08 Apr 10 things that you learn in your 30s
After the wild decade that is our 20s, our 30s can feel like the start of an entirely different era. More responsible. More adult. With many of our poor decisions behind us, it can be tempting to think that there is little left to learn.
This is completely false, as many of us nearing 40 have learned there are many things that you learn in your 30s that are game changing when it comes to relationships, careers, and life in general.
If you are approaching the big 3-0, take a few lessons from those of us who are about to pass the midway checkpoint in the game of life.
1 – Staying true to yourself is key to success
One of the most insidious career traps is believing you have to be a people pleaser to get ahead. However, today’s economy rewards those who stand out.
With ongoing layoffs targeting obedient worker bees who have no discernible value that sets them apart from each other, it’s time to start learning skills which will allow you to rise above the noise.
2 – You need to care for yourself before you can care for others
Many of us put the needs of others before our own. While it can be a noble act to be selfless in many contexts, you will be of little use to your fellow humans if you don’t care for yourself.
Take that personal day off work. Book that massage. By recharging, you will be able to do more for others instead of burning out and becoming yet another jaded person who annoys the heck out of people.
3 – Quality friendships matter
When we were in our 20’s, we made friends everywhere we went. Free of responsibilities and unattached, it was easy to build a massive Facebook friends list.
As your career develops and relationships with significant others blossom, though, it simply isn’t possible to maintain a massive roster.
However, letting all your friendships wither and die is a very bad idea, as recent studies have shown loneliness among males has become as deadly as smoking.
Figure out who matters, and make a concerted effort to hang out with them on a semi-regular basis – trust us on this one. If there is only one point you take seriously from all the things that you learn in your 30s, let this be the one.
4 – Quality over quantity applies to nights out as well
When you find the time to hit the bars with your friends after 30, you’ll quickly find out that your body doesn’t process booze the way it did in your 20s.
Take it easy on the quantity of booze you intake – your head and your waistline will thank you. Compensate by going upmarket with your drink choices … who knew of all the things that you learn in your 30s, alcohol tasting amazing would be one of them?
5 – Negativity can hold you back
In the office, it can be so easy to get sucked into the black hole of negativity your co-workers often espouse. From everyday gossip to how bad traffic was, the tone of these conversations can affect your outlook on life, preventing you from hitting your life and career goals.
Counteract these thoughts by practicing gratitude on a regular basis. The positivity that wells from this habit will elevate your mood, allowing you get back on track.
6 – Negativity is also underrated
One of the most important things that you learn in your 30s is that you shouldn’t shield yourself from all negativity either. Unlike things like taxes and the price of gas, some negative feedback falls within your realm of influence.
Not hitting your sales quota for the month? Figure out where you are going wrong, then take corrective action.
Fed up with your commute? Look into taking public transit, move closer to work, or propose a remote working arrangement that would allow you to get it done at home.
7 – You only get what you go for in life
Very few things are handed to you on a silver platter. If you want that 5000 square foot house, a top-of-the-line car, or an online business which allows you to travel at will, draft a plan, and then execute on it violently. Daydreaming is not enough.
8 – Focus is everything
Focusing on one task until completion will turbocharge your results. Most people multitask, as they think it allows them to get more done when it actually does the opposite. It is one of the most surprising things that you learn in your 30s, but’s it’s true.
Blocking out distractions is another way to increase focus. For example, blocking time-wasting websites and separating yourself from idle chit-chatters will prevent them from derailing your momentum.
9 – Travel: don’t wait until you are old to do it
Of all the things people opine about when they dream of retirement, travel is often at the top of the list. What they fail to consider is when they are 55-70, their advanced age may make certain trips difficult or impossible.
If you want to rock climb over tropical waters in Railay Beach in Thailand, do it now. If you don’t have enough vacation time, negotiate more ASAP.
If your employer doesn’t budge, get a better job or start building a business on the side. The world is too wonderful to wait until Big Business says it’s ok for you to explore it.
10 – You only get one life (as far as any of us know)
This is one the hardest things that you learn in your 30s, as it is in this decade when we start to lose loved ones faster.
Obviously, this means elder relatives, but we also start losing members of our own peer group suddenly to accidents or illnesses such as cancer.
You never know when The Reaper will tap you on the shoulder, so get out there and do that thing you’ve always wanted to try – you never know how many days you have left.