10 Things I’ve Learned
This day last year…I took a leap into the unknown.
This post was originally published on June 10, 2014 on www.radha-nath.com. On February 3, 2017 it was migrated to Medium.
June 10th is a date I’ll probably never forget. Some of you might know this story and some of you might not…but I’m going to go ahead and write about it once, right here, so I have it. With that said, get ready for a bit of a story, my story:
Born and raised in St. Pete, FL, I was raised by an extremely intelligent doctor and one of the most caring people I know. I had 3 sisters whom I got along with…for the most part. And we had a dog, Raja. As a kid, I felt like I literally did EVERYTHING. Basketball, Volleyball, Football, Ice Skating, Piano, Clarinet, & Classical Indian Dance. But as I grew, one extra curricular after another would drop off and soon enough I was in high school, I played sports & danced somewhat frequently. Why did all the others go down the drain? Well, the infamous question started getting raised…
“What are you going to do with your life?”
What a loaded question for a high schooler! I mean really! At this point in my life I just did what I thought I had to do: go to school, get good grades, work a bit & stay out of trouble. Outside of that, most of my life was fun & games. Very frequently I had been told, I’d be a good doctor (like my dad)…so why not? That. That’s what I want to do with my life — simple right? Being 18, it was easier to just check a box and move on to college.
But what if…
What if I wanted to do something different? Coming into college, I had reservations about being a doctor. I loved being creative, solving problems, & connecting with people. Pretty much the same things I had loved doing my entire life. Was there a chance I want to be an architect? an artist? an entrepreneur? a journalist? So many options, and I had absolutely no idea. I wasn’t ready to make that decision. So, I stuck to microbiology — it was familiar, comfortable & on the pre-med track.
Floatin’ through college & life
Ergo, like a normal young student, I did exactly what I did in high school: went to school, got good grades, worked a bit & stayed out of trouble. Of course with the added freedom, friends, & influences it was a tad bit more work. But ultimately, I graduated early, took my MCAT, filled out my med school apps & summer came rolling around. Unexpectedly, I started going through other life problems. For the first time in a while I was unhappy…really unhappy. It wasn’t any of the small dramatics I dealt with in school and I found myself asking “Why? How did I get here? Why me? What do I do?”
I didn’t know what to do. But, I did know one thing….something had to change. Simple concept: something doesn’t work, try another method. I started to look within — what did I have immediate control of in my life that I wasn’t happy with. The answer: My career & where I was heading in my life independent of everyone or anything else.
So, this day (June 10th) last year, I picked up the phone & called my parents to tell them that after 22 years of pursuing their dream for me…I wasn’t going to medical school. And instead, I was going to explore mine. I could literally feel my heart beating out of my chest. I was so scared. Scared of disappointing them. Scared of the independent unknown. And… the call was what it was. I could hear the disappointment in their voice in that moment, but what parents wouldn’t feel that way? They were, and probably still are, worried for me…but I know it’s only because they care.
However, how did I know I was doing something right for me? Easy… after getting off that call, I felt a huge sense of relief, a burden lifted off my shoulders. I was definitely scared about my future and where I was going to go.
But for the first time in my life, I felt free. That now, since nothing was decided, my options were limitless.
& The Rest is History
I started growing as an individual at an unbelievably fast rate. Learning more about myself, who I am, what I love, what I want to do, where I want to go, what makes me happy. A lot of I’s. But, interestingly enough, as I started concentrating more on myself, my want to help and understand other people, situations, and places only grew.
I think I’ve babbled enough. I can go through the journey I’ve had since that moment, but I’ll keep that story for another day. Instead, I’m going to leave you with this:
10 Things I’ve Learned In Life
1. Find a balance in life.
Work vs Play. Self vs Others. Judgement vs Perception. Thinking vs Feeling. Life really is a huge balancing act. I believe that we all have our perfect equilibrium point that fits our own lives & it helps to find it.
2. Stay humble.
I feel like ego is one of the biggest stunting factors of growth. When you already feel like you’ve got it all, how much more do you think you could grow? Knowledge & potential is limitless, so stay humble…even if you’re ‘the best’ out there — raise the bar. Beat your own greatness.
3. Find the courage to live on the edge.
Living just a bit outside your comfort zone gives you an amazing amount of opportunities while still giving you the ease of home. But, it takes courage. It’s scary & you may not know what you’re doing sometimes. You may fail, but you also may come across a beautifully unexpected path.
4. Don’t give up, just adapt your methods.
If it’s important & you really want it. Go after it. You’ll fail & get doubtful looks. But persist through the obstacles. If you fall, just laugh it off and keep moving. It’s a great quality to be able to laugh at yourself & not take life SO seriously. So, don’t be afraid of failure or rejection, it’s all part of the journey.
5. Stay curious. Find your why.
It’s different for everyone & I honestly believe everyone thinks about this at least once in their life. Humans are purpose seeking creatures, we apply meaning to almost everything. “Why am I here?” I think we owe it ourselves to find our own answer. So, stay curious, stay hungry…ask questions! It makes life a bit more fun!
6. Do what you love & love what you do.
Find what you’re passionate about and let it drive you. It won’t always be fun and it definitely won’t be easy just because you love it .You’ll still have to work hard. But you will… if you love it, you will.
7. When you’re lost, stuck, or confused — first look within.
I think when we feel these ways, we tend to blame it on external factors. People, Jobs, Locations, or Time. While it may be one of these, sometimes it pays off to do a bit of soul searching & then take action. Changing external factors can help temporarily — but sooner or later you might feel lost/stuck/confused with different people, in a different job, living somewhere else, in a different point of life. So, understand your soul first, then take action and grow.
8. Be kind & care but don’t build crazy expectations.
Care for the people in your life without the expectations. Don’t smother them obviously, but if you care for them, show them you care. I’ve heard plenty of ‘she ignored my phone call’, ‘he didn’t appreciate this’, ‘I got hurt, I should just stop caring’. Yes, if you care more, you might get hurt more (but only if you let your happiness depend on it). So, be kind without selfish motives, you might get a bit hurt here and there…but life will be that much more beautiful. You’ll be cared for too.
9. Don’t try to change others.
To be honest, it’s probably a waste of your energy. People will only change their ways when they want to change. If they ask for your advice, opinion, or insight — tell them what you think. Let them consider it & they’ll make the decision themselves. Most people are capable of that.
10. Do good.
“Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do Good.” Mr Feeny said it best.
These are little pieces of knowledge from my own experiences. They are the lessons that my values stem from, so they may or may not apply to your life. But, I hope that whatever you’re doing, whoever you are, & where ever you’re reading this — that you are enjoying life, appreciating the good and learning from the bad.
Well, now that I have sufficiently wrote your eyes off, I’d love to know what you think! What do you value? Any experiences you’ve learned from? & I’M MOSTLY INTERESTED IN….who else learned amazing life lessons from Boy Meets World? haha