Your teens and 20s are like training wheels on an adult bike. However, once you hit 30, the training wheels are off. Hopefully, you’ll have fallen off and scratched your knees enough times to learn from your mistakes before 30, so your remaining life will be better. Most of you have had your hearts broken, made a few bad choices, and had your parents bail you out of financial bind (or two). Your 20s are a time to push boundaries, be a little irresponsible, and get to know yourself in the process. By the time your turn 30, you should know who you are and how far you’ve come.
Practice these tips before you hit 30, and it will make the rest of your life somewhere you’ll definitely want to be.
1. Have No Regrets
Your 20s are for making mistakes and learning from them. There’s no need for regrets because if you’ve reflected and learned from what you did there is no reason why you would do it again after 30.
2. Understand There is No Failure, Only Feedback
All the greatest achievers of our time have failed, failed, and failed again. The difference is that they understand the value of failing. Achievers see it as an opportunity to brush themselves off and try again. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
3. Love Who You Are
Take care of yourself and be proud of who you are. There are always opportunities to grow and change, but let it be out of love and not out of hate.
4. Travel Somewhere That Will Definitely Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone
You can often forget how lucky you are when you’re constantly surrounded by comfort. If you travel somewhere that doesn’t have first-world conveniences before you’re 30, you can begin to truly appreciate what you have and where you were born.
5. Take Time for Yourself
You need to take time for yourself no matter how extroverted or social you are. We all need time to reflect and recharge, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
6. Find a Job that Makes You Happy
You don’t want to be stuck at a job that makes you miserable at 30. Stress and anxiety caused by a negative workplace can create serious health problems down the track. Think about what makes you feel good and how you can translate that into a career. Making money is another bonus.
7. Do Something that Contributes to the Greater Good
When you give back, you fee like you are part of something bigger than yourself — and that feels really good.
8. Be Okay With Not Knowing Everything
You don’t know everything and you never will. By letting go of being right all of the time, you allow yourself to be more open, honest, and ready to learn something new everyday.
9. Look Forward to 30
Thirty means more opportunity, self-awareness, and wisdom. Bring it on!
10. Accept Your Parents and Appreciate What They’ve Done for You
Your parents did the best they could. Once you appreciate them and accept them for who they are, your relationship will change from parent-child to peer. You may not agree with the choices they make or made, but it doesn’t matter because you have your own choices to make.
11. Learn From the Mistakes You Made in Your Teens and 20s
Your teenage years and your 20s learn from your mistakes, hopefully without any major repercussions. Your parents bailed you out of that speeding ticket or paid for that phone you dropped in the toilet. However, once you hit 30 those responsibilities are solely your own. Be certain to learn from your earlier mistakes and be responsible in the future.
12. Be Grateful For the Life You’ve Led So Far
Gratitude is the appreciation for what you have. The more grateful you are for your past experiences, the more happiness you’ll have in your future life.
13. Anything Worth Having is Hard Work
You have to work to make things happen. You won’t be given things on a silver platter. Life is hard. Once you accept that, you can move on and start figuring out how to work through it.
14. Don’t Feel Rushed to Settle Down, Get Married and Have Kids
Life isn’t as short as they say. You have plenty of time before 30 to travel, explore, and experience life before you start the next chapter of your life.
15. Save Your Money
You spent your allowance on expensive shoes or on that new piece of technology, not really thinking about the future. However, you’ll be paying back student loans and your mortgage in no time, so start saving money now to set yourself up for the future.
16. Surround Yourself With People Who Make You Feel Good
When you were younger you might have hung out wit the popular kids or tried to get involved with groups that were seen as “cool.” When you’re older, hanging with the cool kids doesn’t matter anymore. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who accept you for who you are and help make you a better person.
17. Learn to Control the Voice in Your Head
The older you get, the more you’re berated with society’s pressures of what clothes to wear, what car to drive, and what career to have; which can all fuel the ego and create self-doubt. Be kind to yourself and know that you are good enough, no matter what.
18. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Just because you’re growing up doesn’t mean you should stop playing. Play is an important part of our human existence. We’re very social creatures. Dr. Stuart Brown (from the National Institute of Play) compares play to oxygen. Brown says, “It’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing.” This might seem surprising until you consider everything that constitutes “play“. Play is: art, books, movies, music, comedy, flirting, and daydreaming,
19. Take Everyday as an Opportunity to Become a Better Person
“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” – Anonymous
20. Be Aware that You Can’t Change Anyone
You might get frustrated by a friend, partner, or family member because they aren’t doing what you think is best for them. You have to realise that you can’t change anyone — you can only change yourself. Changing the way you respond or behave can shed new light on any situation, despite the other person’s actions.
21. Talk Less and Listen More
You might have a lot to say and want to share it with the world, but if you talk less and listen more you will hear things you might have never heard. You could end up connecting with someone you might have never connected with otherwise.
22. Don’t Make it About You
The Buddha said, “We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.” I would definitely like joy as a shadow, wouldn’t you?
23. Slow Down
When you’re in your 20s it seems like everything is going a million miles a minute. Take time to slow down and be aware of your surroundings. Incorporating a mindfulness practice into your life is beneficial to your health and happiness. Check out Smiling Mind for more information about bringing mindfulness to your everyday.
24. Take Care of Yourself Emotionally, Spiritually, and Physically
Eating healthy, exercising, and looking after yourself on an emotional and spiritual level through meditation, yoga, or prayer will inevitably set the tone for a more balanced life after 30. A life of gratitude and understanding is certainly a life worth living.
25. “Dance Like There’s Nobody Watching, Love Like You’ll Never Be Hurt, Sing Like There’s Nobody Listening, and Live Like it’s Heaven On Earth”
This quote from William W. Purkey (educational author) says it all.
Featured photo credit: Girl with sunglasses in Bed via picjumbo.com