20 things I’ve learned about Life in 20 Years

A list of lessons to always remember and make the most out of life.

Adarsh Menon
5 min readNov 24, 2018

I just turned 20 last month. So here are 20 lessons that I have learned from life over all these years.

Photo by Axel Antas-Bergkvist on Unsplash

1. There are no shortcuts

Hard work eventually pays off and there are no shortcuts or substitutes to replace it. If you want to master any skill then you have to put in the work. All you can do is improve efficiency by doing focused and smart work.

2. Health is wealth

Health is a huge factor for success in any field. By health I mean physical as well as mental health. You need to have the physical energy to work as well as a healthy mind to focus your attention and deal with stress. We need take good care of our health and put it above everything

3. Change is the only constant

We need to learn to embrace change, because it is inevitable. We can learn and grow only through change. If nothing has changed and you are the same person you were one year back, then you need to really think about what you have accomplished, or if you have really made any kind of progress at all. Not changing is like being stuck in time.

4. Time is the most valuable exhaustible resource

Time is the most valuable and the only resource that has been distributed equally throughout all living beings in the world. The chances of being born as a human are 400 trillion to 1. So lets appreciate that and do something meaningful with the one life we are given, and not simply waste time on useless things. Personally something that I am really afraid of is running out of time.

5. There will be ups and downs

This should be obvious to most of us by now. It is just like many things in nature — for every crest there has to be a trough. If everything was great and nothing went wrong, then how would you know and appreciate when things are actually going good?

6. Every person is unique in their own way

It is amazing when you can accept people for who they are and not try to change them into something they are not. We need to learn to respect an individual’s uniqueness.

7. Cut out Negativity

I think the first step to gaining control over my life was to cut out all negativity — negative people, negative things, negative habits and most importantly negative thoughts. Your thoughts are your reality, so think good.

8. Expectations lead to disappointment

Do things for people because you genuinely want to and it makes you happy.

“You are only entitled to the action, never to its fruits” — Bhagavad Gita

9. Learn to let go

Detachment is as important as attachment. Letting go of something or someone is a very liberating feeling and refreshes your perspective on a lot of things.

10. Family is extremely important

Your family are the only people who will stand by you no matter what. Show them some love sometimes.

11. Stop caring what others think about you

As Gary Vaynerchuk says, most people fail because somebody’s opinion of you matters more to you than your opinion of yourself. When you stop trying to impress people and look for validation from others, life will get better and happier.

12. Travelling opens your eyes

When you go to a new country, or even a new state, the people in general and the culture opens up a whole new world, something which you never knew existed or maybe something you had seen only in movies. Its more of an experience, that is difficult to describe.

14. Nothing lasts forever

People leave, times change, things wear out, our views change.

15. Actions speak louder than words

Doing is always more effective and appreciated than talking about something. Stop thinking and talking about things you would like to do. You won’t get physically stronger just by thinking or talking about exercise. You have to do it.

15. Communication is an important skill

Most people who are great and successful are good at communicating their thoughts and ideas to others. Also another important aspect of communicating is listening to other people and their ideas. In general the ability to socialize and network are also very valuable skills.

15. Practicing gratitude leads to happiness

Gratitude is simply being thankful for what you have. If you are reading this on your smartphone then you belong to the top 10% of the world. Take a moment every day to be thankful for the things you take for granted. It is a positive feeling and will make you happy.

16. Self awareness is the first step

Knowing yourself — what are the things that brings you joy and what are the things that you dislike, knowing how you will react in certain situations and just knowing yourself will help you make your decisions easily. Also if you don’t know yourself completely then how can you expect to know and understand other people in your life?

17. You are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with

Spend time with people who are better than you. It will automatically push yourself to do better and come up to the same level. I have personally found that reading is really helpful. Even if you are not physically around the author, at least you are exposed to the ideas/thinking of someone better than you.

18. Deciding what not to do is easier

Sometimes we spend hours thinking and trying to decide what to do next with our life. But sometimes eliminating the things that you totally hate doing, decreases your options and helps you focus on the things you enjoy doing and makes the decision process easier. So yeah, its about deciding what not to do than what to do.

19. Your thoughts are your reality

I was quite skeptical about this a few years back, but then slowly I started believing in this. If you think good, then good things will happen to you. You have to believe in the universe. Fill your mind with thoughts and obsess about what you want to achieve and put your 100% effort towards it, and you will get there.

20. The secret is doing it everyday

The secret to mastery is doing/practicing it every single day. Our brains are wired to learn more when we practice at regular intervals than continuous long hours.

“We must all suffer one of two things — the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment” — Jim Rohn

These were just a few things from the top of my head. If this does bring value to you in some way, do let me know. I would love to hear about it. You can contact me at:

Email: adarsh1021@gmail.com

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Adarsh Menon

I make websites and teach machines to predict stuff. I also make YouTube videos — https://www.youtube.com/adarshmenon