Life teaches us many lessons and men have recorded great stuff over thousands of years to capture experiences. I have probably reached a stage of my life where I believe I have experienced enough to record some of them. I hope that these nuggets of information my kids will read and hopefully practice.
In no order of preference :
This world does not like people who ask questions. But it is a very powerful trait to develop. Do not get discouraged even one bit from asking the most difficult questions. If you find people getting irritated or making fun of your questions, you can rest assured that they do not know the answer or are afraid to answer. Question every single belief that comes your way and use a scientific bent of mind to reasons out. And when every man fails to answer your question, there is always the Internet, created by some of our best minds.
Get a grip on one language
Whatever is the language of business, you must learn it in all forms. How to read, write and talk in it and you must make every attempt to be good at all 3 in any one language. Presentation and Oratory skills are important. Use few pictures and fewer words to hit home the message. The easiest way to find out how bad you are at talking in front of an audience is to record a video of it and see it alone. And if you are not in the business of fooling yourself you will know what to improve upon.
Learn to say “I don’t know”
A lot of books talk about the importance of saying No to things. I believe there is something more powerful than that: the courage to say I don’t know. Use it in all situations including ones in which saying a white lie makes pragmatic sense. Learning to say I don’t know with utmost sincerity will make you much respected among men who understand life.
Identify your passion
Identify the thing you love to do as early in your life if you can. Spend as much time as you can on becoming better at the skill. I use the word better because there is nothing like perfect. To follow your passion, you have to give up on many other things. That is the rule of the game. But if you love what you are doing, other things will fall in place.
Far far away
To better understand yourself, you must take the opportunity of living away from your family. It is the best way of understanding all the small things that happened magically for you while you were living at home with your family. Go to a different country to live. Every single country is beautiful in its own way. Always remember where you came from but go forth and stay where you find yourself most comfortable.
Respect the law
Whether you live in your country of birth or any other country, respect every single law. Pay your taxes, cast your vote and avoid beginning the cycle of circling around laws. Stay away from people who devise means to avoid taxes.
Sleeping Well At Night
A good night’s sleep is a luxury that a lot of people don’t have in this world despite all the material gains. What has worked for me is to drop out of the rat race, eliminate things that I don’t need and being solely responsible for things that I do. Figure out what works for you but strive towards getting a good night’s sleep.
The road to being happy is via sharing. Share whatever you can and do it 100%. Share your knowledge to others. The biggest fools are those that want to protect their knowledge and material stuff. Being in a community that likes to share is the fastest way to making this world better. Give back to society to whatever extent you can.
People say that you need to be lucky and be present at the right time and the right place. That is one piece of advice that you should not give a damn to. The only recipe that I have found which works every single time is that you need to work hard. Day in and day out. Rewards will come sooner or later, but they will.
Trust your own instincts
Free advice is available in plenty and especially from people who are older in age than you. Hear them out if possible, including the people whom you consider idiots. And then when everyone has spoken, go ahead and do what you think is right given the time, the context and the data that you have.
Adopt New Technology
Dive headlong into using new stuff that comes on the horizon. The biggest successes that I have had have been with things that I never thought I would touch especially when there was not much material available.
Silence is powerful
The person who speaks the last usually has won the argument. In a group setting, do your homework and listen out first. Speak when the time is right. And when you do that ensure that no fools are spared.
Mahatma Gandhi said that a country is known by the way it treats its animals. There is no greater truth than that. While you may not be able to bring about a massive change, you have to play your part. Animals are a great reminder of how we should be behaving and the more you can be like them, the better this world will be.
They say change is the only constant. I would add people to that list. People come and go. Your school friends, college friends, work friends.. they come and go. You will not even have a clue as to where they are in the years to come. Some may remain but what remains is your immediate family: Dad, Mom, Brother / Sister. Just keep the communication channels open.
Respect the environment
Mother Earth is begging us to behave ourselves and it does seem like an uphill task. Instead of talking about grand plans, do your own little part and use resources judiciously.
Try to keep vices to a minimum and better still keep none of them. They will only bring grief to your near and dear ones. They will ruin you over time and drain you of finances that you could have better utilized. People should know you for your spirit and not for the spirits that own you.
Be hands on
The only way to earn respect from your peers and subordinates is to be good at what you do. You cannot command or direct people if you do not understand the details or get your hands dirty once in a while. Constantly train yourself and keep yourself updated on the happenings in your field of work.
Your money is your money and what you do with it is entirely in your control. The only advice I can give you is to save as early in life as you can. Spending money beyond ones means is an art that even fools can master. And saving money does not make you a miser. Instead it will make you look like a genius when the shit hits the fan. Stay away from credit if you can. What you cannot afford to buy, you need to wait for it. Every financial instrument and adviser is after your money, do your homework instead of financing their lifestyles. Do not listen to people who say that money is not important in life. It is very important and you will figure that out easily. Is Money the most important? No, put “Freedom” and “Dignity” above it.
Learn to laugh
You must pepper your life with generous amounts of humor. And you know what is better? An ability to laugh at yourself. When the joke is on you, you will discover what you are built of. Life is too short, so have a little bit of fun along the way too….
Have a good one !