Nine Life Lessons to Learn at 30

Photo, Priscilla Du Preez.

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Nine Life Lessons to Learn at 30

Turning 30? Your best days are ahead of you, here's nine life lessons you'll learn as you embark upon your fourth decade of life...

Everyone always says that your twenties are going to be the best years of your life, but I’d like to argue that your thirties can be equally as fun; if not better. When you’re in your early twenties, you’re still young and figuring life out. You might not have fully found your identity, and are still exploring around; trying to find places and people to call home.

Nine Life Lessons to Learn at 30

Photo, Elevate.

However, by the time you reach your fourth decade, you tend to be more self-assured and know what you want out of life. You have a clearer direction in life to work towards and definitely know how to have more fun along the way while working towards it. As such, if you’re nearing 30 or just wondering what might be so great about life thereafter, read on …

Age is just a number: First and foremost, let’s address the elephant in the room: age is just a number. With every birthday that comes, don’t look at it as a huge milestone or a ticking clock. Just like when you turned 10 or 20, turning 30 is just your transition into a new decade of life with tons of fond memories to look back on and a lot more to look forward to. Living your life constantly worried about the future is only going to hold you back from living it to the fullest.

Teaching an old dog new tricks: Now, we’re not saying that you’re old, but what we mean here is that you’re never too old to keep learning. There is no age restriction for learning, so never limit yourself just because you’re 30. Don’t put a label on yourself like “Oh, I’m too old to be learning how to … ” or “I’m not as smart as the younger kids these days, I won’t be able to keep up.” All of these negative thoughts are utterly redundant and do nothing for your wellbeing. Conversely, constantly striving to educate yourself is a form of self-empowerment and self-care; which is definitely more significant than any self-doubt you might have.

Nine Life Lessons to Learn at 30

Photo, Chang Duong.

Seek discomfort and never settle: As the header suggests, everyone can become comfortable with life after reaching a certain point. They forget what it’s like to be put out of their comfort zone; whether it’s trying something new or facing their fears. It’s only human nature to want to be comfortable but at the same time, we forget that discomfort breeds growth.

Nine Life Lessons to Learn at 30

Photo, Elevate.

If we are constantly tied down to routines and habits, it’s only normal for us to either become complacent or bored with life. It just doesn’t seem as exciting or meaningful as before. However, this doesn’t mean that you should deliberately go out of your way to do something extreme like going mountain climbing even though you’re afraid of heights. You have to work outside your boundaries but still within your capabilities. For example, if you enjoy jogging, attempting a marathon is both challenging yet feasible. This is a reasonable goal to set for yourself while simultaneously learning more about your personality in the process.

The dating game: If you’re still not settled down by age 30, don’t fret. Everybody deserves that special someone to be their partner-in-crime for life, so don’t ever feel like you’ve hit your expiration date when it comes to dating. Chances are, there’ll probably be someone out there who finds you desirable and wants to get to know you better.

A little self-reflection, a little journaling: Journaling has always been one of the best methods of reflection. You get to scribble down the thoughts and feelings that you’ve experienced, expressing both the positives and the negatives of every situation. You can relive pleasant memories from sharing a sweet moment with your loved ones or expel any anger or frustration lingering from a conflict. Writing down your intangible thoughts into tangible words allows you to pause and fully reflect on an otherwise fleeting moment for what it really is and I believe that there’s really great power in that sense of reflective growth and maturity.

Nine Life Lessons to Learn at 30

Photo, Ava Sol.

Failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure: Even when you’re a full-grown adult and are expected to have it all figured out, you’re really not. You’re still as human as a toddler who’s just learned why it’s wrong to lie. We’re all accumulations of our different life experiences that have moulded us into the people we are today. Don’t be afraid to fail because that’s what makes us inherently human after all.

Nine Life Lessons to Learn at 30

Photo, Stephen Mayes.

Fearing failure only restricts us from achieving our fullest potential and the only real failure is not even trying in the first place. Even if you do fail, you would’ve gained valuable life lessons in the process.

An upgraded version of yourself: Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned makeover trope; like the ones that we see on chick flicks? There’s just something satisfying about watching someone become the best possible version of themselves (even if it’s according to societal standards but that’s for another discussion). But that’s not what I mean by makeover here: this makeover is to become the version of yourself that you want to be. It doesn’t have to be a remarkable difference like dyeing your hair from brunette to platinum blonde, but it could also be simple changes like wearing winged eyeliner for the first time or trying a new fashion style. Don’t ever be apologetic for expressing yourself authentically and wholeheartedly.

Live alone (or abroad): Moving out and living alone is definitely a key indicator of adulthood. It’s your first real sense of being a grown-up, as you begin to face the world on your own two feet; and this is even better if you migrate to another country. Along the way, you’ll get to meet new people and gain new experiences while perhaps encountering multiple culture shocks along the way. But that’s the beauty of life, and those experiences (even the hardships) are what make life a lot more colourful and interesting than simply remaining in your own bubble.

Nine Life Lessons to Learn at 30

Photo, Chang Duong.

Knowledge is power: Now, I think we can all agree that being issued reading assignments to complete over the school holidays was the absolute worst growing up, but that’s just because we were forced to do that. If you actually take the time to sit down and read a book (of your choice, this time), you’ll realise how wonderful reading can actually be.

Books hold a lot of unlocked potential in the form of knowledge because they’re chock-full of wise insights that would’ve otherwise been overlooked. Never belittle the power of a good book. It’s basically a one-sided exchange of wisdom and knowledge, and sometimes that can be the very thing that you need to change your outlook on life.

Don’t let anyone (especially yourself) hold you back from living your best life. You only get one chance at making the most out of your fleeting existence on earth so make a bucket list of everything that you’ve wanted to try before you die. We were all put on this earth for a reason and it was definitely not meant to be spent living a miserable life. So chin up, buttercup. The world is your oyster.

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