I have made a whole lot of mistakes in my life and while I am still 23+ (at the time of writing this), I have found out a whole lot of things about what life is and how things go about…
Most of this was what I figured out on my own because nobody was there to give me any sort of guidance or direction. My mom was one person who gave me a some guidance but she did what best she could do, which is what you can expect from anyone…
The only ‘direction’ that I was typically given by almost anyone, if ever was the cliche advice of,
“Go to college, get a good job, get married and have kids…and work until you retire. After you retire, you can do all the things that you were dreaming of doing…”
Having no idea about what needs to be done in life, I just followed this useless piece of advice SINCERELY and WHOLEHEARTEDLY…
…aaand as a result, I paid for the consequences…badly…
- I wasted enormous amount of time.
- I couldn’t accomplish many things that I had set out to do.
- I messed up my career. Things have greatly improved though.
- My health took a nosedive.
- Social life…umm, what’s that? XD
- Relationships and dating…talk about lonely nights and feeling hurt and pained every time you saw a happy couple or when a guy tenderly hugged his sweetheart.
But I can’t really do anything about my past. I do wish that I had done things differently back then, only…those are just wishes…
However, I would like to let you in on a lot of things that I have learnt and you will definitely find this valuable if you are 16 to 17…and are approaching your graduation day where you finally reach adulthood…well, legally speaking anyway… 😛
And for the record, I don’t think that reaching 18 years of age will make any difference in your life…because I find it stupid that at 11:59 pm you were a ‘child’ and then in a matter of ONE second when your date of birth arrived at 12:00 am, you ‘matured’ and became an ‘adult’. It’s just plain comical and insane if you ask me!
But still, considering the silly fact that your legal graduation date is when you turn 18, here’s the deal…If I could meet the 16 year old Shyam and if I could give him some advice, here’s everything that I would tell him…
1.) Don’t take your young years for granted:
Your young years are a gift. Don’t take them for granted. Use your time wisely. It is easy to come to the erroneous belief that your youth is going to last forever but the reality is that your early adulthood will disappear before you know it.
VALUE your young years. Don’t while away your years on unnecessary and unproductive tasks.
2.) Stay away from drugs, smoking and alcohol:
I know that there is a lot of peer pressure to indulge in this sort of degeneracy. At the same time, even the media promotes this like it was the coolest thing to do.
As a result, you have young people, some as young as 16 and possibly even less doing stuff that many adults wouldn’t have indulged in a few generations ago.
Your early years are the base for a good health in the future. Don’t ruin it with stupid nonsense like this.
I personally have no bad habits. I don’t do drugs, drink or smoke. I’m not a saint though and I am being honest here; I smoked up ONCE but I never found anything useful out of it (both morally and physically…), so I never touched it again…and I boozed up a couple of times but couldn’t bear the taste (seriously, how can you get addicted to something so foul and disgusting?!)…and some of my friends were into weed so I did it a few times. Never did any hard drugs like cocaine, meth, etc and I plan on never touching them.
I do regret it all but then again, I don’t because I nipped those behaviors in the bud.
3.) You have your whole life ahead for sex:
These are the years when you get to experiment and play a lot with new and interesting people and while I wouldn’t want to dictate your habits, use your time for something more worthwhile than hunting someone of the opposite sex (or maybe the same if you gay…) to hook up with.
Use the time you have for better things.
If you must do it, at least get into a relationship and stay committed to that person…let there be some meaning in what you do. Otherwise, well…there isn’t really a difference between us and the lower beasts.
Do realize that if you can just use these years productively, you can enjoy the future a whole lot more than if you had spent your time doing only this…
Also to note here is that if you overdo it at this age, you’ll eventually find that your marriage years will be like cold soup. I’m not married (at the time of writing this) but it’s plain common sense. If you do EVERYTHING you wanted BEFORE marriage, what’s there to do AFTER it? The excitement and the dopamine spikes you get when you do something new for the first time would have been gone a long time ago. Anything that you overdo will get boring eventually, no matter how awesome and exciting it was at the start.
