21 difficult lessons you need to learn before you turn 30

They say life is your greatest teacher. I’ve learned these lessons the hard way.

I’m now well into my 30s and wish I had have known how important these life lessons are.

If you’re younger than 30, please consider each and every lesson I’m sharing with you here. If you’re older than 30 and haven’t learned some of these lessons yet, the time to embrace them is now.

Let’s begin.

21. Nobody will help you. Ultimately, you need to take responsibility for your own life. It all comes down to you. You have to help yourself.

20. You can’t do everything. You feel limitless potential. It’s a good feeling. But you do have limitations. Focus on one thing at a time.

19. Your failures don’t actually matter. People will quickly forget the failures, so put yourself on the line. It’s the wins that count, and the quicker you fail, the sooner you’ll start winning.

18. You need to exercise regularly. Take care of your health and body. It probably works pretty well now. But when you get older, you’ll be happy for having integrated the habit of exercising regularly.

17. Success comes down to perseverance. Don’t give up. Your dreams are important. It’s difficult chasing them, but it’s worth the struggle.

16. Later means never. If you start to postpone things you need to do, you’ll end up not doing them.

15. Experience and emotions matter more than money. Having money in the bank is nice, but when you look back it’s the emotions and memories you have from life experiences that will give you fulfillment. These are what matters.

14. Start saving money now. Despite what I wrote above, money does matter. But not for the purpose of buying fancy things. Rather, stick to the habit of regularly saving a set percentage of your income. Trust me – start it now and you’ll be thanking me in years to come.

13. Luck comes to those who work hard. You’ll be lucky in life. But your chances of being lucky will be correlated with your persistence. Work hard. The luck will come.

12. The world is full of injustice. There’s a random component to your life and what happens around you. Embrace it. Make sure you’re prepared for the worst. It can happen.

11. Every person you cross paths with matters. Don’t take people for granted. Respect people’s lives and where they’re at.

10. It’s never the right moment to get started. It you want to do something, get started now. Take a small step forward. That’s all you need to do. But don’t wait. Take the step now.

9. Move on from broken relationships. If your relationship can’t be fixed, move on. But do it with respect and communication. Let them go and move ahead with life.

8. Your weaknesses don’t matter. We all have weaknesses. Embrace whatever yours is. Admit it to yourself. Find a way to manage it. It may hold the door to whatever your strengths are.

7. All the opportunities for growth are beyond your comfort zone. Life can get comfortable. Then you get stuck in routines. You need to keep on challenging yourself. It’s lonely outside your comfort zone. But that’s where the opportunities are.

6. Your education does not end after high school or university. Life is all about learning, right to your last breath. Embrace the acquisition of knowledge and experience.

5. Everything worth doing takes time. Reaching your goals sounds nice, but it takes longer than expected. Embrace the journey and incremental progress you make. It’s going to take longer than you first imagined.

4. Your family members are the most important people in your life. It’s easy to take your family members for granted. But as you get older, you’ll gain a new appreciation for what they’ve been through to give you the life you now have. Treat them well and appreciate them for who they are – their strengths as well as their weaknesses.

3. Your online friends aren’t your real friends. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. But it’s true. Your real friends are the ones who are there in person when you really need them.

2. Falling in love is the sweetest of emotions, and also the most painful. There’s not much you can do about this one. You need to embrace the pain. It hurts. But journeying through the pain will take you closer to this sweetest of life experiences.

1. Your life has already begun. There are no dress rehearsals to life. This is it. You’re already living it. Take responsibility for it. Every moment has meaning and opportunities in it. Life is happening all around you.

What do you think of these life lessons? Can you add any more? Let me know in the comments below, and please share this if you think it can inspire others to live a more meaningful life.

If you found these life lessons to be valuable, you’ll probably also find value in my free video training how the hidden myths in the self-improvement industry. Check it out:

The hidden trap of trying to improve yourself (and what to do instead)

You may also want to check out our recent article helping you to live a better life:

Reality check: Once you learn these 8 harsh realities of life, you’ll be much stronger

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Justin Brown

Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

Notable replies

  1. This was what was taught and learned in my generation by 19 and reinforced by 23. Thirty is too late, too much time to make mistakes. This probably explains a lot of what is wrong with the world today.

  2. It is too wrapped up with itself. There are no adults in the room. Progress in all fields will provide sufficient distractions so the path to the future is accessible but those alive today will not be able to enjoy it, only their children will. Those children will know a different world. They will see all the mistakes their parents have made and will avoid following in their footsteps because they will have the technology to do things better.

  3. Ah Bill Ames, you were raised in a time where little children ran around barefoot shooting guns. :wink:

  4. I hope I am responding correctly…

  5. You are absolutely correct. And that is the way it should be. Not w/o shoes though and we always had a bicycle.

  6. I am totally PIC, the world is still 1950. I remember watching the Brit Queen being crowned on our 17" B&W TV!

  7. Definitely working out helps.

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