21st Birthday – This blog post is inspired and written on a very popular theme on the Internet; “I wish I were of “x” age”. I am completing 40 years on this earth and taking so much from mother nature and society. It considers the things/technologies I wish I had and the things I could have done differently or told my self to change etc.
At 40 – Yes My Parents Were Always Wright And Did Everything For Me
I am neither a writer nor have any expertise in inspirational storytelling/speaking. This post I am writing as is on the basis what I am thinking. On the 13th of July this year (2015), I am completing 4 decades on planet earth. This means I have done my part in the “Destroying Planet Earth”, now to its time to pay back. Time has come to start contributing to mother nature, family and do my social responsibilities.
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.
I Wish I Can Speak to my 21-year-old Self
21st birthday wishes are important and always help in deciding in whats 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 i.e. I realise from where I came from, consider how I got here, and wonder where I am going next. 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 then.
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 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, 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 my self that you should cut your time on social media and make personal touch with family and friends; rather then using whats app 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.
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, 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 basis of dreams, thoughts and imaginations.
Conclusions: So there you go. Some items on the list are particularly for my 21-year-old self and 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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