I recently turned twenty-five. Hitting the silver jubilee, made me realize a lot of things- especially about how far I have come in life, how many people I have met, and how much I have learnt every single day.
Growing up is inevitable, but making peace with it is not. It’s up to you to take the lead in your life.
So far, one thing that has forever stayed with me is that life is nothing like school or what is taught at school. And be it either for good or for bad, life doesn’t come with a manual or with anybody to guide you. The best you can ever do is to take that one step and put your best into it. Most importantly, understand that everything which would follow is not always in your hands.
Here are twenty-five things that I have learnt for the twenty-five years of my short life.
#1 Not everybody has good interests in their hearts.
I have learnt that people may say one thing and mean something totally different.
All we can do is look out for ourselves and not believe every single thing anybody says.
#2 Love cannot be forced.
I have learnt that no matter what we do, not everybody is going to love us. All we can do is be someone who can be loved.
Rest is up to them.
#3 Trust is an important element.
I have learnt that trust is a very fragile thing.
It may take forever to build it, and seconds to shatter it.
#4 Good things don’t come easy.
I have learnt that success is not easy or inherent.
Reaching the top would require us to start from somewhere at the bottom and work very hard.
#5 People vs Things.
I have learnt that it’s not what we have in our life that matters.
But rather who we have in my life that counts.
We can always make it through the worst storms with the people who matter.
#6 Everybody has their demons.
I have learnt that everybody is struggling with demons of their own which is not very much different from ours.
But what makes us different from them is how we overcome our demons and what we do about them.
#7 Good things take time.
I have learnt that to become the person which my six-year-old self wanted is going to take a long journey.
And that shortcuts aren’t the solution.
Good things take time.
#8 Create an influence.
I have learnt that every single word I speak or write is creating an influence — even if just on one person.
So, it matters that we always think before we react.
Our words may make or break someone.
Intentionally or otherwise.
#9 We don’t have a lot of time.
I have learnt that we must always leave the people we love, with loving words.
It may be the last time we may ever see them.
#10 Being human is beautiful.
I have learnt that we may hurt, cry and break down in a million broken pieces which may shatter dangerously across the room.
But we will find in ourselves the strength to move on.
With or without those broken missing pieces.
#11 Actions speak louder than words.
I have learnt that irrespective of how we feel, we are responsible for our own actions.
#12 Superheroes are not born, they are created.
I have learnt that there is a true superhero inside all of us.
That part of us rekindles when we see people doing what has to be done, regardless of the consequences.
It's time we embrace it.
It may not be easy, but it’s simple.
#13 Forgive and forget.
I have learnt that it’s easy to forgive but impossible to forget.
It’ll take some practice, but you will get there.
#14 Adulting can be hard.
I have learnt that no matter how pure my intentions are and how clear my words may be, some people will always find ways to manipulate the two.
All we can do is have patience and move on, without worrying about criticism.
It's a part of adulting.
#15 Old fashion is the new fashion.
I have learnt that the older I grow, the more I sound and think like my granddad.
And I like that.
#16 Anger is justified, cruelty isn’t.
I have learnt that sometimes we may get very outrageously angry.
And we would have the right to be so angry.
But that doesn’t give us the right to be cruel too.
#17 Twenties are more confusing than the teenage years.
I have learnt that the teenage years may be confusing and eye-opening in so many ways.
But it’s the twenties that decide the future.
I have learnt so much in the half-decade of my twenties alone as compared to all twenty years before that.
#18 Maturity doesn’t come with age.
I have learnt that maturity does not necessarily come with the number of candles on my cake.
Maturity comes with the experiences that we have had and the lessons we have learnt from them.
#19 Forgiving ourselves is going to take courage.
I have learnt that forgiving others is still easy.
But what is difficult is forgiving myself.
It’s going to take some time and some courage, but you know you are worth a lot more than you give yourself credits for.
#20 Family is not always blood.
I have learnt that our family will not always be there for us all the time.
And that there will be other people who would love you and take care of you and trust me just the same, if not more.
Families are not always biological.
#21 Confidence matters.
I have learnt that humility is the opposite of arrogance.
And that confidence is the intermediate between the two.
Too much humility isn’t a good thing, nor is too much arrogance.
#22 Not everything is worth fighting for.
I have learnt that my dad and I could like the exact same thing and see something entirely different.
And it’s okay.
We don’t have to fight over it.
#23 Value your principles.
I have learnt that sometimes being honest all the time can very difficult and may even get me in difficult situations.
But some principles in life are worth everything else.
#24 Your value begins with you.
I have learnt that everybody else sees me the way I see myself.
The sooner I learn to have confidence in myself, the better.
If I don’t value myself, nobody will either.
#25 Self-investment is an invaluable luxury.
I have learnt that people may rob you of everything that you own leaving you with nothing at all.
But what will stay with you is the knowledge that you have. The best investment you can make is in yourself.
It’s a luxury that nobody can steal.