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Dear 30-Somethings, I Hope You Won’t Make These Mistakes In Life

Dear 30-Somethings, I Hope You Won’t Make These Mistakes In Life

Dear 30-Somethings,

I am writing this to help you change your life around for the better. I want you to live a long and prosperous life without looking back with regrets. You have many years ahead of you, and I want to make sure that you live them to the fullest. There’s nothing like waking up one morning and having a meltdown because you didn’t do what you wanted to, so I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. Read this with an open mind and think about your life at the moment; are you living a happy life? If the answer is no, you won’t be living a happy life when you’re older either. No matter how much you’re saving for retirement.

1. Making Work a Priority

You’re a newbie at your job, and you want to make a good impression on your boss. I get it, it’s a natural feeling. You can’t just put work before everything else in your life though. If you respond to every call you receive from your boss or coworkers, even on your days off, you will never take the time to enjoy the present moment. You will soon become so obsessed with work that your life will only be about that… work. Your friends will start drifting away, and your relationships will be affected. I get that you want to work hard now and have fun later, but work will never cuddle with you when you are sad. Find a balance between work and fun that works for you. Work can come second on weekends and special occasions. Turn off your phone while you’re at the restaurant with your friends and make it clear to your boss that you will not answer calls or texts on specific days.

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2. Forgetting Your Passion for Money

Money controls everything in today’s world. If you want a luxurious life, you need more money; it’s just how it works. Which is why you might consider putting your passion behind in order to make more money. Let me tell you something about this type of thinking: it will make you miserable. If you go to work unhappy about what you do, or not passionate about your everyday tasks, you will be miserable. You will groan when you wake up in the morning, and you will sigh in relief when it’s time to punch out. You will find yourself in a mediocre routine where your feelings will be pretty much inexistent, because there will be no passion or excitement in your life. Of course though, we’re humans, so we need to feel something to not be depressed, which is where shopping splurges will come in. The money you make will pay for your happiness in things like shoes, dresses, suits, or cars. It might seem like you’re happy for a few minutes, but the feeling will fade very quickly. After a while, your boss might even think of letting you go because he can see that you’re miserable on the job. I write from experience. My advice? Follow your passion. When you’re passionate about something, the money will follow. Your excitement and love will allow you to create something amazing, something that sets you apart from others. If you’re passionate about writing, become a writer. It won’t always be easy, but you will wake up in the morning happy about what you’re doing of your day. You will create content that will make your readers want to read more. That’s what passion does and that’s why money always follows it. To find your passion, think back to when you were a little kid. What did you love doing more than anything? If it was playing video games, can you become a video game creator? If it was painting, can you become a museum curator? Think about it, and follow it. There’s a career for every passion.

3. Not Taking Care of Your Body

You might think now that you don’t need too exercise or eat healthy in order to look good, but your future self will think differently. You’re young, take care of your body! The food you eat today will start affecting your body later, by adding more wrinkles to your face or increasing your chances of getting ill. Go to the gym now, even if you don’t think you need it. If you exercise and eat healthy now, your skin will be tighter and your body will be slimmer later. Not only that, but you will also feel better about yourself. You’re already young and beautiful, so why not enhance this beauty of yours through a healthy lifestyle?

4. Neglecting Your Family

Family should always come first. You probably left the nest a few years ago and don’t plan on looking back, which is fine. But, you should never neglect your family. If you live in the same area, make time for all of them and catch up on their stories. You don’t want to be so caught up in work or adulthood that you forget to call your mother for a month or two. If you are living in a different Country, you can Skype to talk to your parents, siblings, or other close relatives. You might think that you’re above it all right now and that your friends are your new family, but it’s false. When you’ll be older, it’s a guarantee that you’ll regret not spending time with your family when you had the chance. You’ll regret forgetting to call your sister on her 30th birthday, or going to that lunch date with your parents. Your family is precious. Hold on to it and let them know regularly that you love them. They’re the ones who will be by your side no matter what happens. If you had a fight with a close family member, let go of that anger. Call your sibling or your parents and set things right, you’ll be happier.

