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Life Lessons

Life Lessons

By age 30, you should be old enough to realize this:

1. Maturity is realizing silence is more powerful than proving a point.

2. No relationship is worth damaging your mental health.

3. People can have more than you and still be jealous.

4. Failure is just another opportunity to start again more intelligently.

5. Hard times will always reveal true friends.

6. When you’re too accessible you lose value.

7. Happiness is something you create. Nobody can control your happiness; only you.

8. The way you treat yourself is the way others will treat you.

9. What other people think of you has nothing to do with you.

10. You will make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.

11. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.

12. Life is too short to live someone else’s dream.

13. You deserve love, respect, and appreciation. Don’t ever settle for less.

14. You are not your past; you are the product of your decisions today.

15. Pleasing others is typically at the expense of your own joy and happiness.

1. Never fear failing; it is a truth and a part of being successful. When you are growing up, everyone tells us that you have to be successful in everything you do, and not getting success makes you a failure. But the reality is that you can’t find success in everything that you do, no matter what, and not succeeding doesn’t make you a failure. It just means that you didn’t get the recipe for success right, but the recipe can still be perfected. It’s completely okay to fail, and it’s inevitable. But never let your fear of failing or failure hold you back from anything; not trying something you wanted will make you a failure. It will haunt you more than your failed attempt.

2. Fail often fail fast and fail forward. It must be easier to say never fear failing or failure. I feared failure, and I still do, but today for me, the perspective towards failure has changed. Our fear of failure stops us from experimenting new things that we know could benefit us more than doing things in our comfort zone. Those who know me personally would describe me as someone who is always bubbling with ideas. Whenever I get with a new idea for anything, I try to run some experiments on my new ideas with my friends and family and try to conclude whether I should pursue it further and invest my time and energy. If the ideas fail, and most of the time they have, I know why they failed. I am not stuck in the same place where the idea started, but I have moved forward with the idea, and now I have more insight than just an abstract idea or a hypothesis. Now I can try converting all my failures into a win because winning in anything is about knowing what one shouldn’t do and what is required to succeed. If you know if you have got all the right pieces, you move ahead or try something new.

3. Don’t react to a problem or concern; react to its reason. There is a point in our lives when we will get overwhelmed with problems. We will try to run away from it or hide from it instead of facing it boldly. We do so because we naturally wired to react to the problems. What we need to do instead is to look for what is causing that problem or fear. Sometimes, the problem may not be in our control, but the reason might be in our control. When you are determined to solve a problem or overcome a fear, don’t try to do it all in one go. Break it down into chunks and conquer it one at a time. The small achievements will give you more confidence and motivation to move forward.

4. Life is a set of competition, focus on being the best. From childhood, we are constantly reminded that we all are in a big rat race, and those who finish first take it all because no one asks for the second or third. In contrast, life is indeed a race, but we all may not have the same starting point. The one who came first may have had a better starting position, but the first position does warrant success all through life, and life is not just one race. You are running multiple races at the same time. We need to remind ourselves that first is not always the best. We need to aim to be the best, so that first is an outcome of it. If you don’t finish first in the race, it’s not the end; there are more races to run. Put in all your heart and soul in being the best.

5. Most valuable resource that everyone has is time, and it is the most valuable gift you could give anyone. After money, if there is something that you would complain that you don’t have enough — it is time. You can make more money with this limited resource, but you can’t buy time with any money. Time, if it is gone, it is gone forever. We all have heard this, but we remain ignorant until we realize it. How you value time is entirely up to you. Another aspect of time is that it creates memories. Time is a precious gift that you could gift anyone because it is only so much you have. Relationships thrive only on the investment of time; if not invested properly, you could lose that relationship. Budget time carefully as you would money.

6. You are never lucky or destined; you happen to be at the right place, time, and with the right person. When you achieve something when you are least expecting it, you may call it luck. Through my personal experiences, I have realized that such things are not about luck, it’s just that you had all the right pieces, place, time, and people to get the outcome that you wanted, either by chance or you worked to make it happen. Destiny is something that people associate with luck; my philosophy about destiny is that it results from our actions and decisions. No one is destined or lucky; you create your destiny and luck.

7. Life is about good times and bad times, and everyone has their own fair share. When we go through challenging times, we question ourselves, why it is happening to us, why not to others. The reality of life is that it warrants both good times and bad times to all. Everyone gets it at different times in their life in different shapes and sizes. None of it stays forever. If you are going through a rough phase, just hang in there as it is a temporary phase, it will be over soon. If you are having the best time of your life, stay humble, and be grateful, it will change anytime.

