Today, I turn 30! It feels strange and familiar all at the same time. Being a goal oriented person, there were a great many things I used to motivate myself with, most of them started with “When I turn 30….” Today, as I look back at many of the goals I had set for myself I am grateful to be able to say that I have achieved far more than I imagined in some areas as also less in others! However, achievements and goals being one aspect, the one, most important goal I did not set for myself was…

“When I turn 30, I want to be happy.”

I am so very grateful to know, understand and be thankful for the fact that when I woke up this morning…I was very happy!

The question then boils down to…How does one work towards achieving this goal of being happy, when you turn 30? This question has sparked some amazing conversations and I am putting together a short ebook about this that I hope to publish sometime in the next year.

Without leaving you hanging out there, here are some of the things that I do believe have helped me getting here:

1. Help others as much as you can. I did not get this till a couple of years ago, now, I go out of my way to help whoever reaches out to me, in whatever small way I can.

2. Treat life as an experiment. Being an entrepreneur makes this easier, because all we do is experimentations. However, this applies to everyone, learn to discover new things and experiences. This helps getting you closer to finding the “Why” in your life.

3. Do not try to make everyone happy. It is simply not possible, you will waste too much energy, dwelling on something that is not worth it, will make you feel unworthy. As a side note, have a strict “No Assholes Rule” in life. When you come across any, do your best to keep them out of your life.

4. Continue to put yourself outside your comfort zone. This could be writing a book, becoming a chef, starting a cafe or simply asking for help when you need it. Holding yourself back has far too many long term consequences.

5. Learn to smell the roses and be grateful for what you have. My mother has said this to me throughout this last decade. Often I did not follow this, but when I did, it helped me get some great perspective on so many things I seemed to be watching pass me by.

6. Choose your friends wisely. They have enormous impact on your life, if you are friends with people who are not happy with their life is; chances are neither will you be. Find friends with shared values, goals and aspirations. They will be a defining pillars in your life and success.

7. Do not forget about family. When all is said and done, they are the ones who care the most for you. Chances are when your chips are down they are the ones who will be there for you. I happen to have been blessed by an awesome family, I am very grateful for this blessing.

8. Read and learn as much as you can. Unfortunately this is something many people are just not doing anymore. Reading has helped me broaden my thinking, my ability to discuss a variety of topics, above all, it helps get the creative juices flowing.

9. When something is not working, stop doing it. This could your career, business or a relationship. The longer you put up with something that you have tried your level best to fix, the harder it is to move on to more positive and constructive paths.

10. Learn about yourself. Being self aware is where it all starts. Many of us never really look into who we are, and morph ourselves into being what we think society wants us to be. Being true to yourself is a critical step to ensure that you take the path to being happy and peaceful.

These are 10 things I have so far. Feedback would be great. If you have something you would have liked to tell yourself before you turned 30 please do share it with all of us in the comments below.

In the end, there are several people I want to thank, they are the ones who have helped me get where I am today.

My Mother: Selecting the path less traveled resulted in lots of highs and lows. Thank you for always being there and being a pillar of love and support. Love you very much. Attached is finally an article clipping about “what I do for a living“!

My Father: Thank you for all the advice and support through the years. Learning from the lessons you have learned has helped me from making many mistakes.

My Brother: I am really grateful that we have been able to develop a much stronger bond over the last decade. All your help has been awesome and I am really looking forward to seeing what the rest of the decade has in store for you and both of us together.

My Sister: Our regular calls have been awesome, thank you for helping me get perspective on the bigger picture and for making me laugh all the time. Love you very much!

My Grandfather: You were a role model for me growing up. Even though you left us just as I was getting started for college, there are so many things that I have learned from you that have helped me so definitively in getting to where I am today.

My Grandmother: I have the fondest memories of the times we spent together and our time here when I was in college. Even though you are not with us today, you were an unshakeable source of love and inspiration growing up. Thank you.

My Family: There are so many of people within this blessed circle who have helped me get to where I am today. I am so very grateful for all their advice, support and guidance.

Song Kwang: It has a been a pleasure working side by side with you building Hatch Media. Your dedication, commitment and drive to help the youth has been inspirational. I look forward to the next decade and taking the business forward.

Shahzaib Khan: Building IDENTIFI with you has been quite the ride so far. Your continued push for perfection, commitment and fanatical dedication to ship has been amazing to watch. Just seeing your growth in the last couple of years has been awesome. I am really looking forward to what happens next!

Friends: There are many, many people who have been instrumental in pushing me forward. The times when it was easier to give up, you were there to push me on and helped me get back on track. Thank you very much!

As I begin the next decade of my life, the goal still remains the same:

“When I turn 40, I want to be happy.”

Wishing all of you the very best! Thank you.