Six Life Lessons I’ve Learned in My 30s
Well… it happened. I hit a new decade, a new era, a new chapter in my life, if you will. It was a sudden shift- one minute on the clock I was 39, the next I was 40. The BIG 4–0 as they say. “How does it feel?,” they ask. It’s funny how on every birthday people like to ask, “Do you feel older?” As if some magical force appears and makes you feel different than you did the day, or even moment, before.
However, I DO feel different. It is difficult to contextualize. It could be that I was able to take a few days of complete relaxation, in a peaceful, natural environment complete with yoga and walks that allowed me to welcome in a new decade with acceptance, purpose, calmness. Or, maybe there truly is a magical force that appeared in my dreams and changed my DNA. I am going with the former.
Since I have have had this time of deep introspection, I have realized that I learned a lot in my thirties. I learned about life- myself, my relationships with others, business, the world, to name a few. I have endured moments of extreme lows — of pain, of loss, of betrayal. But, I have also been witness to some of life’s most beautiful moments — fond memories of loved ones and friends, world travel, finding my happiness and purpose. For all of these “moments” in time, I am truly grateful. As Tony Robbins says, “Life is happening for you, not to you.” And so, I am grateful for all of my experiences and lessons learned.
Six Lessons I Have Learned:
- Be Your Damn Self: As Oscar Wilde says, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Be who you are, be true to yourself, and be authentic to yourself. Stop trying to please everyone else and doing things for the validation of others. At the end of the day, the only validation we need, is the validation of ourselves (and God). There will be people out there who will try to tear you down, who will disagree with you- that is life. Let them! Don’t succumb to their impositions and just be yourself!
- Be Grateful: “Every day may not be good…but there’s something good in every day.” — Alice Morse Earle. Be grateful for all that you have, all of the blessings that are in your life. Keep a gratitude journal- write down 3 things you are grateful each day. Over time, you will start to feel it and appreciate these things even more, making space for more good to come into your life.
- Be Kind: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” — Wendy Mass. We may not know what someone is dealing with, what struggles they have, what they are going through. Someone may be having a bad day or in a bad mood and inadvertently take it out on you- this does not mean this is a personal attack on you. It is not a reflection of you, it is a reflection of that person and whatever it is that person may be going through. Be open-minded and be kind to all.
- We Cannot Control Others: “How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.” — Wayne Dyer. We simply cannot control others; we cannot control their behaviors, we cannot control their feelings, and we cannot control their actions. People will do what they will and we have to accept this. Going back to point number three, people’s reactions towards us are not a reflection of us, they are a reflection of that person. If someone is taking something out on you or not agreeing with you, this does not mean you are wrong, it just means that is where they are on their journey- their perspective.
- Work Hard: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill. Keep working hard towards your goal or your dreams. There will be ups and there will be downs; life is cyclical but keep going. Do not let failure deter you. Use failure as a vessel to learn, to grow, and as motivation to keep going because it is through the trials and tribulations that we learn. If that goal or dream is truly that important to you, stick it out, and keep going!
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: “Ask yourself the question, ‘Will this matter a year from now?’ ” — Richard Carlson. How often do we get caught up worrying, thinking, over-analyzing over every little detail only to find out later that all of that added stress was completely unnecessary! Let go of the little worries, the cattiness and drama of people, the small mistakes, the unreturned phone calls, the extra piece of cake. Ask yourself if what you are stressing about right now will matter in one year from now- or even five minutes from now. What we are going through may seem like the end of the world in its present moment but so often we create issues that are not there by stressing about things that are out of our control.
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