4.) Get a good and WORTHWHILE education:
When I say get a good education, I mean that you should get yourself educated in a field where what you learn in college is NEEDED in the market. The skills and the knowledge that you learn in college should be something that you can readily exchange in the market.
Don’t waste your time studying useless degrees that get you nowhere. If you studied for 3 long years to end up working at McDonalds…well, what can I say? You just flushed money down the toilet.
PS: Leave those ‘Harry Potter studies’ and other bullshit qualifications to the rich kids who don’t really have to work and are just in college to while away time.
5.) Choose your education and career path early and wisely:
I know that there is a lot of pressure to decide your life path at such a young age. I am certainly not someone who was able to decide his career path until a later age but I am willing to say this…
YOU MUST decide on a career path keeping point ‘4’ in mind, while you are in your 9th or 10th grade…and use that time to mentally prepare yourself for the career that lies ahead of you.
6.) If you have no damn clue about which career path to take, take up finance:
If you are COMPLETELY clueless about WHICH direction to take, my advice is this…FINANCE!, FINANCE!!, FINANCE!!!
Get yourself a finance degree, an MBA in finance, an accountancy qualification (CPA for example)…and basically anything related to this field…and STICK to that path. Don’t while away your time wavering your mind from one career choice to another…
Why finance? Think about it. Money makes the world go round. EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL, BUSINESS, COMPANY and EVEN THE GOVERNMENT needs people with expertise on how to handle, track and manage money. A career in finance is more or less a recession-proof business and has a wide-scope for application EVERYWHERE. There will always be people who need someone to help them take care of their financial issues in one way or another.
As an expert in finance and money, you skills will be valuable from the mom-and-pop businesses next door to the biggest corporate giants like Goldman Sachs.
You will also find this field of study to be very useful should you decide to start your own business.
7.) If you DO know what path to take up and are confident about it:
Stand ground and don’t let ANYONE make you change you mind. People will always be wanting to influence you for one reason or another.
8.) Don’t think that your career path is set in stone:
I know that a lot of lost people who are clueless will be utterly uneasy to hear that their career choice should be finance…and that they should not go for anything else…
As for that and pretty much the fear that your career path (any path…) is not set in stone. You are most free to change it once you reach a higher level of understanding. Besides, most people in this world never really stay on the career path that they decided for themselves when they were young. They will go from one industry to another.
And to be honest, I think that the idea of sticking to the same career path is plain dumb and stupid. Life was meant to experience a wide variety of things, not be stuck in monotony until retirement.
9.) Focus on your health:
Your young age is when you can greatly build up your health and immunity. Start to work out, lift weights, go for a walk and start indulging in atleast 4-5 hours of exercise a week. That’s barely around 3% of your weekly time and it’s not much considering the amount of benefits you get.
If you do it right now, your health in will be much better when you are a grampa or a gramma!
10.) Don’t bother much about dating:
I wouldn’t say DON’T DATE!….I’m more inclined to say, …DON’T FOCUS TOO MUCH on dating!
It takes away too much of time away from more important things like Health, Education and Business.
If you do find someone who is interesting…Go for it! But don’t spend too much time dating…date those who come your way…but don’t go out of your way under ANY circumstance…For now.
Once you reach a level of stability, you can date all you want.
11.) Focus on developing good social skills:
This will not only help you with your everyday life but also in your professional life. You will deal with people every single day of your life whether you like it or not, so social skills are something you MUST learn at any cost. And at your age, being surrounded by people and having no real worries, you have more opportunity than those much older than you to work on this important skill set.
I have regrets that I didn’t work enough on my social skills years ago. I am not socially awkward but I still have some ‘catching up’ to do when it comes to my social life.
12.) Work on a business:
Start working on building a business. If you are younger than 18, you might need some help from your parents due to being a minor…but this is extremely important for one simple thing; the younger you are, the better it is because businesses take time to grow. It’s not like you start today and the money starts flowing from tomorrow.
The reason this is important is that you can’t rely on your job forever for financial stability. Jobs are highly unstable for one simple reason. You have no control. You can be fired at any moment. The only financial security that you can truly get is the one you create for yourself. And that has to come from a business that YOU own and operate, not a 9-5 job.
