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  • Varun Sharma

Things I wish I learned earlier

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

With every situation, I have tried to look for a possibility of learning and gaining more knowledge through my experiences. This in no way means I haven’t had a rich past with exciting experiences. Some years have been rich in personal growth, some have been about helping others grow. One thing has been consistent though – I have always tried to learn and grow more than my previous self. I truly believe a conscious effort should be exercised, in order to learn proactively. The more time I spend on it, the better it is for my personal development.

Looking back at my life now, I realize several things — most of them are lessons that came either from the mistakes I made or just from the experiences of life.

With the little experience and with the few years that I have lived, I believe that there is more to come. I can say with certainty that these coming experiences will come with bigger and better lessons than the past ones. I don’t have regrets, but I can only imagine how my life would look now if only I were a little braver. I want to share these with others to better plan the future.

Take my time – A life purpose does not come easily. It takes a lot of work, but once I put in an effort into thinking about what my true purpose is, I will only help me understand myself better and gravitate towards ideas that excite me. It shouldn’t matter to me today what others are doing. All that matters is who I am becoming and how far I have traveled. With this, what I mean is that I take on every opportunity to help others be the better version of themselves, but I do not compare myself to the others. I am on a journey myself, but I am not driven by the herd mentality. Social media has only led to suffering of sorts, where I want to compare myself to others. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. That’s how I should feel about it. Real leadership is less about following others and more about finding my purpose, running my race, trusting my instincts, and working towards it. I am on a journey of figuring out my life's purpose, but I do not want to rush the process. I will take my time.

Surround myself with the right people – I can play with toxic people or I can live in world-class. I cannot do both. First, I need to know who the right people are for the life I want to have. The people that can understand, support, and challenge me towards my dreams and goals. Make time for them, while removing the ones who suck the energy out of me. This is more important than I think it is. It’s easy for good people to suffer from a lack of creativity and productivity because of being surrounded by the wrong people who are negative naysayers, dream stealers, and energy suckers. Gone are those university days of wanting to be everybody’s friend, I see that less is more and build strong relationships with a handful of people.

Invest in healthy habits – I took up the habit of going to the gym 5 days a week only after getting done with university. It not only helped me to live a healthier life, but also filled me with so much more energy and made me disciplined. I now start my day at 5:40 AM. This helped me take ownership of my morning, and that has definitely helped me elevate my life. Early rising is an absolute game-changer.

Read/Listen – Information & continuous learning is key. How I came up with this learning doesn’t matter what matters is how I am going to use it. Some people believe that reading is for the selected few, well it's not because where our world is right now it's being run by those who have the right information, and those who don’t are just followers. I was not an avid reader back in school. Now I am hooked on books, audiobooks, and podcasts, which only teach me so much more than I knew.

Happiness is overrated - Everything that goes up has to come down one day and I better be prepared when the down happens. It's ok to be myself always. I do not have to be happy all the time. Some days I can be an introvert and some days extrovert. It’s all up to me and if someone doesn’t let me be, then I should go back and read point 2.

Everything that happens to me is for my own personal growth. A bad day for the ego is a great day for the soul. Do not let my ego be the voice of my fear and get beyond it. Things have gone wrong, and I have been hurt, but I have gotten beyond it to be who I am today, who is definitely a better version of what I would have been if I held onto the resentment. Be knocked down. Be laughed at. Be ridiculed. Get beyond this and build more fluency and intimacy with me. I am on a path to becoming who I want to be, and the only things to add are a bit of intention, a pinch of acceptance, and the right energy to keep it all going!

Live In The Present - I have lived in the future for most of my life. I have always believed in a better tomorrow and therefore it wasn’t so hard for me to work on things today. It wasn’t that hard for me to endure the pain of today just because I believed there will be less or no pain tomorrow. But I soon realized this was a lie. There is no such thing as a better tomorrow or a better future that is built on today being worse. I am a continuous version of myself, which is built on what I am today. I believe in planning for the future, but that doesn’t mean today should not be lived. It only means that today should just be a foundation, so that when tomorrow comes it find me already on good grounds. Living in the present has given me today the happiness that I always thought that I will find in the future.

Write a Journal – My best friend, Matthew, once recommended me to get a Moleskin diary and make notes in it. Now that diary, with a pen inside, and I are indispensable. I take it everywhere with me to capture my notes, my thoughts, and everything in between. The Moleskin has helped me make more sense of the world, once I pen down my thoughts in it. The Moleskin is my way of slowing things down, processing them, thinking through, and deciding the best course of action. More than anything, my journal gave me power over my feelings, my thought, and my action. Start one, and see where it takes me. I can say one thing with certainty — I will only learn more about myself by being an authentic self in the journal..

What about you? What lessons have you learned in the course of your life? What do you want to share with me? I believe they are worth sharing, however small you think they could be.

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