Saturday, March 12, 2022

Self-Help books: How Much So They Help The Self?

 I just finished reading The ONE Thing - a book that tells you how focussing on that one critical thing - on thing at a time - you can achieve the highest goals you ever dreamt of.  And finding this one next thing that you should be doing can help get your goals in any area of life - work or profession. 

Start with Why- a book that I’ve never been able to go past a few pages of talks about how finding your “why” is the key to success in life. 

James Clear’s Atomic Habits breaks down the science of how we can prevent old habits from taking over and build new habits. We can do that by looking at the obstacles around and inside us and overcome them. For instance it could be changes in your environment or your attitude towards a task. 

I have another book lined up - How To Begin by Michael Bungay Stonier - because The Coaching Habit was such a great book. And I hope that’ll help me a little bit more. 

However, after finishing The ONE Thing, I got to thinking. Do I remember tips from so many other books that I have read? How much of all those hours of reading has made a difference to my life and work. Maybe I’ve imbibed some of it unconsciously. 

For instance, after reading Atomic Habits I realised that working at a table in the first place makes me more productive rather than plonking on the sofa first and then hoping to get back to serious work.

What else do I remember? Getting Things Done by David Allen was so confusing that despite reading it twice, I think I’d waste more time following the system. 

I know that eating the frog first thing in the morning is good - from Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog - but I still don’t do it. In fact, I am still finding my morning rhythm and maybe hopefully I’ll do it. 

Pomodoro technique is another thing that I picked up from wherever and do use different versions of it. It does help cut out distractions and stay focussed at the task at hand. Probably this is the only time management technique that has remotely worked for me. 

Maybe it’s time to revisit self-help books that I read and actually make the action points. At least this way there is a reference list to check what really got done and how much of it was just for reading pleasure. 

If we are talking about productivity and extracting the maximum from the tasks we spend time on, it is a good idea to take an inventory of how much did the self get helped. 

Otherwise we are just flitting from book to book concept to concepts figuring out our “why” one day only to ricochet in the pursuit of our one thing the next. And not knowing if we’ve really improved as people, if there has been a permanent change in our habits and attitudes. 

Of late, I have also found that self-help as a genre - be it for motivation or for business - has been on the rise. People don't believe in the quality of fiction. I think Chetan Bhagat and J K Rowling were the last of the fiction authors that people explored. 

Beyond that, everyone just wants to know how to hustle, how to work smarter, how to make optimal use of every minute of the day, how to fight social media addiction and probably how to become as rich as Elon Musk in this lifetime. 

And that's why I am also running a poll of Linkedin to see if these books have really helped people. I think this will also help others ponder over the question and think of an answer. Maybe one of my future posts can be on the poll results. 

Friday, March 11, 2022

The Genre of Stand up Comedy by Women

Ali Wong’s new Netflix special is out. I remember watching her earlier specials when she is pregnant - both times. So I watched both again. And in hindsight it feels like performing while being pregnant is way of making a statement. She herself says in one of the specials - that once female comedians have kids - they literally vanish. So I think it sends a strong message that she’s expecting and yet strong in her profession too. 

As I started watching them, I realised a lot of it is not to my taste. It’s fine when she talks about equality and reversing gender roles. The bit where she reveals how she trapped her husband - a conventional gender dynamic - because he is educated and she hoped to live the rest of her life as a housewife. But the build up reveals how she earns more than him and it seems like he was doing the trapping!! That’s a fun twist in the favour of women power! 

But there is no need to get scatological talking about office life. I don’t think taking a dump in the office is like the number 1 concern for working women. There are bigger problems like power politics, inequality, not getting credit and not being able to stand up for oneself. So getting graphic about toilet shit (pun unintended) is in bad taste if you ask me. 

The other thing that I comes across as crass to me is the graphic sexual references while talking about gender dynamics. She could have made money just be charging a nickel every time she “sucking dick” in the show. And that’s how many references there are. 

