A letter we should all write

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A letter we should all write

“The problem with comprehension is, it often comes too late.” Rasmenia Massoud. That is the problem with hindsight. By the time wisdom dawns, the time to act has gone. Or has it? We always think it’s too late and treat that as the end of the matter. Day 31 of “One Day, One Blog” — a challenge I set for myself for the month of January 2019. (And with that we come to the end of this challenge…Yuppieeeee 🙌)

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

In 2017, I wrote a letter to my 19-year-old self. What started as a joke ended up making me realize just how many things I would have done differently if I had the chance.

That “letter” was full of advice to someone who is 20 years younger. What would I say now, if I had to speak with “me” who is just five years younger? And this sense of brilliance that comes with hindsight — how can I use that to perhaps influence the course of life so that 5 years later, I will not be looking back on this day and wishing things had been done differently?

Writing

I would have started writing ages ago. And I would have kept at it. I would not wait for inspiration to strike before I started.

Note-to-the-future: Continue this habit. There will be days when the words look so good (that later I will wonder if I wrote it) and there will be days when it looks like the scribbles of a 5-year-old — but I will still write every day.

Health

Where health is concerned, one of the things you MUST never do is follow everyone’s advice blindly.

I recollect the time when I started going for “walks”. I was flooded with advice on how that is just not good enough and how I should run to see any real benefit.

I started my attempts at running and then the advice was “running will hurt your knee. You should so Yoga.”

I tried Yoga and then, “ You will never lose weight with Yoga. You should go to a Gym”

When I tried Gym, “ You will develop muscles like body-builders and/or get hurt. Try walking every day”.

All these advice comes from a place of concern — but they are ill-informed. The only person who knows what works for you is you. You cannot be lazy and NOT do the homework( which is trial and error) and hit upon a system that works for you.

In my case, if I had just kept up with walking, I would have got into the discipline and “upgraded” myself eventually. But I didn’t. And the only person who lost out due to that is me.

Note-to-the-future: Where health is concerned, just don’t forget the lessons you learned so far. 60 is just two decades away. Work every day to be a “cool 60” 😜

Your Foot

Put that down more often.

And not just with Chandu ( the poor husband in my story).

I have learned to respect my instincts a lot in the last decade. Even so, I still love to avoid confrontations and give way to someone just to avoid unpleasantness. That is a form of cheating — not just to myself but to people who have trusted me.

Note-to-the-future: If I do not agree with a decision, I will not take the easier route and keep quiet.

Startup — Life

80% of the business comes from 20% of the clients. Be that as it may, the tendency to chase after the rest is overwhelming. Why? Because we want to appear busy.

Note-to-the-future: Focus on what gives you the maximum benefit. This is not just about clients. This is true for any aspect of one’s life. All of us who complain about not having enough time will benefit from this.

Travel

In the last 18 months, I have travelled more than I have in the last decade. How did that happen? In my late 20s and early 30s, I had money but I thought I was so critical to my job that if I took a week-long break the sky would fall down. I know so many of my friends in this age group who believe the same.

When I write about the importance of health and the need to travel (two topics very dear to me), so many youngsters have reverted saying “I just don’t have the time”.

Note-to-the-future: With just a bit of planning and prioritizing, I can continue travelling. And now that I am in a new state, I will use this opportunity to explore the villages of Maharashtra.

Learn a skill

I do not mean to upgrade your skills in your professional domain. Do something that may have no possible impact on your immediate career.

For example, if you are a software engineer, join a class to learn Spanish. Or play the guitar.

Get trained in Kalaripayattu or Jiu-jitsu. Learn to cook Japanese dishes (and if you are any good at it, invite me over).

Note-to-the-future: Learn how to build websites — even the rudimentary effort I make will shock my co-founders 😜

Dear Friends,

As I said at the beginning, this is an exercise you all should do. Write a letter to the person you were 5 years back. Use that as a stepping stone to help yourself grow in the next five years.

Today is the last day of the “One Day, One Blog” Challenge I set for the month of January. Thank you for all your support. I will keep my promise to myself and write and publish more. Much more. and let’s see where I reach on 31st January 2023!

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Ruby Peethambaran

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