24 Lessons on My 24th Birthday

Mauktik Dave
9 min readDec 1, 2023
Photo by Lan Gao on Unsplash

Each year, we get a little older and we get a little wiser. Birthdays are an annual reminder for what we have done so far, what we are doing and how much more we can accomplish.

As I complete 24 rotations around the Sun on November 30th and begin my 25th year, I wanted to present a collection of 24 indispensable life lessons, each corresponding to a different year of life, from age 1 to age 24. By encapsulating a year’s worth of personal development into a single, focused lesson, we explore the journey of human growth and the way in which every year of our life brings valuable experiences and cultivates distinct virtues.

Birth: Individuality — My name is a Sanskrit term that means pearl, coming from a Sanskrit poem,

शैले शैले न माणिक्यं मौक्तिकं न गजे गजे। साधवो न हि सर्वत्र चन्दनं न वने वने॥
There does not exist a ruby in every mountain;
Nor every elephant is adorned with a pearl on its head.
Sandalwood trees are not found in every forest;
similarly, the true sadhu — noble person — is not found everywhere.

It’s not everyday that someone is gifted a name that is so unique and individual. This was my first lesson in life, to embrace your uniqueness and individuality.

Age 1: Patience — This was a lesson for my parents more than me. 😂 I was quite a lazy baby who would sit around all day and not move, unless there was something that I REALLY wanted. My parents had a lot of patience for my lazy bum, but they always showered me with immense love and care which carries with me till this day. Patience is a gift that teaches you the value of the things you have.

Age 2: Simple Joys—Whether it’s playing with bubbles or enjoying a favorite snack, 2-year-olds find joy in simple pleasures. For me, this was playing with an Ovaltine can! It seems so simple, but we often forget that we should be grateful for every part of life. This can encourage us to appreciate the small, everyday moments that bring happiness. Live in the “now” by seeing the world with gratitude.

Age 3: Imagination — As a child, I was apparently very imaginative. I loved to play make-believe and create stories in my head. These imaginations would take me to far away lands, but when it came time to going home from a play-date, it was time to get back to reality. Use