It is great that female comedians, at least on the international stage, have a voice and they talk about gender stuff. However, I think there is a line between writing intelligent material and going crass for laughs. Pussy jokes, sucking dick and making doo doo in the office is a particular brand of comedy that I wouldn’t call sophisticated. It’s writing for cheap thrills. People are more likely to enjoy dumb stuff like this and hence it’s just an easier bet. 

To prove my point, let’s look at some others. (I’ll come to Indian comedians bit I guess they are so far below the international standards that their mention can wait)

Ellen came back to comedy after 15 years. And her comedy also talks about gender issues - albeit the same gender issues. She could talk about men she dated in college who kept pushing her down against her will! I am sure a lot of people would identify with that. But she doesn’t. She keeps it mature and intelligent. 

She touches on different topics - and maybe she doesn’t need to project herself as a strong independent woman because despite all the setback she has been a rich, privileged white woman for more than 2 decades. 

My all time favourite is Iliza Shlesinger - and I realised today that she has 5 Netflix specials to her credit! A smart, independent woman who’s material is aligned to the stage of her life she is in at the time. You can actually see her grow in the trailers of the specials - from the 20s to her 30s and the last one is when she’s 36 and married. 

She is a vocal advocate for equality. Speaking up and doing your own shit. Not giving in to what society expects or even what other women expect. Hers is a whole different brand of comedy! Something you enjoy and don’t cringe at! Even when she talks about sex, it doesn’t seem crass. Her comedy is contextualised in the universal truths about women in their 20s and 30s. And that makes it relatable.

All these women are from a different - non-Indian - culture and I think some of the jokes are lost in translation. But still it’s fun to watch women also write strong material and be vocal about gender equality. 

When I think about comedians in the Indian scenario, I am at a loss for names. No one really stands out in the crowd. Adits Mittal was a loud-mouthed comedian who kicked up a storm in a tea cup but that did not last long. Her comedy also wasn’t to my taste - with jokes like sanitary pads have become so advanced that we have technology in our chaddi for 5 days a month! Jeez!! 

Anu Menon has one special and her writing is definitely of an intelligent level compared to counterparts. Sumukhi suresh is also great in her timing and comedy. When Kaneez Surkha does comedy all I can hear is her accent. I can’t go past it and I think it interferes with her jokes. Neeti Palta has confidence but her comedy doesn’t stand out. 

Thanks to Comicstaan for 2 seasons, there is a smattering of names in the comedy scene. Urooj Ashfaq, Aishwarya Mohanraj, Sejal Bhatt, Prashashti Singh - all still relegated to maybe doing stand up at open mics and clubs. They seem to be far away from being good enough for a platform like Netflix. I don’t think specials with Indian female comedians is a genre on online streaming networks. 

It is safe to say that Indian comic scene - at least with the women, has a very ling way to go to achieve fame or the level of success that the international ones have. And I think the only way to do it is with strong material. Strong, intelligent material which has a message. Not useless stuff like what I saw in a metro and how Karva Chauth is bullshit. It has be a universally appealing to ensure that it captures the intelligent masses. 

Well! This definitely isn’t an impossible dream and I am sure it can be done. If only some of us set our eyes on the prize, at least enough of us will reach it to make a difference. 

What do you think? 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Best Times of Life

It’s one of those scenes in HIMYM that make you well up. Lily is upset that the captain said she’s just a kinder garden teacher. And Marshal can’t understand why she’s upset since that’s the truth. That’s when Lily clarifies that she feels bad that she gave up art and is truly “just a kinder garden teacher”. 

The very short exchange they have at this point is heart breaking and so true too. 

Marshal: I promise you, your best and your most exciting days are all ahead of you

Lily: I love you for saying that but there gets to be a point in life where that just stops being true 

I have watched it before too but this time it just stuck with me! I have had this feeling for years. The more settled you feel in life - something that you strive for - the less of the excitement there is to look forward to. 

