Life Lessons You Should Know In Your 30s

This post is inspired by an article I read online, carefully researched and compiled in one great po...

This post is inspired by an article I read online, carefully researched and compiled in one great post by Mark Manson entitled: 10 Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30s.

I first saw it on Facebook when a colleague in her late 20s shared it.  I got curious being in my mid-30s, so I hurriedly read it and boy, it made an impact on me and some of my friends as well.  Why did I say it was it made impact?  It was for the following reasons:

  • Talks About Life's Truths - an article created from a compilation of answers to a survey.
  • Talks About Process of Selection and Elimination - Getting rid of those who/that are bringing you down and keeping those that help you become a better person.
  • Talks About YOU. - Loving, Caring and Making You The BEST Person you could be.
I have been writing about women empowerment and how I dream of positively affecting others in my little way, which is through this blog.  I also believe that one should practice what he preaches and thus, I want to share with you how I am in my 30s.  I am first and foremost a very practical person, one who is goal-oriented and I love planning and implementing the plans.  I am a dreamer, I cannot say ambitious, but I love dreaming for good things in life for myself and my kids.  But it wasn't like that ten years ago.  I learned the hard way, but the important thing is I LEARNED.  I also took action after the learning.  My life is not perfect and will never be.  But what I do is I stopped comparing myself to others, stopped minding what others think  of me and continuously try to improve myself little by little.  So going back to the article, when I read it, it summarizes the life lessons I learned and what I wish to still achieve.  

Now let's discuss what these are and I'll tell you what my thoughts are and if I have applied the principles in my own life.

1. Start Saving for Retirement Now, Not Later
When I was still single and in my 20s, I spent a lot on clothes, bags, shoes, expensive SPA treatments, and anything that would make me look good.  I thought, I deserved that after all the hard work I did.  I lived paycheck to paycheck.  Now in my 30s and after having two kids, I realized how important saving is and setting up a financial goal for yourself.  
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I realized how important it is to save for retirement, to invest your money and to save, save, save.  I've read in some self-help financial books how important is to pay yourself first before paying your bills.  That is true.  Paying yourself means setting aside a portion of your earnings to your savings, to an investment and to your retirement plan.

It's never too late to start.  The important thing is to START.  And that's what I did back in October, 2012 when I got myself a Variable Life Insurance with provisions for investment, accidents, health assistance and death.  When I signed that insurance application and got my policy bible, I felt so much secured.  I know I am not only doing this for myself, but for my children as well.  I don't want to oblige them to spend for my medicines or personal needs when I retire.  I also want to leave something behind in case something happens to me.  

Early this year, I withdrew my bank savings and invested it in special savings that has higher interest yields compared to savings accounts and even Unit Investment Trust Fund.  I also bought a place for rest (for short, libingan), if ever I RIP.  Since it was bought pre-need, it could either be sold to those who require it asap at a higher cost.  Also on investments, make sure you study it first, that it's something that you can track and it's something that interests you.

"Make it your top priority to pay down all of your debt as soon as possible."  I am honestly still on my way to achieving this because I have credit card debts.  I was able to successfully close two accounts already and currently maintaining just one.  I plan to pay my debt as soon as I can and get rid of these plastic cards soon.  In case of emergency has always been a convenient excuse.

Keep an “emergency fund” in case anyone gets sick in the family, you know you have somewhere to get money from in cases of emergencies.  I was told by a manager where I work to save up for at least a six-months-worth your salary for your emergency fund.  

Purchasing a Memorial Plan may sound morbid to some, but it's practical and a smart move.  It's not only for you but for your family as well.  

Have you pondered about investments or insurances already?  I'll be glad to talk about this deeper in another dedicated post.

2. Start Taking Care of Your Health Now, Not Later
I couldn't agree to this more.  There are times when my mind thinks I'm still fit to get into some activities, but physically, I can't anymore.  It's either I get tired easily or I get injured.  BUT, I realize that it has something to do with my weight and what I put in my body.  It's true that you are what you eat.  You are the result of your food intake.  With this in mind, healthy eating is important.  

