Reflecting on 26 years

Anish Kaushal
6 min readJun 29, 2021

First posted on my personal website (here)

I recently celebrated my 26th birthday.

What a ride it’s been so far.

A British-Canadian-Indian kid who skipped a grade at 5 became a doctor from the UK turned healthcare venture capitalist turned market crash predictor.

All I can think is how grateful I am to be living this life. How lucky I am to call Canada home and live with a family who has given me everything I could have ever dreamed of.

They’ve shown me the world and given me every opportunity to succeed. They’ve sacrificed everything to allow my siblings and me the opportunity to pursue our dreams. They’ve shown us the value of hard work and believing that you have the ability to compete with the best.

This last year has been one of the better years of my life as I got to spend so much time with family while continuing to invest in myself. I started sharing my writing with the world and may have seen something that will go down in history.

Here are some of the things that come to mind reflecting on all these years:

Keep reading. Books show you how the world really works. Stop watching the news. They don’t tell you anything new. Read books that have been around thousands of years, those ones have the answers.

Keep meditating. Training your mind to keep calm in stressful situations has been a lifesaver. It’s made me more in touch with myself and allowed me to be truly happy. It’s stopped me from rushing to judgement and just letting things happen as they may. Life mostly happens outside of your control. You have no control over a lot, so there’s no point in stressing over what you don’t know. The only thing you can control is your reaction to it. Stop worrying about the world and start focusing on yourself.

Go for more walks. It clears your mind and gives you time to think and be. It’s also allowed me to listen to podcasts, which is a great way to get more informed on the world. Listen to podcasts on 2x speed. It’ll be weird at the beginning but after 5–10 minutes, your brain will catch up and you’ll never go back.

Exercise more often. The hardest thing about exercising is maintaining the habit. Find something that works for you and stick to it. I need to get back on Joe Wicks’ plan because it was one of the best things I’d ever done for myself. He showed me that you could exercise, eat healthy tasty food while indulging in junk food and booze on the weekends, and still lose 30 pounds in a year.

Stop worrying about other people’s expectations. You have no responsibility to live up to what other people want from you. They will project their own opinions and biases of the world onto you and they’ll brainwash you into thinking like them. Understand them, listen to them but make your own decisions.

Think for yourself. We’re told by society that life should be a certain way. Screw that. Do what you want. If you want to be successful, go get it. No one is going to help you get there unless you start helping yourself. Get after it. The internet has democratized information in a way that everyone has an equal playing field, so what are you going to do about it?

Keep learning skills. Skills are what matters. Keep investing in your ability to write and communicate complex topics in simple terms. Many people try to make themselves sound smarter by using all these fancy words. Get back to the basics. Always think from first principles. Invest in understanding the concepts behind the ideas. Read the original texts instead of what someone else has told you about them.

The news is not your friend. They don’t tell you how the world works. They tell you how they want you to think the world works. Understand there’s an agenda behind everything they do. They want to inspire fear in you because it makes you watch. Remember, it’s a business.

It’s the same thing with Facebook, Twitter and the rest of social media. These are private businesses that make more money the longer you use the applications. You are the product. Your attention is what they want and they’ll do anything they can to keep you coming back, even if it means spreading lies. Conspiracy theories and lies spread faster than the truth because no one wants to hear the truth.

Question everything. In today’s world of misinformation, there is so much bullshit and lies out there. Verify your sources. Double-check if multiple sources have reported the same thing. See who’s the primary source. Think about their incentives and what they have to gain from this story.

Money runs the world. No matter how much good and impact you want to create in the world, you can’t do it without money and/or power/influence. You need to play the game in order for people to take your ideas seriously.

Life is a game. Understand the rules of the game. How do you get a job? How do you cook? How do you clean? How do people think? How does your body work? How do emotions work? How does your brain work? Ask yourself basic questions and search for the answers. Life becomes much more interesting once you realize how everyone is playing the game.

Be careful who you keep around you. Someone once said ‘you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.’ Make sure your friends are good people who are investing in their future. You get inspired by what you see around you and by having people pursuing excellence in their domain, that’ll rub off on you.

Learn the game from those ahead of you. Spend more time with people who are older than you and learn from them. They have more answers than people who are the same age or younger than you since they’ve been through a lot of those experiences already.

Do things for you. Keep investing time in those weird hobbies that no one else enjoys. Do things that make you happy. Keep watching sports. Keep screaming at the TV. Keep being passionate about your teams.

Invest in experiences. Invest in your friendships. Invest in your relationships with family and friends. Only do it for those that do it for you. Don’t let people take advantage of you and your time. If people don’t respect you or your time, get rid of them.

Life is about memories and moments. Material things are irrelevant. No one cares how nice your watch is or how expensive your car is. If that’s the thing they care about the most, you’re in the wrong crowd.

Do the work. Nothing comes easy. Most people don’t want to do the work of investing in themselves, but it’s the best investment of time you’ll ever make. Take breaks. Take time for yourself.

Success is a terrible teacher. Don’t believe your own bullshit because as soon as you start doing that, you’re failing. The higher you reach, the more you have to fall. Embrace failure, search for failure.

Never stop dreaming. Do things that challenge your idea of the world. Dream the biggest dreams you can dream and go get them done. Think in the macro but work in the micro. Discipline and consistency is the key to success. You’ll fall to the level of your habits.

Search for feedback but understand where it’s coming from. If it’s from people whose opinion you don’t respect or those who have never accomplished what you have, take their opinion with a grain of salt. Look for mentors and people who have done what you want to achieve.

Provide more value than you receive. Show the world how you think. Society needs more free and independent thinkers. Never compromise yourself or your own opinions. Say what you really feel, even if it bothers people.

Volunteer. Sacrifice your time. Give back to the next generation. Teach people how you think. Teach people about the world. Show those younger than you how to achieve success. Invest in other people’s success. The more successful people around you are, the more successful you’ll be.

Be great. Greatness requires sacrifice. Never settle for mediocrity. Greatness = consistency over long periods of time.

Learn as if you were going to live forever and live as if you were going to die tomorrow.

Through it all, never stop smiling.

Enjoy the ride.

Keep Going, You’re Doing Great

-AK

Check out my Twitter, Instagram, and Website to stay up-to-date with my journey

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Anish Kaushal

Doctor | Venture Capitalist | Amateur Sports Analyst | Lover of Oreo Mcflurries