Our 20’s are when we are looking at careers and potential life partners. We are young and full of potential. We have a crush on people and we enjoy the flush of first love. We feel on top of the world and the rush of hormones that give us the most happiness. A glorious future is still ahead of us. 

We spend out 30’s settling down. For some the glow of first love comes in late and may not be as bright. But then learning to love together with someone takes over. Creating a new home and feeling the wedded bliss. While this starts to get old come the pitter patter of little feet. At least that was the how the traditional ways of life worked. 

With kids, people are locked in for the next 20 years. The 40’s is about raising them and re-living the moments of your own childhood - hopefully create even better ones for them. We all have this urge to pass on our genes and the best of us to another generation. The empty nest syndrome is still a while away. From the first kinder garden class to the college graduation, there’s a lot to look forward to. 

For people who don’t have kids or choose not to have - I don’t think it makes a difference either ways - the 40’s are quieter. At least, in my experience. The rush of love is done and dusted. No more members coming into the family. It’s all settled, yet very quiet. And that’s “the point in life where that just stops being true”

The reason why all kinds of adventures are so popular is because for people who’ve reached this point, the only way to get on with life is to find new excitement. 

Jump off a cliff, travel, go wine tasting, take a cruise, have meals with friends, open the best bottles of wine! But guess what - life is till the same even as you reach the bottom of that bottle. You may sleep better with that high but the next morning is just going to be the same. 

You work and make money to afford a lot of things you couldn’t earlier - and one of them is insurance against boredom, activities that tell you still have a lot of life left and a lot of awesome in that life. If you ask me, a lot of these self help books that teach you to find your "why", hone in on your one thing, create schedules and getting done to chasing success are meant to fill your days with a semblance of purpose. Or what else would we do with the long years of life stretched ahead of us. 

My best friend just adopted a baby girl. At the fag end of their application deadline, they bagged a little angel. And while not everyone is blessed with such a huge change this late in life, I wonder how her purposeless life has been turned upside down. Her life centred around this angel - and she told me that it didn’t matter earlier but now she wants to make sure that she stays fine because she has this baby to raise. 

Must be nice to have something like that fill your days. For the rest of us, we work and leave in the pursuit of something exciting. But a lot of days are just days. I think of it with gratitude because no news is good news. But it does get lonely. And the worse part is - this is life! It’s going to be this way. Which can be good in a way since calm is better than upheavals. And there’s only so much excitement you can drum up every single day. 

So there does come a point in life when the best times of our lives are behind us. Maybe the later years bring out some other best times which are very different from the earlier ones, but I am guessing they don't match the earlier ones. They are more sombre in their quality or artificially coloured with excitement to try and match them with yesteryears in a desperate attempt to re-create youth. 

Have you felt this way? Do you feel that life settles into this calm or boredom - whatever you choose to call it - beyond a point? Is there really a way to make it meaningful without the deliberate and forced function of making it exciting? What have you tried to make things better? What do you do fill the void in life? Who do you populate your loneliness with? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The Losing Battle of Decluttering!

Starting today, I am on a 66-day daily writing challenge. But don't worry! you may not see me here every day because some days I might choose wot write work stuff and post on Linkedin. 

But why 66 days, you ask? Well! Research is always changing and the latest one that I came across said you need at least 66 days to create a habit. I think the 21-day research is old now! (Maybe they’ve changed the 10,000 hour rule too! Who knows!)

Any how! I just needed a reason, a motivation to get behind a habit and this seemed like a good enough reason. And like I said, I’ll be writing on various things - just to flex my creativity - plus also get some work done on some days. 

I am still not sure whether my goal is time based - 20 minutes a day - or words-tased - 1000 words a day. I think I’ll play that by the ear but make sure that it worthy of a challenge! 

And after 13 years of starting this blog, I am not even apprehensive about no one reading this post! I might just be putting out these words in the vast expanse of the internet where they’ll probably get lost as soon as they are posted, forever in pursuit of an audience but never finding any! 

And I am fine with that! The idea here is to get into the discipline of writing. And if any of you stumble onto this post and want to join me - no matter which day it is - hop on! Make this your day and continue till you hit day 66.

