There is always an apprehension reaching a milestone age. It is something you look forward to with both expectations and uncertainties. I have recently turned 30 and many people asked me how it feels to be 30. So I decided to give it a thought. I realised that 30 does have a meaning and that is whatever meaning you choose to give it. I have decided for it to mean a celebration of achievements, of love and of self-worth.
Life may not always be the perfect picture but it does not have to be that way. Embracing the imperfections of life, the uncertainties that it carries is what gives a beautiful meaning to life. Meaning should not be measured by the highs and lows, it should be derived from all the moments in between and all the lessons we learn along our journey.
Here are 30 lessons I have learnt 30 years into my journey:
1. Be happy now– Don’t make happiness the feeling you only have once you have achieved a certain goal or accomplished a project. Don’t look at happiness as the future. Be happy now. Whatever you are doing today, it is possible to find happiness in it. If you keep pushing it for later, it might never come.
2. You do not have to do something big to make a difference. Do your little bit of good where you are and when you can; it’s those little bits of good put together that matter.
3. Live the best story of your life. We only get one shot at this.
4. Robin Sharma: when you are old, what you will regret most will be the books you did not read, the people you didn’t meet, the cities you didn’t visit and the ambitions you left undone. DO IT NOW.
5. There is no need to get even…..rise above and do better.
6. Good things and bad things will always happen in life. You just have to keep living and not stress over what you can’t control.
7. Don’t be lazy and make judgments about people without knowing them. Ask about their stories. Listen and be open.
8. Change comes from within…. Start with the person in the mirror.
9. Don’t blame society. Always remember we ARE society.
10. Being kind is sometimes more important than being right.
11. Friends change in all phases of life. It’s normal and it’s ok.
12. See the beauty in the sun, the rain, the butterflies, the trees and let them bring you a moment of peace.
13. Find joy in the simplest things like your partner’s company or your baby’s smile.
14. Your words matter. Think carefully because once they are out, you can’t take them back.
15. Pain is inflicted but suffering is a choice. We cannot control what happens to us but we can control how we deal with it.
16. Sometimes a job is just a job. We invest a great deal of time, passion, intellectual and emotional energy in our work. However, we often fail to realise that we all have potential beyond the job we do, the status we have and the salary we get. A job is just a job, we are much more than that.
17. Perspective is a beautiful thing. The problem you are facing today, the thing you wanted but you didn’t get, the fight you are having today. All of it won’t matter 5, 10 or 20 years from now. It is often hard to see long-term when all you know and feel is the short-term but unless it is life threatening, try to let go and move on.
18. Make that phone call today. Hear that voice on the other side. Tell that someone who you love. Tomorrow might never come.
19. Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, your day can end beautifully and sunrises are reminders that no matter how your day ended there is always a bright new beginning.
20. You need to find your own inner sanctuary of peace. No one can do this for you.
21. Do not fear changes. Sometimes you might be forced to continue your journey on a new path. There will certainly be obstacles on the way but you slowly come across better things – things that you would not have discovered or experienced otherwise.
22. Be happy with your own life. Do not wish to be in someone else’s shoes, you don’t know their story.
23. A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at – Bruce Lee
24. Do not hold other people responsible for the way you feel. Life is too short for the blaming game.
25. Forgive does not necessarily mean forget. Sometimes it just means letting go and not giving someone else the power to disturb your inner peace.
26. Believing that something could happen is the first step to achieving something.
27. What we did yesterday and what we will do tomorrow are equally important but what we do today is what matters most.
28. Don’t be in a hurry. Life is a journey not a destination.
29. Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make everyday. Everyday we get to choose to respect, be kind to and support the one we love.
30. Finally, age is just a number. Don’t let your chronological age define the person you really are inside.