30 Things I Learned in 30 Years
Today is my 30th birthday. I knew this day would come eventually I just didn't think it would be so soon. Within the last few weeks, I've been having a slight crisis about this. The most notable was my decision to dye my hair this bright red (now almost pink) color. This was my very lame attempt at rebelling. And although I'm entering into this new decade, I hope I'll be able to do it with more confidence and the knowledge of everything I've learned. Within the last 30 years I've experienced so many new discoveries - traveling the world, graduating with my masters, buying a house and getting married. There both ups and downs and success and failures, but I learned from them all. Although I'm on vacation temporarily fleeing from the freezing temperatures of the Midwest, I want to share with you 30 things I learned in 30 years.
1. Worrying will get you nowhere – Worrying causes a lot of unintentional stress and makes your life more difficult. Honestly, what’s the point of worrying? There’s no sense in worrying about something you have no control over. Worrying is absolutely pointless. Try to stay in the moment and don't worry about what will happen tomorrow as tomorrow will take care of itself.
2. A little bit of kindness goes a long way – Smile, be kind, gracious and humble. Don’t be an as*hole, it gets you now where. Some days might be harder than others, but remember they don’t know what your day, week or year has been like so cut them some slack. Treat others the same way you wish to be treated.
3. Avoid Over Thinking – You may find yourself over thinking minor things in life. Believe me, I’m guilty of this more often than not. Over thinking isn’t just frustrating, but it can also take a toll on your well being. When you find yourself obsessing over a single thought ask yourself: will this matter in 2 weeks? A year? 5 years? Being able to widen your perspective should help encourage you to let it go and help focus your mind on something that actually matters to you. Dwelling on your problems isn’t helpful so try and find a moment to schedule reflection time and commit yourself to become more aware of the here and now.
4. You’re going to be criticized and judged regardless, so go out there and do you – I learned this early in life. I was about 18 years old and a friend I had at the time told me that it didn’t matter what I did or said someone, somewhere will have something to say anyway. He taught me how to be confident in the face of criticism and this self-assurance has always stuck with me.
5. The grass isn't always greener on the other side – Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked in their shoes. Many people spend a lot of time wishing that have what someone else has. But more often than not people will only reveal to you the best aspects of their life. This is particularly true on social media. Don’t get caught up in this and remember, they are only revealing the condensed positive versions of their lives.
6. Slow down and breathe – This is something I still struggle with; between my 40 hour a week job, blogging, keeping up on the house work and trying to be a normal person I tend to find myself getting overwhelmed. It’s important to take some time for yourself to unwind otherwise you’ll find yourself getting burnt out.
7. Take risks and try something new – You’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things that you did. Go out of your comfort and tackle something you never dreamed you would or could. You’ll never know what the outcome is and you might actually surprise yourself.
8. Forgive others – It’s always easier to hold on to grudges and tally the number of times some has done something wrong to you. When you learn to forgive others you’ll also learn to forgive yourself. Forgiving someone is incredibly freeing and by letting go you’ll be much happier.
9. Be present – How many times have you been out at a restaurant or bar and noticed everyone at the table staring at their phones? Don’t be that group or person. When you’re out somewhere try and make an effort to ACTUALLY be there. Take a moment to observe the environment you’re in. If you’re out with a group, engage in conversation, tell stories and make memories. Your friends or family will notice and appreciate it.
10. Pay it forward – I’m a firm believer of Karma and I always feel like everything comes full circle. If you’re think that giving back to others is too much work, it really isn’t and doesn’t need to be something extreme. Hold the door open for someone or even pick something up another person dropped. It’s one of the best forms of gratitude.
11. Get a hold of your finances – This isn’t a very fun lesson, but it is necessary. Pay off your debt – whether that is credit card, student loan, car etc. It doesn’t matter. Start a financial plan because it’s never too early. Before you can do anything getting yourself financially stable should be at the very top of your list. Talking about money can be very taboo but this is a conversation you’ll need to have with yourself.
12. Surround yourself with good quality relationships – I’ve gone through what I like to call 3 rounds of friends. These include my elementary through high school friends, my college friends and post-college friends. I have 0 high school friends left, and a handful of college and post college friends. As I’ve gotten older I’ve made fewer and fewer friends, but the ones I have made are quality. At this point in my life I don’t have the time, energy or patience to “collect” friends anymore. I’m not trying to fill up my “myspace” friends list or have people commenting on my facebook wall. I want people in my life I can depend on and I can trust. I can truly invest my time into my small group of friends without having to worry about pleasing the masses. Cut the toxic people out of your life and you’ll be a lot happier.
