21st Birthday – This blog post is inspired and written on a very popular theme, “I wish I were of “x” age”. Interestingly this time I am writing to my 40-years self not 21 years old young boy. I have completed 40 years on this earth already and took 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 must narrow the gap as much as possible.

My mind or thoughts within forces 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 few things which today I think I could have done differently/much better way (just to be honest).  If I could have used more brain rather then 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 have any expertise in inspirational storytelling/speaking. This post depicts my thoughts as is. 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 and jumped out off from 1918-1920 panademic. They came out much stronger and learnt a new way of living life before melting back into a normal state. They use to narrate me lots of real episodes on the same and how they wish if get 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), 6G network, Super AI and machine consciousness. What else I can dream of for my kids.

What makes me think of is to add another chapter for kids on several things like this, “Accomplishments are those which gets stuck delightfully in your memories and distinguishes you from others. Remember it’s not about winning over others all the time or to compete with others as that may lead to fiasco sometimes. It all about your own achievements and reward to yourself to be staunch, tranquil and harmonious”.  As my mom use to say this 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 4 decades on planet earth. This means I have done my part in the “Destroying Planet Earth”, now to its time to pay back. Social responsibilities should be on mind every time whenever I buy something for my self or family. Time has come to start contributing to mother nature, society and do my social responsibilities. Every single person, irrespective of their industry they come from, talking about Artificial intelligence, machine learning, future analytics, brain computing, blockchain and 5G etc. How many actually understand the real impact and meaning is the 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) will reach my age, it’s inevitable that he would reflect more deeply about what’s left of his life and even much more extra at the age of 80.

21st birthday is a very special birthday, especially for Americans, Indians, and in 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/night away with their friends. Of course, it is also a wonderful birthday to spend with family celebrating in style.

There are very famous lines “The only difference between Who you are and What you want to be is, What you do”.  In my own words The more the humility the more the success. The more the pride, the more the fiasco so get out of fault-finding mode and look at the brighter side of everyone/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 would really do so. I want to do some of the things which I may not even have thought of or invented at that time. Just imagining that if I had my current knowledge, then how my life would have been today. First on the list, without a doubt, 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 in my past (21st Birthday) i.e. I realise from where I came from,  consider how I got here, and wonder where I am going next.  My strong belief in “Speed is necessary” in life but the question is at what acceleration. It’s an invitation to the fiasco when someone forgets to maintain the balance between ebullience and forbearance  This look back process makes me think deeply that I am trusting God — clinging to God — than I ever did 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 advances through mobile phones, artificial intelligence, big data, the internet etc. Today, one can read, see and understand how others live, in their own home and abroad to compare self. 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 & respect your parents much more than you are doing it know. When mother ask what time you will come back home, respond carefully and lovingly don’t get frustrated. Some of the highlights of my 1st 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 my age (Yes not on 21st Birthday), even though I got married and started a family immediately after, I would STILL be living at 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, you know how much cut-eye and arguments with my wife could have been avoided solely by my mother’s swift intervention? Other few things which needs attention/focus and special care and that I would tell my younger self.

Social Media: If Facebook/Linkedin/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 no doubt have done so many wonderful things by creating so many meaningful and much-needed products. The flip side of technology 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, your privacy and everything humans have non-tangible items.

Personal life: Personal life was just focused on my future, studies and finding a good job. You should spend some time with God, parents, 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 1 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, learn what you need to learn from anyone without shying away. You have become increasingly unconscious not only of what you buy but also how the goods and services you buy have been produced. You should reject anything which has environmentally harmful production methods, uses child labour, and involves dangerous working conditions and other inhumane conditions.

Internet of the Thing: This was there like Point of Sale (POS) devices for credit card purchase 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, your books, buy your bus or train tickets. Have some small savings club with friends to save and make use of pool funds by supporting the person in need.

Online Schooling / Education system: This should have been there at that 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 which is affordable to you, and not by your friends or their dad’s car/pocket size. The devices are endless but at the end user is same and that is “keep you off 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 to be laughed at or to fail.

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, leaving your comfort zone, will help you to get more independent and will 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 horizon.

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 (21st Birthday), thoughts and imaginations. I wish everyone to cherish their love and give to someone who would really respect, love, care and spoil you.

Sign-tConclusions: 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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Posted by V Sharma

A Technology Specialist boasting 22+ years of exposure to Fintech, Insuretech, and Investtech with proficiency in Data Science, Advanced Analytics, AI (Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Deep Learning), and Blockchain (Trust Assessment, Tokenization, Digital Assets). Demonstrated effectiveness in Mobile Financial Services (Cross Border Remittances, Mobile Money, Mobile Banking, Payments), IT Service Management, Software Engineering, and Mobile Telecom (Mobile Data, Billing, Prepaid Charging Services). Proven success in launching start-ups and new business units - domestically and internationally - with hands-on exposure to engineering and business strategy. "A fervent Physics enthusiast with a self-proclaimed avocation for photography" in my spare time.

One Comment

  1. Johna Croat at

    Nice post …. i like your honesty in here


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