20 Things I am glad I know before turning 20.

I’ll be turning 20 in a month or so.

And life till now has been beautiful even though chances are that I have not seen half of the things, life has to offer. It is still beautiful.

I have failed– a lot. I can’t even remember all the times, I have failed. In life, in organizations I work, in relationships– everywhere.

But all the failures left lessons. All the people who were in my life or are in my life, left a lesson. And it has been beautiful.

Probably, as a pre-birthday thing or as a new series named– “List It Down”, here are 20 things I am glad, I know before turning 20:

  1. Everyone won’t like you. And that’s OK. You’ll always have people who don’t like you. There will always be people who will apparently hate you. There will always be people who don’t even like standing near you.  For no rhyme or reason. And you know what? That’s OK. You can’t connect with everyone.  So let this go deep into your soul and agree with it. Not everyone will like you. And that’s OK.
  2. You’re not your job. Or degrees. Or your cars. Or your mansions. Or your stuff. You’re not these things.  You’re probably how you love and how you care. How you’re humble and how you treat people living in worse condition than you. You’re what you feel, what you think you feel and what you’ll feel. You’re how you behave when everyone is shouting. You’re all these. Keep this in mind. You’re your passion and how you live.
  3. You’ll go through unimaginable pain and trauma and you’ll think you’ll never come out of it. But guess what? You’ll and it’ll be OK. I know, I have had moments where I completely broke down, cried, shouted my lungs out and thought that I’ll never come out of it. But, I have. Yes, the scars are there. Yes, it still hurts sometime. But, it has made me stronger. And, I know more are yet to come. But, I know I’ll come out of it and all will be OK.
  4. The world outside is cruel and sick.  It is true. The economy is at all times low, the society structure is being desecrated, people are fighting and killing in names of so many things. Empathy is at all times low and egoism is what drives half of us. Accept it. You know why? Because ranting doesn’t solve issues. So go out and change things in however small way, you can. Trust yourself. You’re the hope, this world has. Don’t give up on it, as yet. Love more, trash less.
  5. Take responsibility of every action of yours. You’ll fuck up so many times, you’ve no idea. You’ll hurt others, you’ll impact lives negatively and you’ll have to make it straight. Accept it and work towards it. Also, you’ll impact lives positively and you’ll have to defend yourself so many times. No one else will do it for you. So, accept when you fuck up but don’t let anyone ride over you. Find the fucking balance.
  6. People will tell you’re a crazy loser and will do everything they can to bring you down. This will happen. Some people only remain by your side as far as, they feel comfortable. As soon as you do something they’re not comfortable with or you try to do something they never thought you’ll, they’ll call you crazy. They’ll call you fucked up. They’ll call you thousand other things. But if you believe yourself, if you know what you’re doing. Keep at it. Don’t listen to them. Weed them out.
  7. Forgiving and letting go are crucial, if you want to be at peace. Really forgive, move on and let go. Many people have done me wrong, I have cried because of them and my entire life got upside-down because of them. And, I have kept hating them. Seeking revenge and whatever. But it is worthless. And will destroy you. Nothing is as liberating and freeing as forgiving and letting go. And they don’t have to ask your forgiveness. Just give it to them. And fucking LET GO.
  8. Never fuck with people who genuinely love you. Really. Please don’t. You know who I am talking about. The people who are always beside you, your best friends, your family, your lover– whoever it maybe. Never and I say NEVER, fuck with those who genuinely care about you and your being. Be with them, support them and love them. They’re truly precious and one of a kind.
  9. Go easy on the need to get validated. It is very tempting, I know. I have been there. With all the social media tools available now, it has become easier than ever to get validation from people. Likes, hearts and mentions. Go easy on them. Never, ever give someone or something that much control that it can easily impact your mood. Remember if good comments make you jump, what will bad comments do to you? Go easy. It is good to get praised. But don’t over-do. Find a fucking balance.
  10. Go easy on the Ego and “I” syndrome. A lot was achieved before you and a lot will be achieved after you. So go slow on the egoistic and ‘Holier-Than-Thou’ attitude. Yes, you might be smarter than everyone. Yes, you might be witty and funny and Bill Gates. But it doesn’t matter. Be humble. You’ll learn more. You’ll appreciate more. And you won’t be a jerk.
