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29 Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30

29 Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30

Your thirties are just like your twenties except the recovery takes longer. When I was a kid, I thought there was some magic line you crossed and suddenly became an adult. Adults can easily look at the world around them and know maturity doesn’t come with age. Aging is something you can neither control nor stop; be prepared with these important life lessons.

1. You Only Die Once

    6 million ways to die…choose one…

    You only get one shot at life. What you do with your time in this world is your choice, but understand that you’re the only one who has to live with the consequences. You don’t get a second chance.

    2. You Can’t Turn Back Time

      Keanu Reeves’s’s’s best role…

      Reflecting on the past is ok, but keep in mind, it’s in the past. You can never go back and relive a moment, so focus on how to do things in the present for your future.

      3. Compassion Is Key

        Dark Knight feelin…

        Whether someone is a hero or villain depends on who you ask. People who are only nice to their friends are villains to everyone else. Everyone deserves compassion, not just your friends.

        4. Hangovers Suck

          An actual hangover is better than the movies…

          In your twenties, you can drink a keg of beer, sleep two hours, and make it to work in the morning. In your thirties, two beers get you turnt up, overnighters cause you to pass out in the middle of the day, and a daily detox is almost mandatory.

          5. Your Body Is Your Temple

            I feel pretty…oh so pretty…

            You may feel like your twenties are your physical peak, but it’s actually your thirties. It’s all downhill from here, so take care of your body. You’re stuck in it.

            6. It’s OK to Say No

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              Howie’s on-air marriage proposal didn’t work out…

              It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks – if you don’t want to do something, go somewhere, or talk to someone, just say no.

              7. Relationships Take Compromise

                The NSA – where everybody knows your name…

                There is no perfect relationship. Behind every facade you see on the surface lies countless hours of discussion and compromise. If you don’t think of your partner, they’ll leave you for someone who does, whether to your face or behind your back.

                8. Everyone Snoops

                  Agent Double-O Giggity…

                  We can all stand on our soapboxes about the NSA spying on us, but they’re far from the only ones. Every company you shop at spies on you, and so do all of your friends and people you meet. Be mindful of what info you leave out for others to find.

                  9. Money Isn’t Important

                    Young Moneyyyyy…

                    Fresh out of college, it’s natural to seek out the job with the most money. The truth is the economy it’s more important to follow your passion than chase paper. You can’t buy time, and plenty of broke people are happy.

                    10. You’re in Control

                      Why you should let your gf win at video games…

                      Your choices are your own. Your mistakes don’t belong to your parents, a deity, your enemies, or anyone else. You are the creator of your own world.

                      11. Life Is Just Like High School

                        “This isn’t high school” is such a common phrase. It’s not like people graduate and suddenly mature. It doesn’t matter how old you get or where you work, there are cliques, gossip, and all the other annoyances of high school. Either play the game or hit the showers.

                        12. You’re Wrong Sometimes

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                          R.I.P. Community…you will be missed…

                          Everyone makes mistakes, and, no matter how good your grades were in school, you don’t know everything. Learn to admit when you’re wrong, especially if you’re a guy. Chicks dig humility.

                          13. Respect Is Earned

                            I iz actually spasticated…

                            When you finally move out on your own into the real world, you may feel like a monarch, but you’re no better than anyone else. There’s no inherent respect that comes with your degree, career, or position in life. If you don’t treat everyone with respect, you’ll lose theirs.

                            14. Rules Are Only Guidelines

                              It’s ok to have a crush on Emma Watson…she’s legal now…

                              Some rules are made to keep us safe, and some are just leftovers from times past. People break laws on a daily basis, even if it’s simple things like speeding or littering. Blindly following people can lead you to act against your own personal ethics – ask questions and make your own decisions.

                              15. Goals Are Vital

                                I believe I can fly…

                                If you have no direction in life, you’ll never get anywhere. Set short and long term goals and follow them. Otherwise you’ll end up stuck in an entry-level position for the rest of your life.

                                16. Hatred Wastes Energy

                                  What’s a goof to a goblin?

