21st Birthday: This blog post is inspired by and written on a very popular theme, “I wish I were of “x” age”. Interestingly, this time I am writing to my 40-year-old self (about to be in 2 years), not a 21-year-old young boy. I would complete 40 years ( in 2 years from now) on this earth already and have learned so much from Mother Nature and society. What I have gained versus what I have given back sadly has a huge gap for now, but yes, I am still alive to ensure I narrow the gap as much as possible.
My mind or thoughts within force me to think and say “I wish I knew how to differentiate between my mind and brain”. Or if today I can go back to my younger self and change a few things that I think I could have done differently or in a much better way (just to be honest), If I could have used more brain than mind, etc.
Do I have life skills to master my age 40, well not yet!
At 40 – yes my Parents were always right.
I am neither a writer nor do I have any expertise in inspirational storytelling or speaking. This post depicts my thoughts as they are. On the 13th of July this year (). “Being a man was not my choice, but being a man is the reason for me to be a husband and a father. Now being a man is my mandate to be a gentleman for my wife, sister, mother, daughter, and all my female colleagues.”
Both of my grandparents survived the 1918–1920 pandemic. They came out much stronger and learned a new way of living life before melting back into a normal state. They used to narrate to me lots of real episodes on the same and how they wish they had the chance to go back in those 2 dark years to correct a few things. But today we are talking about quantum mechanics (physics, computing, etc.), the 6G network, Super AI, and machine consciousness. What else can I dream of for my kids?
What makes me think of adding another chapter for kids on several things is this: “Accomplishments are those that get stuck delightfully in your memories and distinguish you from others. Remember, it’s not about winning over others all the time or competing with others, as that may lead to fiascos sometimes. It’s all about your own achievements, and reward yourself for being staunch, tranquil, and harmonious.” As my mom used to say, humility is the best medicine for all chapters of life.
Now, at 40, yes, my parents were always right and did everything for me. I had completed four decades on planet Earth. This means I have done my part in destroying planet Earth”, Now it’s time to pay back. Social responsibilities should be on my mind every time I buy something for myself or my family. The time has come to start contributing to Mother Nature and society and fulfilling my social responsibilities. Every single person, irrespective of their industry, talks about Artificial intelligence, machine learning, future analytics, brain computing, blockchain, 5G, etc. How many actually understand the real impact and meaning is a discussion for another post.
I always wanted to be a good Earthian, and even today, my hopes, dreams, and efforts in this direction are alive. When my son (6 years of age at this present time) reaches my age, it’s inevitable that he will reflect more deeply on what’s left of his life and even much more at the age of 80.
The 21st birthday is a very special birthday, especially for Americans, Indians, and many other countries, because it is the legal age to drink and sleep with partners. Many young adults around the world normally throw wild parties or nights away with their friends. Of course, it is also a wonderful birthday to spend with family, celebrating in style.
There are very famous lines like “The only difference between Who you are and What you want to be is What you do” In my own words, the more humility, the more success. The more the pride, the more the fiasco. So get out of fault-finding mode and look at the brighter side of everyone or everything.
I Wish I Can Speak to my 21-year-old Self
21st birthday wishes are important and always help in deciding what’s next, i.e., what to achieve in life. If I get a chance to go back to my 21-year-old self, I will really do so. I want to do some of the things that I may not even have thought of or invented at that time. Just imagining how my life would have been if I had my current knowledge, I would have lived at home until I was at least 40 or until my parents decided to throw me out.
Whenever I look back on my past (my 21st Birthday), I realize where I came from, consider how I got here, and wonder where I am going next. My strong belief is that “Speed is necessary” in life, but the question is at what acceleration? It’s an invitation to a fiasco when someone forgets to maintain the balance between ebullience and forbearance. This look-back process makes me think deeply that I am more trusting and clinging to God than I ever was as a younger man. In some ways, I “knew” so much more than You can be ferocious, but remember to play by the rules.
Aspirations, linked to opportunity, can breed dynamism and inclusive, sustainable economic growth. That’s something we all want to see. Recently, I got a chance to speak at the School of Economics and Political Science about the need to accelerate development so people can lift themselves out of poverty. The most interesting part of my deliverable was discussing:
- How to use limited funds in the most effective way possible
- What would be our fundamental approach to develop our own finances & budgets?
The world is becoming increasingly interconnected and advanced through mobile phones, artificial intelligence, big data, the internet, etc. Today, one can read, see, and understand how others live, both at home and abroad, to compare themselves. While the aspirations of people around the world are converging, opportunities are not.