And while you are at it, research on the concept of ‘passive income‘ or ‘residual income‘. They are a key to long term financial security.
13.) Read useful stuff and stay away from the paparazzi nonsense:
Don’t waste your time reading trashy articles and nonsense news about celebrities and gossip.
Instead, read up as much as you can on these topics: biographies of famous people, self-improvement, business related material and motivational stuff.
14.) Find accomplished men and pick their brains:
I got this tip partly from Boldanddetermined.com. I had slowly begun to realize that I had to take advice from the right people and stop believing in the cliche ‘go to college, get a job BS’ but I never really gave it much thought until a few years ago. It was only after a couple of random interactions with entrepreneurs that I realized how important it is.
When I read Boldanddetermined.com, I was surprised to see that what I had realized by myself was something given as a major suggestion on one of my favorite blogs.
15.) Take some pride in your identity:
I know that there is this insane idea that identity is evil and that we all should just be mindless television viewers and consumers in this brave new world.
As for that, well…take pride in who you are; your nationality, religion, culture, language, race, ethnicity, heritage and anything else…And why?
Well…It’s important to conserve and emphasize on all these things because without them, what are we?; Just a bunch of stupid wage-slave workers living out our lives paying for all the useless shit that is hawked to us on television and drowning in credit-card debt…
So don’t feel bad or guilty about it…love who you are and celebrate it! There is more to life than buying useless junk and watching television.
16.) Don’t waste too much time with media:
When I say media, I of course mean TV, Movies, PC games, Internet surfing and what not.
Believe it or not, I have wasted hours of my life…extending over several months doing this. There was this game called Minecraft that I played a lot and while it was most certainly fun, it was an enormous waste of time for me…playing with virtual building blocks for what seems like an eternity…
Stay away from TV shows, movies, MMORPGs, PC games and what not. Spend a few hours a week at most on all of them combined…or else, well, be prepared to waste away your prime years on stupid nonsense and garbage.
17.) Start planning for world travel:
Life wasn’t meant to be sitting in a drab office building waiting to die. Start planning early for world travel. While I haven’t gone to many countries, I have travelled quite a lot within India and I have once visited Sri Lanka…I plan to see the whole world and it’s certainly not a ‘wish’; I am actively working on that right now.
18.) Value your near and dear ones:
This might be a bit hard to read but you MUST.
Life won’t always be the same. People die. All humans inevitably die. And so will our near and dear ones. It’s just the ‘circle of life‘.
But I guess that too many of us live our lives thinking that we will have those close to us, be it parents, grandparents, etc to be with us forever.
Well…unfortunately, that’s not how things work in nature…players come and players go…be it our near and dear ones…or ourselves…
Keep this in mind everyday. Don’t take your loved ones for granted.
19.) Money is everything in today’s world:
An obvious cliche…but a very important cliche. Pay attention to money and understand that the only way you’ll ever be secure in this world is with money. Money can buy you everything you need and want. Don’t bother listening to the people who tell you that money isn’t everything. If it isn’t everything, ask them if they will empty their wallets and bank accounts by giving all of their greens away to you.
With the exception of a few things like love, money buys you everything else…in effect, making you happy in a way; happy that you have a good house to live in, good food to eat, a good car to drive, a good phone to use, a good everything….Yep, MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS!!
They don’t say ‘money makes the world go round’ for no reason.
20.) Try to find your path to God:
Find out what God means to you and seek out the truth. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t believe in.
Examine all holy books and don’t become dogmatic about what religion is the correct one. That’s one of the reason the world is falling apart.
Yes, God exists and if you think that this world is all that there is to it, you’ll be in for a shocker. Take it from a former atheist.
21.) Lead a principled and disciplined life:
I know that it’s not something that is often emphasized upon. But you must work on building your discipline. Don’t live your life the way the media portrays how your life ought to be; with lots of drugs, sex, alcohol and mindless hedonism. While having fun in life is important, seek to lead one of principle and discipline, and you’ll be glad about it in the end.
And that’s about it!
HAVE FUN AND GOOD LUCK!! 😀