20 Groovy Life Lessons I’ve learned Before 30

So I’m going to turn 30 this year. Yep. The big Three ‘O’. And this is a post compiling what I’ve learnt and how they can inspire you.

My “credentials”?

My dad died of ALS when I was only 20, exactly two months before I enrolled into college. Despite graduating, I don’t work a conventional job. I’m doing my own thing now by being a writer and have finally hit success after a few years. I’ve been in a long distance relationship for over two years now. To throw in to the mix, I’ve had my heartbroken many times before.

Basically, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. I’m very grateful for the life I have, but from time to time, I do wonder why I’m dealt such a lousy hand.

Nonetheless, I still and always will fight hard for what I want.

1) Life is a mystery and that is a fact

Frankly, I don’t even know why my dad died. He got ALS one day and we knew there was no cure. That was it. After two years, he went away peacefully.

Seeing someone you grew up with go like that is extremely surreal and painful at the same time. It’s weird even. And sometimes, it’s no use fighting it.

You just try to make do with what you have.

2) Love your parents for they’re growing old while you’re growing up

And yup. Cherish your loved ones, especially your parents. While you’re growing up and learning about life your own way today, they’re only growing older.

3) Love is just a crazy energy that comes and goes as it pleases

You know, because sometimes you unexpectedly meet somebody and have perfect chemistry, while other times you’re seemingly forced into a breakup for reasons you cannot comprehend.

Love is indeed a crazy energy. So don’t be too shocked or sad when it comes and goes. Be grateful for the experience.

4) Don’t judge people because people are never what they seem

In other words, don’t perceive somebody according to their various labels.

My first girlfriend was a girl I met in church. She wanted the best for me through her religion and I thought that meant she couldn’t be that bad.

She cheated on me in the end and I had to find that out from her best friend.

So never judge somebody and base them on your own beliefs and ideas. People are not what they seem for everybody has their secrets.

5) Yet, learn how to judge people the right way

Although judging people is considered wrong by most, I personally think we can’t help it, so we might as well do it the right way.

For example, if you meet somebody for the first time and they’re extremely rude to the waiter, dump them. You don’t need such disrespectful people in your life.

6) Quit your job to do what you love only when it makes sense

I quit my job and jumped into starting my blog without knowing a damn thing. My savings depleted extremely fast and I felt miserable for a long time.

Don’t quit your job just because most successful people did it. Do it only when it makes sense. You do need the stability to fund and give you the drive to do what you love. Otherwise, you may end up making desperate decisions just to make money.

7) Money is important, but the bottom line is whether you want to chase it

To say money is important is naive and even arrogant.

Yet, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, if you do work specifically only to make money, you most likely won’t make much. It’s only when you come across as authentic and provide major value would you be able to make something people are willing to buy.

8) Be very wary of people who use flowery language 

“You’re lucky now cause I’m on my break” and “I don’t normally do this for others, but for you I will” are a couple of classics I came across many times.

It’s extremely easy to use mere words to come across as nice. Be wary of such people. They will be back for favors for sure.

9) People change, get over it

I’ve fallen out with over a handful of friends because I realized they are pretty toxic. And it was sad because they didn’t use to be like that.

But well, people change. It can’t be helped. It’s best to just move on.

10) Passion is not a golden ticket that solves all your problems

I’ve heard many people preaching, “Do what you love, and the rest will take care of itself.”

I think that’s bullshit. Passion or following your heart doesn’t solve problems.

Hard work and consistent effort do. That being said, passion doesn’t make you feel on top of the world all the time.

11) The world is not a secret place the media makes it out to be

I’ve been to the rural parts of Thailand myself and also interviewed a fellow location-independent blogger who’s been to more places.

Indeed, the world isn’t that scary. If you’re sensible and make smart choices, you’re safe. So don’t be scared. Travel!

12) Embrace your introvert side

Feel out of place at a party? Constantly disagreeing with the conversation your friends have? Don’t like to go out on weekends?

That’s okay. That’s great even. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you and you’re certainly not weird.

Don’t ever let anyone sway you. Embrace your introvert side and keep growing the way you like it, alone.

13) Feel uncomfortable and do it anyway

That’s how you get out of your comfort zone. That’s how you stop procrastinating.

The main point is, you’re not supposed to feel super awesome about it. In fact, you may not even know what results you will get.

But at least, there are results. So just do it anyway. No excuses.

14) You’re not your job

You, [Insert your name] is not based on how high your income is, what you do at work, how much time you spend in the office and certainly not what your crappy boss says about you.

You’re many more things, like passion, love, ideas, worldviews or the difference you made in someone else’s life.

So don’t bring your job home. Clock out and that is that.

15) Don’t be too quick to criticize or punish somebody

You’re not perfect either. You make mistakes too and there’s a chance you will make the same mistake as others.

16) You don’t have to be first place in your passion

Passion isn’t about competition all the time. It’s good to push yourself and be motivated by prizes, but remember that passion is about expressing your art, craft and imbuing yourself in it whole.

Remember to have fun too.

17) Success is individual

Thus, stop comparing with others. It doesn’t matter if you’re not making millions or have adoring fans like a celebrity.

You have your own unique challenges and hence your own unique form of success. Embrace that and your true path will be revealed.

18) Enjoy school while you can

Because when you’re out there in the world, it’s back to square one. It is only when school is over you’ll start to wonder if this (likely your job) is all you’re going to do for the rest of your life.

19) Breakups hurt, but you’ll be fine

It hurts like mad. You may get depressed even.

But relax. You’ll be fine. Everybody goes through heartbreak. If they can get by, so can you.

20) If you don’t want to feel like an old fart, then start hanging out with people who don’t

Honestly, I always dreaded the big Three-‘O’. I thought I would feel old, sluggish and be forced into social norms.

But age is truly what you make it up to be. You can do anything you want. And if you want to feel like you belong, just hang out with others of the same age or older who still do what they love.

Age is just a number, but life can’t be made with numbers. You make it with real experience.

So make it awesome, memorable and incredible.

Something awesome for Pick The Brain Readers!

I hope you enjoyed the article! Want more ways to be happy?

Then you’re going to want my book. It’s free! Here it is:

12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**K About!

Time to shed the crap in life and start being happy! This free book is only available through this link to Alden Tan.

Alden Tan keeps it real at his blog and writes about motivation in unconventional ways. His two main passions are Bboying and writing. Check out his free report12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**k About!


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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