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13 Important Life Lessons I Learnt In My 30s That I’d Like You To Know Earlier In Your 20s

13 Important Life Lessons I Learnt In My 30s That I’d Like You To Know Earlier In Your 20s

Have you ever looked back upon your younger self and thought “if only I could have told them what I know now?” Of course without learning we would never get to where we are now, so going through the process is inevitable. The silver lining however is that we can always pass our wisdom onto others in the hope that what we know might help somebody else down their path of self discovery. Some things from your 30-something self, to your 20-something self:

1. Don’t go for your dream till you’ve got enough money, you’ll never start

Patience is a virtue. If you can think sensibly and wait until you are truly ready to go after your dream, the chance of it coming true multiplies. It doesn’t mean you won’t do it. It just means you have to do it right. Hold your horses. Know when to walk and when to run.

2. Don’t care too much about what others think

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    Easier said than done, but there are certainly ways you can get better at this if you are conscious of it. Focus on the goal, not what others will think of it, or who is looking at you while you get the job done. It will be a far less anxious, and a far more rewarding journey.

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    3. Don’t place too much importance on what you look like

    Appearance is so much less important than you think. Worrying about it is attached to all the things you will keep close to you – the best friends will be the ones who care only about what kind of person you are inside.

    4. Don’t beat yourself up too much

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Trust that you are the great person you believe you are. Don’t doubt that, even when bad things happen. It’s the best thing you can do to support yourself. Otherwise when you get to thirty you’ll be worse for wear than you need to be.

    5. Do learn everything you can. This never stops.

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      As long as we are living we are learning! This is the greatest part of consciousness. Surround yourself with greatness; great people, great opportunities. Make your learning experience the best it can be.

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      6. You’re going to make mistakes.

      If you make a mistake, move on. It happens. We can try our hardest, but we are all human, and when we do let the team down we can only be sorry and learn. Don’t dwell on it too much. Take it as a lesson for a future place where you will succeed.

      7. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

      “If you focus too hard on the lost skateboard, you won’t see the Rolls Royce parking right in front of you.” – Girlosophy

      8. Don’t worry too much about the future.

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        The future is happening regardless. Don’t worry about aging, or dying, or losing, or even winning too much. What will be will be.

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        9. Do enjoy your youth, and being that age.

        Enjoy being exactly where you are at. Look around. Focus on everything that is happening right now. It will never be just like this again. Learn to treasure that.

        10. Don’t think you know everything.

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          Never think this, no matter what age. There are always things you don’t know, and when you understand this, you keep learning wonderful things from everything you come into contact with.

          11. Do hold onto the things you care about.

          You get to choose what you treasure. If you come into contact with a good thing — hold onto it. They don’t come along all that often.

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          12. Do put your family first.

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            Family are for life! Nurture those relationships and keep those bonds strong. They will be your greatest allies in life.

            13. Do work hard at what you want.

            By the time you’re 30 you’ll most likely have it.

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            The Gentle Art of Saying No

            The Gentle Art of Saying No

            No!

            It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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            But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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            What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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            But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

            1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
            2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
            3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
            4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
            5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
            6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
            7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
            8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
            9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
            10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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