30 Lessons for my 30s


Hey friends,

I turned 30 a few days ago woo. They say your 30s are way more fun than your 20s so I’m hoping that holds true 🙂 And apologies for this email being a few days late – I was overthinking it and then life got in the way, but sending it 5 days late is better than nothing I guess.

Firstly – inspired by Mark Manson, I’d love to do a video going over life advice from people older than me. So here’s an ask – if you’re over 38, and you’re down to share some life advice, please could you reply to this email answering the question: “What’s one thing you wish someone had told you when you turned 30?”. I’m planning to go through all of these, and compile a shortlist to go into a YouTube video where I read out the tips + share my thoughts and commentary.

If you’re taking part, please could you include your name (or a pseudonym), location, age and occupation too, and any other details that are relevant to your advice. I’m hoping to present the advice by saying something like: “okay our next tip comes from Jane Doe, who’s a 56-year old corporate lawyer living in New York. Jane’s got 4 kids, and her advice relates to parenting…”. Obv in this context, Jane’s advice about parenting wouldn’t mean a lot if she isn’t a parent herself, so it’s useful to know that she’s got 4 kids. You get the idea 😉

Anyway, as an educational content creator, I can’t really turn 30 without doing an email about the lessons I learned in the last decade. Here are a few – as always, these are “notes to myself” that I hope others might find value in. But these are some of the lessons I’m hoping to take into my 30s.

Some Advice to myself I’m hoping to take into my 30s:

  1. Life is lived in the present moment. Don’t let the pursuit of more stop you from enjoying what you already have – enough.
  2. If you’re going to pursue “more”, remember to keep your life balanced, especially in terms of your health and relationships.
  3. Build systems into your life to help you focus on life rather than just work.
  4. There’s no “achievement” you could possibly achieve that’ll make you any happier than you are right now.
  5. If you find yourself saying: “But the money’s just too good”, think twice. Then think a third time. Do you really want to do that thing just for the money?
  6. A stress-filled life is bad for your health, your relationships and your lifespan. Chill out, and don’t take things so seriously.
  7. Everything you’re doing is meaningless – a few years after you’re dead, no one’s going to remember you or anything you’ve done.
  8. Everything you’re doing is profoundly meaningful – even the smallest action is drenched with meaning. Remember to get out of your own head and appreciate that.
  9. It’s okay to trade consistency for joy… just don’t do it too often, lest the “costs” of bad habits build to the point that it reduces joy over the long-term.
  10. With a little creativity, you can make absolutely everything 10-40% more enjoyable.
  11. Your work would probably be better if you focused on enjoying it, rather than on trying to make it better.
  12. Regularly ask yourself: “10 years from now, what will I be really glad I did consistently for 10 years?”. Do those things consistently for 10 years.
  13. Train weights 3-4 times a week with a personal trainer, forever. You’ve got the money. You’ve got the time. There’s no reason not to.
  14. Any money, time or effort you spend on your health will pay major dividends as you age.
  15. Any money, time or effort you spend on cultivating deep relationships will pay major dividends right now, and also as you age.
  16. Invite friends over for coworking and/or food more often.
  17. You don’t have to sit in a restaurant when meeting up with someone. You can grab some food or coffee, and go for a walk instead. It’s healthier and more fun.
  18. If it’s not a “hell yeah”, it should probably be a “no thank you” (ht Derek Sivers).
  19. Be the lead organiser of social events for your friends. They all want to hang out, they just suck at organising things.
  20. Read fiction before bed.
  21. If you want to get better at something, hire a teacher or coach in person. It’s more fun, and more effective, than trying to teach yourself.
  22. Do whatever you can to work with people in-person. It’s way more fun than remote. And what’s the point of working if it’s not fun?
  23. Go to the cinema and/or to dinner, by yourself, once in a while.
  24. Send more thank you notes to people.
  25. Carve out some time for life admin and for replying to messages each day. It doesn’t have to be Deep Work for it to be valuable.
  26. Keep your personal CRM maintained with birthdays, addresses and notes about each person you want to stay in touch with. It doesn’t take much time to send a birthday card or gift, and those things can maintain relationships for literally decades.
  27. Use a treadmill desk whenever you can – it’s a cheat code for getting more steps in while working.
  28. Take more photos, preferably with a proper camera, but your phone is totally fine if you don’t have your proper camera with you.
  29. Carve out dedicated time each week for learning and exploring your curiosity. Life’s only going to get busier, and you don’t want to stagnate because you haven’t made time for continuous learning.
  30. When you’re faced with a choice to prioritise work or to prioritise your life, choose your life.

Have a great week!

Ali xx

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