10 Lessons from My 16 YO Self

I turned 16 on April 23. And after 5 years of seeing amazing people do this, I’m so excited to share my first list of lessons I learnt. 

  1. Reflect as much as you react. When was the last time you sat down and did nothing? All-day long, we’re reacting to people and things. Give yourself some alone time and reflect. This is also why shower thoughts are usually so good: you aren’t reacting to anything.

  2. You grow when you feel what you previously loved was stupid. My first interest in tech came through watching Technical Guruji. A year later, it felt so stupid. And that Beebom and Verge do better tech reviews. Another year later, the whole obsessing-over-the-latest smartphones thing feels stupid. You’re most likely ashamed of what you did as a 5–6 year-old. But are you ashamed of what you did a year ago?

  3. The single most important thing in ANY relationship is respect. Because when you respect someone, you tell them the truth, believe they’re doing the same and give them the attention they need. 

  4. Goals more than one. Depending on a single thing is never good. And this goes for goals, too. Whatever you define as “success” — is never in your control. But if you’ve many definitions for success, it’s more likely you’ll get at least one of them.

  5. Let curiosity guide you. Keep wandering. (From Lucky Maverick) When you stop looking for better options, you’ll accept the “good enough.” But when you’re truly exploring, most of the time you won’t be at a peak, but rather at a much lower point looking for something better. You’re sacrificing the battle to win the game.

  6. Incentive alignment. People only do things they’re incentivised to. Like ad-supported media incentivises journalists to write click-baity articles only to garner page views. But Substack incentivises them to report unbiased stories and serve the reader. Being a student, I can say the education system is another example of incentives-gone-wrong. Incentivising the process, instead of the goal, can be a way out.

  7. Have some life values. Inspired by Naval Ravikant. His life values are to not be with people where he can’t speak the truth. To invest his time for the long-term. One of mine is to keep trying out new things. Life values are important because they get a big vote when you make decisions, big or small.

  8. Jealous of a part. (Again, from Naval) Whenever you feel jealous ask yourself: Would you do a wholesale, 100% life swap with the other person? Your answer will always be no. We’re always jealous of a part of someone’s life and that can tell us what life we want.

  9. Trust your negative gut, not your positive one. (From Nat Eliason) When you think something is going to be bad, it most certainly will be. But when you think something’s a great idea, it probably isn’t.

  10. Think like a contrarian. It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing with someone. It’s about reasoning from the ground up. Don’t believe in things you can’t verify yourself unless they’re harmless and they help you.

PS: This year, I started 2345 —  my blog/journal to write and think about lessons as soon as they occur to me. And this is the first time I’m opening it to the public. You subscribe to get my thoughts in your inbox: