The Author

Hakeem Javaid

On January 24th, 2023, I broke my arm snowboarding in the Alps, a jump gone wrong. The pain was excruciating, but there was a life lesson I recalled that helped me bear the physical and emotional pain as I was rescued from the mountain and taken to hospital for surgery.

My name's Hakeem (call me Hak), and I'm known by many for taking ambitious paths in life. It's a journey that I've learnt more from than formal education ever taught me.

Now, don't think that I disregard school because I never took advantage of it. I was actually one of those kids at school that did quite well. If you're familiar with UK education, I managed to achieve 10 A* grades at GCSE, and I received an offer to study at University of Cambridge. However, I surprised everyone by turning down that offer. I explained to them the label didn't mean anything to me; what mattered was the course, not the university.

Instead, I accepted an offer to study at Imperial College London, a university where the degree in Computer Science was significantly more practical than the one at Cambridge. After all, practical experience is the greatest teacher.

I learnt that from a young age.

I'm a coder, designer, and tech entrepreneur, but I actually taught myself how to code when I was 11, and I started my own business at 14. I attempted feat after feat I thought was impossible for my age, and I learnt what Nelson Mandela so eloquently stated: "It always seems impossible until it's done."

I've taken that with me ever since.

On my journey, building numerous tech products and businesses, experiencing many highs and lows in life, I've learnt more than I could ever have imagined. The more I learnt, the more I realised just how much we missed out on at school. That was something I wanted to address.

So, three months after I broke my arm, struggling to regain the ability to type, I motivated myself with an inspiring project: to write 100 life lessons everyone has a right to know. Not just in terms of everyday useful knowledge, but in how to approach life and be prepared for all its difficulties.

I don't believe anything is impossible. If you think something can't be done, it's simply because you don't know how, and you can always learn how.

Learn life's most important lessons, and you'll go far, in the right direction.