“Everything I know I learned after I was thirty.” – Georges Clemenceau
Today is my birthday, and I’m giving you a present. Or maybe it’s just some unsolicited advice that you don’t need. Or maybe you need to hear (err see) some of it. 31 was the year I really took a hard look at my life and decided to make some significant changes. 32 will be the year I really implement and execute those changes.
I don’t claim to have it all figured out (see #1) but I’ve learned a lot and think that the 32 lessons below can be really helpful. Some may be a one and done, others may need to be daily reminders or revisited from time to time.
- No one has it figured out.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Ask yourself if will matter in one year, five years, ten years? If not, dwell on it for no more than ten minutes and let it go.
- Don’t compare what you have to what others have. You have no idea what level of debt someone is living at to have a nicer car or bigger house than you do. Live within your means.
- Don’t spend time with people that don’t treat you right. Set boundaries and stick to them – dedicate your time to better people and healthy relationships.
- Be the person that others can count. Show up for those that matter to you. Make time for those you care about.
- Have an emergency fund – things come up, and it is a whole lot easier when they come up to know you can afford your rent/mortgage and other bills…
- Don’t be afraid to take risks and change it all. Most of us decide our careers in our late teens/early twenties and those choices might not always be the best fit. You may have to give up a lifestyle you are used to and start over. But you can make it happen and if it’s what you want, it will be worth it in the end.
- You’re an adult and can think differently than society. You don’t have to reach Point A, Point B and Point C by the time you are 30! You may choose not to have kids, get married, or buy a house. It’s your life – it’s okay!
- Continue to grow and develop yourself. Work on self-improvement, educate yourself, evolve your thinking and take care of your mental health. What you learn stays with you forever.
- Keep your resume updated. And always be on the lookout for good opportunities and don’t be afraid to interview even if you are happy in your current position. It keeps you sharp and could always lead to a better, well-paid opportunity or a raise/promotion in your current position.
- Good health insurance is imperative. Do your research and make sure you understand what co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles really mean. Think about what you usually deal with yearly and what the following year might bring for your health needs.
- Take care of yourself. Your yearly appointments with your GP are important – if you don’t like your doctor, find a new one that you respect and trust. Don’t skip your bloodwork because you are afraid of needles…
- Don’t let others dictate your choices and decisions for you.
- Learn to forgive. It’s hard work to forgive and move on, but it’s worth it.
- It’s not always about you.
- Success is not linear. Your path to success may be defined by lots of bumps along the way, and maybe you end up taking the scenic route. Do your best to embrace it and be flexible.
- Develop a set of core values and don’t stray from them.
- Be mindful of what you say and how you say it. Words have a lot of power and a thoughtless comment could put a dent on your character or stress an important relationship.
- Joy can come from the most unexpected places. Celebrate the little things and always choose joy.
- You never know what someone is going through. When someone is unpleasant, they might just need a little kindness to be shown to them.
- Perfection only exists in a vacuum.
- Flexibility isn’t about compromising your core values or giving into someone else’s demands. It’s being willing to try something else when what you are doing isn’t working.
- Not all battles are worthy of a fight. Sometimes peace is better than being right.
- Follow your bliss. Be true to your passions and interests and keep pursuing them.
- A good friend is only a phone call away. Pick up the phone no matter how long it has been.
- Let people know how you feel about them.
- Be the type of person you want to spend time with. Be honest and true.
- Nothing great ever comes from comfort zones. The struggle is where the magic happens and the growth occurs.
- Make time every day to be alone.
- Take stock of your blessings on a regular basis. Try your best to appreciate what you have.
- True wealth has nothing to do with money. It is living your best life, pursuing your passions and cultivating great relationships.
- Be kind to yourself. Self-love is hard at times, but treat yourself like a friend. If you wouldn’t let a friend treat you how you treat yourself then it’s time to work on being kinder to yourself.
What important lesson(s) have you learned either recently or over your lifetime that you think may be helpful to others?