30 Life Lessons Learned in 30 Years

Updated on September 11, 2017
Alyssa Nichol profile image

Alyssa has studied psychology, philosophy, religion, and the arts. She loves sharing her thoughts, ideas, and papers with the world.

Birthdays are special. They represent a time of celebration spent with family and friends. Throughout our lives we hit milestone ages and this is one such year for myself. I am leaving behind the 20's decade and entering the 30's club.

Every year around my birthday, I tend to get philosophical. I like to reflect back on the previous year and set new goals for myself. This year is a little different. I've been looking forward to saying goodbye to my 20's for the past eleven months. It feels much like finishing one book in a beloved series and being filled with excitement about being able to curl up and devour the next story.

Last year I wrote a piece discussing the 29 life lessons I had learned in my 29 years. I was pleasantly surprised at all the positive feedback I received in response to it. Because 30 is a milestone, I thought it would be fun to once again reflect back on my life and share 30 important lessons that I've learned - some serious, some lighthearted.

In no particular order, here is my list of 30 life lessons I've learned in 30 years.

1. You are responsible for your own happiness.

2. You cannot run from the past.

3. Be prepared for chance encounters, both good and bad.

4. You choose who your family is. Family isn't always blood.

5. Be realistic with your goals.

6. Love your body, embrace what is, and accept yourself.

7. Effort is directly proportional to results. You get out what you put in.

8. Planning ahead is important.

9. Take every opportunity to spend time with your grandparents while you can.

10. Don't skimp on sleep.

Enjoy the little everyday things, like savoring your coffee in the morning.
Enjoy the little everyday things, like savoring your coffee in the morning.

11. There's no substitute for taking care of yourself.

12. When the past calls, don't answer it. You are not obligated to entertain anyone or anything.

13. It's okay to abandon dreams that no longer fit.

14. Pretty words can be intoxicating, but your worth is not dependent on your looks or anyone's opinion of you.

15. Silence is sometimes the best response.

16. Listen more than you speak.

17. Don't turn your toaster on if, or when, a mouse runs into it.

18. Don't become so distracted, or get in such a rush, while on your step-ladder that you forget the ceiling fan is on.

19. Always put your exercise step away. Always.

20. You never know who you might meet. Always be nice and polite.

You're never too old to jump in a leaf pile.
You're never too old to jump in a leaf pile.

21. There are genuine, good people in this world.

22. Holding grudges and harboring hate in your heart is a waste of time. Let go and move on.

23. Have a sense of humor. Learn to laugh at yourself.

24. Don't wear sky-high heels if you will be riding in a truck with a round step bar. At the very least, don't be a hero and try to get out of the truck by yourself. Accept your gentleman's help.

25. Don't ride your bike standing up with no hands while on asphalt or concrete.

26. Life doesn't always work out the way we planned. Be patient and flexible.

27. It's incredibly freeing when you stop caring what other people think, and start living your life on your own terms.

28. Try new things and try (some) old foods again. Your tastes change as you get older. Something you didn't like as a kid, you might actually enjoy now.

29. Keep learning! Find something that interests you and dive in! Go visit the library. It costs nothing to get a library card. Learn a new language, learn a new skill, or just look up some random facts on Google about dragons or whatever. Don't underestimate the power of a Google deep dive.

30. In the grande scheme of the universe, life is short. Be grateful, be kind, remember your manners, and enjoy your time here on this planet.

Step out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Practice gratitude. Enjoy life.
Step out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Practice gratitude. Enjoy life.

Questions & Answers


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      • Alyssa Nichol profile image

        Alyssa 8 months ago from Ohio

        Thank you! Yes, learning is a life long journey and I believe that we should all strive to learn something new everyday. Hats off to you for studying car mechanics.. I cannot seem to wrap my mind around anything under the hood. I could change my own oil or switch out a tire, maybe replace my brakes.. that's about it. Haha! :)

      • Claire-louise profile image

        Claire Raymond 8 months ago from UK

        Some excellent advice, I still love learning and am studying basic car mechanics, I like to keep the brain occupied, use it or lose it!

      • Alyssa Nichol profile image

        Alyssa 8 months ago from Ohio

        Hahahaha! Aren't we all a mess? :)

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

        When I was thirty the main lesson I had learned was that I was a mess. LOL You are light years ahead of me, but wonderful lessons learned.


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