30 Things To Remember In Your 30s (and beyond)

boat tripI turned 30 last month. 

It was a normal day in my life. I didn’t feel the particular need to celebrate, partly because we had just had a relaxed weekend away for our wedding anniversary, which was only a few days before my birthday (the picture on the left was taken then).

But more importantly, I feel like I am celebrating life every day, by living with love, joy, purpose, and surrounded by people who care about me and whom I care about.

I want to write about some reflections on turning 30. Initially I thought I would write a letter to my 20-year-old self and tell her the things I wish my younger self would have known. But then I thought, hang on – I don’t need to do this. All the life experiences happen for a reason, as they allow me to learn, reflect and grow.

So this is a letter to my 30-year-old self, on 30 things I would like to remind myself, my beloved friends and readers of this blog (that is you!) of, as we share a ride on this daring journey of life.

1. Be pulled by the future, rather than pushed by the past. The past is important, but it is not the determinant. It is like climbing mountains – when you realise you are half way on a mountain you don’t want to climb, would you want to continue or rather start afresh (or use a cable car to make a lateral move even better!) and climb the mountain you actually want to climb?

 2. Know yourself and stay true to yourself.  One of my favorite philosopher J Kirshumarti defines freedom as “understanding what you are from moment to moment”. Set some alone-time for yourself. Your job is not to become somebody else, but to understand and become who you are.

3. Pay attention to the signs that life sends you.  Perhaps it is a sudden loss of a loved one that makes you cherish life even more. Perhaps it is a job redundancy that gives you the opportunity to finally pursue your dream. Pay attention to these signs and really listen to what the universe is trying to tell you.

4. Be kind and generous, to others and to yourself. Always treat yourself with respect and care. Pat yourself on the back from time to time.  Be less critical of yourself and believe you are in the right place, right now. And treat others in the same way as you would like to be treated. How you make others feel about themselves also says a lot about you.

5. Be of service. Always be of service to something bigger than yourself. Give rather than take. Do things for others. You are born with the unique gifts to make a difference in the world. Don’t waste it. As Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

6. Spend time with people that are important to you. Visit and call your parents more often. Spend some time with your partner, children and close friends. They are the ones who care about you.

7. Let the fear guide you. We have fears, fear of failure (or success), fear of rejections. Accept the fear and dance with it.  Take calculated risks and let the fear guide you. Try to do one thing that scares you every day. The more scared we are of a calling, the more certain we can be that it is something worthwhile doing.

8. Stay hungry.  As the old saying goes – live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.  Always be ready to learn, explore, connect and grow.

9. Give yourself the permission to be human. There will be such times when you feel down, lost, frustrated or overwhelmed. Don’t beat yourself up. Embrace your own vulnerabilities as it allows you to live to the fullest.

10. Listen to your inner voice. When you feel a “hunch” or a “gut feeling” about something, don’t ignore it. Give that voice a bit more attention and space. Stay connected with your inner wisdom, by meditating, journaling or perhaps spending time in the nature.

11. Act more and think less. Behavior and thoughts influence each other both ways. An idea is worthless if it is not acted upon. Do something, even if it is a tiny step towards your goal every day.

12. Find something you love to do, and do it well.  It needs both passion and focus. Always be a pro, not an amateur. It means being consistent, showing up, sticking to your schedules and following through.

13. Take some long shots. You never know what happens if you ask. You know nothing will happen if you don’t ask.

14. Care less about what others think about you.  Set your own criteria and agenda. It is important to acknowledge other people’s feelings and opinions. However don’t let them stop you from being who you are.

 15. Have your own definition of success. What does success mean to you? What is important to you? What makes you happy and alive? What would you love remembering doing when you were in your 80s?

16. Be willing to let go of what does not serve you. As Seth Godin puts it,quitting is better than coping because quitting frees you up to excel at something else”. Accept it when it’s time to let go of what you don’t want so that you have the space and energy to pursue what you truly want in your life.

17. Remember you always have a choice, no matter what situation you are in.  You may not be able to control external circumstances or other people, but you are always in control of your thoughts and actions.

18. It is okay to experiment, explore and experience.  Life is not a competition. You don’t need to follow a specific path, climb a ladder or be at a certain position by a certain time. It is a journey. Allow yourself to make some stops when needed, to breathe some fresh air or explore the beautiful sceneries along the way.

19. Be resilient. Being resilient is about accepting what is happening to you, even if it is not what you expected. It is about holding yourself accountable for your decisions and actions. It is about mastering yourself.

20. Cherish your health. Eat healthy. Do regular exercises. Sleep well. Take good care of your body so that it can also take care of you. Plus, study shows that regulator exercises do some magic to your brain and make you happier.

21. Listen to your body. Your body never lies to you. It always tries to tell you something you should know. My body gives me a “warning” sign earlier this year but I knew it’s time I listened to it before it is too late. 

22. Live your purpose. Life does not have meaning unless you give it one. Life is too short and precious not to do things that matter to you.

23. Spread your love. Everyday reach out and touch somebody. Give people a hug when they need it. Write a thank you letter to someone touches your life. Smile to strangers on the street. When you give, don’t expect anything in return.

24. If you don’t like something, change it. Don’t just sit there and do nothing except complaining. If you can’t change it, change the way you look at it.

25. Start even before you are ready. You will never be 100% ready for something. If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure if you can do it – say yes and learn to do it later.

26. Stay positive.  Focusing on the good does not mean ignoring the bad. Staying positive and focusing on what works gives you more chance to create a positive reality. To a certain extent, life is the product of what you choose to focus on.

27. Travel more.  Visit places that you’ve never been. Talk to local people and see how their lives differ from yours. Learn about their culture and their values. It often offers you a fresher perspective for your own life.

28. Live in the present and enjoy it. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. The present moment is all you have and it makes up your life. Stay mindful and conscious of every moment and enjoy it.

29. Keep an open heart and mind.  Accept others as they are, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or gender. Listen to what others say, to words spoken and unspoken. Even if you don’t like someone, believe he or she appears in your life for a reason, perhaps to help you grow stronger.

30. Be appreciative. Be grateful for everything beautiful you have in your life. When you appreciate the good, the good appreciates.

Now it is your turn.  What would you say to yourself if you were to write a letter to yourself, whether it is your past, present or future self? I would love to hear from your in the comments section below.

With love and gratitude,


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2 Responses to “30 Things To Remember In Your 30s (and beyond)

  • Thanks for sharing! I like this best: “Even if you don’t like someone, believe he or she appears in your life for a reason, perhaps to help you grow stronger.” Indeed. For those who you don’t like, they will not stay in your life forever. When you look back, you will laugh about the past and cherish the freedom you have earned by yourself.

    • Glad you enjoyed it! I can guess who you are thinking about right now:) That person may be a gift sent to you to let you grow stronger. It is all about how you look at it!

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