As of the month of June in the year 2020, I have now officially lived 30 years on the planet Earth. That's 360 months, or 10,950 days, or 262,800 hours! The point here is: I have now spent a good amount of time on planet Earth. As I write this article in quarantine, I cannot help but reflect on the last decade of my life.
I still remember myself when I turned 20. A young and insecure kid with no idea what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was that I wanted to live a life of impact for the people and the community around me. Though I lacked direction, I always had a desire to do things that mattered.
In my 20s, I've always thought that 30 was so far away. It felt like a place in the distant future that I'll never arrive at. For some reason, I've always had a notion that I'll have my life completely figured out by 30. Now that I have reached the fabled milestone, I find myself filled with excitement and anticipation for the best days ahead.
Let's face it -- we look back and cringe at the things we did and said when we were still young and immature. Time and experience is the best teacher. Through experience, we can find humility and perseverance through difficult tasks. Through time, we are able to reflect and digest the lessons of every day. Today I've composed a list of the best lessons that have changed my life.
10 Best Lessons to Age Like Fine Wine
1. Take Radical Accountability
Radical accountability is a concept where you take full ownership of your behavior, thoughts, and results. Instead of deflecting blame when something goes wrong, start owning up to it and learn from every experience. Most people have a problem with taking responsibility. They don't want to admit that they make a mistake. By deflecting blame, you miss the opportunity to learn a lesson.
I rarely learn from success, but I always learn a ton from my numerous failures. Failures are the best lessons. They keep you humble. They keep you grounded. They show you where you need to improve on to succeed in the future. In the book "Extreme Ownership", Jocko Willink describes "extreme ownership as the practice of owning everything in your world, to an extreme degree." This means you start taking accountability for not just tasks under your control, but all things that affect your mission's success.
2. Be Consistent and Commit Fully
People rarely commit fully to the future they want to live. People just kind-of want something, but they don't want to commit fully to making that dream become reality. Everything worthwhile in your life takes a massive amount of work. The only thing you can do to create a beautiful life is committing to doing the work to getting to success.
Stop being half-hearted in your commitments. Don't even go in if you are only 98% committed. Be fully committed. Be willing to work longer and harder to build your life to where you want it. Commit fully to your passions and start getting creative on how you can monetize it. The best time to start is always now.
3. Use Compound Interest to Your Advantage
Compound interest is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Just small gains every day leads to massive gains in the long run. In terms of investing, start putting money away now, not later. Pay off any high-interest debts because it will get much worse if you don't. In terms of your abilities, keep practicing now so you can be incredible in 5 years.
The average life span in the United States is 78.54 years old. That means that statistically if you are in your 30s, you are not even halfway through your life yet. Life is a marathon. If you lay down the right investments now, you could be living your best life later on. Start playing long. Start playing short. Your future self will thank you for it.
4. Take Care of Your Health
Your health is the most important thing in your life. Your body is a constant vehicle for your adventures. If you load it up with bad fuel and never spend time maintaining it, it will give up on you. Make your health and your wellbeing your number one priority. Do something nice for your body every day.
If you don't focus on your health, everything else will suffer. You will not be able to perform at your best. You will not be able to make the best decisions. You will not have the energy to take massive action. Spend some time taking care of your body early in the day. It will give you energy and feel great for the entire day.
5. Lead With Love With the People You Care About
Relationships are the flavors of life. It's the aspect of life that gives us the most meaning. We all have an intrinsic need to be loved. Build a circle of people that you trust and love deeply. Start leading your relationships that matter from a position of love.
It's easy to get frustrated or angry at people closest to us. We get hurt the most from people that we trust the most. Leading with love means that we are able to forgive people even when they are wrong. But remember, true forgiveness means that you have to REALLY let it go. This means that you never bring it up with them again, and when you think about it, you forgive them again.
6. Build on Your Strengths
We will not be great at everything. It's just impossible. For example, you cannot be the world's greatest runner AND the world's greatest sumo wrestler. It just doesn't work. Every niche has it's own set of strategies. Devote yourself to the niches that interest you the most.
When you find the niches that you have a passion for, invest fully in it. Don't count on someone else to do it for you. You must take radical accountability to make yourself great. Keep investing in things you are both passionate about and you can be great at. Ideally, you want to do something better than anyone else in the world. Double down on things you're great at. Leave the other things to the wayside.
7. Take Risks
People are afraid to take risks. This makes sense in a society that is fairly unforgiving of failures. The way to overcome your fear is to stop seeing things as failures, but rather as lessons to developing your greatness. You are capable of becoming greater than you ever believed.
Start taking risks for things you have a passion for. The worst thing you can do is live a life of regret. Move forward like you can't fail. Have faith and be stubborn that your vision will work out at some point in time. Commit to seeing it come to fruition. Don't let go until it happens.
8. Continue to Develop Yourself
Never stop learning. The world is constantly changing. You will need to adapt if you want to win. The best skill you can ever develop is to be a continuous learner. If you learn to develop your curiosity, you will gain insights other people wish they had.
Develop new skills that complement your current skillset. Keep adding new skills that make what you do better. Become a person that is capable of adding value to any team they are on. Be a person that is willing to step up to the plate to get things done.
9. Invest in Community
Community is essential to your wellbeing and happiness. Humans are relational at our core. We find happiness in groups. This is simultaneously our greatest strength and our greatest weakness.
Find a community that is filled with love. Invest in relationships within these communities. Find like-minded people you can confide in. Focus on building strong bonds and investing in people. You will find great purpose and fulfillment in your community.
10. Love Yourself, No Matter What
Your value is not based on your bank account. Your value is not derived from what people think of you. Your true value comes from within. Love yourself, even when the world tells you not to. Your intrinsic worth as a human being is far greater than all the gold in the world.
Regardless of what you've been through in your life, your life matters. It has incredible value. Without you, the world would not be the same. You are a part of the history of the universe. Don't ever let anyone let you think less of yourself.
Turning 30 is a major milestone. You have now lived enough life to understand both happiness and suffering. You have learned many lessons, and you will see some memorable days ahead. Keep learning from your failures. Keep growing from your experience. Keep building a life that you can be proud of. Keep loving people from your heart. Live with courage and purpose, and you will see your best days ahead.