Once, while on a plane ride back to D.C. from Texas, I met a man named Amit.

By fate, he ended up in the seat right next to me. As we were getting ready to take off, I offered him a piece of gum. (Side note: pretty sure he was little intoxicated). That simple gesture was probably one of the smartest decisions I have made in my life.

As it turns out, he is a businessman. He goes around building hotels for a living. I was slightly surprised when he began talking to me. I assumed by the end of our conversation he would have tried to sell me something. But somehow the conversation took a sudden turn. He began giving me advice on life for no reason at all it seemed. And I’m so glad he did.

Lessons I learned from Amit:

  • Travel as much as possible.
  • Life is fun, so enjoy it.
  • Stay positive. Be happy.
  • Save your money.
  • Buy only things you can resell. .Buy to gain a profit later.
  • Don’t do something too much to the point you get tired of it.
  • Go into everything you do with a smile. Smile as often as you can.
  • Don’t say no unless absolutely necessary.
  • Keep an open mind about everything.
  • Make connections by networking.
  • Go where the money is.
  • Small gestures go a long way, like simply offering someone a piece of gum.

I learned all this from one conversation with a complete stranger. He gave me his business card (connection made…check), and told me to make sure to do something I love.

He said, “You can spend everyday studying and pass the MCAT with flying colors to become a doctor if you choose, or you can be a social butterfly and make the same amount of money in the long run.”  Be a people person and network. This is how the world works. It was definitely a pleasure to meet you Amit.