So what am I going to write about today?

I am going to write about something that’s on top of my mind. Something that all of you can relate to and identify with. Sorry to sound biased in the same week as we celebrated #breakabias but I am thinking women would know a little more about this than men. 

Running a household requires soo much of sorting and tidying!! 

As someone who’s been on a war against clutter for 14 years, I still don’t get how it stays undefeated. 

Well! Let’s start with the daily battle - the refrigerator. When I had to travel on short notice last year, one of the first things I thought of was dealing with the contents of the fridge.

When I was recuperating from surgery last year, my spouse realised that meal times aren’t dealt with by just ordering food. My being bed-ridden finally taught him what I really meant all the times I was complaining about leftovers in the fridge when he went ahead and ordered more. That was the time that he had to look into this frozen box and decide what can be used, tossed out or needed to be ordered. That is a BIG part of running a kitchen

And now, when I have been back to my duties as a housekeeper, one thing that keeps coming up and I hate to deal with is clearing out the fridge. 

What makes it more complicated is stuff that comes with home delivery food - and we do that a lot - tiny portions of salads no one will eat, chutneys that go straight into the bin, food that smells okay but is a few days old and doesn’t seem okay to consume. 

Next comes other stuff around the house - the dining table! I don’t think any middle class household ever used it for family meals. I have never seen that happen. It’s always the more refined and sophisticated that have that ritual. 

The rest of us just use it as a dumping ground. My mom’s. My sister’s. My house. And that is pretty annoying for someone like me who wants to have some semblance of order and neatness around my living quarters. Let me share the results of my constant endeavours - it can’t be done! (Maybe if people around are also as committed but I don’t live with such people - actually the opposite kind)

I am not even going to get into side tables and other surfaces. 

And now for the big ones - and also because we moved homes! 

Before that I want to talk about my personal efforts to minimise my things over the years - and how of it I am still stuck with. 

I think it is right to say that only a therapist can go deep into my obsession with throwing stuff out - the opposite of a hoarder. Maybe something to do with the fact that I have always lived with the latter kind.

Anyways, when we moved, all I needed was a couple of suitcases and a box for my shoes. I made sure that over the years clothes I didn’t fit into were given away, sarees I’d never use were also put to use as gifts, materials I’ll never goes stitched were passed on to my sister who could stitch or gift them. And this is how I have never retained anything that I wouldn’t be using. 

I do have one big stack of good stuff that I don’t fit into but is too good to be given away - and I do fit into some of it now. 

In fact, between my spouse and me, he is the shopper. He’ll buy duplicates and triplicates of things he already has. Bigger hard drives, extra tool boxes, more screw driver sets! Buying is gratification enough even if he never ends up using them! 

And despite all the not shopping and giving things away, there are stoles that I didn’t buy, are old and can’t be given away. There are scarves which were gifts - I don’t know why one year everyone I knew thought I was into scarves and I got like 4 that year. No, I don’t wear scarves. So there’s that brand new stack that I am not going to wear, don’t have people to gift to and can’t through in the orphanage bin. 

I also have leggings left but the kurtas are worn out. A warn sweat shirt here and there which can’t be worn in Mumbai. But can’t be thrown away either. I also haven’t been able to part with some formal pants which are good, I know I won’t fit them but I still can’t bring myself to toss them. 

So I guess despite all the pruning I have done over the years, you can see that the sea of stuff never diminishes! (I always shudder to think of people who change their wardrobe seasonally) And I have always been aware of how things accumulate - which is one of the reasons that I have never followed fashion and have stuck to things I know I will wear for sure. In fact, even then I am stuck with 4 skirts which probably will go to my nieces in the event of my death! 

And now coming to the worst category of all - things you won’t use, are ugly and you still can’t bring yourself to toss them. I have a big box of curtains that have been used for more than a decade and you can see that they’ve seen better days. But the amount of money spent on curtains makes me feel bad tossing them. 

