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10 Signs You’re Thriving In Your 30s Even If You Don’t Feel Like You Are

10 Signs You’re Thriving In Your 30s Even If You Don’t Feel Like You Are

If you’re like a lot of people, entering your 30s is a major time of self-reflection and examination.  There’s nothing like turning the big “3-0” to make you look at your life and what you’ve accomplished and ask yourself, “Am I on the right track?”

If you’re still trying to answer that question, here’s a list of signs you’re headed in the right direction with a solid foundation in place for a decade of thriving in your 30s.

1. You’ve quit some bad habits.

A lot of twenty-somethings have trouble letting go of their teenage and/or college lifestyle.  If you’ve successfully dropped habits like binge drinking or smoking cigarettes, then that’s a win for both your health and your relationships. For example, by stopping smoking prior to age 40 you’ve successfully reduced your mortality rate by 90% versus those who haven’t quit.

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2. You’re making better decisions for your health.

In addition to dropping bad habits, you should also be forming new ones that are beneficial to your health. These may involve eating a healthier diet, starting an exercise regimen, or just getting a better night’s sleep.  You’ll be glad you’ve started these good habits, as Adam Dehner on Quora attests, “At 41, I’ve got a list of physical complaints that might not have come about had I been healthier.”

3. You’re forming healthy relationships.

You’re definitely on the right track if you’ve learned to spend more time with the people you love, while staying away from those who don’t treat you well.  By choosing your friends and contacts wisely and not forcing any relationships that might not have happened yet (especially marriage, if you’re still single), you’re making certain that you’re dedicating your time and energy to only those people who are truly worth it.

4. You’re taking your career seriously.

While getting ahead at work is important, it’s also essential to be able to look at the big picture and think outside the box.  Depending on your goals, a successful career track might look like a lot of long hours at the office.  However, it could also look like a brand new venture working abroad.  If you’re willing to consider all your options and take the necessary risks, you’re destined to succeed.

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5. You’ve started paying off debt.

A little bit of debt is not necessarily a bad thing, but going into your 30s with a mountain of college loans and credit card bills does not put you in the best position.  If you’ve started chipping away at getting yourself back in the black, then you’re setting yourself up for better financial success in the future.

6. You have some money in savings.

You may not be quite ready for retirement, but having at least a few months’ expenses in the bank is a good sign of a stable 30-something.  “Building the habit of saving early means you’ll continue it further down the line,” says Cliff Gilley.  Once you’ve eliminated some more debt, then you can really start working towards your financial goals.

7. You have goals that aren’t related to your career.

Maybe you want to write a book, hike the Appalachian trail, or learn another language.  No matter your aspirations, having outside interests and achievements you’d like to pursue is a good sign you’re going to continue to go far in life.

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8.  You’ve learned to be content.

“If you’re content with what you have, you will have a happier life,” says Robert Walker.  While it’s great to have goals and always be working towards something, learning to appreciate what you have is the best way to ensure your happiness in the Now.

9. You don’t worry about what other people think.

If you’ve stopped trying to please everyone – family included – then you’re well on your way to realizing emotional success in your 30s. Once you’re out on your own, your choices are your own.  Own them, and ignore all the nay-saying Debbie Downers.

10. You still know how to have fun.

Turning 30 doesn’t mean your life is over, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time.  If you’ve learned to have fun as an adult by spending time with those closest to you, not working too hard, and doing the things that help you enjoy life the most, then there’s no question you’re thriving in your 30s.

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If some of these traits describe you, then congratulations!  May you continue to find success over the next decade.  If not, don’t lose heart.  You still have plenty of time to make positive changes.

Featured photo credit: tie-necktie-adjust-adjusting-man-690084/Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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