In this journey called life, we all come across various occasions of celebrations and many points of sheer despair. But all in all, there is always a moment where you get to learn something. And this is why today I am going to talk about the major lessons I learnt in the course of my life

Here are the 39 most important life lessons I have learnt in the 39 years of my life and no matter what your age and experience is, you’re going to love it.

  1. Fear is a universal emotion:

Even the most talented, smart, lucky and the most beautiful people in the world are not immune to fear. There is always a fear attached to us when we plan to start something new. To do something that has never been done before involves risk, which we are scared to take.

We are worried about our families, our jobs, our life, and a lot of other things. Fear is an emotion that will never leave our side. Your experience, money, talent, nothing can defend you against fear. May be you’ll be afraid more, or less, but you’ll always be afraid of something, of losing, of not succeeding.

But don’t worry; having fear is a sign that you are still alive. It means you are not overestimating yourself. All you need to do is to keep going on. You don’t need to get rid of it, you need to overcome it.

  1. Change is inevitable:

The biggest illusion is permanence, also called intransience. Time is always moving forward, and it has to bring along certain changes. Seasons change, so do people, and so do the circumstances. Change is inevitable both inwardly and outwardly, and it is much needed. As Bruce Lee once said, “moving water never goes stale, just so just keep on flowing”. To change or not to change is a question that any person in right state of mind can never pose. The only question they can ask themselves is how to adapt to these changes?

  1. “Quickly” doesn’t mean right away:

On the contrary, it means “Slowly, but without interruption”. Remember friends, slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Doing something hastily may increase the chances of messing up beyond reparable proportions. Just focus on doing it regularly. Just keep on moving, no matter how slow, just keep going on. It’s the regularity that makes it look fast from the third perspective.

  1. Creation must be more than consumption:

If you consume more than you can create, eventually you will end up with the common consumer lifestyle, where demand is high and there is no supply to match it. It’s more or less like eating all day, only to feel really hungry at night with nothing in the refrigerator. We are not talking about food here, it’s just an example, but we hope you understand the point I am trying to make here. You need to keep creating something new. A new idea, a new regime, a new schedule, this is what keeps us mentally healthy.

  1. Yesterday’s thoughts are today’s action, and today’s thoughts and actions define your tomorrow:

If you decide you’ll begin something tomorrow, make it a rule to stick to the plan. No matter what the hurdles are, no matter what you plan, how you plan to execute it, and how good your adverse situation management is, it’s your fight, and you are the sole owner of it. No one owes you responsibility, and no one ever will.

  1. Guarantees are for losers:

Yes, this may sound harsh, but then again, truth hits you hard in the face, sometimes, with a sledgehammer. If you are waiting to be 100% ready, and planning to analyze each and every adverse situation and a roadmap around it, you’ll never take even a single step towards progress. You will stay where you are, may be even fall back.

  1. Sacred knowledge is a thing of the past:

This is the time of informational hygiene. Information overload has rendered a lot of unusable and meaningless information on the internet. Just search for facts just not worth knowing, and you’ll know what I mean. The amount of distracting information is so high, that concentrating on your work while staying online is one tough nut to crack. Stay away from gossips, grapevines and other such verbal garbage. To hear your own voice, it’s important to shut down the external nose, and sometimes, the noise within.

  1. Joy and pleasure are not synonyms:

Eating a chocolate brownie or blueberry cheesecake, smoking a cigarette, drinking wine is pleasure, but not joy, it’s not happiness. Pleasure is buying a new pair of shoes, but it’s just pleasure. And that’s the thing about it, pleasure is volatile. Joy, on the other hand, lies in small things in life, the small pauses, smile of a child, the warm hug your family gives you when you leave for work or come back from it. Joy is in knowing your teammates actually look forward to see you. Giving up pleasures sounds like a bad idea, may be even a nightmare, but they are nothing as compared to losing the joy.

The worst part is, realizing that you gave up joy in search of pleasure occurs when it’s already too late. Some realize it and regret, some just shrug off and move on. Some people just don’t learn. Don’t be that kind of people. It’s just not worth it.