  11. Never beat yourself up. Never. You might be in the thick of the world’s most fucked up problem, but never hate yourself. Or say, you’re not worth it or you deserved it. It is not other’s duty to love you, it is yours. So trust yourself. You’ll come out of the rut. You’ll be OK. But, never not for one second, hate yourself. That is the worst thing you can do to yourself.
  12. You’ll make mistakes. More mistakes than you think, you’ll and that’s good. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re stagnant and not moving froward. Make mistakes. Make more mistakes and accept each and learn from each of them. Really. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. I know, I was initially so afraid. Still am, somewhat. But it is absolutely gorgeous to witness the change in you after a mistake. Just remember the golden rule– Never, ever repeat the same mistake.
  13. People will talk. A lot. More about you than with you. So accept it and move on. Really. People talked when I left the course I was doing. People talked when I devoted my time to a voluntary organization and people again talked when I started this blog. So, it’s OK. Don’t fear their talks. Do what you want to, with love and passion. They’ll talk. So never fear what people will say. They have said a lot of things and they’ll say some more. Don’t let it stop, you. Go and be awesome.
  14. It’s OK to let some people go. There will be some people in your life and their thinking and your thinking will never match. They’ll always do the work of pulling you down, telling you how you suck and are good for nothing or you just can’t connect with them and feel negative. And, it is completely OK to let go of such people. Just let them go. Not with hate or revenge. With forgiveness and a feeling of moving on. It’s OK. Not everyone is meant to stay.
  15. Don’t fear change and let go of the need to control. In the initial phase of my life, I was always sad or irritated because things never went as I thought they would. And too much was changing too quickly. And, I tried resisting it. That was worthless. Change will happen, you want or no. And people will change and do as per their wish, not yours. You can just decide, how you’ll react to the change. Let go of this need. You’ll be happier. Much happier.
  16. Find what you love. Do what you love. Life is too short. I can’t stress on this one enough. Life is short, like really short. There is no point of doing something you detest. You’ll die with all the regrets of the world. And that’s not a very healthy process. I know, there are so many factors. But always be on search of something you love. Do it part-time, do it after office, do it before. But never let it go. Hold it tight. And follow it in whatever capacity. But do follow. And never stop searching.
  17. Be selfish but at the same time lookout for the people in need. People have either told me to be selfish or be completely devoted to community. I say don’t do either. Find a fucking balance. Be selfish. Learn new things, explore and put your happiness ahead because you can’t do anything for anyone until you’re happy yourself. But lookout for the needy, the community problems– Poverty, education, hunger. And do something for them in whatever capacity. You’ll feel fulfilled. I promise.
  18. Learn to Listen. That’s the single-most crucial and best quality to have.  And when I say, listen. I mean really listen, not with the intention to reply, not with the context to what it means to you. But just listen, with the intent to listen.  This will mean considering everyone as equal, everyone as only one thing, without judgement– Humans. Learn to listen to others. Learn to listen to yourself. Empathy cannot exist without that. That deep listening skills. To feel every word. That type of listening.
  19. Always be curious enough and willing enough to learn. And never stop. There are so many things we don’t know. And chances are there will always remain things, we’ll never know. But be curious and willing to learn new things. Be willing to make a difference. Be willing to take on new adventures and see life as it really. That is what will keep you going. And probably, that is how wisdom comes into being. Be willing to love. Be willing to learn.
  20. You are fucking awesome and you are valuable in yourself. Don’t let anyone say otherwise. There will be people in your life, who will make you question your value, your worth. And they’ll come, if they haven’t yet. At that time, always remember, your being human is valuable in itself. And whatever happens. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Ever.

That’s it, I guess.

What are some of the lessons you think should make a part of this list?