Lessons to My 21-Year-Old Self
The older you get, the more you’ll understand why. Love and respect your parents much more than you are doing it now. When your mother asks what time you will come back home, respond carefully and lovingly; don’t get frustrated. Some of the highlights of my first lesson to my 21-year-old (21st Birthday) self would have been:
- Don’t need to be only self-focused.
- Should keep physical exercises on
- Have balanced eating habits
- Share what you have rather than eating it all alone
- Healthy living in balance. Scheduled rest and recreation regularly.
At 30 years of age (yes, not on my 21st Birthday), even though I got married and started a family immediately after, I would STILL be living at my parents home. You know how much money I could have saved because of the nominal ‘rent’ that my parents would have charged? Not only that, do you know how much cut-eye and argument with my wife could have been avoided solely by my mother’s swift intervention? Other things that need attention, focus, and special care that I would tell my younger self
Social Media: If Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter were there, then I would have told myself that you should cut your time on social media and make a personal touch with family and friends; rather than using WhatsApp to say good morning to your parents, go hug and kiss your mother (I wish she would have been alive today) and say Good Morning with lots of smiles and warm wishes. Social media has no doubt done so many wonderful things by creating so many meaningful and much-needed products. The flip side of technological invention in social media is seriously dark, dirty, super dangerous, unethical, and only created to make you more addictive. They play with your dopamine as they trade your emotions, mindsets, privacy, and everything else humans have as non-tangible items.
Personal life: My personal life was just focused on my future, my studies, and finding a good job. You should spend some time with God, your parents, and your friends, caring for others and sharing what you have with others who do not even have what you have. (Even though at some points in my life I had only one room to call home and relied on public transport.)
Social responsibilities: You should stop expecting and asking for favours. You should start giving back in terms of small donations of anything and everything you have. Teach what you know and learn what you need to learn from anyone without shying away. You have become increasingly aware not only of what you buy but also of how the goods and services you buy have been produced. You should reject anything that has environmentally harmful production methods, uses child labour, involves dangerous working conditions, or involves other inhumane conditions.
Internet of the Thing: This was there like point-of-sale (POS) devices for credit card purchases, but not with the same name or mindset. I should have promoted these aspects for the betterment of society, as such technological breakthroughs offer improved health, day-to-day life, and community.
Mobile Financial Services: Make use of technology to pay your school fee, buy your books, or buy your bus or train tickets. Have a small savings club with friends to save and make use of pooled funds by supporting the person in need.
Online Schooling and Education system: This should have been there at the time of my 21st birthday; this would have saved significant cost and time for me and many others.
Funky gadgets: Use one of the best devices that are affordable to you, not your friends or their dad’s car or pocket size. The devices are endless, but the end user is the same, and that is “keep you away from people around you”. I wish Android existed then so I could have contributed so much as a youngster with lots of innovative ideas and fantasies without hesitation or worry of being laughed at or failing.
Confidence: Be more confident… and even more conspicuous. You would have stood proud, straight as a sapling, and looked down on everyone else who was less than six feet. I slouched horribly in my youth, curving my spine so that my head could be level with my friends and to not be so noticeable, except when playing basketball. I know many of my tall friends who did the same thing and nowadays we have to make a conscious effort to stand up straight. These days, some of us even like to rock stilettos.
Travel the Globe: Getting away from everything you know and leaving your comfort zone will help you become more independent and force you to enjoy many new experiences. Many unexpected opportunities will present themselves outside your comfort zone. I could give you a hundred examples. Meeting unknown cultures and people is very important to broaden one’s horizons.
Mentor: I should have chosen a better and different mentor (It’s not that the mentor I chose at that time was bad or inferior). Having a person in your life, older and wiser than you, who will guide you with your life-goals is something very valuable. I had a mentor who asked me to do what I want to do and it was too open and too free so at that point of time, I can say I was like a headless chicken (I can only say this today).
This post is written on the basis of dreams (for my 21st Birthday), thoughts, and imagination. I wish everyone to cherish their love and give it to someone who would really respect, love, care for, and spoil them.
Conclusions: I wish everyone peace, love & gratitude. Some items on the blog list above are, particularly for my 21-year-old self. Now is certainly not the time to be trying to activate some of those. People tend to regret the things they didn’t do when they were young, rather than the things they did. However, let’s flip the script; instead of looking back with regret, why not look forward with determination? Which one of your five things will you start doing tomorrow? Maybe that also says something about conformity and the fact that I should have been more willing to be original back then. Whatever the deep analysis shows, I sure am glad that I outgrew that particular habit.
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