MY 15 LESSONS FROM BEING 30
“Everything I know I learned after I was thirty.”
– Georges Clemenceau
Before my 30th Birthday, I did a list of 30 things on my bucket list. This time around, before I turned 31 in late December of 2013, I had a chance to reflect on being 30. Here is a list of 15 lessons from being 30 years old.
LESSON # 1: The importance of asking for what you desire.
So many awesome opportunities, trips, summer programs abroad, and speaking engagements happened in 2013 simply because I asked. Yes, I did get lots of “no’s” or “not right now’s”, but asking in of itself led to more courage to ask, and often led to unexpected experiences and more than I could have asked for. Check out this blog post entitled: “What would you ask for?”
What would you ask for in 2014?
LESSON #2: Those ideas you have of doing something you love aren’t crazy.
People might say what they will say, but they don’t know what fills your heart the way you do. You might have fears in going after your idea, and maybe you’re not even skilled or good enough yet to do it, but it is possible. This year, I learned that I sing because I love doing it and love music, not because I’m “good”. It simply makes me happy. Here is a video of me jamming with friends on the subway to make people happy on their way home from work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuY9kCCHps4&feature=youtube_gdata_player
LESSON #3: Journaling and regular reflection is how you grow.
In 2013, I regularly wrote in a journal, and thought about what went well, what didn’t go well, and what I learned as a result. It helped me notice the people and experiences that were serving me, and let go of what was not. I wrote this blog post at the start of 2013 to Make The Year Epic, so I hope it helps you too
LESSON #4: The people you surround yourself with significantly changes the trajectory of your life.
This year, I let go of and distanced myself from friendships or relationships that were bringing me down. Instead, I hosted a video show called Reconnectfully Yours and connected with inspiring bloggers, speakers, and became friends with them. Jim Rohn once said “You are the average of the 5 people you spend time with”. So in 2014, surround yourself with awesome people who light a spark in you to pursue your dreams and squeeze out every ounce of awesomeness life can offer.
LESSON #5: The only person preventing you from letting go, is you.
This year, I let go of past relationships that hurt me, beliefs or rules that no longer served me, identities about who I should be as a law graduate, and behaviours that weren’t serving me to be my best self. I realized that I held on to things or people longer than I should have, there were things I was no longer willing to do or be, and I had to let go even if the process was painful. Here is a post I wrote and re-read this week about How I Let Go Of The Past.
What do you need to leave behind in 2013?
LESSON #6: Reveal what you’re going through, and tell your story.
This year, I told the story of how hit rock bottom in 2011, showed up for friends going through challenges, became a better listener, and have come to see that vulnerability is one of the best ways we can connect with each other. Here is the Story I Published Of Hitting Rock Bottom And What It Taught Me.
What is are you struggling with or finding challenging?
LESSON #7: It’s okay to let go of the path you were on.
I graduated from law school, but now I love speaking professionally to help young people connect with themselves and one another. I learned that really connecting with myself involves peeling back the layers of expectations, guilt, and judgment that we place on ourselves and we think others place on us as well. It involves taking time to really listen and sift through which voice in your head is your true voice, versus a conditioned response, a fear in your mind, or your ego. Here is a blog I wrote called “Which Voice In Your Head Are You Listening To?”
LESSON #8: Slow the hell down, and stop being busy being busy.
This year, I’m leaving behind the word “busy” from my life and vocabulary. I realized that busyness is sometimes just another word for distracted, too pre-occupied, and unbalanced. Instead of complaining that I’m too busy, I now look at why I feel that way, and make changes to my life, health, or the way I work so that I don’t feel that way. There are things to do, but enjoying them is more important than feeling busy while doing them.
LESSON #9: It is never too much or too late to tell the people you are grateful for, that you are.
In 2013, I wrote poems, hosted surprise parties, made gifts, called most of the people in my phone book, and thanked every single one of the people who have helped me with my personal & professional development this year. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and this year I learned how important some people are to me, and loved thanking them for it. Who can you tell that they have mattered to you? Check out this post to “Tell Them Why They Matter”.
LESSON #10: My words create my reality.
Many of my goals in 2013 were things I had never done before. I started the Dream Circle project, hosted a 30-Day Global Connection Challenge, and got my yoga certification from the YMCA. If I told myself I want to do something “BUT…” I don’t have time, money, qualifications, I’m not good enough, I’m not ready, etc, then I would never get anywhere. I could easily have succumbed to my fears, doubts or worries. Instead, I used them to see what they were telling me to learn more about, whether it was more information I had to gather, things I had to overcome within myself, or help I needed from others. Check out this post on “One Word To Achieve Any Goal”.
LESSON #11: I am responsible for making my dreams come true.
2013 was epic because back in December 2012, I sat down and thought about what I wanted to happen this year and set goals to get there. Nothing happens unless I make it happen. Here are the exact steps I took to create an epic year this year, which included crossing off a big item on my bucket list which was to give my first TEDx talk. See the post: “How I Became a TEDx Speaker In One Year”
LESSON #12: The journey of becoming your best self is just as rewarding as the end goal.
Here is the most popular blog post I wrote in 2013: “10 Unseen Parts Of How I Became a TEDx Speaker.”
LESSON #13: We are raised by guilt, comparisons, and obligations; in order to shed your masks and show up as your true self in the world it is time to let go of your guilt.
This year I stopped letting the guilt trips I put on myself or let others put on me to affect me anymore, and the experience has been liberating! See this post to ask yourself “Are Your Decisions Being Driven By Guilt?”
LESSON #14: Let out my inner need to be creative, have fun, and do it with others.
Other adults may think it is weird, but they aren’t having as much fun as you are anyways. Do it for yourself, and sometimes it just might make someone else’s day. Here’s a video of the time I was in a ukulele flash mob to brighten people’s morning commute to work:
LESSON #15: I’m still okay even when things aren’t going well.
I used to think that pain is inevitable, and suffering is optional; that if I let myself hold on to pain, it was a bad thing, and that I had to remove it as soon as I could. Now, I have come to learn how to hold my pain and be mindful of it, without it clouding my reality and bringing me away from the present moment. A significant shift that has helped me to do so has been doing a daily morning meditation. This has been incredibly helpful in connecting with my true self, being more creative, and remaining mindful and in the present moment. Here are some great teachings on this I received this year from Thich Nhat Hanh when he came to Toronto.