Every time I look at a cluttered surface, it reminds of the losing battle I am fighting. Even though I am convinced that I’ll spend a life time and still won’t win, I can’t give up. Maybe it’s possible. Maybe…

What do you think? 

Excuse me! I have to clear out my fridge now! 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

I like big books!

 I like big books and I cannot lie...

Reading big fat books that run into 800-1000 pages is second to none! It's like a saga that runs into several episodes! It's settling down for the long haul - to witness the entire lifetimes of characters, living through their ups and downs! Rejoicing in their happiness and agonising over their sorrows! You root for some of them and share the author's hatred for the others. 

It's like snuggling into a different world and living amidst people of imagination. It could be a war world, a romantic world, a world where thrillers are taking place. Long books offer us their world for long enough to feel like we are a part of it. There have been times when I finished a book and felt like I returned to the rude, real world - and there wasn't anymore left to go back to.

And the one reason that long, written sagas pull us in is the writing! The prowess of the writer has the power to create a world so vivid and lucid that we can imagine it, we live in it. We weep and smile at the scenes conjured in our mind by the might of the writer's pen! We can't wait to get till the end as the suspense builds. We want to see the good rewarded and the bad punished. 

And as readers even our intelligence is at stake. Giving up at the length of the book or the kind of writing says something about me as a reader too. 

I mean I read Catch-22 because it is deemed one of the greatest books to read - on every reading list ever! I get the satire of war and the deliberate length of the book to cover it from different angles - but still it kinda got too long and slow. I still finished it because it's one of the best books of all times! 

Stream of consciousness, for instance, as a genre is like the author's imagination to ours. Mrs. Dalloway is a whole book with her standing at a street corner and looking back at her life. One Hundred Years of Solitude is the same names coming up again and again. And still, as readers, we find that riveting and love the challenge of keeping up. 

Writing reams and reams of pages, putting one word after the other is a coveted feat in itself. And to make it so riveting that people get to the end of those 500 pages is an accomplishment as a writer. 

It's the flood of words that keeps the rivers of our imagination going! I recently finished The Signature Of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert and I think it's so unfair that she is known mainly for Eat, Pray, Love. Just like Gone With The Wind, this one also tracks the life of the woman protagonist. And I just love to randomly snuggle into the pages of such books once I've read them from cover to cover. Just open it anywhere and begin reading. Or go for the interesting bits where you know how the story unfolds. There doesn't have to be an order to re-read them. It's like plonking myself right in the middle of the ocean - with water on either side as far as eyes can go! It's literally a sea of words to drown in, to forget the world around us and go under the influence of the story. 

Long non-fiction is a different kind of a beast. It's not just a story that flows. There are facts to be analysed and each chapter placed in context while reading it. The process of finishing a 500-word non-fiction book is long enough that one doesn't have the luxury to go back and forth, like we could in fiction. I read Sapiens twice to make better sense of it and I still can't jump in somewhere in the middle and make sense of it. Such books get intense and need probably a few more reads to feel like home. 

I am currently reading 21 Lessons for the 21st century. And while I am done with the technology part of the book, I am still piecing together information and how it would apply to the rest of the book. So it's more of an uphill task. But that's the learning curve as a reader, I guess. It helps to keep up. Sometimes for enjoyment and other times for education. 

The journey of reading goes on...

Monday, August 2, 2021

There is no happily ever after

There is no happily ever after! 

Although we've been raised on a steady diet of the knightly stories where damsels in distress are being resuced by charming princes! 

Ask Meghan Markle! 

She literally married a prince! And yet, her fairy tale story came to a quick painful end! 

In real life, it's not just about the prince and the damsel - and the evil step-mother will have her say! Because this is real life and not a fairy tale! Her association with the prince was rife with controversy right for the start. The stiff upper-lipped royal family was sceptical about accepting an outsider. And the fact that the royal family's resident perfect daughter-in-law made it harder for Markle to shine. 