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5. Being Negative

Negativity will kill you. Simple. If you spend your thirties thinking negatively, you will not blossom the way you should. Not only will you become a grumpy old person in the future, but you will also lose your entourage. People around you will slowly stop talking to you, because they know how negative you are. Your negativity will also take a toll on your relationships and career, as no one will want to spend time with you. It may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. Negativity will kill you. Instead of victimizing yourself and thinking negatively all the time, change your thoughts. Say affirmations every morning to start your day on a positive note. If you catch yourself being negative, shake it off and force yourself to think positive again. If your entourage is the one who’s negative, let go of them. It will make you feel better and a whole new life will open up before you.

6. Thinking You’re Too Old

You’re mistaken if you ever think that you’re too old to do something. Not only will you miss out on a lot of fun, but you will also age more quickly than you should. You don’t want to turn 50 one day and look back at your 35th birthday, when you passed up going to DisneyLand with your friends and just had a quiet dinner at home. You don’t have to be serious all the time, and you most definitely don’t have to act like you’re in your thirties, whatever that looks like. Take Richard Branson for example, he’s in his sixties and still lives like he’s in his thirties. Age is just a number, it shouldn’t define what you can or cannot do. You will live a much happier life if you stop thinking that you’re too old for this or for that. You’re never too old to ride the roller coasters or dance on the table! You have one life, make the most of it until the end.

7. Forgetting Yourself

If you are spending too much time pleasing others and forgetting about yourself, you will regret it later. Allow yourself the right to say no to certain invitations or certain requests from your significant other. When you’ll be older, you’ll regret not putting yourself first in certain situations, especially if you put aside your hopes and dreams to let someone else have the spotlight. If you put your needs first every once in a while, you’ll be much happier. It doesn’t matter if your friends and family don’t approve of your change of career, if you love it and know that it’s what you want to do, do it. You know yourself best.

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8. Living Too Safely

There’s no regret like the regret of living your life too safely. If you live too safely right now, you will never accomplish the things you could’ve accomplished, period. If you’re always so afraid of taking risks, you will pass up on job offers, promotions, relationships, friendships, and dozens of other opportunities. The time will never be right for taking a risk, but if you know what you’re getting yourself into, take the risk. Take the risk of failure or rejection and see what happens. Even if that guy at work doesn’t like you romantically, at least now you know. You won’t always go home overthinking every eye contact you’ve had with the guy, because you’ll know that nothing can happen. The best way to embrace risk is by testing new foods. Go to a Mexican restaurant and try hot dishes, see what happens. Go on a spontaneous trip with your best friend, see what happens. Worst case scenario? You’ll have hilarious stories to tell your grandchildren.

9. Not Traveling Enough

This is one of the most common regrets people have when they’re older. You might be extremely busy with work or adulthood right now, but you should always make time to get out of the country and visit new cities. When you get older, you won’t have the energy to travel around the world, so do it now. Traveling will help you find yourself by breaking away from the routine and thinking of only one thing: yourself. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, you now have the time to travel. Take two weeks off and visit Paris or London, see what everyone is talking about! See for yourself if Italians are real charmers or if French macarons are the best dessert on earth. Many people take a gap year before University to travel around the world, why not do it now? Grab a luggage and head out into the world, that’s where the real opportunities lie.

10. Leaving Feelings Unspoken

A lot of you today think that feelings should just be bottled up, mostly because you’re afraid of getting hurt. This fear will create a lot of regret in the future as you look back and wonder if that person at work really liked you. You can’t leave your feelings bottled up for fear of being rejected or of ruining whatever is going on between the two of you. If you think that the other person likes you, make a move. What if your best friend likes you as much as you like him? Imagine the regret you will have if you both like each other, but no one has the courage to speak out. You’ll get married one day and still wonder if your best friend likes you the way you like him. I mean, haven’t you seen Maid of Honor? Talk to your crush about your feelings or ask that cute waiter out. Worst case scenario, they don’t like you romantically but still want to be friends with you. At least you will know for sure that the person doesn’t like you. You can move on to the next person without regrets, because you did what you could to find out if the feelings were reciprocal.

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Good luck, and remember to stay true to yourself!

Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: Oleander via mrg.bz

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Sarah Anton

Editor and founder of The Fitrepreneur, aspires to improve people's living style.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2020

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

1. A Positive Attitude

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

2. Confidence

All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

  • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
  • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

3. A Sense of Humor

It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

4. Ability to Embrace Failure

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

5. Careful Listening and Feedback

This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

  • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
  • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

7. Growth Mindset

Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

8. Responsibility

Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

9. A Desire to Learn

It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

The Bottom Line

Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

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Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

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