Sharing some of my understandings, feelings, tips with my son — Ekansh on his 18th Birthday

Dear Betoo,

Today you are a man. In the eyes of the law, you are a man. I know, right? Weird? After all this time as a kid? But it’s true. You can vote. You can get your license and drive without any fears of getting caught. You can fight and die for your country and pursue the passion that you want with your own legal entity. Free to learn and teach as long as you can remain as my little curious child.

I remember holding you in my arms 18 years back for the first time around 11am…that’s the first time I got to see you and feel what is means to be a father. It was special feeling and it is hard to describe that.

I have fond memories of each and every birthday and it’s been so nice to see you grow learn and reach this milestone….although it’s just a number. Today, I thought I will share some life-lessons for you and at the same time, I want you to Design your Life the way you would like to see yourself in the future. You are my path forward.

Let me share some thoughts on some of my learnings:

Be Humble, Be grounded…Be good to people who can’t afford things that you get easily…basically people who come from less fortunate backgrounds. Don’t just donate, spend a few moments to listen to them attentively.

“Humility helps us to open the mind. An open mind leads to an open heart. And an open heart helps us to create the will to change the course of things for greater good” ~Subroto Bagchi

Don’t break anyone’s heart — I’m sure you will meet and make many girl friends….and it will also be easy for many of them to fall in love with you….but don’t break their heart….be open and transparent about the relationship….don’t make commitments when you cannot live up to them. The best relationships are those that share common values which become bonds, invest patiently to discover them.

You might miss a party, celebration...but never miss meeting someone in their bad times. Always lend a shoulder to someone who has lost his near or dear one. Always try and spend time with someone who is going through a tough time….just be there.

Don’t spend too much money saving for tomorrow...Enjoy whatever you earn… save a little for tomorrow. But remember, we cannot enjoy all our money on ourselves — how will it grow then? Greater joy, gratitude, happiness all come from giving more and taking less, find a community with these social values and maybe you can volunteer, do a movie and multiply your money into tangible wealth.

Take good care of your body, mind…if this is healthy….everything else around you will look and feel good.

Be Curious….Always try to know, learn and relearn new things…never assume that you know everything. My friend Sunny says, we all must take a pen and a paper everytime we are reading a book or listening to a talk, make notes of the assumptions which the author has made, help improve those assumptions and email it back to the community. Like open source software or Wikipedia development. You will make the internet and the world a better place, one step at a time.

Spend less on garments, gadgets, etc…try and spend on experiences. They are very memorable and will give you a different kick altogether.

Always respect elders…there is so much you can learn from them and you need to take their blessings and be good to do them…spend as much time as you can. Be always present to hear their stories, you will feel your own soul.

Be a good listener….there are very few people who will listen….and many of them always want to share to people who are good listeners

“Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.” — Unknown

Have few friends…but make sure that they really mean the world for you. Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.” Only one exception, people are not atoms, they have intellect and emotions, just giving them pressure or chocolates won’t earn you friends. Each one of us have different taste, find your real friends and their tastes and keep discovering yourself.

Give 100% in whatever you do….basically Give your Best….don’t expect anything in return…..When we do things and expect something in return….it doesn’t work. Unconditional compassionate love is when you give 100% to the person you love…..and never expect it to come back.

Try and always fight for a cause….a cause which deeply resonates with you…could be anything.

It’s too early…but will be good if you find the true purpose of your life. Remember, each of us come to this planet to do something good. Don’t be in a hurry to find this…but it is very important to do this self discovery. Do it everyday, 5 minutes of meditation and a minimum of 30 minutes on friendship.

There will always be tough times and you would like to do some crazy things…but remember, nothing is permanent in life…everything is temporary.

Be Happy — The most important thing in your life is Be Happy….Live Joyfully.

“True happiness is found at the heart of what you love”.

Also, learn how to say sorry & apologise to people when you have made a mistake. Remember how Farhaan realises it in the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. You will end of fighting with your friends, well-wishers, relatives, etc….but try and close the loop in a graceful way. It is important in your life to close the loop wherever required.

There is God inside you. You might not see it as of now…but I can see it and in those tough days, when you see nothing is working….it will give you the strength to deal with it. Remember, that there is a spark inside you and it’s light will never go fully dim…you have to make sure that you always have to remain positive so that it glows. Let your actions spring forth from that light within you, guiding your way and lighting your steps.

I believe in you, Ekansh. I believe in the path you now claim that lies before you. I love you and I am deeply proud of the boy you have been and equally proud of the man you are becoming.

Be a good human being. It all begins today. The world needs you and you need to play a role in developing the world a better place to live, give and try to give more.

Love always & this is the only Gift that I have for you on your 18th birthday :)

Papa.

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Building @ScaleTogether, Founding Volunteer at @SaaSBOOMi | Past: Community Platform Evangelist @Accel_India. Co-Founded@iSPIRT(@Product_Nation), @NASSCOM

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Avinash Raghava

Avinash Raghava

Building @ScaleTogether, Founding Volunteer at @SaaSBOOMi | Past: Community Platform Evangelist @Accel_India. Co-Founded@iSPIRT(@Product_Nation), @NASSCOM