I’ve been sitting on this one for a while now (~ 3.5 months to be precise). I wanted to do a decade in review post to cover my journey from 2010 - 2020. It went through too many drafts (mostly mental ones) and iterations before I managed to condense it down to just 15 points, rather than a novel, as is my usual style.
Without further ado, here are the 15 life lessons I learned as I transitioned from my teenage as a college student into my first corporate job and matured into running a family:
- Importance of building relationships (family, friends, support group, hobby, and professional network) - humans are social animals engineered to thrive in communities. Being introverted is not going to help
- Trust is not a candy to be given out just like how distrust and skepticism are not armors to be worn - strike a balance. Distrust and skepticism ruin relationships the same way how too much trust does
- Expectations and possessiveness are the main reasons for the failure of relationships and a cause of distrust. People are not objects to possess. Relationships will thrive if you let it go with the flow and not try to go out of the way to influence it in your favor
- Health trumps everything else. Realistically, energetic, passionate, and hyper-driven teens and early 20s are more likely to result in a fatigued and burnt out late 20s (moderation matters)
- Integrity and ethics matters - your ethics and integrity are your identities. Don’t give these up for anything or anyone
- Be mindful of your words and actions - treat everyone as you like to be treated, speak to everyone as you would like to be spoken to.
- Emotional detachment is the path to inner peace
- Live and let live and live for yourself - you’re here to live YOUR life, not someone else’s. Live and let live. Don’t judge, don’t be bothered if others judge you. As long as your actions do not directly impact someone else’s wellbeing, live, and let live.
- Read a lot. Reading expands knowledge and broadens perspective
- Less is more
- Listen more than you speak
- When it comes to your job, it’s just business; a means to earn money by providing a service you are good at or solving a problem. You’re dispensable to the organization, just like how they are dispensable for you. Applies even for CXOs and founding members
- Pay it forward - that’s the real impact and legacy you are leaving behind
- Never stop learning
- Go with the flow - even the best-laid plans get derailed at a blink, learn to go with the flow
It’s not exhaustive; it’s not new. It’s more of a journal-for-self than a guide. If anything, I would want to revisit this in 2030 and see what’s changed and what’s added.
Wrapping this up with an anonymous quote I came across:
Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories. - Anon