13. Happiness comes from within – Happiness is hiding everywhere. It could be found within the pages of your favorite book or in the smile of a stranger. Your possessions don’t and should not define who you. True happiness is more of a state of mind and not from the items we possess.
14. Make your health a priority – You don’t need to go on a crazy diet, just focus on a healthy lifestyle. Workout regularly, get annual physicals, drink water, eat clean foods and try to avoid consuming too much junk food. Focusing on balance is the key to a long term sustainable goal of health living.
15. Exercise – This is a continuation of the importance of health. Exercise is not only a great source of physical activity, but it can also be a stress reliever as well. It can improve your mood, decrease feelings of anxiety and can give your more confidence.
16. No one is going to do anything for you – If you want to make a change you need to do it yourself. There isn’t a magical button you can press to make all your dreams a reality. Life is what you make of it and if you want it to be a good one, you’re going to have to work for it. Work hard, take risks and apply for that job you feel underqualified for. Opportunities don’t appear out of thin air, you have to get off you’re a*s and make it happen.
17. Patience is a virtue – I struggle with this on the daily because I’m an incredibly impatient person. I hate waiting in line, I hate long car/plane rides and I especially hate waiting for my check at a restaurant. But as I’ve gotten older, I realized that many of the good things that have happened in my life occurred after a brief period of waiting. Waiting is inevitable and is just part of life and it is true that all good things do come to those who wait.
18. It’s never too late to change a life path – It’s been ingrained into us that there is typically one path to take which leads us from A to B. This couldn’t be more wrong. These paths could intersect, do u-turns or even end completely. Hate that job you’re at? Quit. It’s never too late to change directions. It’s never too late to discover who you are and what you want.
19. Go with your gut – If something doesn’t feel right, then it’s not right. Sometimes we make decisions in our lives and decide to just go for it. If at any point during this transition you get a funny feeling, it’s never too late to back out. Trust your intuition and listen to your inner voice, most of the time it’s correct.
20. Stop asking for permission and go out and do it – Take control and follow your dreams and don’t worry about receiving permissions from others. Follow your passion life is too short to be doing something you don’t love.
21. Invest in yourself – Go get a manicure of massage every once in a awhile. Pamper yourself – you deserve it. When you feel good about yourself your inner positivity will radiate from the inside out.
22. Commit to your goals –Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It will help you to focus and organize your time so you can make the most of your life.
23. Disconnect from electronics – It’s essential to digitally cleanse because it will help you to connect with one self outside of the digital world. We are often so caught up in what everyone else is doing, that it can be hard to focus on yourself. Set aside some time where you disconnect yourself from social media
24. Stop comparing yourself to others – Everyone is different and brings something new to the table. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and live your own life.
25. Support others - Surround yourself with people who are reliable and will support one another. By supporting one another just imagine all you can achieve together.
26. Watch your ego - Don’t we all try to prove ourselves? Sometimes our egos can not only destroy us but those around us as well. I learned to be more humble, the important of compromise, and to forgive. I learned to see more with my heart and to be more understanding.
27. Learn to be your own friend – There have been times when I’ve been too hard on myself. We often say horrible things to ourselves. We don’t intentionally mean to but sometimes we’ll even beat ourselves down. These are things we would never say to anyone else so why are we so quick to say them to our self? Learn to be kind to yourself and you’ll be happier and kinder to others.
28. Never give up – You owe it to yourself to try. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again. Keep trying and don’t get discouraged. The most important thing is that you trust in yourself and to never be scared of the future. Everything will be ok.
29. There is no such thing as fair or unfair – You make your own life. Take a hold of it because you are the creator of your own destiny. Focus on moving forward and don’t worry about what everyone else around you is doing.
30. Learn to savor the joys in life!
I would love to hear from you, so leave a comment below on any life lessons you have learned and would like to see on this list.
Since I’m currently enjoying the sunshine in California, I’ll be back to my normal schedule by the middle of next week (hopefully). I want to take a minute to thank you all for the support and allowing me to ramble :)
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