30 Important Things You Need To Learn Before You Turn 30

1. Shitty feelings can be useful.

Use your anger and your pain. Use it to run through the night, feet pounding the pavement, sweat dripping off your forehead, heart thumping through your chest. Use it to say, “fuck you” to that person you’ve always wanted to stand up to. Use it to fuel your passions. 

2. Positive energy is, actually, a “thing”.

I spent years spitefully resisting all that “self-help crap,” and trying to run away from the fact that the more I wallowed in self-pity and selfishness, the less positive things happened in my life. Charles L. Swindoll once said; “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” I once dated a guy who would allow himself to get so enraged by things outside his control; traffic, the weather, world events…he was constantly caught in a whirlwind of bad energy and he didn’t even realize it…he still thought it was everyone else who had the bad energy. Surround yourself with positive energy, give it back to others…and you’ll be surprised what happens.

3. Talent is deceptive.

What use is talent if you don’t work on your craft, feverishly into the nights? The successful ones are often simply the last ones standing, the ones who refuse to give up.

4. Some people are idiots.

Even though I don’t like everyone, I still try to believe that everyone has something inherently good inside them. But now I don’t believe they do! Not everyone is good and some people are idiots. Now I never accept advice from people I don’t respect. 

5. You’ll never be ready. So just begin.

You already know some of what you think you don’t know. Or at least, enough to start something. I’ve learned more from Youtube over the years than I did in my entire three-year degree!

 6.    Look out for number one.

No one else is going to ask for that pay rise for you. And even though our friends and family care about us, they have their own lives. The more things you can do yourself, the better. 

7. Commit.

It can be hard to be confident in your goals and believe you’re worthy enough to achieve them. Commit to love. Commit to your career. Commit to your friends. Commit to every single action you take. Don’t cheat yourself of a better life.

 8. Not everyone will care about you. Even your own family.

People show their love in different ways. But some people will always put themselves first. That’s just the way some people are. The sooner I made peace with that, the better my life became. 

9. Just jump.

The first step is the hardest, but the rewards will come.

10. STOP making excuses.

Feeling stuck? Imagine yourself 5 or 10 years from now. NOTHING will change unless your habits do and you will STILL be in the same position you are in now! Depressing? It should be. 

11. We want time so badly but waste it so easily.

Time is the most precious resource we have. I always felt it was pointless trying to achieve anything in just a few minutes, until I heard about a book called, “The Fringe Hours,” by Jessica N Turner. The concept of her book is that you stop thinking you don’t have enough time and worrying about it. Instead, you harness all the little pockets of time in your life to hit your goals. Unless you have five kids or are working three jobs, there is always someone out there who has less time than you and yet, they somehow manage to make it work!

12. A positive habit is like a sunflower seed.

Habits sounded boring AF to me at first. But you know what’s not boring? Being a successful, happy person with a six-figure income because they woke up at 5 a.m. every day to work on their passion project and ignored the people who scoffed when they quit their “safe” job to follow their dream. Habits take time to cultivate but, once established, you’ll have them for life.

13. Say yes.

This was something I found easy when I was younger but now struggle with. I can’t just skip work, or get drunk on a Sunday anymore without consequences. I’m not saying you should do either of those things, but sometimes the best opportunities come from that weird warehouse party you were invited to or that speech that you really didn’t want to give.

14. Say no.

If you hate something, say something. 

15. Don’t take everything personally.

The world isn’t out to get us. Things just happen, and people react. 

16. Spend time alone.

Aristotle said; “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” We live in an era where being busy equals being successful and we don’t have time to stop and think. But often we need those quiet periods of time for self-reflection and learning, otherwise, in our rush to move on to the next big thing, we miss enjoying what is right in front of us. 

17. Trust your gut.

If someone seems like they don’t love you, they probably don’t love you. If you’re not that into someone, it’s probably not meant to be. We have instincts for a reason. 

18. The average person doesn’t give a shit about you.

99% of the time, people are way too concerned with their own lives to care about that embarrassing thing you did five years ago or that awkward joke you made at a party last week. 

19. Love shouldn’t be a cure for loneliness.

The times in my life that I accepted that I’m single and stopped looking for love was when love came to me. A relationship takes a lot of time and effort. Many people who are young and single have so much freedom! Better to be single and lonely (and not have to compromise on movie choices) than to be with someone who isn’t right.

20. Know when to give up (and when not to).

I’m all for living your dreams, believe me. But maybe you’re not meant to be the lead singer of a hugely successful rock and roll band, or a neurosurgeon. Sometimes in the pursuit of these sacred careers we want so desperately, we realize that we don’t actually hate our job, we just hate our boss. Or that, in fact, we love graphic design, we just don’t like the project we’re working on right now. So often, when something is wrong, we do a complete three-sixty when we only needed to change course by a few degrees.

21. Life’s a bitch and then you die.

Life is a constant struggle. Every day many of us deal with being emotionally uncomfortable and doing things that we might not want to do. We have to show up, and constantly fight to make things work. But giving up the fight means giving up on life. But if there was no struggle and everything was easy, we wouldn’t appreciate any of it. We wouldn’t love the good things that come from the work we put in.

22. Believe in yourself, even if no one else does.

Growing up, sometimes even the people closest to me weren’t supportive of me. Perhaps they truly didn’t think I could succeed, or maybe my successes made them feel less secure when they came face to face with the realization of their own failed dreams. I learned years ago that the sooner I shut those negative voices down, the better, (but I still need reminding every now and then)!

23. People don’t really change.

People grow, but inherently they stay the same. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll cope with someone’s bad habits for now because you can change them in the long run. It rarely happens.

24. Don’t forget about the little things.

Breathe in the essence of small moments. Be present. 

25. Don’t lose your crazy.

You’re never too old to let loose.

26. Your parents are not perfect.

I used to think my parents were right about everything. Now I know that they’re just human. It’s not time that helps us grow; it’s experiences, knowledge, self-reflection and the attitudes we learn. 

27. There may not be a next time.

Say it, now.

28. Cutting toxic people out of your life is almost always a good idea.

But you can’t cut out everyone! It’s hard to come back from saying goodbye forever.

29. Understanding is crucial.

What are the motivations of the people you love? Realising people’s motivations really helped me understand the things they would do or say. I’d wonder why someone would push me to go traveling, and then I’d realize it was because they never had a chance to do it themselves. But do the people in your life always know what’s best for you? Everyone’s worldview is always colored by their experiences. Sometimes in a good way…but not always. If we learn to read what people are motivated by, we’ll have more clarity on who we should listen to (and who we shouldn’t!). 

30. Heartbreak is necessary. And inevitable.

Unless you’re hiding under a rock, you’re bound to fall in love one day. And with love, comes heartbreak. Trying to avoid love in order to avoid pain causes you pain anyway; the pain of loneliness. What would you prefer; being lonely without love or being hurt from love? I know what my choice would be! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Living my truth and daydreaming through the rest.

Keep up with Megan on Instagram, Twitter and meganjaneandrew.com

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