The days are long but the years are short - #30

Birthdays Comments

My idea of celebrating birthdays have changed over the years. Previously, it meant being the center of attention - inviting lot of friends, cutting cake, answering phone calls, responding to wishes on Facebook and sharing things on social media. However, during the last few years it meant spending time with a few close friends and family and also some alone time to reflect on the year (it also helps that my birthday falls towards the end of the year). The days and weeks go by quickly and we’re always focused on the short term. Birthdays are a great excuse to pause, think, reflect and look at the big picture.

Inspired by this post, this blog post is about some of the things I believe in and mostly things I want to work or improve upon.

  1. Get to know yourself - the values you stand for, the things you’re good at, things you’re not, the kind of people you are comfortable being yourself, the kind of trips you like, the time of the day you’re productive and the kind of work that makes you happy. (the list goes on)

  2. Always Be Learning - either from books or from people. A/B test to figure out if the things you learn works / doesn’t work for you. Learning also slows time and keeps you humble.

  3. Saying Yes to something is implicitly saying No to other things. Say no often.

  4. Observe but don’t be judgmental. - People are different. Everyone has their own likes, dislikes, processes and behave differently to the same circumstances.

  5. Be grateful - Be grateful when people help you. It’s a simple way to have a positive mindset and keep things in perspective. (Talking about perspective - if you’re reading this, chances are that you’ve lived a comfortable life compared to most people on earth.)

  6. Delayed Gratification - The important things in life take time - be disciplined.

  7. Listen more. Do more. Talk less.

  8. Consistency is hard but largely undervalued. The 10th ranked Tennis player can play every shot the top ranked Tennis player can - what separates the two of them is consistency.

  9. Trust is consistency over time.

  10. Comparing yourself with others is a guaranteed way to stay unhappy - what works for others might not work for you. Also the most important things in life can’t be measured and hence can’t be compared.

  11. You’re the average of the people around you - The people around you define what is the norm.

  12. You’re going to spend a large amount of time with your partner - be yourself and love them for who they are.

  13. Call your parents - share what is happening in your life with them.

  14. Have friends with whom you can discuss life. Have friends who don’t hesitate to tell you when you do something wrong.

  15. Avoid negativity when possible - if at all you feel like you need to practice dealing with negativity, go read YouTube comments.

  16. Life is not a zero sum game - Help your friends succeed and be happy when they succeed.

  17. The people around you won’t like your success - accept that and don’t be mad at them.

  18. Accept that there are always going to be people who are going to judge you for whatever you do. Let that not be the only reason why you don’t make a decision.

  19. Don’t hold grudges - It is better to forgive or forget than to let the negative feelings crowd your positive ones.

  20. Process vs result - Focus on what you control (the process) and not the end result. Things like money and happiness are the side-benefits of having a good process - it is not something you’d optimize for.

  21. Spend money on experiences and not on things - You get used to luxury easily but the memories last a lifetime.

  22. Money exaggerates your qualities - Money neither solves problems nor creates them. It just exaggerates whatever you got.

  23. Never deprioritize health - almost everyone regrets doing this.

  24. Have positive ways to deal with stress - Go for a run, talk with your partner or best get some sleep. Mindlessly watching TV, scrolling through Facebook, eating / drinking to de-stress won’t help in the long run.

  25. Watch less TV. Read more books and long form articles.

  26. Finally, this is your life. There’s no one size fits all way to live. Don’t try to be someone else.

The days are long but the years are short!

Kaushik Rangadurai

Code. Learn. Explore

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