Lessons of the 26th year of life

I turned 26 last Thursday. I am usually not fan of big celebrations but what I do do is assess the last year and the lessons it gave. In the past these assessments were usually mental notes or notes on rough paper but this time I decided to document them properly so that I have a reference point for the next year. Obviously this idea of documenting is derived from my entrepreneurial experience. :)

Never Drink and Drive: This is shameful. I usually pride myself on the fact that I learn from the mistakes made by others and yet it took a personal experience for me to truly realize this. It happened early last year and at the risk of sounding dramatic – it was a life changer. Maybe it was just not my time to go or my parents’ good karma the only damage that came out of the experience was a totalled car. I am just happy that no one was hurt. Experiences like this are completely avoidable and I strongly ask you to learn from my lesson and never mix drinking and driving. Ever.

Fair warning: a lot of points that will follow may seem to derive or refer to this experience. It sounds very dramatic when people say that one incidence changes the way they see life but that actually happens. Happened to me.

Express: It is important that people know what you feel. Even though I am still a very private person one thing I have realized is that expressing yourself helps. It’s important that the people who you love, care about and think of know that. It would be the best if they realized or saw that on their own but I recommend that you do not waste time waiting for that to happen. There might be no tomorrow and then they will never know. Also as for the negative feelings like anger and jealousy – it makes sense to let them out as well because such feelings degrade you from inside when bottled up.

Love: The verb. I know this is abstract. Yet. It is a wonderful feeling to love. Love someone or love something. Love what you do. And then go back to the previous point and express that love. It is a very strong emotion and if used properly can make you very powerful.

Work for you wants, not you needs: Sometime people delay getting something until it becomes a need. I would say if you want something, get it. Again this comes with an assumption that you can differentiate between actually wanting something and thinking that you want something. Also I have realized that the things that I want are more fun than the things that I need.

Work for defined goals: It is extremely important that you leave the “I want to be successful when I grow up” definition of goal as early as possible. A properly defined and quantified goal enables better assessment of progress and direction and a better estimation of time that they would need. This constant feedback is the most important input for your future strategies. Also a clearly defined goal is more “achievable”. This statement sounds vague but it comes from the realization that there will never be a time when I will say “I have achieved all the success I want”.

Work with the best: There are dozens of idioms about how you need to be in good company to be a good person. Your peers define you capabilities and limits. It is important that they set a high enough bar for you so that you are adequately motivated and challenged at the same time. Lucky for me both my partners at Green Apple Solutions, Naveen and Laksh are awesome people. Both of them are alpha-males that inspire and support all of us at Green Apple Solutions including me.

Friends, not followers. Colleagues, not Employees: Friendliness goes a long way and the first step to that is how you see and treat the people around you. Try to consider everyone your equal. Your seniors will appreciate your confidence and you juniors will love you.

Find “me” time: This year was extremely busy which is a great thing if you are an entrepreneur in the services business. Yet it is extremely important to take out that “me” time when you do what makes you happy. Even if Jack loves what he does, yet all work and no play will definitely make jack a dull boy. Don’t let your life be dull. Go play.

Blogging makes me Happy: Ok,this is more of a realization than a lesson. Yet I think this is worth mentioning.

There are many more such lessons that are mostly derived from my experiences with different clients and events at Green Apple Solutions but I feel these are the ones that really affected me. It would be pretty cool if they help anyone accomplish even a tiny goal or make a minute improvement in their lives.

Do share your thoughts.

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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex

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