16 Things You Should Definitely Do Before Turning 30
It’s no joke when you’re told life can go by fast. One minute you’re in class questioning what you should major in as the next you’re determining if you’re financially able to retire yet. We question how life can go by us so fast and what we could have done differently.
But life doesn’t go by fast. It only seems that way because we do the same things repeatedly, eventually overlapping those experiences with each other in our minds. When we don’t take the time to change our life’s daily patterns, we live a simple life that makes it seem shorter than it actually was even if we live to be 150 years old.
When we do the same thing everyday, we hold less memories, thus giving us the illusion that life was short. As an introvert, it’s difficult to convince myself to be more adventurous or social. It’s like a chore I’d rather not do. For me, the perfect evening is staying in the house to either read, go on Hulu, or play a game by myself or online.
I’m especially reluctant to change when it requires myself leaving the house longer than I want to. But I have to remind myself that although I’m an introvert, that doesn’t give me an excuse to remain an hermit and do the same thing repeatedly. It just means I still need to make the effort to try new things out, but know how to spend my energy when doing so.
Which led me to a list of 16 things that everyone should definitely do before turning 30 so life doesn’t feel so short.
#1 Fall in Love At Least Once
Experiencing a broken heart might hurt and make you depressed. I’ve experienced a few heart-breaks and it can make you lazy, discourage you from wanting to do anything productive, and make you afraid to love again. But whether your relationship last or not, there is no such thing as a wasted love. It may seem like you wasted your time by loving someone who ended up breaking your heart, but love gives you the experience of learning how to give and contribute your time and effort to someone else.
#2 Build Genuine Connections and Networks
Don’t spend all your time on the internet and avoid the rest of the world. Go out there and meet someone in real life at least one a week. I like to go to gaming conventions on the weekend as my way of leaving the house and surrounding myself with like-minded individuals.
Social media makes it easy to connect with people online, but it shouldn’t be used as the main channel between you and other people. It takes actively listening and learning from other people that enriches your relationships with them. The more connections and networks you build for yourself, the easier life becomes in the future because you’ll always have someone willing to support you.
#3 Master a skill
My sister speaks several languages, and this makes me slightly jealous because I know I have the same potential to do that too. But what makes learning a language so easy for her is that she simply spends half an hour a day learning the language she wants to understand and after several months, knows how to hold basic conversations in it.
You don’t have to learn another language, but spend your early teens or 20s building a skill you’re genuinely interested in. Don’t just think about what you may enjoy doing. Take any form of action that contributes to achieving that goal. 90% of our daily activities build either good or bad habits.
So whenever you have time to spare, spend at least 15 – 30 minutes working on it. Don’t fall into the belief you have to spend your entire day doing it. Just focus on doing it for 15 minutes and if you like what you’re doing, you can spend the extra time working on it. It’s a small investment now, but eventually what you spend your time on adds up into something big that will impress anyone you show those skills to in the future.
#4 Start a Business or Invest in Something
Your teens and early 20s are the best times to start and fail a business. You have the stamina to stay up late with a lot of energy to build your experience.
Learn how to make money for yourself through mini-businesses you can start online or in person. Sell something you have lying around your house either on eBay or Amazon. Pick up on ways to serve a group of customers, how to market a product using social media, how to create a product, and most importantly manage your finances.
That way, if you ever find yourself without a job in the future, you’ll have the skills and solutions you need to survive. If you’re not comfortable with starting a business of your own, learn how to invest in increments. It doesn’t hurt to learn how to manage your money either, which I explain in a popular article called The Easy Guide to Save Your Money.
#5 Learn to Live Alone
For introverts, this is obvious. It’s in fact one of our biggest goals in life. But for extroverts, it can be a nightmare to some degree. Whether it’s a small studio apartment or a house you can somehow afford, learn to live alone and take care of your own basic needs. It doesn’t have to be a lifetime commitment, but learn the comforts of living alone for at least a year.
Learn how to clean up after yourself without someone reminding you. That way, when you do live with someone in the future, you’ll be well-disciplined into knowing how you like your home to function. Most importantly, learning to live alone gives you to chance to become comfortable with the sound of silence and your own surroundings.
#6 Learn to love Something You’re Involved In
Don’t think about what your passions are or what you’re destined to do. People who dwell on those type of questions sit around and do nothing because they’re waiting for something to happen. Engage with every hobby you’re interested in and if you don’t like it, move on to something else. If you like it, continue to spread your knowledge in it. And if you don’t know where to search for your passion, there’s a concept that Leonardo da Vinci used to find it where I explain it here: Looking for Your Passion? How to Become Like Leonardo da Vinci.
#7 Accept Your Strengths and Weaknesses, be Humble
As much as you’d like to believe so, you’re not unstoppable or perfect. The sooner you accept your flaws and weaknesses, the more humble you become and open your mind to the idea of improving yourself. Suspend your ego because it’s not always about you. Life is about how you can help other people.
We often get wrapped up with our own possessions that we forget the people around us who made us who we are now. We get wrapped up with ensuring our phones remain in perfect condition and if there’s a crack in it, then it’s the end of the world. We become selfish when spending our money for others because we’re stuck on ourselves.
