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20 Things People Learn From the Biggest Mistakes Made in Their 30s

20 Things People Learn From the Biggest Mistakes Made in Their 30s

No matter how wise you think you are when approaching your 30s, you are bound to emerge from the decade even more enlightened. Just as your 20s bring unexpected twists and turns, your 30s most definitely come with surprising discoveries. Whether you want a jump on these lessons, or just want to feel you’re not alone, these are the top 20 things people learn from the big mistakes they made in their 30s.

Waiting too long to start saving

It doesn’t take a six figure income or three degrees on your resume to have a secure retirement. The most sure fire way to save for your future is slowly over the years. Even if you feel like you’ll never be old in your 20s, the day will come when you wish you had started saving a little earlier.

Rushing into marriage

Another one of the biggest mistake from your 30s is to commit to marriage before you know everything about yourself. Too often we jump head first into decisions because society encourages them, only to find out a decade later that we’re painfully unhappy. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time while deciding who to settle down with, or if settling down is for you.

Holding on to the wrong partner

Similarly, once you realize you’re not happy in a relationship, a big mistake is to force yourself to stay. Regardless of your reasons, staying in an unhealthy relationship will eventually take a serious toll. Knowing when to let go, even if you’ve invested years, is a critical skill–one that sometimes only comes after some wrong turns in your 30s.

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Committing to the wrong career

Much in the same way, forcing yourself to stay in a career that’s wrong for you will eventually be more than just a bore. By your 30s, several years of performing unengaging daily tasks will start to weigh you down, until you yearn for a new start. Just like with an unhealthy relationship, cutting your losses at the wrong career can actually help you move forward into a job that resonates with you.

Ignoring finances

While many people in their 40s and 50s wish they made more time for travel in their youth, many people also regret paying no attention to their finances. Even if you don’t value a retirement, a small savings cushion can make all the difference when life grows unpredictable.

Only focusing on work

Another common regret for those leaving their 30s is disproportionately focusing on work. All too often our desire for financial stability eclipses our personal relationships, but in your 30s, you become aware of the damage this can do. Since many people also expressed regret over ignoring finances, a healthy balance between work and relationships is clearly essential in achieving a content existence for the rest of your life.

Ignoring your health

By the time you’re 30, you likely have some energetic, carefree times behind you. While your need to party will start to naturally subside as you age, try to work in ways to boost your health too. Most people coming out of their 30s regret not getting active earlier, as natural aches and pains come soon after this decade.

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Not traveling enough

A common regret from your 30s is not traveling enough. While a balanced approach to finances is best, you will never have less responsibilities. Traveling while you can, but within a balanced budget, can help you feel like you truly made the most of this decade.

Rushing into home ownership

Much like sticking with the wrong partner or career, roping yourself into home ownership before you’re ready can be a big mistake. Remember, not only will you need to pay off this home, you will need to stay in the same city until that happens.

Partying too much

Leaving your direction in life up to the future can also be a mistake. Your 30s should be about discovery, but too much carelessness is a recipe for an unstable, chaotic future. Many people leaving their 30s regret getting stuck in jobs below their potential, simply because they spent too much time partying in their 20s to find something they enjoy.

Using a cheap accountant

Another critical lesson from your biggest mistakes in your 30s is to find an honest, hardworking accountant with your best interest in mind. You likely won’t be a financial wizard by the time you leave your 30s, so you’ll want to have one on your side.

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Ignoring responsibility

Much like never planning for the future, failing to grow up where needed can cause some major mistakes when you get older. Learning how to remain youthful, while still being able to deal with reality, is valuable to your future.

Putting off spontaneity

Another big mistake people in their 30s make is neglecting to seize the moment. By the time you’re in your 40s, it becomes clear that time really is short, and it’s better to act today than never at all.

Investing recklessly

Many people in their 30s also make the mistake of investing their money recklessly. Even though you’re still considerably short of middle age, it doesn’t mean you haven’t earned your money. Avoid losing your earnings by familiarizing yourself with any program you invest in. Generally speaking, if the returns sound to good to be true, you’re better off keeping your money in the bank.

Neglecting your relationships

Much like growing hyper-focused on work, ignoring the best people in our lives can be another big mistake in your 30s. As cliche as it sounds, as we age, relationships really are the most valuable asset. Making time for those closest to you during your 30s is essential for a full life.

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Valuing things too much

Another big mistake in our 30s is to value things more than experiences. It may seem like physical investments bring the most pleasure, but as your possessions grow out of style and break, you will wish you had valued experiences more than things.

Rushing into other commitments

With pressures to have life figured out by your 30s, many 30-somethings feel they rushed into responsibility. Housing and marriage aside, it’s easy to rush into living arrangements, schooling or family commitments you’re just not ready for. There’s nothing wrong with taking a few extra years to work out whether you’re a family person, if you like the single life, or whether or not you’re happy pursuing your career.

Being too inflexible

Another common mistake from your 30s is failing to be flexible. You might think you are pursuing the lifestyle you want, but sometimes the reality of a job or career is different than you expect. If you find yourself unhappy in your 30s, remember that you are free to switch careers, partners or locations. If you find that you’re unhappy with your life, there’s no need to keep pursuing it.

Ignoring mistakes

Another big mistake in your 30s is to fail to learn from your mistakes. If you can’t learn from your mistakes the first few times you make them, you are doomed to have a turbulent, frustrating transition to your 40s.

Squandering your youth

Similarly, forgetting to value your youth is another big mistake in your 30’s. It’s easy to think painless joints and boundless energy will stick with you throughout life, but the opposite is true. Go after the things you really want while you have the health and energy to pursue them.

Featured photo credit: smile/Dima Viunnyk via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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