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25 Things You Should Do Before You’re 50

25 Things You Should Do Before You’re 50

Let me start off by saying this.

I’m nowhere near 40. Nor do I have any idea what it’s like the moment you turn 40. But I do everything I can to surround myself with older mentors and teachers who are some of the happiest, most fulfilled, and successful people I know (in every aspect of life— health, wealth, love).

With that said, here’s 25 things you should do before you turn 50.

1. Travel the World Alone.

Traveling alone is a completely different experience than traveling with someone else. You get to do what you do, when you want to, and it’s when you learn to love yourself without depending on anyone else.

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    2. Travel the World Together.

    With that said, traveling together with someone you love can bring you closer than you could have imagined. The real person comes out when you travel with them, and it’s better to have this experience now than sooner.

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      3. Start Something That Lasts.

      Leaving a legacy behind is one of the most important things in my life, and to many of the happiest people in the world, because they have something to live for. Leaving something behind, beyond your physical presence, can be powerful just to think about.

      It can be a non-profit, your own business, a movement. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just start one.

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        4. Become a Mentee.

        Ask any successful person, and 99% will tell you they’ve gotten to where they are because someone mentored them along the way. If you find the right mentor, give even more value back than you receive.

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          5. Become a Mentor.

          If you’ve been mentored sometime in your life, then you understand how powerful it can be to someone’s destiny. Become that light at the end of the tunnel for someone in need, it can be one of the best choices you make.

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            6. Give Back.

            It’s only when we live for something beyond ourselves that we feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Giving back doesn’t have to be done only at an individual level. At Rype, we donate a portion of our profits back to organizations like Pencils of Promise, where they’ve built over 300+ schools in developing nations like Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Laos.

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              7. Go Skinny Dipping.

              You know you want to.

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                8. Start a Journal.

                Recording down your present thoughts, and reviewing it years later can be incredibly fulfilling to see how far you’ve come. It can be a blog, vlog, podcast, or a journal that you keep for yourself.

                The world deserves to hear your message.

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                  9. Attend a Religious Event (that’s not your own).

                  This may seem controversial, but most of us have either never been to a religious event or only attended one (probably the one you were born into).
                  Whether you’re religious or not, why not explore to understand what other types of religious faiths that exist?

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                    10. Fall in Love.

                     
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                      11. Learn to Be Happy Alone.

                      Depending on someone else to be happy is no way to live. Knowing that you can love yourself and find happiness alone, can be one of the most freeing discoveries in your life.

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                        12. Become an Expert at Something.

                        While it’s important to have a general understanding of diverse topics and skillsets, you should also be an expert at something. If someone in your life hears your name, there should be a skill that they can always rely on you for. Become a T-Shaped individual.

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                          13. Live in a Developing Country.

                          In the past 15 months, I lived in over a handful developing nations around the world, including Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, and Peru.
                          Traveling around hotels and visiting tourist spots in the country doesn’t help you understand anything about the culture itself. You have to live it.

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                            14. Visit your Elementary Teacher.

                            We should always give more credit than given to the people responsible for our education back in Elementary. My elementary teacher, Ms.Thorton, taught me how to speak English, showed me how to treat others, and taught me to think big. In most cases, they taught us things that we probably can’t even remember today, but has influenced many important decisions we made throughout our journey.

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                              15. Commit to a Health Ritual.

                              This is a common pattern that I see in nearly every person that hits 30 or 35.
                              Their priority of health starts to become the #1 priority in their life, even over wealth. What’s the point of accumulating wealth, if you’re not in a healthy state to enjoy it?

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                                16. Have more than One Career.

                                We live in the “hyphenated” world today. You’re an Engineer, Entrepreneur, Designer, Writer. Or Investor, Author, Speaker, etc. With technology moving industries and markets faster than ever before, and people living longer than ever, it’s not only possible to have more than one career, but it’s necessary.

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                                  17. Replace your Coffee with Tea.

                                  Cut the jitter, introduce the calm.

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                                    18. Have a Signature Dish.

                                    You may not need to know how to cook. But every person needs a signature dish. Keep it as your secret weapon.

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                                      19. Read 100+ Books.

                                      Knowledge is freedom. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

                                      This post should help you out.

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                                        20. Buy Wine Today You’ll Drink In 20 Years.

                                        You can also do this with long-time friends.

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                                          21. Adopt.

                                          Be it a dog, cat, or baby, make the decision to turn someone’s life around.

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                                            22. Call up an Old Friend.

                                            If there’s someone you haven’t spoken to in a few years, or even a decade.
                                            Reach out to them. In the one-tap, social media world that we live in, there’s no reason to even call them. Just send them a message.

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                                              23. Learn How to Say “No.”

                                              Turning down opportunities allows you to do your best work.
                                              A great book to read is the Power of No by James Altucher.

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                                                24. Write a letter to your 10-year future self.

                                                Where do you want to be in 10-years? What would you say to this person?
                                                Share everything in a letter, and keep it locked for 10 years. Then 10 years later, write another letter to your 10-year future self.

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                                                  25. Learn a New Language.

                                                  If you’ve went your entire life knowing only one language (English), you’ve put a glass ceiling on yourself, because you can only reach 12% of this world’s population.

                                                  Learning a new language is the catalyst that opens up doors to new cultures, people, and opportunities. Learning how to speak Spanish alone can nearly double your global reach, and allow you to have a global perspective and a deeper understanding of the world outside your current limits.

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                                                    Take advantages of online websites like Rype, offering unlimited one-on-one Spanish lessons online with a professional language coach. Try it free for 14 days and get 3 free lessons with 3 different coaches when you sign up.

                                                    More by this author

                                                    Sean Kim

                                                    Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                                                    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                                                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                                    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                                                    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                                                    Posture

                                                    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                                                    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                                                    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                                                    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                                                    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                                                    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                                                    Facial Expressions

                                                    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                                                    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                                                    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                                                    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                                                    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                                                    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                                                    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                                                    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                                                    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                                                    2. Relax Your Face

                                                    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                                                    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                                                    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                                                    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                                                    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                                                    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                                                    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                                                    3. Smile More

                                                    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                                                    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                                                    4. Hand Gestures

                                                    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                                                    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                                                    5. Enhance Your Handshake

                                                    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                                                    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                                                    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                                                    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                                                    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                                                    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                                                    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                                                    Final Takeaways

                                                    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                                                    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                                                    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                                                    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

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