  1. Suffering is inevitable:

So, after all the discussion and debates, it turns out that Buddha was right when he said suffering exists. Whether you have everything in life, or nothing at all, suffering will always be there. And those who are not suffering at this moment will experience it somewhere down the line. It can happen due to any reason, and may be even due to no particular reason at all. Suffering may be because of a failed relationship, or unsuccessful career, or an ill family member, or anything, the more you run away from it, the more you’ll suffer. The best thing to do is to accept it, and believe that this too shall pass.

  1. Everyone can’t, and shouldn’t be happy:

Let’s explain this through an example: there are many terrorist organizations in the world. They are happy when they kill someone, when they bomb a particular area, the more terror they spread the happier they are. And then there are people like us, like you, who want to live. So, “we living” makes those terrorists unhappy, and “we dying” makes us unhappy. Everyone should be happy sounds good only in theory. Practically, it’s not possible.

  1. Balancing your mind is what joy really means:

Dreaming of finding true love, having a loving family, traveling, being your own boss, all this is almost as close to joy as it gets. But the truth is you can’t always be satisfied with everything all the time. Eventually, suffering will be there, and it’s alright. Just keep going, and remember that change is inevitable, and things will be better. Try to stay focused on your dreams, and keep trying to maintain a calm state of mind. When you can accept happiness and sorrow with the same generosity, you will know joy.

  1. Include fruits in your diet today, your body will thank you:

Fruits are alkaline, and not acidic. Alkaline is the chemical that neutralizes acids. Sources of acids you ask? Try Google and learn a couple of things about healthy diet and what goes with what.

  1. Your body doesn’t know what it needs:

If you are an alcoholic, your body will want to drink; if you are a smoker, your body will crave for nicotine; the body of a junk food lover will crave for fries, burgers and everything unhealthy. In short, your body desires what you’ve been feeding it.

  1. Your food habits affect your mind:

As they say, alcohol makes you lose inhibition, or smoking makes you feel calm for a while, food habits also affect our mind along with our body. But this effect is more on the sub conscious and unconscious mind than the conscious mind. Certain foods make you less focused towards the task at hand. Consider cheese for example. You may not always feel sleepy after eating cheese in lunch, but if someone tells you cheese makes you sleepy, you will want to sleep after having it in lunch. Eating less spicy food, cooked in healthy oils will keep you happier, calmer as compared to eating spicy food. We are what we eat.

  1. Money is not everything, but you need plenty of it before thinking so:

Let’s take the example of a rich person and a middle class person. The middle class person knows he can’t have enough money if a dire medical condition comes up, and this worry will itself cause a lot of tension related issues, insecurity is a trait that is not healthy, for the body and for the mind. If you know you can afford any extent of medical aid, this security itself brings along a lot of relief.

  1. We aren’t as different as we like to think:

Among the most overrated traits in the world we live, individuality comes among the toppers. Uniqueness is so exaggerated that we hardly stop and think that we are so similar to so many people, it’s actually amazing! Ever walked into a room and then wonder why did you come here in the first place?

  1. Addicted to something, stay away from it at all costs:

For an alcoholic, it’s hard to stop at a single glass of whiskey. If you are trying to quit smoking, you can’t have that occasional puff every now and then. To abstain from something requires you to isolate yourself from the situation at all cost. It may even require you to stop hanging out with friends who indulge in activities you are trying to quit.

  1. Waiting to get prepared for change is a waste of time:

There is no such thing as being fully prepared. There will always be a contingency that you have never prepared for, whether it arises or not is a different story altogether. There is no favorable time, and there is no “later”, and there will always be an “if” and a “but” attached to every decision and every moment. Just have a strong belief in your capabilities and a strong trust in your decision.

  1. You’ll never get to write the initial chapters of your life:

And this scenario can also come up in later stages as well. Our first job, first school, first appraisal, everything is concrete; abstract is only a state of mind. You choose your initial friends as per the social norms. And here we are, telling you that you may sometime give up on them as well. As much as harsh it sounds, or hard to do, sometimes, the hardest thing to do is actually the only right thing that must be done.

