21 things I learned at 21

'Life is too short to make all the mistakes yourself. You need to learn from other people's mistakes too.'  I don't know where this quote comes from directly, but my father use to say this all the time growing up when giving me advice.  Without going into the nitty gritty on how I learned (the hard way) all these things, I wanted to share my journey to 21 and lessons which brutally hurt me, broke me, and destroyed me but made me stronger.

1. Confidence is a muscle.  It needs training, practice, and exercise.  

2. Never take education for granted.  It may end up your biggest regret.  People are fighting for the right to learn and it's handed to you on a silver platter.  Don't misuse this opportunity.

3. Mental health is not a glamorised stigma, it is an illness.  Wellbeing encompasses more than physique. 

4. Care about your health now.  'Later' is not guaranteed. 

5. Don't change who you are for anyone.  You will simply end up hurting yourself and others. 

6. Express gratitude. If you're blessed with clean water, food on your plate, a roof over head, an education, and a family- you have more than most.  

7. It's okay to be closed off.  Those who are worth it will wait for you to open up without force and with ease.  They will feel like home. 

8. Life does not have a time scale.  You do not need to achieve goals at a set point in life whether it be academically, marriage, having children, etc.  Rush nothing.  You belong where you are.  Patience is a virtue. 

9. Never settle.  Whether it be in career or people.  You're deserving of happiness. Nothing and no one is worth sacrificing your inner peace for. 

10. Intention. Intention. Intention. 

11. Never forget your roots.  Your past has shaped you. Where you're going and where you're from both equally define who you are.

12. You're MORE than enough.  I would've never had the chance to interview Niraj Chag, someone I listened to for years with my grandparents, if I gave up or felt I wasn't good enough to blog.  I would've never been able to achieve my charitable goals if I gave before granted the opportunity to study Global Health.  You're more than enough, kiddo. 

13. Kindness and courage will go far.

13. Don't hurt people who are hurting.  But don't let people who are hurting hurt you.  

14. Rise and grind.  Hustle till you reach your goals.  You're unstoppable when focused.  Success isn't defined by money or fame.  It is waking up excited for life.  It is genuine happiness.

15. Life isn't a game.  Revenge is childish, immature, and insensible.  Don't do wrong to those that wronged you.  

16. You don't need to trust anyone except for God.  If someone has intentionally let you down, that was their choice to do so.  It's not up to them to decide if you wish to give your company. 

17. Keep your child-like faith in all aspects of your life.  It's a form of strength, not naiveness.  

18. Stay loyal.  If you're honest to your loved ones from day one, they will stay and understand if they truly love you. 

19. Trust your gut.  If something feels unsettling or fishy, it is.  If something feels amazing, it is. Don't lie to yourself or deny your intuition.

20. Laugh as much as you breath.  Celebrate all good things to the fullest without dwelling on the negatives.  Life is extremely short. Treat all positive aspects of your life, be it people, materialistic, or career, with the upmost reverence.  

21. God knows what is in your heart.  Keep to your morals, be disciplined, and work hard. Your every desire will then be granted.

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