5 Lessons I learnt in my 20s

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

A self-reflection of all the failures and accomplishments I have experienced in last 9 years

As I turn 29 in a few days, I realized it would be an opportune time to look back at the years gone by where I experienced myriad of emotions, nurtured friendships and walked unknown territories. This blog summarizes 5 key lessons derived from both personal and professional experiences I have survived upclose.


1. If your health is deteriorating, its never worth it

If I were to talk numbers, I weighed 55 kgs when I graduated from St. Stephen's College in 2013 and I weigh the same today.


In between, I was diagnosed with migraine and became obese twice all because of poor lifestyle choices when I made work center of my life. The wrong choices have forced me to take active care of my health so much so that I was one of the few people on ISB campus who would hit gym every day. I knew even if I manage to get extra 10 marks at the expense of my health its not going to be worth it. I guess I graduated just fine from my business school also. Today as I actively prioritize my deliverables and tasks, guess what is number 1 priority on my calendar !


Looking back, anything that negatively impacted my health wasn't worth it at all. You always know if you are stuck in a toxic lifestyle but just cant get out of the rut. If your future self would look back at you today, he/she would know it was not worth it !

2. Courage over crying any day

I have a set value system and I do not compromise on it at all- come what may. It is courage !


As debatable as it may be, I believe courage cannot be taught. Either you have it or you don't. My 2 cents would be if you have it, don't hide it under neath. We cant open new doors till the time we are stuck dealing with old scars. Not being a people pleaser is surprisingly very pleasing to you and your beautiful self :)


3. Art of forgiving yourself

This is the most interesting one as like many others I was stuck in my early 20s with being a perfectionist. Healing and accepting my scars didn't come naturally to me. More than seeking forgiveness from others, I was damn hard upon myself for not achieving the absolute best.


Brene Brown's thought leadership in 'Gifts of Imperfections' centered around courage, compassion and connections really pushed me to kill a sense of external competition around. It nurtured an art in me to carve my own path basis my dreams and desires. It taught me to be kind to myself first teaching me to be kind to others as well. As cliche' as it may sound, practical tools such as positive affirmations help as forgiving and loving thyself is a continuous journey and not a milestone.


4. You cant escape hard work

This lever has never left my side. However, I have surprisingly become extra productive so much so that I have been working 7 days a week since last 2.5 years. It has been possible because of the power of discipled calender-ing and never exceeding more than 3 Priorities at a point in time.


Off late I have also realized that taking one day off may actually turn more beneficial for me to not burn myself up. Guess 30s may not be as efficient and productive as the 20s have been !


5. Friends & Partner selection matter

This one is by far the most important one.


In true honesty, I couldn't have survived all the bad days without the amazing friendships I made during my 20s. I have been blessed with fantastic people around me. They stood by me rock solid during all ups and downs. Irrespective of the physical distance, the friendship and bond still remain intact.


As under rated as this topic sound, picking a partner who inspires you and brings out the best in you really really matters. I have been fortunate to date someone who engages with me on big ideas than gossip !


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Lastly If you don't know me, I am someone who graduated from the safe world of St. Stephen's College without fully realizing the weight of my alma mater till I joined the corporate world. I managed to get a consulting job where I made few of my closest friends with whom I still talk, attend weddings and collaborate on my work.


Post this, I worked for Groupon India where I met talented folks-with whom I traveled frequently -and fantastic leaders like Ankur Warikoo from whom I learnt a great deal on how to lead and run ventures.


All this while, I struggled to understand my father and he struggled to understand me. Nature created wonderful serendipity for me and I met my current long term boyfriend who changed my perspective about life and set the foundation stone of unleashing my true potential by not only understanding my decisions but also pushing me to dream big !


I then joined Government of India in mid 20s to chase my dream of changing the world. The role allowed me to go on tour in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh with then District Magistrate and give some cool presentation in Minister's Chamber.


My roller coaster journey then took me to Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and later Harvard Business School to now Boston Consulting Group (BCG).


By this time my parental relation really improved as empathy came in since I watched my parents longing to see me. I understood my well being was always the centre of their worries.


Today as I jointly lead with Naman a fantastic thought experiment called Global Governance Initiative, I live happily with my parents during this pandemic lockdown and I believe this is the best way in which I would want to celebrate my 29th- with the people I love the most :)

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©2019 by Shatakshi Sharma | MBA in 2 minutes

Disclaimer- The views shared on this blog are of my own and are not representative views of the organisations and institutions I am associated with.