30 Life Lessons at 30 (Part 1 of 6)

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.

Week 1

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:

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

30 Life Lessons at 30 (Part 6 of 6)

30 Life Lessons at 30 (Part 5 of 6)

30 Life Lessons at 30 (Part 4 of 6)

30 Life Lessons at 30 (Part 3 of 6)

30 Life Lessons at 30 (Part 2 of 6)

 

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21 replies

  1. Great post! Looking forward to part 2!

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  2. Great post. I agree with most of what you said. The last one stands out the most for me. Everything we do and every decision we make is a trade off. Some people choose the path of least resistance and happiness in this moment and some choose the path that will lead them to the greatest happiness down the road.

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    • Its important to find a balance between happiness in the moment and happiness down the road. True happiness allows one to appreciate their current situation as they are making progress towards their goal.

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  3. These are great lessons. I particularly like the last one, that is, life is about trade offs. I truly believe in that. I believe that you can always achieve what you want in life when you have the discipline, dedication, and time. You can never get everything you want all at the same time. But you can certainly achieve those in your lifetime. I think there’s a reason what we can’t get everything at one time. If we did, then, there’s no fun left in our lives.

    I believe that as long as we continue to try to achieve what we want in life, then, life will always be filled with fun and some more.

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  4. One of best article I have read in recent time. I think we can enjoy life if we carry ourselves as we are rather than pretending to be perfect. Pretending doesn’t make us perfect and no one is perfect. So enjoy life as we are. Very eagerly waiting for the next installment of the article.

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  5. Very good points and lots of good lessons. The 2 that resonated most with me are that life is about trade offs – it definitely is. Spending v saving etc, is difficult as we are all living our lives right now, not just at FI age, but to get to FI quicker, we must save as much as possible. Therefore having free fun is probably the best way to go about it for us (we are early 20s) right now.

    Second, the point that no-one cares about your retirement except you. Very true, no-one else is going to save for your future except yourself, so do something about it.

    Tristan

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    • Yes I agree. I think to some extent, the more wealth you have, the less this trade off situation is a make it or break it deal. For example, wealthy people spend alot now and still have a lot saved for later. Most only spend from their dividend/interest income and don’t touch the principal. For the average person however, this will take a while to do. Choosing whether to spend or save is critical.

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  6. Great lessons learnt. That gif of the old man having a good time had me laughing loud. The trade off is a reality. I have to set aside some things in order to have more time for my family. Not an easy swing, but with a sensible plan, it’s doable.

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  7. Great lessons. The last one I personally find difficult (even though it is true!) especially as I’m a working mum. I’m trying to think about it in terms of my values which hopefully will remain the same over time, yet I might have different goals/focus reflect that same value over different time periods. Eg family is a value, I choose to work part time now and to work so I can give my family financial security.

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    • I totally agree with you. As my husband and I are starting to plan increasing our family (having our first child), I find myself really assessing my life and what things I can realisticaly do now and what I might have to put off. We are both 30 years old and want 2 kids (would love more, but life is expensive). Not to sound like a feminist, but I think really need to evaluate this more because even though the culture is changing, many women still feel and want to juggle a thriving career and spending time/staying home with their kids. Working part time is a grear compromise, I feel as though I will take that avenue as well but we will see. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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      • Yes there is no easy answer and I’m the breadwinner in my house so the trade offs are significant. I highly recommend part time, although you have FOMO both ways and probably end up working full time and getting paid part time, at least you can legitimately say I’m not working now. Good luck with it all, it is worth it!

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  8. This is a great post! Great tips.

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  9. Wonderful lessons — especially that last one. You CAN have what you want, but what are you willing to give up to get it? Life is about making choices, and sometimes compromises. Thank you for such an articulate reminder.

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    • Exactly. Its only when I got older and started realizing that there is always trade offs for every decision I made in life. A part of growing up is being able to live with those decisions. Plus, it has really made me re-evaluate how I spend my time because if I do A, I may not be able to do B. Figuring our which one is more important and being content with my decision is what I am learning. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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  10. These are really great points. Anyone looking to reduce stress and enjoy more from life will review your list multiple times.

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