Life lessons at 40 : Unsolicited advice to improve the quality of your life.

It’s my 40th birthday and it’s been a fantastic ride. 

Over the years, I have learned many fabulous lessons from the ups and downs in life.  Taking inspiration from one of my mentors Kevin Kelly, here I have summed up 40 pieces of unsolicited advice that can help you improve the quality of your life.  

As I write this, I'm sitting on a my favorite decade old bean bag in my parents' Pune home. I’m here to  celebrate my sister's son's 28th day of birth tomorrow.  

So pick your cup of coffee, makes notes...

Let’s begin...

1. Stay curious, try and do everything Immerse yourself in your imagination and explore it deeply. The journey will take you to amazing and unexpected places. Don't be afraid to try everything, and use your intuition and instincts 

2. Play / Follow a sport Aside from being addictive, the sport also teaches analytical skills and sharpens your brain. Every sport I played or followed taught me to be grittier, more committed, sharp, and quick.

3. Do Boring work You will either burn out or find a way to keep it interesting. Accepting the mundane in your life is a way of accepting what you have and finding a way to make progress with it.  

4. J-M-H-IF Everyday  Journal, Meditate , Hydrate with enough water and Practice Intermittent Fasting everyday. As a result of following this, I gained calmness, more awareness , lost weight and gained more energy. 

5. Get 10 hours of sleep every night A good night's sleep can resolve most of your underlying issues, including emotional and physical stress. 

6. Be a good listener Often listening to people unbiasedly and non intrusively can help you understand them better. You might also learn something you never would have known if you hadn't listened in the first place.

7. Do more Analog experiments To achieve this, you need to do experiments in real life. Experiments like opening a fast food joint, opening a pop-up shop, developing a new product, spotting new opportunities, and packaging and selling a new service. It could be anything you can touch and feel. Many of the things I've tried have failed. However, the lessons learned from meeting people, asking for help, money, and support to launch the experiment are timeless.

8. Own up your mistakes without any conditions If you have done something wrong, don't wait for someone to point it out. Acknowledge the error and offer a solution to rectify it. 

9. Document your Failures To make progress, you must document your failures. Describe in detail what you did and how you did it that caused the failure. It is often during this documentation process that you discover a better solution to make that thing successful. 

10. Do what your heart desires and follow your instincts You will be able to repel a lot of fake people in your life. Heart centered intentions and passions will attract your tribe.

11. Learn money and wealth management early If you understand how money works and how to manage it, you can 10x the quality of your life. Compounding is a powerful term with its roots in investments. You should learn it.

12. Diversify your skills You are not meant to do what you have been taught or told. If you learn new skills and deploy them through your projects, you will realize that you are limitless. Strategically combining these new skills makes you the best and the only person who can do what you do. 

13. Meet new people It is important to meet new people who can challenge you with new concepts, ideologies, and thoughts. This is a way to maintain your awareness and see how you can apply that knowledge and experience to improve yourself.   

14. Don't ever lie to yourself Never lie to yourself because you are doing a disservice to yourself. It is important to understand that there is a difference between being optimistic about the situation and telling yourself lies. Realizing this will help you live a more honest life and have a better understanding of what is really going on.

15. Gamify everything Gamifying everything will make you execute things with a mission in mind. You won't be as emotionally invested, since every task is just like playing an actual game

16. Limit your resources Do what you can with what you have. Start with what you've got and don't wait to get the perfect gear or setting. By limiting your resources, you can learn new skills and create better.

17. Be kind to yourself It is human nature to make mistakes, to fail, to not keep promises. We all have flaws. Be kind to yourself and don't beat yourself up for every little thing you haven't done. Learn to be kind to yourself, and love yourself like no one else. 

18. Don't plan beyond 6 months We are living in such a delicate and wonky time that planning for the future a long way in advance is not wise. Stay in the moment and focus on things that can improve the current system or process and avoid planning too far in advance. 