Now that I'm in my 30s, I try to eat as much vegetables, fruits and white meats as possible.  I try (with all my might) to stay away from:
     - Fatty foods (aargh, like Lechon, Crispy Pata and the likes!)
     - Foods that are too sweet (goodbye to unli-chocolates and gummy bears, though I still eat a little)
     - Junk foods (lucky that I'm not a fan)
     - Processed Foods 

The point is to stay away from bad foods and take in a lot of healthy ones.  Exercise should also be part of our lifestyle.  I'm one with those seriously struggling to achieve this.  Believe me or not, I have been dieting for the longest time and it seems like I'm not losing weight.  I recognize this fact and I know that I should correct something about what I do.

It's important to get in tune with your body, know its needs to achieve a healthier state.  Let us (in 30s) be more conscious of what we take in.  Can you promise me that?
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3. Don’t Spend Time with People Who Don’t Treat You Well
This is the selection and elimination process of the people in your life.  You don't need to keep some people who make it a habit to hurt you, criticize you, make fun of you in public or drag you down in misery.  You don't need to keep people who don't support you with your dreams and ambitions, those whom you are needing just because of their status in life or money but have the power to belittle you.  Don't tolerate people who treat you wrongly.  

Life is not about the quantity of people who come and usually go (especially when you have nothing) out of your life.  It's about the quality of people who become happy for your own happiness and success.  They are the people you know you can count on in times when you are down.  Don't be afraid to eliminate them or end any relationship especially when it's not helping you grow.  Believe me, there's a gracious way of doing it.  PM me if you want to know how. :)
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4. Be Good to the People You Care About
Now that you've selected the people who you plan to keep, most of them are family and best friends, BE GOOD TO THEM.  Be there for them.  Don't take them for granted.  Appreciate them.  Look after them. For when will you CARE enough for these special people, when they're already gone?  We don't want that to happen, don't we?  

5. You can’t have everything; Focus On Doing a Few Things Really Well
Back in my 20s, I was always rushing.  I was rushing to climb up the corporate ladder.  I was doing everything I can to reach this dream.  I was aggressive, I wore my mad hat all the time.  I was very ambitious.  I dreamed to achieve a lot.  

Until I got pregnant with my first child in my mid-20s, resigned from a good job, didn't have money, failed at my marriage.  My life was suddenly on reset.  I rebuilt a career slowly and started at the bottom just to get by.  I learned how to prioritize.  I learned how to focus on what mattered that time which were: to do good at and build a steady career in my chosen field, be the best solo parent to my son, and be a good provider.  I didn't want anything and I wasn't rushing anymore.  Because I realized after the hits in my life that I cannot have everything.  I just needed to focus and prioritize and perform well.

6. Don’t Be Afraid of Taking Risks, You Can Still Change
If you're in your 30s and you feel that you're not in the right job or you think your heart still desires to pursue that dream of yours when you were still younger, this is the best time to still DO IT!  This is still a good time to TAKE THE RISK and GO FOR IT! :)  Being in your 30s is considered mature but definitely NOT old.  You don't want to wake up in your 40s or 50s and ask "What If?" right?

I started blogging in 2012.  I studied communication arts in college and I've always wanted to pursue a career in media but I never got to that path in my life.  I have a natural passionate artiste in me.  So blogging became that passion or that road I took without really knowing where it will lead me to.  But I'm definitely glad I took the risk.  A BLOG in this digital age is considered a digital communication medium for almost all successful companies.  So being a blogger makes me a media person (which I've wanted since I was a teenager) and I'm happy I took the leap!

It's never too late.
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7. You Must Continue to Grow and Develop Yourself
Like a computer, human brains need upgrading, otherwise it will be obsolete.  You may be a subject matter expert of one topic now, but if you're stuck with what you know and not keep up with the new developments on your field, then what you know may be useless.

Educating yourself by attending seminars in fields you are interested in or learning a new skill that you've always wanted to do will add knowledge to your mental bank and therefore yield self-improvement in your 30s.  It's never too late to pursue higher education as well.  Now this is one thing that I have been eyeing on for the past three years.  I hope to be able to enroll myself in school again next year.  I am a sucker for new learning and educating myself.

It's also taking care of your health, mentally and physically.  You have to learn and re-learn and never stop doing so.  Spiritually, you may develop your relationship with God.

This also goes to say that we must strive to continue growing as better individuals, better parents to our children, better wives or partners to our loves, better friend or better colleague.

8. Nobody (Still) Knows What They’re Doing, Get Used to It
My take on this is that even if we think we've matured a lot in our 30s and we're more learned than those in 20s, think again.  We in our 30s, should accept the fact that we don't really know everything.  Some who are experiencing something new like a milestone in their 30s are novice to the experience.  They still sometimes don't know if what they are doing is right or wrong.  Let's take for example having your first baby in your 30s.  Isn't it that no matter how you researched or read books on how-tos, it's different when it's actual application right?