8. Ask for help, be grateful to those who help, and pay it forward when things are not going the way you wanted, and you still stay positive, great but know when to seek help. There will be times when it will feel like everything seems to be falling apart, and you may even feel like you have hit a dead end, ask for help. Don’t feel shy or think you may be judged for that. If you don’t ask for help, you are the only one to lose. When reaching out for help, assume that not everyone will be willing to help. Those who help, be thankful to them and pay it forward. Karma is real, and it hits hard.

9. Forgive and forget: Everyone has that time where you might have a difference with someone who matters to you or someone who did something wrong to you. You would be so angry with them that you wouldn’t be willing to forgive them. But what’s the point of carrying such a toxic feeling with you. Forgive and forget. Forgiveness is not about reconciliation or the other person, but it is about allowing yourself to eliminate any toxic and negative feelings that you may have. Whether they ask for forgiveness or not, you have the choice to forgive them. By forgiving and forgetting, you create space for positive people and healthy feelings in your life.

10. You can design your life. Life doesn’t happen to you, but you can design the life you want. Everything is in your hands. This belief has helped me to keep moving forward. If you want, you can take control of how you want to live; otherwise, you leave it to the external factors to decide on the life you get to live. We can’t decide when to take birth or when to die, but we can decide how to live our life.

11. Learning how money works is an important life skill. We all want money, lots of money. We work for 40+ hours a week for it, but many of us don’t know how money works. Despite it being one of the essential skills in life, it is not taught anywhere. We learn how to work for money in school but not how to make money work for you. Most of the life’s challenging times will have a financial aspect, and the only skill that would help at that point will be your personal finance management skills. Develop your personal finance management skills as early as possible; it will help you keep your financial situations under control and make sound financial choices for today and the future.

12. Focusing on the Process is more important than the Goal. We set goals and fail, and most of the time; it is because we didn’t follow the right Process. The Goal will be an expected outcome of the required Process. Focus on getting the Process right; goal accomplishment will follow. It is not merely about developing a routine but discipline to do certain things. Discipline can’t be achieved in a single day; it requires several micro behaviors to be practiced daily without fail. Dream alone won’t do anything; it’s all about the actions you take each day.

13. Everything happens at its own time, and we have to be patient. There must have been a time when you tried hard for something, but you couldn’t get it. You waited long and tried again, but still, nothing happened. But then it happens when you were least expecting it. The fact is that everything happens at its right time, and the right time is when all the prerequisites are met. The prerequisites could be your commitment, dedication, effort, passion, and excitement; they determine whether you are capable of it or can handle it. Until then, it might keep us waiting or failing. If you wholeheartedly desire for something, you need to be patient and keep trying and keep moving to show your passion and commitment. As the saying goes, “We have our plans, but the universe has something different for us.”

14. Everyone has got their own life battles to fight. Those happy pictures and videos by friends on social media make you believe that except you, everyone else is happy, successful, and having a great time in their life. The reality is that everyone has got some life battle to fight because the other name of living life is fighting battles to survive. Sometimes we also worry that what others think of me, well — people are busy worrying about themselves and managing their own fears and insecurities than finding time to think about you.

15. Knowledge is a competitive advantage that also helps increase your worth. Stay curious all your life and gather knowledge about everything that makes you curious. When you are a curious learner, you will pick up transferable skills and knowledge and help bring creative thinking and fresh perspectives. People pay those who are knowledgeable because their knowledge can create differentiated value. With more knowledge and experience, you get more power to get better compensated. You can’t decide what knowledge to acquire for the future, absorb everything that comes your way, and believe that all your knowledge will come to your use somehow. Learn from books, experience, and other’s wisdom and the internet for sure.

16. Relationships change and evolve with time. You meet so many people at different points in your life. Some strangers become friends, and a few friends become best friends. Some best friends survive the test of the time, while others become strangers again. Growing apart from some friends is likely and is completely okay. People we meet and make friends with fill a specific role in our life. Those who care for you, not based what you have to offer them, are the ones who deserve your respect and time and will stand by your side in your challenging times whether you made friends with them because you have common interests and values or you enjoy going out with each other and having fun.

17. Mastering the mindset can help overcome anything. To achieve any goal, you need the right mindset along with the right Process. Your mind unconsciously controls you, and mastering it will give you confidence, help you overcome fears, and become resilient and courageous. It makes you believe whether you can or can’t achieve what you want.

18. There is a supreme power that works in this universe and goes beyond our understanding. Call it God, science, coincidence, karma, or luck; there is some magical force that exists. Several things have happened in my life that is hard to explain. The good things that have happened were beyond my expectations, and the bad things that happened they could have been much worse. Nevertheless, I feel grateful and blessed.

CA Harshad Shah, Mumbai, India

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