 

19. Step back, stay quiet when you are in middle of family drama You waste your time and energy trying to prove your point. Don't get into an ego war with people who you know will get nasty as things heat up. In some cases, it's best to fade away from their lives forever, regardless of how much you love them. Live your life the way you want to, without offending or disrespecting anyone. 

20. Never do things out of pity for someone When you act with pity, the person receiving your help and support feels weak and meek. They will then continue to expect this support from you and others. It is important to act out of respect and grace when you wish to empower people. 

21. Make more, give more  Donate some of your money to charities and people who will benefit from it. You can expand the lives of others through what you have. Be giving. 

22. Bond over BFMFT Friendships and connections that are forged over books, films, music, food, and travel will last a lifetime. 

23. Take notes for everything Thoughts, ideas, and concepts that flood your mind last a very short time. As your day progresses, you forget most of your genius idea. Create a second brain that you can use to expand and create new things by using a note-taking app or an everyday notebook.

24. Unego yourself Take yourself less seriously. You can learn this by giving yourself less importance and going with the flow while protecting your dignity. Your ego will slowly disappear when there is less friction in your life 

25. You must cringe In looking back, if you cringe and feel yucky, it is a sign that you have made progress.  

26. There is no Plan B Do not consider a Plan B. Our mediocrity is often caused by knowing that something or someone is waiting for us if we fail. 

27. Play the game to your strengths You can identify your strengths by expressing yourself and showing up frequently. As a consequence of putting yourself out there, your weaknesses are highlighted, and your strengths are revealed. Double down on your strengths once you've identified them. 

28. Preach by doing, not by words Make an impact on someone through the actions you take, rather than just words. 

29. Learn to build in public You will not go far if you create secretly and are overly protective of your idea. Embracing vulnerability and committing to learn, build, and fail in public are two aspects of building in public.  Instant feedback and constant checks will help you build resilience and strengthen your confidence. 

30. Create a golden sunset path for your parents Despite all they have done for us, our parents sometimes forget to take care of themselves. Ensure that they have all the resources they need to transition into their sunset years. Help them learn news skills, help them set up a new business, teach them how to create, do everything it takes to enable them to be financially independent, mentally and physically strong. 

 

31. Others emotions and troubles are not your responsibility In the past, as a sensitive, old soul, I used to be drawn into other peoples' emotions, empathize with them, and sulk for days or even weeks. I was unknowingly drained of energy by this, and was unhelpful. Instead of blending into emotional situations, I now distance myself from them and offer guidance when needed to make progress. 

32. The way to help others is to help yourself Rather than working on others to make them perfect and conform to your life vision, work on yourself first. 

33. Nobody is obligated to keep being with you It is important to remember that nobody is obligated to work with you forever. If you are not the one chosen, it does not mean that you are inferior or any less deserving.

34. Make a list of your blessings and be grateful for them Listing blessings can help you gain perspective on what is most important to you and what you want your life to be like.

35. Learn to sell Salesmanship develops skills like analytical thinking, problem-solving abilities, confidence, and charisma. Whether you are a creator or not, selling is an essential skill. 

36. Refer to the Originals There's a surplus of content today, but it can be hard to find what you need. Take a look at the original and the earliest authors, musicians, writers, thinkers, inventors, and thought leaders - you'll probably find what seem like boring details but are full of amazing lessons and learnings because they have already mastered the lessons. 

37. Spend quality time with your loved ones Whatever is your definition of quality, just do it. Make sure you have a good time and do it whole-heartedly with them. Cherish these little moments, they'll live with you forever. 

38. Stop saying sir or madam When you want to be more personable and build rapport with someone, try calling them by their name. You might think this sounds too informal or even disrespectful, but it's actually a great way of being human and less patronizing.

39. Never judge a person by their past You should never think of someone's past when judging them. Whenever possible, if you can offer support and resources, let them make progress with your support.  

40. Question everything and arrive at your version of truth Don't be afraid to ask yourself questions and keep a healthy skepticism. Don't believe everything you hear!

That's it.

That's a wrap.

How did you like it ?

I would love to hear your thoughts on what I have shared here. 

Continue the discussion here on twitter.