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Anyone even remotely familiar with Ahsan Khan will be able to describe him using the following words: sensible, responsible, charitable and selfless. Udaari’s success brought Ahsan’s charitable social work to the forefront but those who knew the actor from before his Udaari days know that his need to help others has existed long before it became ‘cool.’

For instance, Ahsan used to visit slums regularly in order to donate food and medicines to underprivileged children. He once helped a girl in need of a liver transplant by finding her a financial donor. He helped a homeless man on the streets of Karachi by making a video which went viral, where many people all over Pakistan offered to help by providing jobs or money. According to the star of the hour, Ahsan isn’t doing this for publicity, this is just who he is.

We wondered whether Ahsan has always been like this, to which the star scoffed out loud, “No way! I was a total party animal when I was in my early 20s.” In fact, a 20 something Ahsan Khan probably wouldn’t have imagined himself to be the responsible guy he turned out to be. “At that age, you only think about yourself, your needs and how you’re going to satisfy them, what you want, what makes you sad or happy. You don’t really put yourself in anyone’s shoes but your own so you don’t end up doing things for other people.”

This makes sense because that’s a struggle most people go through in their early twenties. The transition from being a child to an adult takes place during these crucial years and it turns out, celebrities as sensible as Ahsan also go through this rebellious phase but thankfully, they turn out okay.

Here’s Ahsan’s list of life-lessons for today’s youth

1. Learn from your mistakes

“There is no point in making mistakes if you won’t learn from them. Then they just become habits, things you keep doing over and over again. Make mistakes but learn from them.”

2. Push yourself

“You need to be a dheet about your ambitions in life. If you decide on something that you want to do in your life, then just push yourself and don’t give up. I think that’s the key to success is to keep trying.”

3. Don’t do drugs

“I think our society has become distracted and careless which is why youngsters nowadays slip into this. But drugs are complete destruction. Parents need to be vigilant but youngsters should also actively stay away from them.”

4. Choose the right friends

“You are the company you keep so make sure to surround yourself with positive people. Thankfully, I was surrounded by decent, shareef boys when I was growing up so I never did anything that was too crazy but had I been in the wrong company, things might have been different.”

5. Read books

“The most important thing for the soul is education. And I don’t mean formal education. I mean educating your mind, and that only comes from travelling, meeting people, hearing stories. So read books, learn about the world.”