Markle had a Hollywood career - somewhat successful - before she met Harry. she's lives the life of an independent LA woman before she was expected to live in the confines of the royal traditions of Britain. 

Whether she was responsible for the crumbling of her royal fairy tale or the others in the family, crumble it did! They gave up their royal status, moved out of the palace and live like ordinary citizens in, well, California! 

Can Markle go back to her previous career? Sadly no! She lost what she was looking forward to in her new life and she can't go back to what she had. That's a sad end to the "happily ever after" that everyone expected from this story!

Ask Jennifer Aniston! 

As much as the paparazzi have been obsessed about this Hollywood star, her life hasn't been a bed of roses either! 

The only FRIENDS character to have built a phenomenally successful film career too, Jen's real life is far from the happy ending we think it is!

Her marriage to Brad Pitt was touted as the biggest fairy tale romance in Hollywood. And that lasted 5 years. And this came at a time when Jen was ready to start a family and did not even want to split! The year she thought she's be raising babies brought her hurt and loneliness - not to mention the speculations from the press. 

Imagine the hurt of a woman who's marriage ends just as she is planning to have kids with her husband of 5 years! And the horror when she realises that not only is her husband in love with someone else already but is also a father figure to her son! 

The other woman got what she was looking forward to! She has been open about her wanting to have children but she was never blessed with one! 

For all the wealth and fortune she owns, are gaping holes her life too. Apart from her marriages falling apart and never having the babies she always wanted, she's constantly had to fight off the paparazzi at every turn. The popular press has been constantly been hung up on her relationship status and whether or not she's pregnant!

If you think celebrities lives aren't relatable, talk to any married couple! Especially if they started with hearts and flowers hoping to fly away into the sunset riding unicorns on a rainbow! There are no happy endings! Why so you think movies end where they do! Who wants to watch the annihilation of a love story that has been built on the hopes of single people, giving them the promise that they too will have this love story some day! 

Showing the real truth beyond that would ensure that the box office collapses and no one believes in the genre of rom-com any more. 

So yeah! I am glad that the current generation of girls are being taught that they don't need a prince charming to rescue them. They are people in their own right and that expecting someone else to be the sole source of happiness in their life is unrealistic! 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

7 lessons for 20-somethings from my life experience

I don't believe in things I could tell my 20-something self. 

The world is a different place today than it was when I was in my 20s. In fact, a lot of things like freedom and assertiveness did not even apply to a woman's life then - esp in my conservative family. 

Sometimes I wonder if things would have been different if I had the jump start of the person I am today! 

But here are a few things that I wish I knew and other things I want to tell people in their 20s based on my experience. I agree that a lot of these things seem obvious now but it might be hard to apply while we are going through the confusing 20s without the advantage of the life experience that comes with my perspective. 

But then that's the advantage of learning from others who've been there and can tell you it can be done differently.

So here goes:

1. Screw the world: Women are conditioned to worry about the whole world - a little less now, maybe!  

Although studies suggest that women still find it hard to assert themselves. They will still hold back in meetings full of men. 

It doesn't matter whether it's your parents, teachers or the society. 20s is old enough to start thinking who YOU what to be - the short skirt wearing sassy babe or the submissive child-woman constantly worrying about other people. 

How do you want to live your life - remember this is the beginning of the thinking phase and no one's asking you to move out of home (although if you did, you'd actually expedite the process of knowing who you really are)

2. Rise above your conditioning - This is one of the harder things to do since we don'd know much beyond the values and atmosphere that we've been raised with. We may think the neighbour's family is so cool, going on vacations etc but you never know what's hidden behind the layers of that facade.

But the times have changed enough that people in their 20's can start thinking earlier about moulding their own personalities than waiting for things like jobs in a different city or marriage to happen. Again this is a time to start questioning the rules of the house and forming your own opinions. 

3. It's okay to be assertive: Hell yeah! And even more so at work! 

"Don't talk back" is given to so many times that we feel reluctant about speaking up even at work. Men, who are already one up through societal rules, family conditioning and their voice and stature, go on to dominate the work world. 