One of the best lessons that we sometimes forget is that people don’t remember what you said, but how you make them feel. So don’t try to always outdo other people. See how you can use your strengths to help their weaknesses. Maybe you can buy something for someone they can’t afford for themselves. Maybe you can give someone an ear when they’re alone and need to reach out to someone.
#8 Experience Any Job That Challenges You to Grow
The first job that gave me a cultural shock was the food industry. It gave me the chance to witness what happened on the other side of the kitchen in any restaurant. Not to mention the fact that you SHOULD NEVER UPSET YOUR CHEF. I’m serious. I’m not going to reveal what they do to customers who piss them off, but it’s never pretty.
We all want the perfect job, but spend some time in your 20s building discipline for yourself by working somewhere that requires you to serve other people. Learn the hardships of waking up early and working a hard day so it gives you a new view of life. That lifestyle may suck in the present, but years from then, you will gain a whole new appreciation for anyone who’s in that position and treat them fairly.
#9 Spend money on experiences, Not material stuff
A new iPad or computer seems nice, but remember to spend your money on building experiences at least once a month. Maybe plan out a trip to New York or Europe instead of buying that flat screen television you had your eyes on.
You may think that a new television is the device that will make you happy, but after a few months you’ll grow tired of that television and ponder about the next big item you’d like to buy. But if you bought a trip to Europe and explored the countries there for a week or two, you’ll have a lifetime experience you’ll always be able to share with someone.
The memories you build for yourself are priceless because it will always give you a story to tell. I can’t recall the amount of useless things I bought only to store them away in my closet.
However, my best experiences are the times I spent going to exotic places in Africa, Europe, and Central America. Whether it’s renting a hotel room at another city for the weekend, going to a concert, or going to a sports game, remember to take the time to go somewhere new and exciting.
#10 Take on a 30 Day Challenge
The first 30 day challenge I ever took was writing a different article everyday for this site. That was difficult, but was successfully achieved, teaching me a few important lessons about myself and this site. For one, I will never do that again because I rarely felt comfortable with releasing an article at such a fast pace.
The next challenge I did was exercising and running for 30 consecutive days, which built my body into something I didn’t know was possible. I had more energy and was willing to eat a salad for lunch. I now work out for 3 – 5 days a week depending on my schedule, but I know the benefits of working out everyday if I ever planned on doing it again.
In some cases curiosity does kill the cat. However, curiosity can also answer those questions we ponder to ourselves daily. You can either spend years wondering if you should do something, or you can fulfill that question by practicing it for 30 days.
Whether you want to go vegan for 30 days or swim for exercising, try something new and see where it takes you. If you enjoy the results, continue on. If not, at least you know the results and can move on.
#11 Take Risks
Learn to escape your comfort zone and try out something new. Whether it’s new food, moving into a new city, or building a business, don’t be afraid to try anything new. Failure shouldn’t be your biggest worry. It’s procrastination that should scare you the most. Failure teaches you more than what success does.
#12 Travel Outside the Country
The first countries I ever visited were in Africa, where I learned it was wealthier than what I was familiar with seeing on television. For over 19 years, I was used to seeing Africa as a poor continent that was barely able to stand on its feet. But the moment I went to places such as Tanzania or South Africa, I discovered the vast amount of ways people lived there. If not for the amount of people speaking French, I would have assumed I was in the United States still in some regions.
Don’t stay in the same country your entire life. Traveling allows you to immerse yourself in different cultures and beliefs you never knew existed. It gives you the chance to see foreigners for yourself rather than through television or the internet.
#13 Don’t Seek Anybody’s Approval
Don’t give someone the ability to manipulate your emotions and thoughts with simply their approval of you. A guy can think he’s ugly because a woman he likes didn’t think the same of him. A woman can feel like trash when she can never measure up to her parent’s expectations.
But keep in mind that YOU are the best in the world at being YOU. There’s no reason to nearly kill yourself just to gain someone else’s acceptance. If someone doesn’t like you for the way you are, then there’s no reason to keep them in your life.
#14 Learn How to Cook at least 3 Meals
Cooking is a basic skill for survival and to not know how to cook at least 3 meals before you’re 30 will make someone raise an eyebrow. You don’t have to know how to cook a new family’s recipe or the best meal in the world, but learn how to work a few basic meals whether it’s for your family, a date, or for yourself.
#15 Leave Home
Don’t rely on your parents forever and learn to leave the nest. It can be scary moving out into the world for the first time, but it’s worth it once you get your own apartment, a stable job, and no one giving you a curfew. Your mind accept the fact that you can be independent and eventually raise a family of your own one day.
#16 Learn. LEARN. LEARN!!!
School isn’t the only place you should build your knowledge. Spend as much time learning something new whether it’s from the internet, books, or other people. Read at least ONE book a day for 10 – 15 minutes. Learn from other people mistakes so you can avoid them. If you have time to kill, take up a paid course you’re interested in such as programming, web development, or how to Photoshop. Develop a reading habit because it opens your world and mind to a new field of possibilities and ideas.
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