  1. Succeeding at first attempt is probable, not definite:

Even luck has to work; everything has to work to keep the wheel spinning. There is no such thing as a good fortune, not always.

  1. What helped you once may not help you again:

Rather, it can act counterproductive at a later stage. See, the thing is, those who started small in terms of organizations, they had a different set of rules then. As a company grows, those old rules need amendments or need to be chucked right away.

  1. Comfort zone doesn’t make you grow, discomfort does:

The only thing you’ll ever get in your comfort zone is comfort, nothing else. No learning, no growth, not one bit. You won’t find a box of chocolates out there, but what you’ll find is opportunity, the risk that you need to take to grow, the prospects that make you achieve success.

  1. Life without purpose is not life:

What matters is that you need to decide whether you are going to find the purpose on your own, or follow your instincts.

  1. There is no such thing as laziness:

There are activities that you don’t love. There are times when you are just too tired to do anything, and need proper rest. May be you lack vision, and have not realized what your calling is, but laziness? There is no such thing.

  1. You’ve got to create yourself:

If you are looking for a helping hand to grow, look at the end of your arms. You are the only person you’ll ever have in tough times. You are your best friend. You’ve got set your goals for you. If you let other do it for you, you will eventually grow tired of them and seek solace in distractions. When we follow our own goals, we do get tired in this situation too, but we always want to get back to it after a short breather.

  1. You don’t need alcohol:

That’s right; you don’t need it at all.

  1. Unrealized potential hurts like hell down the line:

You are born with a special talent. And it’s your responsibility, your most important job to search for it, realize it and work on it. Regrets hurt like hell, especially regrets of not doing something you always wanted to.

  1. Banks should be paying you, not the other way around:

We are talking paying more than you earn, on regular basis. Buying things on credit card all the time is wastage of this resource. Credit cards should be kept to use in case of an emergency, and not for buying the latest smartphone.

  1. Learning how to work under pressure is as important as learning how to relax:

Exertion is inevitable, you will need to work day in and day out to achieve your goals, or move a step closer to them. As much as you strain yourself in doing things that you love, you will also be able to relax better, with a sense of achievement, a sense of worth.

  1. Learn to say “yes” and “no” at the right time:

Say yes to opportunities despite no guarantees, say yes to change, say yes to being ready to take a step forward even when you can’t. Say no to your comfort zone; say no to rest without working as hard as you can. Say no to your fears. Once you learn how to say no to your inner self, only then you will be able to say no others.

  1. Good things and great things are different:

You tend to forget about good things, but you’ll never forget the great things that happened in your life. Doing a good job is way different from being really great at something. Being good at something involves passion and skill. But being great at something requires you to place your passion above your ego, which is actually a lot difficult to do.

  1. There are three sides to any argument:

And they are your side, my side, and obviously, the right side.

  1. Success is not inherited:

Success is something you achieve, on your own. With your own sweat, blood and guts. It’s not yours if you didn’t take the first step on your own. Many people come across your path to guide you, but it’s you who’s got to walk the walk.

  1. Have a clear picture of the future you want to create:

As a wise man once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never reach there.”

  1. There’s a difference between jealousy and envy, learn it:

Jealousy is when you are afraid of losing something or someone. Envy is when you lack what you want, and someone else has it.

  1. Count your blessings:

You may feel down and disconnected quiet often when you start a journey, and stumble upon a lot of hurdles. No matter how strong we are, we all have a breaking point. And it’s perfectly fine to have one. In those moments, just think of the people who love you for who you are, and wouldn’t change one thing about you. And even if they do, you know it’s for something better.

  1. Remember the most important Zen quote you’ll ever need:

Fall seven times, get up eight.

  1. It’s ok not to be liked by everyone:

As a matter of fact, if everyone says good things about you, they are at your funeral.

  1. A pearl of wisdom given by dad:

Strive for excellence, not perfection.