Work-life balance may not make sense that early in life. You may be led to believe that since you are a junior or an intern or new, you are supposed to take orders and work through the night. 

And I am not saying you shouldn't work hard and go beyond what is asked - but only if you want to and if it is justified. 

If it's a one-off, it's fine. But if you are regularly asked to work extra or are being yelled at and treated improperly, gather your self-esteem and quit. 20 years later, you will look back and regret being a wuss! 

And if you think such situations are challenging because you are a fresher, you'll be surprised at what life throws at you even after you gain experience. So learn important skills early. 

4. Plan your life early - Don't wait till you hit 30s: Any 20-something will dismiss this as ridiculous! It's too early to think of marriage and kids - "what the hell! I am too young!", "I don't even want to have kids or even get married" - are the common responses. 

However, what you think at this point in life WILL change! Take it from me - and just to be clear no one's asking you to get married TODAY or have children TODAY. Like everything else, the planning and thinking has to start now is all I am saying. And here's why:

Marriage is a still a life-altering event for a women, even in this century. And women are the ones who still bear kids. Changing times, technology, gender equality hasn't changed these truths because nature willed it to be so. 

20's seem to be the time to plan out your career and find a standing of your own. But planning these things about your future is doing a favour to your own future self. 

Now, more than ever, by the time women hit 30's, they don't want to compromise on the careers that they have so painstakingly built. At the same time, the biological clock starts ticking and societal pressure builds up. And to add insult to injury, your own body deceives you with hormonal problems and inability to conceive. IVF and fertility hospitals and thriving exactly because of women who never planned in advance. 

And if it adds more credibility to what i am saying, I have seen people struggle through these problems failing in multiple IVF cycles instead of enjoying their 30s. (worse for people in their 40s because age is catching up really fast!)

If you ask me, this is the direct result of waiting too long. Freezing eggs couldn't be a business if not for this crisis. So go ahead, do that. You at least can preserve a part of your young self. 

5. Chill and live life: If I just scared the shit out of you painting a doom's day scenario and you are thinking what's the point even getting older, chill! I said you need to start thinking how you want your life to play out - and you will still encounter surprises and unexpected twists along the way - instead of letting life takeover.

This decade of your life is as fun as it gets, no matter what people say about age being just a number. You will have a lot of fun for the rest of your lives too. 

But this is an unencumbered stage of your life where you are at the prime of your health and youth. This is the time to create great memories that you can look back on in the future. 

So put on your LBD, step into your dancing shoes and get out there. Chug beers and knock back shots all you will - however, BE SAFE - in other words, have fun but don't be stupid. 

This is also where work-life balance matters. If you burn the midnight oil at a job that doesn't deserve it, you'll miss out on all the fun you could have in your own time. And trust me! You'll miss it if you don't get on that fun train while there is still time. 

6. Read books that matter: I know reading is a dumb thing that no one does in times of Instagram! But books are the sole reason how I know a ton of stuff after finishing college. And the short cut to learning new skills that will keep you ahead in your career is through reading.

Read fiction and non fiction on a variety of topics. It doesn't have to be philosophy and history. But great literature as so much to teach apart from non-fictional forms on skill development. 

7. Travel when you can: Nothing teaches you life skills like planning and independence than traveling. If reading opens the doors to new worlds, traveling gives you a chance to walk through them. 

Most people think of it as a luxury but it's actually an essential phase of growth. When I was in my 20s, suggesting to my parents that I want to travel would have been the best way to give them a coronary. 

But I am thankful for all the travel I did in my 30s - nervous at first but gradually sure footed, taking international flights by myself. The cultures I was exposed to, the things that went wrong and the lessons that taught me! 

And I am grateful for every bit of travel I have done in my life. From inter-state buses to international flights, the more you travel, the higher your confidence will soar. 

There are more lessons on my list but I shall end this post here. You can chew on these and I'll be back with more. 

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