Young woman standing in front of a white background smiling and looking happy

The advice and experience of those ahead of us in age can be truly invaluable. And each decade of a person’s life brings new understandings and advice to share. One person asked on a popular online forum, what valuable lessons have you learned after turning thirty and up?

1. Outside Opinions Don’t Matter

“Other people’s opinions of you literally don’t matter and have no bearing on your life. Whether it’s a shame your parents caused in childhood, how you believe your peers perceive you, or random people in the grocery store- no one should have the power to impact your self-worth besides you,” shares one user.

2. If Someone is Mean, it’s Not Your Fault

“When people are nasty to you, it is usually not your fault. Do not break your head trying to figure out what you must do to make them change. People that are nasty are nasty to everyone, not just you. That is just the way they are,” says one comment.

Another user adds, “I also learned not to bother trying to prove yourself to them or correct their lies towards you. If they’re nasty to you for no reason, your integrity will hold up, and their nastiness will be obvious to everyone.”

3. Value Your Time

One person shared the advice, “Take every single vacation, holiday, sick day, and time off available to you. Use all of them, don’t give them away. When you are off, unplug and enjoy yourself.”

“Do it, man. You only live once, and who cares? People will go on with their life,” agreed a second comment.

4. Don’t Wait Around for a ‘Soul-Mate’

“Not everyone finds a soul mate, partner, etc…a hard lesson, but it is better to get on with your life and fill it with friends and love,” one comment says.

Another person expands on the point, adding, “You can forge a lifelong, loving relationship with anyone you want to as long as the feelings are reciprocated and you’re both willing to put in the effort required to sustain it.” The comment continues, “Treating love like an Easter egg hunt where there’s one person out there for you who you just have to find will just lead to disappointment and misery.

It sets unrealistic expectations for new romances, represents an obstacle to developing healthy adult relationships, and turns breakups into personal apocalypses. That’s simply not how any of this works.”

5. Be Discerning With What You Share About Yourself

“Everything you put out there about yourself can never be taken back. It can be twisted, misconstrued, and become fodder for gossip and used against you. Even quite seemingly innocent things can veer off in a surprising direction. You are putting yourself in a position where others have the power to define how others see you. Keep your story your story to tell and stay safer to boot,” shares one user.

6. You Don’t Have To Prove You’re Right

“Just because you’re right doesn’t mean you have to prove it. I’ve done a lot of dumb stuff just to prove the outcome would be as predicted. Sometimes it’s okay to walk away just knowing,” one person stated.

“And there’s a lot to be said for letting other people make their own mistakes,” adds a second comment.

7. Be Compassionate to Others

One person remarks, “Be compassionate. Not every person shares the same life experience you had, has been treated the same as you, or given the same opportunities as you.”

They continue, “If you’re doing great financially, raising a good family, and doing pretty well overall, enjoy it. But don’t spend your life spewing anger and hate and trying to make others’ lives worse than they already may be. At the end of the game, the king and the pawn end up in the same box.”

8. There Are Multiple Sides to Every Story

“Almost everything is extremely complicated. Suppose there is a contentious issue, and there are ten different factions arguing about it. In that case, it is very likely that all ten positions have some valid information or ideas that other people don’t have,” says one user.

They continue, “You have to talk to just about everyone, and you have to be willing to listen to people who you think are bad people (even if you have to hold your nose while you listen) if you want to have any hope of actually understanding anything.”

9. It’s Okay to Just Be Normal

“In your teens and 20s, you build yourself up to this big climax to be super successful, and the world’s your oyster,” says one comment. The person goes on, “When you get older, you realize that you’re not the main character, and there are so many people who are much more intelligent, attractive, and competent than you are.

I know hustle culture tells us that we have to do all these great things by 30, but it’s a lie. Life is more about moderation and balance, and a lot of people who hustle and achieve greatness lose out on other parts of life. I can’t get back my 20s that I wasted working 12-hour days instead of experiencing life and making the most of my youth and beauty. Being mediocre is absolutely fine as long as you’re content.”

10. You’re Supposed To Change Over Time

One person shares their experience saying, “It’s okay that I’m always changing and evolving, and that the ways I’m changing can change, and that’s fine. Even though I’ve ultimately done things I look back on and am not proud of, I take that and make sure I do better going forward. Being kinder, more open, more forgiving, and more understanding is so much more important to me now.”

This article was inspired by this thread and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cents + Purpose.

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