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70 thoughts on “20 Things I am glad I know before turning 20.

  1. Its a beautiful article up there and a lot of it true. I would like to repost it with my real life experiences as I am turning 20 in a few days. I would highly appreciate it if I can. May be it inspires some of my people. Thankyou in advance. And a happy 21st birthday in advance.

  2. I will be sure to read your blog, you have a different perspective on minimalism, but please minimize the cuss words. Your words already have weight and depth.

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  4. I’m around your age, and I think I agree with a good number of the things you’ve listed. Except two-about never beating yourself up and forgiving everyone. It’s a nice thought, sure. Don’t beat yourself up or hate yourself, exactly, but I think that you need to feel some kind of remorse or sometimes even anger at the things you’ve done-more often than not in a fit of rage or when you weren’t yourself. You can’t always let it go and forget every time because then you’ll never improve. There’s no one who has more right to scold and correct you than yourself.

    Sometimes you need to tell yourself ‘Wake up, me. That is NOT on, and I will have to suffer consequences if I do it.’ To keep to your own moral code, sometimes you need to be angry with yourself for transgressing or doing something stupid. I know, because when other people are angry with me I can often brush it off if I don’t agree-but if I’m angry or regret doing something myself I will have to change and become better. Am I making sense?

    About the forgiving others thing, it is MUCH easier said than done. It might be liberating once you’ve let go but boy is it hard on the way. In some cases, I think it’s even bet not to forgive someone-it lets them know you think they’re wrong, on a very deep level so that you CAN’T just let it go. You might say it’s not our job to police others and you’d be right, it’s not, but letting someone know that you think they’re going down the wrong path, especially someone close to you, can be better for both parties.All things considered of course. Once they’ve corrected themselves forgive them, by all means. But if everyone let go like that, how would we know when we’re wrong? Conscience? I don’t think so.

    That’s why I think forgiveness is not always the best way forward. And that’s not a popular viewpoint, I know.

    -The Ace

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  6. This is an incredibly useful list. I agree with you on all points. I wish I had known these pieces of wisdom when I turned 20. But it’s better to learn late than never, right? You are very wise for your age, I’m impressed. 😉

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  11. I’m also turning 20 this coming September and I realize all thing you’ve written are definitely true. I can relate to all of your list and I should always remind myself of this! Followed. And keep writing!

  12. Heyy !! That was simply a very lovely, simple but deeply-seated piece of writing! Loved it to the core. Felt like reading it again & again Hardik. Every single damn word is so connecting. And yes every bit of it is true. And that’s why i simply couldn’t resist commenting on this post. I m glad you have acquired so much of wisdom so soon. It’s quiet the same with me 😀
    Well, Keep writing and keep inspiring!!
    All the best !

    • Hey, Leigh! Thanks for the words. Ah, yes, just 19. Will be turning 20. Old soul, as they say.

      Thank you for the early birthday wish! I appreciate it right through. 🙂

      Keep reading and cheers. 🙂

  13. You are wise beyond your years, and observant and smart. One word, concept, life lesson, I think should be added to the list is; Presence. Presence through and with the circumstances and people you encounter. It can’t be done all the time, but what a difference it makes when you can! Go forth and conquer (with love) and have a great birthday!

  14. Happy belated birthday! I’m 20 myself, and I can say that most of these are very true, and although they seem obvious, reading them over is a really good reminder.

  15. Thanks for sharing. There is some great advice here that I should follow. Thanks for your encouraging comments on my blog too! You are clearly a man with insight and a big heart.

  16. Hi Hardik, first time reading your blog and this is a great post! That is really 20 years of good learning and I learnt a great deal from this post. It is bite-sized, concise and yet, packed with lots of real info that really describes what we face every day. Can’t make everyone happy I guess (and that is a good reminder)!

    • Hello, Leo. I am glad, you liked it and found value in the writing.

      That is true on so many levels. You can’t make everyone happy. Neither should you try. 🙂

      Thank you for the words. Keep reading and cheers!