                                  People do terrible things, and everyone has an opinion about it. The older you get, the less those minor things matter to you. Focus your efforts on improving your life instead of ruining someone else’s.

                                  17. It’s Never Too Late

                                    Grumpy old men are worse than kids…

                                    You’re never too old. I was at a barbeque last weekend talking to some friends. Approaching thirty, Judge da Boss was worried about getting too old for his music career to blow up. Vik Junior reminded him most of today’s hottest MCs (Jay-Z, Snoop, Eminem, etc.) are in their forties. People found success later in their lives than you think.

                                    18. Tomorrow Isn’t Guaranteed

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                                      I’ll procrastinate tomorrow…

                                      The younger you are, the more invincible you feel. As you get older, you realize there is no tomorrow and learn to appreciate the time you have.

                                      19. College Is Overrated

                                        Had Bill Gates went to college, Microsoft may not suck so much…

                                        Knowledge is important, but a degree isn’t. Plenty of people found success in life without one. It’s more important to open your mind, keep learning, and trust your instincts. You can always hire someone with a degree later.

                                        20. Pop Culture Fades

                                          Another future singing competition judge…

                                          In your teens, you know every song and artist on the radio. As you progress through your twenties, you know less and less about those young bucks. By the time you’re thirty, people are buzzing about people you’ve never heard of, and nobody remembers Color Me Badd.

                                          21. Gossip Wastes Time

                                            So I was like…and she was like…

                                            I’ve never been asked about anyone’s sex life in a job interview. There’s no need to discuss other peoples’ lives unless you’re Perez Hilton. If you are Perez Hilton, welcome to Lifehack – try not to draw all over the pictures like a 2-year-old.

                                            22. Your Parents Are Hypocrites

                                              Do as I say, not as I do…

                                              Sooner or later, you’ll reach the age your parents were when you were a kid. When you reach that age, you’ll look back and realize all the things they told you not to do are things they did. You were totally right back then. It’s a shame you can’t go back and redo it.

                                              23. You’re Just Like Your Parents

                                                This is a story all about how Smith’s life got flipped, turned upside down…

                                                Whether you believe in nature or nurture shaping who we are, you’re exactly like your parents. The older you get, the more you realize it, and it’ll drive you nuts.

                                                24. Overnight Success Doesn’t Exist

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                                                  Yappy dogs are annoying…

                                                  Behind every overnight success you see is years of struggle nobody saw. It may look like other people have things handed to them or are illuminati, but they got on their grind and worked twice as hard as you. If you’re not where you want to be, work harder.

                                                  25. Life Isn’t Fair

                                                    It never is, princess…

                                                    Life isn’t fair for anyone, so it’s fair in that sense. A lot of really good people get shit on; that’s just the way it is. Good people are taken from us too early, and you’ll take heat for things you didn’t do.

                                                    26. It’s Not What You Know; It’s How You Apply It

                                                      A jack of all trades is a master of none…

                                                      Promotions may be automatic in school, but in the real world qualified people are constantly overlooked. The game exists, whether you like it or not, so you better play if you want to get ahead. You have to work twice as hard for half as much as those in power.

                                                      27. People Will Hate You

                                                        Try our new flavors…

                                                        The more you speak and the more you do, the more hatred you’ll attract. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, so focus on pleasing yourself…just not in a school zone.

                                                        28. You’re Not Entitled to Anything

                                                          Per Tyrion’s request, I present the goddess of tits and wine…

                                                          Nobody hands you anything in life. No matter who you are or what you accomplished in the past, success won’t be handed to you. If you want success, don’t wait for it to knock – hunt it down, stalk it, and bang on its door until it opens for you.

                                                          29. No One’s Keeping Score

                                                            Gymnastics: and other sports we only care about once every 4 years…

                                                            You can follow every rule, do everything right, and live a perfect life. No matter what you do, you’re still going to die just like everyone else, and you can’t take anything with you when you do. Step off your soapbox and stop judging other peoples’ decisions.

                                                            Featured photo credit: Geralt via pixabay.com

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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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