20 was such an important age for me. It felt like life was happening right then and there. I kind of felt that I was the center of the universe and that the earth revolves round me :). And those days still stay the most happening & important part of my life. As I double myself (I will be 40 this November) ; in this short and sweet letter to my 20 year old self, I so wish to write that –

You are both right and wrong.

Life is happening always. Not beginning at 20 or ending at 40. It is throbbing inside of you now, as much as it did when you were a stupid, 14yr old teenager. And it will throb as much, when you will be a senile 60yr old.

I want to tell my 20 year old self –

What you think is cool, is mostly stupid. Don’t base your ideas on ‘what’s right’ on the basis of the most popular kid in your class or what your crush thinks. Build your own version of right and wrong; the one that doesn’t hurt good people unnecessarily. And you will become cool anyway. The worst thing to do in 20s is to waste your energy in appearing COOL to others, in impressing others and by habitually using mediums as mobile phones, laptops and TVs to battle your loneliness.

Don’t follow the bandwagon. It is a lot of competition and takes you to a very crowded place. Now is a greatest time to think hard about what you want and then have the fearless courage to chase that dream. However, if you are CONFUSED & feeling USELESS- it is great. Your THIS state is en-route the destination called ‘Feeling awesome’. You cannot fly over this. You have to GO through this confused state. Do it v v soon. CONFUSION is the beginning of CLARITY. Keep moving very fervently for the next few years. For at 27, your parents might just begin chasing girls / boys for you and your dreams might take a backseat!

Kick fear out of your life. I know you are scared right now of the future, and of the uncertainties it brings. But look that fear in the eye. Fear is stupid, more like the creepy guy who stares at women in public places. If you stare back long enough, it shies away. So, look fear in the eye and remember – if you don’t give up your fear now, it will be too late. For at 30, there will be more things to be afraid of. Ask me 🙂

confidence-reflection-cat-tiger-motivation

I want to tell my 20 year old self –

If you want to teach yourself something, teach yourself the art of managing your finances. Money is an important tool for living life well. If someone tells you money is not important, they are lying. Money is important. Read all of Robert Kiyosaki before you turn 25.

Please also know that this is what money is – a tool. It will help you with your outcomes and plans. But it can’t be plan! Your life’s aim can’t be acquiring a tool. You need to know how to use that tool. If you are focusing on small amounts – the law of attraction will keep you small : Small in mindset, smaller in gains & smallest in luck. Pay out those small amounts & BUY out momentum, luck & peace.

Worrying about small issues & amounts– punctures & dissipates your CONCENTRATION on anything which is more valid to you in your life in 20s. Just imagine if you were to use double your concentration to solve career and life issues? Know the objective value of your time. Do not spend one hour saving on INR 50 when you hold the potential to earn INR 500 every hour.

(Read: How to Get Rich by Becoming Money Wise – 9 Subtle Secrets)

I want to tell my 20 year old self –

Don’t worry about that one sided love story. There will be many more to come. Love is overrated in today’s world anyway.

Look not for a lover; but for a friend who has a good heart. That friend will bring you more joy for your entire life. For passion burns out after a while; friendship is that drizzle that keeps your monsoons rain fed and alive.

Look not for a heated, Eric Segal romance, with a spark of Nicholas Sparks in it or a dash of Mills and Boons in it. Look for a “ye dosti hum nahin chodenge” type romance. This is the one that will remain after all the fires burn out.

emotional-quotient-letter-my-20-year-old-self
(Image Courtesy: My Simple Show)

Move on quickly from broken relationships. It may look like you are a cold blooded reptile but you accept it’s over and move on. The faster you reach this page, the earlier to discover the other joyful chapters of life. Between the age 15 and 28-30 – people who prefer ‘Career Goals’ over ‘Relationship Goals’ are more likely to super achieve both. Today if your friend has a romantic life and you do not have- It is absolutely OK. You could today chase awesomeness and in the next few years; thousands will begin chasing you for the awesomeness.

(If you are struggling with moving on, do give this a read.)

I want to tell my 20 year old self –

A little emotion is like beautiful rain. But if it rains too strong, for too long – there is mud and flood and lots of “keechad”. Don’t be a wholesale shop of emotions. Learn to find all that you need – within your own heart. That’s much less heartache and much more peace. For, barring few most people will disappoint your expectations.

Now is the time. Train yourself not to expect much out of people. A much better idea is to give help and smiles to people around.

