The 30 Most Important Lessons I’ve Learned In 30 Years

With the third decade comes a sense of impending doom for a lot of people. But if the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that we’re lucky to be here. And the longer we’re here, the luckier we are! So, to help dispel the toxic attitudes around turning 30, I have listed some important things I’ve learnt as I approach the big 3-0.

Here are 30 things I’ve learnt by (almost) the age of 30:

1. Don’t fret about players or emotionally unavailable people. If someone is right for you, it will work almost seamlessly. Also, don’t waste any of your valuable time worrying about why they won’t text you back. I have lost months of my life obsessing over the minutiae of a person’s actions or lack thereof. 10/10 do not recommend as I got nothing out of it.

2. Wear sunscreen or some form of sun protection every. single. day. Even if you’re inside or it’s raining. You will thank me.

3. Stretch everyday as a bare minimum. 

4. Spend less time on social media. It has it’s benefits but it also steals our precious time. As I heard someone say once, if a product is free then that means you are the product. Do not let yourself be manipulated by social media platforms.

5. Most relationships are really hard. Even the best ones. But it’s the daily work that builds the bond. The spark that people talk of always fades, and that isn’t a sign of love. Love is knowing someone will cook you dinner when you’re too tired or will plug in your phone to charge when you forget before bed. Love isn’t the spark. The spark is the appetizer to the main. 

6. Don’t dream about your wedding day. Instead, imagine what marriage would really look like for you and your partner. Talk to married couples that you know to be sure it’s something you really want to walk into, because a lot of marriages fail. Being legally bound to someone is a big deal, so try to distinguish between whether you want to be married or if you just want the party and pretty dress. 

7. Don’t rush into being a grown up. You have a finite period to be young, free, and selfish, and these are your formative years. Why would you want to throw away that period of time that you’ll never get back?

8. Owning a house is a worthwhile and valuable thing to do, but our society seems to have gone berserk with owning property. Being obsessed with owning property is still just materialism. It’s no different from collecting Balenciagas or Ferraris. Sure, it provides security but only if you can pay your mortgage. 

9. And on that note, security is a made up human concept. Nothing is secure. I think the pandemic proved that even the most secure careers could be taken away at a moment’s notice. All it takes for your security to dissolve is for the economy to tank. 

10. You do not owe your employer anything beyond your job description. So do not sacrifice your wellbeing and precious time for something that makes you miserable and pushes you to your limits. You will pay for it later as your body takes its tax on overwork and chronic stress. Remember, your employer holds no loyalty to you. The minute your role no longer becomes financially viable, you will be on the curb and without the gold watch.

11. Don’t worry what people think of you. Everyone is too obsessed with themselves to care about you

12. Don’t worry about your weight. Just focus on being fit and healthy. 

13. Everything is about balance. Don’t eat too much junk food, but also don’t obsess about healthy food. Have variety, eat with gratitude, and move your body in whatever way feels good for you.

14. Happiness does not come externally. It comes from inside of you. If you’re not okay inside, nothing on the outside will fulfill you.That relationship, career, house, new outfit, cruise will not bring you long-lasting happiness if you’re empty inside. Find your inner joy and harness it. 

15. Embrace the things society deems as flaws. Why do we all want to look the same anyway? It’s so boring. Bring on the gray hair! 

16. Mindfulness has been done to death, but it is worthwhile finding joy in the present moment, or if it’s not a joyful moment, then fully embracing the moment for what it is. You are here right now and you get to experience the full spectrum of being alive. Some colors are better than others, but you need to have them all to see the rainbow.

17. Consume less, but also don’t be too hard on yourself. We are victims of an exploitative system, both for the environment and for us. But together, our little choices can change the tide and are already beginning to.

18. If your grandparents are still alive, call or visit them more often. You’ll wish you did it more when they’re gone…I better call my grandparents now, actually.

19. Don’t lie about who you are and what you want in life simply to protect the feelings of others. This is your life and not theirs. 

20. Speak your truth (unless it will unnecessarily hurt someone).

21. Do all of the things you’re scared to do. The only way you’ll know is if you try. And it’s better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. That terrifying, “what the hell am I doing” feeling is usually the catalyst to something awesome. 

22. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you love them. Again, you don’t want to unnecessarily hurt someone or break up another relationship, but if it’s appropriate, tell them. Push through your fear or rejection and tell or show them how you really feel. Even if they don’t feel the same, you will be able to work towards moving on from them. And if they do feel the same, then it sure does save a lot of time wondering.

23. Time heals almost anything. It is the salve of existence. Be patient and focus on one task at a time, and then one day at a time, and then before you know it, days turn to months and months turn to years. You will be okay someday. And someday might just be tomorrow.

24. Soul mates don’t really exist. At least not in the way we’ve been taught. You are your own soulmate, and for most of us, the greatest loves of our lives will be our good friends and family. 

25. Be aware of living inside your own echo chamber. We are becoming more and more polarised. I bet you have something in common with someone who has opposing beliefs to you. 

26. Know your worth. Internships can be valuable, but only up to a point. Be wary of exploitation. No one should really be working for free. An internship should offer training and the possibility of career progression. Remember that. Don’t be the coffee person. 

27. Stand up for yourself, because if you don’t, people will walk all over you. 

28. Give bullies a taste of their own medicine. Usually, it will disarm them and they’ll leave you alone. But of course, be careful.

29. Honor your inner child and keep them alive inside of you. They are the navigator to your true north. Let them guide you. 

30. I can’t take credit for this one, but I think it is one of the most valuable things I’ve learned: be more involved with life and less attached to it. It’s a miracle that we’re even here and in the end, nothing really matters. So why not have fun? Experience as many things as you can and try to leave your small part of the world slightly better than you found it instead of getting caught up in ‘the game’ of chasing superficial things like fame, money, and socially accepted success.