food ✔️
- Entertainment ✔️
- Music system ✔️
- Cycle ✔️
- Car ✔️
Our parents do so much for us. I was blessed to have this kind of upbringing. Not a day to worry.
But unfortunately, this habit seeps slowly into adulthood where I was not too prepared for the kind of life, LIFE has in store for you. The real world is not a bed of roses. Life throws you off course. Because I pampered while I was young, I thought the world should do that too.
But, that is not the case!!
We often get used to comfort. That comfort zone makes you feel complacent. We forget even to equip ourselves with basic skills because it was taken care while we were young.
The new world proved very challenging for me:
- Job ❌
- Money ❌
- Skills ❌
- Relatives ❌
- Friends ❌
The sooner you get out of this nether world, the better. The world out there is much competitive than your cocoon. I had no idea of this. But I learned that being entitled to what I wanted was a wishful thought.
I started work on my life and my goals. Things would be different if I had kept thinking that I am entitled to a good life! You are entitled to what you are worth the society. If you provide value to the society, the society rewards you with your due. On the other hand, it punishes those who make no real contribution to the society.
#5. Remember, ‘You are Responsible for your Life’:
Do you remember a time when you complained about your life and where you currently are on the world?
I did too!
When I faced challenges and life seemed tough, I blamed virtually everyone for the state of my life:
- My parents
- My teachers
- My school
- My company
- My CEO
- My neighbor
- My bank
- My relatives
- My friends
But I missed out on a key person: MYSELF!
Remember: You are the sum of all the choices you make in your life!
The sooner you get this into your brain, the quality of life will be much better. And you will be careful and thoughtful with your choices. Life gives you many opportunities to correct your course. Use them.
So, how to make better choices:
- Have Definite Goals
- Have Faith
- Have an Abundance Mindset
- Learn from the Past
- Learn from Others
- Read More Books
- Connect with People You’d Like to be
Ultimately, you and you alone are responsible for the outcomes in your life. It is futile to blame others for the state of your life. When you take life as it comes, you will definitely face disappointments. Plan your life and make better choices to have a life full of possibilities.
There is so much I could do with the knowledge that I have now for my 20’s. But that is just a hindsight. It also does not mean that if you are older, life is done! No way. Life as I mentioned earlier is full of possibilities. I was able to turn my life around quite late, but you don’t have to wait till you are older.
May you be well, May you be Happy!
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.Roald Dahl
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