Being of a certain age gives one something called “a wider perspective” that helps you understand a lot more about yourself — and the world. With a wider view of our world, no matter how large or small one chooses it to be, it helps create a greater understanding of how things really work — relationships, employment, financial security and responsibility, social standing, but most of all — it helps bolster one’s confidence in one’s self.
There are things that we do or take for granted when we are younger that need to be left behind in our youth as we set our sites on bigger things, more important things and more productive and gratifying things — physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.
Here are a few “leave behinds” that I’ve learned that may help to move beyond a dependent and self-serving existence to a new level of independence and to prepare for a life that they want, a life that they’ve dreamt about, a life that will be rewarding both to themselves and to those around them, if they leave these behaviors and habits behind.
Wishing for things to happen …
Remember when you were a little kid and you wished for things? You wished you were older so you could do more stuff. You wished you were richer so you could go more places. You wished you could find somebody to take you to the prom. Wishing for someone to discover you.
Well, at 30 years old the time for wishing is over — it’s now time for you to actually do these things, and you are now old enough to know that nobody is going to make it happen for you but yourself. Only you have control of your life. If you want something bad enough, it can be yours. So get out there. Work for it and earn it! Make it happen for you! Build the life you want by making things happen.
Bathroom selfies …
Oh Lord! Where to begin? These bathroom selfie pics may have been cute when you were in high school exploring your flirtatious side and practicing your pouty duck-lips or showing off your abs, or butt or breasts. It was kinda cute. And yes, even when you discovered your sexual freedom when you were in your college years and documented your tattoos with a selfie pic of that freshly-inked bad-boy in that secret place. It’s all in fun, right?
Wrong! At 30 years old, taking these pics and sharing them with the world on social media is just plain silly and stupid. And continuing to do this can — and eventually will — bite you in the ass, if it hasn’t already. Think big new job, promotion, raise for example.
Spending all of the money that you make …
When you first get out of school, start working and making your own money, it’s hard to just jump right into the work-world and start out being self-sufficient. That’s what everyone wants and believes will happen for them, but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen on your schedule. These first years of independence and self-sustainability take every dime you earn, just to keep your head above water.
But by the time you are thirty years old, you should have gotten the hang of basic budgeting — first, for the things you need, and then secondarily, for the things you want. And within that first “need” part, is a savings account and/or an investment portfolio. Your savings will be meager at first, but don’t get disheartened — time and interest will give you a much more significant payoff. But start the habit of saving now.
Vacationing only with your parents …
I’m not saying anything against strong family ties. These familial ties and strong family relationships are very important. But you have vacationed with your parents all your life, doing the things that the family wanted to do — not you.
You need to travel on your own, or with your peers, to get a handle on the world — how other people live, what they think is important, how they spend their time and what kind of lives they have made for themselves. Get out there and discover for yourself — do the things that you want to do, go to the places that you want to go. Experiment. Expose. Observe. And do!
Avoiding vegetables …
By now you should know the mechanics of how vegetables work in your body. How they help your body immunologically. How they help keep your body working and looking its best. And hopefully, how great tasting vegetables can be.
Try different foods from around the world. Try different ways of preparing food. Decide what you like, not just what you were brought up eating. You will discover some amazing things that will open your eyes to a lot more than just food.
Binge drinking …
This can be a tough one. Sure — it was a lot of fun in your teens and 20s to goad each other into the stupid-drunk stages. It was fun to embarrass each other the next day with pictures of how sick you got each other. Yeah — that was fun.
But eventually, you figure out that it’s so much more fun to remember the people you party with, the conversations you had, and the experience of enjoying each other’s company. Having a nice buzz is a social lubricant that can make things more fun. But passing out in public is so not cool for someone over 30. Potential in-laws will definitely frown on this!
Dating someone for just their looks …
In your super-hormone-charged teens and 20s, it was of the utmost importance to have a trophy date on your arm — male or female. In reality, it’s actually pathetic usury because you are trying to borrow validation from another person. You believe you are gaining stature with your friends because being with the “hot” date makes you”hot?” How totally high-school this thinking is!
Beauty is an illusion. In your thirties you should be able to realize the power of ideas, intelligence, integrity, compassion and commitment. You should be beyond needing a trophy to validate your worth. In your thirties, your worth and potential is already evident. Date someone that sees that in you and you see it in them. Dating is not superfluous aggrandizement. It’s the trial and error for finding a lifetime partnership.
Dissing other people …
Look — especially after this wild election cycle here in the U.S., we’ve seen what unbridled dissing looks like, what it feels like and how it affects both personal and professional relationships. Once a person is dissed — especially in a public forum — it’s really very hard for them to ever forgive, much less forget.
Every person that you ever come into contact with has value to you. You can learn a lot from someone that you think you have nothing in common with. And at some point in your life, you may need to know what that person knows, in order for you to get to where you want to be.
If nothing else, please do this …
Kindness toward others costs you nothing. Kindness is always the appropriate response. Being kind pays giant dividends that can (and will) enrich your life for the rest of your life. People may not remember your specific words to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel. If they felt respect and kindness coming from you, you will always find them open to you.
But for those that you may encounter that are being unkind, the best thing that you can do — for yourself and for them, is to just walk away from that situation or encounter, keep scrolling down, keep moving forward towards your dreams, and leave them behind. Focus on your own path that you have charted. And by all means, get on with living your authentic life to the best of all of your abilities.
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