So don't be surprised, not knowing what to do is okay.  Just relax, this is to be expected when you're in your 40s, 50's and even 60s and above.

9. Invest in Your Family; It’s Worth It
I couldn't agree more to this.  Always put your FAMILY first.  Invest TIME with your family.  Our children grow up really fast.  My memory of my toddler as a baby is still very fresh to me.  Whenever I would look at him now, I wonder why time flies so fast.

Being in your 30s also means, you've matured a lot already.  Forgiveness of a family member who had caused you emotional trauma or had wronged you would require that maturity you've managed to develop.  Now is that time to forgive and let go of the emotional baggage that's limping you down.  Let it go.  Especially if we're talking about our parents, who may be at this time already a Senior Citizen and who may or may not be sick, now is the time to repair the relationship.

To those like me in 30s and still want to have a baby, but admittedly are afraid because of the financial implications attached to it, I want to tell you what the article I read told me, just GO AND HAVE A BABY!!  We sometimes worry too much for monetary reasons or health reasons (that's why we need to take care of our health!) and what have yous.  Children are beautiful.  They are God's gift to us.  They make us strive more to be better persons and they push us to our limits.  They also teach us lessons.  They put our lives in order as well.  So if you're in your 30s, go and PUSH!  PAK!  Have babies this time! :)  It's worth it!

10. Be kind to yourself, respect yourself
When I was younger, honestly, I cared too much what others' opinions are of me.  I used to just say YES to them and NO to my own needs and wants.  It mattered to me to be accepted and to be liked.

I realized now how STUPID that thinking was.  Now I CHOOSE MYSELF.  I RESPECT and LOVE myself more, all my flaws, my skin, my skills, my talents.  And by being kinder to myself, I developed and used my skills and talents to pursue my dreams, my passion and my desire to make a difference in this world in my own little way, without thinking anymore of what other people will think or say.

Blogging has helped me in the past two years to become more attuned to my inner core.  It has helped me realize that I should love myself all the more.  It has also helped me realized that by doing so, it's giving my life more focus.  I'm glad I took this road.

Respecting yourself means being good to your soul and your body.  It's saying NO to people who or things that's going to drag you down or make life difficult than it already is or even to opportunities that may take you away from your family and may oppose your values and principles.  Respecting yourself is saying YES to everything good.

Remember to always know and respect your self-worth.  By knowing that, you will take in only what you truly DESERVE in life.
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Happy week ahead loves!

~Are there any more life lessons you'd want to add to the list?~

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10 comments

  1. Hey, Louise! I posted a list of the 31 life lessons I've learned so far last February for my birthday post! :) Sharing the link with you here. http://www.mrspcuyugan.com/2014/02/31.html/


    I like your list, too. I agree with everything on it! :D

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  2. Ganda basahin nito mommy Louise,Nakaka relate naman ako :) Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Very well said, Louise! Miss you, mwah! :-*

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  4. So totally agree. I really need to work on numbers 1 and too. I keep putting them off when they are very important!

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  5. Good read. :) Perfect for me who just turned 30!


    Mars M.
    www.montessorionmars.com

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  6. Thanks for dropping by @Mars M.! :) 30s.. never too late! :)

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  7. Alam mo @TheMissusV, I used to hide from insurance agents before.. as in block their calls. But when I realized its importance, ako pa ang tumatawag. I SHOPPED for insurance policies to compare one from another. I arrived at one policy which best worked for me, my needs and my capacity to pay. It's important kasi to know how much you could shell out to pay so you could sustain the payables for a long time. :)

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  8. Thanks Jane! I miss you too @Sugar & Spice! :)

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  9. Thanks @Ann Cagalingan! Matagal ko na ngang gustong isulat to.. at least now nai-PUSH ko!!! :)

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  10. That's a great list @MrsPCuyugan!!! :) Thanks for sharing hugs! :)

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Mommy Practicality is a home and lifestyle blog that's about positive, informative, 
inspirational and helpful sharing of life experiences of a working mom 
with topics on motherhood, relationships, events, food, travel, shopping, and finances. 
It hopes to influence moms and women to realize 
that it's possible to live a quality life while choosing a practical lifestyle.



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