  17. Hardik, I always knew you as Rotaractor (hope I spelled that correctly xD) Hardik Nagar, but today I saw a totally new side to you and what a side it is. You say what you feel and in the most effective and bitesized way possible. Which is what makes it so long lasting in the reader’s mind.

    I have only one additional perspective to add to the point of letting go. We let get of people who have wronged us but we also have to let go of people who haven’t wronged us. When one realizes that a friend or acquaintance is too dependent on oneself (it is a rare occurence, but it happens), we must let go of that person because we might be the ones impeding their progress if we let them cling onto us.

    Also, it isn’t necessary to have a best friend or a romantic partner at all points of time. It is fine to be alone and rediscover oneself as we step into further stages of life. Hope I conveyed myself unambiguously!

    Keep writing because you have an impatient reader in me! 😀


    • Hello Arushi,

      Yes, you spelled it right. 😛

      Thank you for the words. I appreciate it and am so glad, I could create value for the readers! 🙂

      Yes, you made two wonderful points! I agree to them right up.

      Sometimes, you’ve to let people who haven’t wronged you too. Just because, probably you grew apart or choose different directions and that just seems like the best option.

      Also, I agree having a best friend or romantic interest isn’t necessary. Rediscovering or renewing or leveling up as I say, is quite necessary. 🙂

      Thank you such an insightful comment.

      I’ll be writing soon. Keep reading and cheers. 🙂

  18. Thank you for the like of my ‘mind reader’ Hardik. You are only 19 and you know about the Top 20 already. Excellent rules to live by–always! Happy early Birthday to you. You will do just fine.

    • Thank you so much! Ah, yes. I have learnt over the time. And I am pretty sure that there much learning left to achieve. I am glad, you liked the post. 🙂

      Thank you for the wishes!

      Keep reading and cheers.

  19. U hav done a great job boy …
    Kudos! To u.. fo all uo efforts hav a remarkable way through..
    Relates to all b it a kid frm skool a teenager o an adult…u r such an amazng and humble person i hav eva cum across. Seeing u in colg givng a wide smile to being a writer of uo own thoughts Amazng… M short of wrds !!
    All d best wishes to u 🙂 😉
    Till den keep writing n motivating us fo sumthn good 🙂 😀

    • Thank you so much, Aditi!

      This comment means a world to me. I am glad, you liked it. And moreover glad that I could inspire you in whatever capacity. 🙂

      I’ll see you soon again once the college starts with the same old grin.

      Love. 🙂

  20. Happy Birthday! I would add only one thing to this fantastic list, something I wish I had fully grasped at 20: “be patient with yourself”. At 20, you probably have friends who seem to have it all figured out, maybe they have a better relationship or a better job than you do right now. Trust me, they don’t have it any more figured out than you do- even if they act like they do. Right now, everyone is scrambling to find their place and define themselves, the problem is, no one is really confident about what they are doing. There’s no need for stress and angst, just know that you don’t need to figure it all out, you don’t need to have all the answers, and if you don’t feel confident about where you are right now, that means you’re in exactly the right place. Your early 20s are are a tumultuous yet awesomely fun time, enjoy it for what it is and try not to take it too seriously. 🙂 Best birthday wishes! -Mona

    • Ah, thank you so much for the insightful comment. I agree with you– being patient is probably one of the most crucial element and is missed by a lot of people who like to run. I have realized it is of utmost importance everywhere from life to blogging.

      Also, my birthday is in July. I accept your wishes though. Thank you so much! You’ll be amongst the first one to wish me so heartily. 🙂

      Keep reading and Cheers!

  21. This is the start of a fantastic life manual for high school kids. I love your spirit! If I’d had half your wisdom when I was twenty, life would have been very different for me. When July comes Hardik, have a wonderful birthday. Celebrate your Self!

      • I am so impressed at the knowledge you possess at such a young age. I didn’t reach these conclusions and gain such knowledge until much later in my life, and even knowing these things, at times it is still difficult to accept. Best of luck to you!

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