I was driving back home from the office at 10 PM in the night when my wife complained about our 4-year-old son about how he threw a tantrum at the mall today for a Doraemon stuffed toy. She told me that it was very difficult to pacify him, and it only got over after she got him an ice-cream of his choice. Sometimes I wonder what I was like when I was a kid. I certainly have to ask my mom that.
I sometimes worry about my son. I wish and hope he turns out to be a gentle and a responsible man and not get into bad company. I am sure he will have his share of bitter medicine along the way, but I really wish that he leads a satisfied and a happy life. If I had to tell my 18-year-old self a few things, they will involve these:
1) Choice of career: When I look back, I remember how aspirational I was. A dream to pursue art was etched in my head. But the worldly needs pitched in and I pursued business. But that “what if” still pinches me which has become an ache. I urge you to follow your heart and fulfill every desire that you may have. I long for that satisfaction of doing what I always wanted to do. I wish I had followed my heart.
2) Listen to your elders: Yes I know we feel very confident when we are younger, but remember that our parents, most of the times, know more than we do. A piece of advice coming from them should not be taken lightly and must be at least thought about. Just know that only they will think of your good and nobody else.
3) Respect them: When mom used to keep nagging for meals, I used to get so irritated. And right now, I absolutely miss that. The care your mom and dad extend towards you is incomparable. Just give them respect and don’t leave any chance to tell them that you love them. Be a good son.
4) Attitude: It is true that we all long for success and want that boost of energy that comes when people appreciate us, but don’t let that rule you. Don’t let the appreciation enter your head. Be down-to-earth and stick to your roots. Because, in the end, we are always known from where we come from.
5) Don’t pick up bad habits: I remember how I was caught smoking by my elder sister when I was 18 years old. And I am glad that she did. She did scold me for considerable number of hours, but thank God for that. It is bad for health. Period. Don’t get angry on your peers if they scold you. Most of the times, it is for good.
6) Concentrate on your studies: Be focused and concentrate on your studies. Only this will help you make a good career. Figure out what you want to do in life and pursue that goal with all the dedication that you can muster. It is a proud feeling to accomplish your goals. You will grow to be more confident and sure about yourself.
7) It’s okay to say no: When we have a set of friends, we tend to listen to them and agree to do things that might not sound right. In such cases, it is okay to say no. Listen to your gut feel and let it decide. Do not agree to things that don’t look right to you.
8) Don’t lose hope on love: I remember, how bad the high school break up was. But I can assure you that what I have right now is amazing. So do not give up on love. You will meet many women, and I request you to respect them. Don’t be with them if you really don’t want to. But don’t break anybody’s heart.
Just a few pointers that I’d want to give to my 18 year old self. I just hope my son would listen to me when he turns 18. Rest is of course God’s willing!