Over the next 6 weeks starting today I will be posting 5 life lessons I learned since turning 30. I will be posting these every Tuesday for the next 6 weeks for a total of 30 life lessons.
I got to thinking the other day how many changes happened in my life from the time I turned 24-30 years old. Not just financial ones, but health/physical and life changes as well. At 30 you truly must become an “adult”, not just from a legal stand point but from a very real one as well. Here are 30 lessons I have learned in the 30 years I have been on this earth:
It’s not about what you know, but about who you know. Building great relationships and networking with others is the best and most effective way to build your career/ increase your income potential and amass a group of friends over the years that will build you up and not tear you down. There is that saying “you are the average of your 5 closest friends”. I don’t know if I believe that completely, but there is definitely some truth in it. Who you spend the most time with on a day to day basis will affect how much you make, who you become and how you perceive the world. As I get older, I am becoming more intentional about personal and professional relationships I cultivate, because I understand they will shape my future.
Time is your most valuable asset. I don’t know about you but for me, growing up in my teens and twenties, I felt like I had an abundance of time. Now that I am 30 and have a lot more responsibilities, and see time as my number one asset. After an 8 hour work day, taking a course part time, side hustles and cooking and cleaning on a regular basis… every second counts. It’s changing the way I evaluate whether or not to change jobs/careers, when to start a family, which friend to spend time with on the weekend, when to cook/clean/study etc. Gone are the days where I had my mom taking care of some of these responsibilities (i.e. cooking and cleaning) for me so I can concentrate on other things, it all falls on me and my husband’s lap.
No matter how hard you try you will always piss off someone, so as long as your intentions were good, don’t sweat it. I generally would like people to like me. I try to be kind and considerate with others, but I soon realized that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, someone people will not like you. I would play things over in my head to see how I might have offended them and I could not figure it out. The worst is when you sense there is something wrong but they won’t address the issue. Finally, I decided one day that as long as I did or said something with the best of intentions, I was fine with the way people thought of me, good or bad. I also realized that a lot times when people don’t like you it’s a reflection of their own insecurities and short coming, not yours.
No one cares whether or not you will retire comfortably, so maybe you should. This point may apply to all, but most especially for millennials. As millennials we are currently in a situation where over the next 5-10 years, half the population will be boomers in retirement. This leaves us in a predicament as the government scrambles to find money to fund their pensions. As little as this amount may be, you multiply this by half the population and there is not going to be much left for us millennials. The one thing I like about numbers is that they do not lie. So the government can’t help us, what about our employers? Well company pensions are only provided by 30% of employers in North America and of that an even smaller percentage are defined benefits, most of them are defined contribution plans. Some companies may have retirement matching programs, which is great (my company has that and I max out that opportunity), but again this requires you to contribute first. To make a long story short, if you don’t put money now towards our retirement, nobody else will.
Life is about trade-offs. You can have everything you want, just not at the same time. When I was younger I had unrealistic expectations about how my life would be like at 30. I thought I would be married, have a house, with three kids and a good paying job by now. Well, I am thirty and about 50% of my expectations came true, which isn’t bad, but I needed to realize that if I wanted to go back to school to do my MBA, that would mean putting off having kids and possibly buying a house so I can pay for school (which mostly came from student loans anyway…not the best idea but you live and learn). When we are younger, we believe (at least I did) that life just falls into place with no hiccups or hurdles. That we will find the right guy at the right time, land the perfect job after graduation and build our careers just the way we wanted them to go…oh and don’t forget have beautiful babies along the way (if we so choose). Then reality kicks in and we realize that yes, we could have all these things, but it may take some time…and that OK.
Tags: adulting, alot of debt, becoming an adult, being happy, being successful, building confidence, dealing with debt, how to be successful, lessons in life, Life, life lessons, life lessons in adulthood, millennials, student debt, student loan, time is money, turning 30