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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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            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.

            More Articles About Effective Communication

            Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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