You need to make more of a conscious effort to exercise and eat well.
As you approach your thirties and are in your thirties, you may find your metabolism slowing down considerably. I don’t know what it is about that age, but it hits you with no warning. Obviously every person is different and it depends on things like your body type and genetic makeup, but I think most people are effected in someone way. For myself, I have always been a fairly petite person, but I could consume a lot of food. In university, my husband (then boyfriend) and his friends would joke that my stomach was like a “black hole”…lol. Fast forward about a decade later, well I am still small, but I eat considerably less than my husband and if I ever try to overdo it, my stomach will let me know that it was a bad idea. If you couple that with the fact that I have an office job and 80% of my work day consists of sitting down, you get a picture of how one’s health can deteriorate quickly. I have to make an even more conscious effort to work out. This is why 3 times a week at the gym in our building some of my coworkers and I work out. It keeps me accountable and the motivation from others is great. They say sitting is the new smoking (no offense to smokers)…I am not a smoker but I can totally see what they mean. You’re slowly killing your health and vitality so gradually that it can go unnoticed for years. Making a conscious effort to take care of your body by the foods you eat and daily exercise becomes even more crucial starting your 30’s and on wards.
Taking calculated risks is not an option, it’s a must.
If you want to succeed in a world that is always changing, always in real time and always innovative, you need to be taking risks. This may show up in different ways for different people. For some it may be relocating cities, provinces/states or even countries to follow their dreams (with the advancement in technology and globalization) we are no longer limited by our immediate geographic borders. Making a career for yourself may require thinking differently and forging your own way. For others it may be trying out entrepreneurship. Starting and running your own business is no longer reserved for the seasoned professional with decades of experience. Depending on what business you are starting, you may have a competitive advantage for being a young and “hungry” millennial that is ready to hustle. I plan on being an entrepreneur full time one day, but for now I am grateful for my job and side hustles. Whatever your hustle will be, it’s important to have one. It will not only provide you with additional income (you never want to rely on one income source) but it will make you stand out of the crowd when you are looking for a steadier 9 to 5 office job.
Your parents mean well, but they are not always right.
I love my parents, I miss them all the time and wish I could visit them more often. Living half way around the world though, it’s not exactly a cheap or a quick commute. $2,000 for a round trip ticket and 2 days (or 22 hours of in the air time) later and I get to see them. If my husband tags along, that $4,000 easy, without factoring spending money while there. However, when my family was all under one roof I learned a great deal from my parents. I soaked up as much wisdom and insight as I possibly could and I still learn from them today (via Skype or when I/they visit). However, if there was one thing that I would do differently its how I got my post-secondary degrees…by getting into a whack load of student loan debt. Don’t get me wrong, I think getting a post-secondary education is important to get your foot in the door in the society we live in today, but I would have been more creative about it. I might have done a combination of college and university to save on tuition fees, I would have worked more even during the school year in my field of study to gain experience and also minimize my debt. Even if that meant being in school part time, I would have graduated with work experience in my field and no debt. However, I don’t blame them one bit. People give advice based on what they have experienced in their own lives. Being boomers themselves, it was not uncommon to be guaranteed a good job, with a good pension after a good education and putting in your time with the same employer for years. Times have changed however, and this concept does not apply for most. But then again if my husband and I didn’t go through this experience, I am not sure we would have cared as much about our personal finances as we do now, and we may have gotten into other financial trouble. Everything happens for a reason.
Education never stops, it just takes a different form
If you don’t like learning new things, then you are going to have a problem adapting to this world. That was not always the case, but it sure is now. Whether its learning how to use the latest software, a new language, a technical skill (like Excel) or a soft skill like public speaking, you may not have much of a choice. Companies are finding ways to cut cost while still remaining innovative and competitive. This means being in the know about the latest trends, software and standards in your line of work. This also means working with different people from different cultures and in different ways. Innovation & globalization is the new normal.
You can bring a horse to the water, but you can’t force it to drink.
I am sure you have heard this expression before. If you haven’t it basically means that you can provide all the tools, resources, information and warnings to someone about a choice they are about to make, or how best to live their lives, or even provide them with an opportunity but at the end of the day, it’s their decision to make. We don’t have children of our own yet, but we have tonnes or nieces and nephews (did I mention that I am the youngest of 6 siblings) and a few of them are heading off to post-secondary in the next two years or so. I kind of get how parents feel when they see their kids doing what they know they may regret in the future. What this experience has taught me is that all you can do is provide people with the information to help them succeed and be 100% open with your experience and the failures/successes you encountered from doing it “your way” and hope the best for them. To all the parents out there, I sympathize with what you must go through, it can’t be easy.