5 Important Lessons You Need to Learn Before You Turn 30
It’s important to have some idea of who you are, at a deep level.
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1) Self Acceptance
Realize that it's important to accept yourself as you are, and be actively working on doing that. It would be great to have learned self-acceptance as a child, but this seems to be something that parents - for whatever reason - have difficulty imparting to kids. Most of us just have to work on it as adults, and the sooner we can accomplish a degree of self-acceptance, the better. There's just no point to spending decades with self-loathing, especially for things that cannot be changed.
2) Self Discovery
Along with item 1, it's important to have some idea of who you are, at a deep level. By 30 years old, you've had around a decade of self-determination in your life. That should be plenty of time to discover how you deal with disappointment, failure, interpersonal drama, and obstacles on your own. These are very useful experiences to develop your sense of self, and that knowledge will go a long way to having some idea of what might make you happy in the long term.
3) Commit to Something
In order to properly learn about disappointment, failure, and obstacles, you need to be in pursuit of a goal. The selection of a goal, and the process of working towards it are invaluable experiences that guide self discovery. Whether it's a hobby, an event, an organization, or a cause, find something to commit your energy to, something for the accomplishment of which you are only beholden to yourself. It's just not the same if you're only committed to something to meet external expectations. This is about you.
4) Do Something that Scares You
Your young adult years are an ideal time to explore your boundaries. Do you want to be bound by your limits all your life? Is there something you kind of want to do, but are afraid to pursue? Don't let yourself be confined by fears. Facing one major fear can provide a huge boost of confidence, giving you proof that you can do what you once thought you could not.
This shouldn't be something that just dangerous and therefore should scare anyone with a self-preservation instinct. This should be something that is a fear unique to your own personal psychology. Maybe it's performing in front of a crowd, maybe it's moving to a new state alone, maybe it's developing a friendship with someone completely different, choose something that is scary for no logical reason, and try that.
5) Have a Plan
I believe in having some kind of future plan. At 30 years old, you may not exactly know what you want out of life, but you should never-the-less have a general outline of a life plan. This would include a basic idea of how you will take care of your financial responsibilities in the near and far future. Additionally, you should have a pretty good handle on the basic questions: Do you want to get married? Do you want to raise kids? Do you want to be stationary or mobile?
Some people are natural born planners, and some are not. Whatever your natural talent for planning, as adults one is expected to be (at least) self-sufficient. By the time you are 30, you should have a plan for self-sufficiency as you age.
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