Either throw your emotions in a bin or learn how to deal with them on your own. Don’t impose your weeps on others. They might not be able to handle it for long. You learn the art of being happy, without any help from others. It will give you great sense of purpose. If there is one very awesome thing that you can learn in this age- it is ‘learning to be happy alone’.

Another thing, I want to tell my 20 year old self –

Have good habits. Waking at 12 in the afternoon is not cool. It’s just you being a fool. It’s not freedom and liberty to live life your own way. It’s just ignorance.

(Read: How to Get Rid of Bad Habits: The Practical Way)

At 30, your health will start slipping away from you, if you don’t catch the reins now. Wake up early and exercise. Run or walk, jump or dance. But move your body. If it rusts, it will not take you to your dreams; only to hospitals. Boys- yes, you can take bath daily (It is possible) 🙂 .

Don’t drink and smoke and stone yourself. There are much much better ways to get high on life. If you want to be high, be high on purpose, on your sense of determination, on will power. Be high on the realization that your possibilities are limitless. Don’t stymie yourself by becoming an addict to anything that wastes your time and your body. If you are not moving forward in life, you are in fact – going backward.

health-conscious-motivation

Please know – a healthy you is the best gift that you can give to your family. It is a much better idea to spend money on world tours than hospital tours.

Love your parents. Love them deeply and selflessly. Don’t wait till you turn 30, to realize what they have done for you. Now is the time. Pamper them, spoil them, take care of them. It is a feeling unlike any.

My dear 20 year old self –

Whether or not you teach yourself anything today, do teach yourself how to meditate. This is THE BEST gift that you can give to your own self at any age (& especially at 20). It could be the single most important skill that can change your life leaps and bounds. At 40 when you will search for peace, after 40 years of noise and chaos – you won’t find it outside (& finding it inside too will become tricky), no matter how hard you try.

This meditation habit of 2 decades will super help you then. So learn it now. It will accelerate the pace of clarity of your thought at least 10 times. This is my personal commitment. You may begin your journey in meditation by beginning to read ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’- the book which Steve Jobs wanted the entire world to read (in his last message before he died).

Lastly, I want you to know –

Life will always be uncertain (lot of things will never ever be in your control). See it as a play; where you are playing your part and the story is not in your hand. Be the Nawazuddin Siddiqui of your role and then see- God (director) & life (audience) shall automatically make you a super star soon.

My dear 20 year old- please see that it is very simple:- Your life between 20 & 40 will be like a Tropical Rain Forest (of youth). GREENERY (Money, power, flirty ways & sex-citements) will be there for you to take BUT you might just get drenched in this RAIN (leading to stress, imbalance & thence errrors) inspite of your qualification and confidence.

You definitely need an UMBRELLA to save yourself. And the two hinges on which you can open this beautiful umbrella are :- ‘Spirituality & Fitness’.

‘Learning to Meditate’ & ‘A minimum of 60+ mins of daily Fitness’ are the two best gifts that you can give to yourself. These two will not only prevent you from getting drenched but will also create an AURA around you. This AURA will attract to you all the right things.

meditation-my-20-year-old-self
(Image courtesy: Mary Burns Blog)

Add these two ZABARDASTI to your life. And then see the MAGIC  :). Your speed of REAL, CALM progress will suddenly become at least 10x. I personally experienced it & am hearing from a hundred others who are doing the same  🙂

Now YOU go and DO IT !! Live your life full yes. For you are not coming out alive.

Akash Gautam

About Author

Akash Gautam is a Motivational Speaker & Corporate Trainer in India. Hundreds of Top Corporates like Google, CIPLA, Vodafone, McKinsey & Co., Maruti, HDFC, RIL, M&M & premier colleges like IIMs, IITs, SRCC etc go to him whenever they need a refreshing, big bang impact. Write to usWrite to us to know how he can transform your Team.

  • jay

    Being 19 year old, it was like my future self is talking to me, really needed it..!
    😊thanks a lot. 🙂

  • Nishant Kumar

    sir really so impressive thanks to realize hidden potential and power …..awsmm post

  • Ragini Daman

    Sir, I am glad I read this article. .. Thank you so much for the inspiration.
    Sir one challenge that I am facing is procrastination and laziness. I work hard when I do but it is usually delayed and it does somewhere affect my progress. I really want you to write something on how to avoid procrastination and in case you have already written about it then share that link with me.. ☺

  • James mellar

    Hi, I am Mr. James Mellar, I need an urgent partner for a business proposal there in your country if you are interested reply me back at ( jamesmellar1@gmail.com )

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