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In the last year, I’ve learned how much personal agency I have. I don’t have to wait for someone’s approval. I can get shit done right now.

I didn’t wait to get a job handed to me. I went out there and found people who knew about opportunities and sent in referrals. I didn’t wait to have a company idea and team handed to me. I went out there and asked people what they wanted and whether I could provide it.

You have the ability to really do anything you want to. Now, more than ever, the barriers are so low. Don’t let your age, lack of experience, your South Asian mother stop you from doing you.

17. You don’t have to wait to start living life

So like every other tech, life-design obsessed millennial and their sister, I read the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. The most profound lesson I got was that I didn’t have to wait until retirement to actually enjoy life.

Why do all this work for 50 years and then be too old, frail, sick, whatever to actually start enjoying life? I can do that right now.

So I have been. I go travel when I’ve saved up enough money. I go on wild adventures. I try to see my friends and family as often as I can. I tell people I love them often. This is my best life.

I don’t want to wake up tomorrow, have a freak accident happen and think, “I wasted my entire life working and now I can’t even enjoy it.”

Time is finite. Don’t waste it. Live it.

18. People will want to funnel you. Don’t let them

Water is predisposed to follow the path of least resistance. Humans are pretty similar. If you walk around my campus in the fall, you’ll see every major bank, consulting firm and tech firm herding swarms of students into our auditorium. They’ve mastered the funnel.

Early in our lives, we’ll be presented neatly carved up funnels that we can enter because we don’t have to think about it. It’s idiot proof. It’s easy. It doesn’t require much thinking.

What does require work is carving out your own path. You have to do the shoveling, get your hands dirty, and you might not even know which direction you’re digging. It’s scary!

But I challenge you to at least take a look outside of the funnels. Explore a little. See what’s out there. There’s a good chance that there is a slightly more clunky funnel that is much better suited to your needs. You just need to point your flashlight in that direction.

And if you do end up exploring and come to the decision that a neatly carved out funnel is better suited to your needs, go for it. But don’t be a blind participant to the master funnel creators aka “The Man”.

Be conscious. Be deliberate. Be a proactive decision maker.

19. Increase serendipity

I had a tendency to plan out every 30 minute block of my life. I guess you could either say I had great time management or I was a total control freak.

Part of the last year was learning how to let go of my controlling tendencies. I learned how to ride the wave of uncertainty and adventure. And because of it, I increased my likelihood of serendipity.

I’d walk into places I wasn’t planning to walk into. I’d meet people I wouldn’t normally talk to. I traveled to places I didn’t think I’d ever visit.

Serendipity brings a whimsical wonder into life that’s sometimes missing. And it’s often said, the best things in life are often unplanned.

20. Great things are never done alone

I’ve always been a bit of a lone wolf. My perfectionist tendencies mean I have high expectations of team members that aren’t always met. Or I want things done a certain way. Or I’ve just had to work in some shitty teams.

And while I’ve managed to do some pretty cool things alone, I now believe the greater things are done in teams.

You just have to find the right team. That’s the challenge.

Great teams are complimentary. Your strengths cover your team’s weaknesses and vice versa. Your optimism balances your teammate’s skepticism. Everyone’s personalities and skills keep the boat afloat and moving forward.

It’s when you find that team, greatness can happen. So don’t settle.

21. Do your due diligence

One of the more practical lessons I’ve learned. This is applicable across the board. Research the company you’re about to work at. Research the country you’re about to move to. Research all the visa regulations and don’t show up at the airport and have the check-in counter tell you that you do actually need a visa to travel to Brazil.

Knowledge is power. Use it.

22. Start investing your money now

Another practical lesson for you. If you know absolutely nothing about the markets, put your money into an index fund or go to >Betterment, >Wealthfront, or >Ellevest and have them invest your money for you for a tiny commission (I personally use Ellevest. Currently have a 10% return without doing a single thing. Cue disclaimer of don’t expect these results).

Betterment and Ellevest don’t even have a minimum balance! This means you can start with $1. So do it.

Sitting money is LOST money. Inflation is REAL. Compound interest is AWESOME.

Open your account and invest your hard earned money and reap those returns!

BONUS LESSON: Your mental health isn’t an expense. It’s an investment. So invest in it!

I grew up in a country where mental health issues were heavily stigmatized. Nobody talked about it. I didn’t know what resources I had. I thought I was crazy for feeling sad and depressed when there was nothing inherently wrong in my life.

The advice often given to me was just occupy myself. Do more work. Don’t think about it so much.

I realized somewhere around 10th grade that I did have mental health issues. I only started getting help for it a few months ago.

It took me 5 years to seek help for my depression and anxiety

Your mental health is important. If the resources are available, please use them or turn to someone who can point them out to you. Not investing in it can have real, long-term consequences.

Mental health is an investment worth making because the returns are priceless.

Final words

So that’s a little bit of what I’ve learned in the last year. I’m curious to see how these ideas will change or stay the same over the next chapter of my life. Until then, I’m going to keep doing me and I hope you do you :), News Around the world presents the latest information of national, regional, and international, politics, economics, sports, automotive, and lifestyle.

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