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I tell my 18-year-old son ALL the time how truly blessed he is to be growing up in a time when information is literally at his fingertips. Everything he needs to know is basically there on a screen a few finger-taps away. Whether it's to do with health, wellness, finance, history, geography, spirituality, or experiences and advice from other people we can learn from. EVERYTHING is there for him, and at such a young age.

Of course, being a teenager who's busy living life and having a hold of the freedom that he now has, he'd like to go out there and create his own experiences, half listening to the advice I have to offer and too young to be interested in videos, books and posts about other people's experiences and advice.

I am grateful too that I get all those benefits, but I'm shy of turning 50 in a few weeks and have only been able to grasp the vastness of the information available for the past couple of years.

Being 50 I have the upper hand of having had some actual experience in life. Reading and watching about other people's experiences is different from actually living them, but then again, you learn from them, you take notes from them and you're somewhat prepared when you yourself go through them. And I'm still learning. I still have a long way ahead of me.

We all go through life and create our own experiences. We make mistakes, we learn our lessons. Some lessons turn into great opportunities and some lessons that we wished we never had to go through. Regardless, every experience and lesson makes us who we are. They make us stronger, more resilient, kinder, and better people.

We all get advice throughout our lives, solicited or unsolicited, from parents, family, friends, and colleagues but sometimes, that advice comes at points in our lives when we're too busy to take heed of them, just like my teenager.

Just like him too, but in my 30s, I was too busy juggling a child on my own and trying to be great at my job. Advice was thrown at me, but I wasn't really listening. 20 years later there is some advice I wish I had listened to.

20 years on, here I share 33 lessons I know now I wish I had known or listened to at 30.


#1 Family is all that matters

Truthfully, it is all that matters, other people come and go, and money comes and goes, but your family is the one constant that you have in your life. So cherish them, keep in contact with them, visit them, help them and work out whatever differences you have with them.

#2 Time with your kids trumps everything else

In my 30's I was busy chasing accomplishments in my work. A single mom raising a son, it wasn't easy so I'd leave my son with his grandparents during school holidays, he loved it but I didn't. Looking back, my work shouldn't have been more important than my son. He was and still is my most important work!

#3 Make as many memories with your kids as you can

Whether it's taking them to the park, playing ball with them in the backyard, reading bedtime stories, making forts in the living room, having water balloon fights, or taking them on holidays - make many of them!

#4 Make a record of your children's milestones

Their first word, their first steps, their first keepsakes - record it, photograph it, write it down. You probably won't regret it if you don't but you'd still wish you had.

lessons I wish I had known at 30


#5 Start saving for your retirement.

No matter how small the amount, start early and be consistent with it.

#6 If you have extra money from bonuses or pay raises, INVEST!

Just do it!

#7 Have an emergency fund

It might be for a medical emergency, car repair or the home. Prepare for those unexpected expenses that might come at any time.

#8 Start a side hustle

An online business, a blog, your creative talent in making things, start early and in 10 or 20 years who knows, you'll be able to make a good living out of it and be able to quit your 9 to 5 job and pursue that instead.

#9 Stay out of debt

Whether it's credit cards or loans, if you have the opportunity to end what you owe faster, do it. It'll give you a sense of freedom and a lot of weight off your shoulders.

#10 The older your children grow, the more expensive they get.

From their education, clothes, electronics, and social life, trust me on this - they do get more expensive!

lessons I wish I had known at 30


#11 Health is your greatest wealth

You hear this time and time again since you were young and it is so true. Exercise regularly and eat well always. Make it a lifestyle, not just a phase. There is nothing else more important.

#12 Constantly work on yourself

The number one goal should be to try to become a better person, partner, parent, friend, colleague etc. — in other words work on yourself so you can grow as an individual. Whilst you're at it forgive yourself, be kind to your body, and protect your mental health.

#13 Develop a skill and be a sought-after expert

Learn a skill or develop a talent so you can be an expert in that area.

#14 Set your priorities in life

Life is all about making choices and comprehending your identity, values, and priorities. If you focus on your genuine desires and not the ones you feel obligated to pursue, you can allocate more time to what truly matters to you. By setting priorities in your life, you can pave the way for a fruitful and harmonious life.

#15 Always listen to your instincts

99% of the time your instincts, or your gut, are always right, follow it.

#16 Find happiness within

Enough of trying to seek happiness out there. True happiness stems from you. Yes, that bag, or the car, or the jewellery, or that job will provide you with some form of pleasure, but it's not permanent and you'll move on to other things. What's permanent is the happiness that stems from the inside of you. You need to learn to be happy at your core. The kind of happiness that is not dictated by what you have or how much you have.

#17 Learn to be present

Being present and mindful helps you become a better parent and a better person in general. It helps you be grateful in that particular moment. You love a little harder and laugh a little louder.

#18 Confidence is KEY

It can be learned and will take you far in so many aspects of life. You could also fake it till you make it!

#19 Believe in yourself

You have to believe in yourself. Learn how to if you need to. If you don't believe in yourself nobody else will.

lessons I wish I had known at 30


#20 Sunscreen is KING

I honestly wish I started sooner.

#21 Retinol is QUEEN

I also wish I started this sooner.

#22 If it stings doesn't mean it's working

You might be having a reaction to the ingredients and might strip your skin barrier leaving you with a problem you didn't have to start with.

#23 Never neglect your body

Treat the skin on your body exactly the way you do your face. You won't regret it.

#24 Do not over-pluck your eyebrows

It honestly won't grow back! I've been trying for the past 20 years!

#25 Learn to embrace your insecurities

We all have insecurities whether it's your nose, your height, your stretch marks, or your teeth, whatever it is learn to embrace your insecurities. There is no such thing as a beauty standard that we all should be living by. We're all made differently and that's okay. It's difficult, but we need to learn to embrace our insecurities.

lessons I wish I had known at 30


#26 At work, you ARE dispensable!

Regardless of how good you think you are at your job, you can and WILL be replaced if it comes to that.

#27 Working hard doesn't mean you'll be a millionaire

Don't fool yourself. It takes more than hard work to be a millionaire. Working hard MIGHT make you a millionaire in certain instances but that's not all it takes. There are people who work hard all their lives and are still living paycheck to paycheck.

#28 Take the initiative to learn new things

It will serve you well in the long run.

lessons I wish I had known at 30


#29 Don't bend over backwards for people who won't do the same for you.

Just don't waste your time, energy and mental capacity on this, it's not worth it.

#30 People are going to judge you no matter what

We often go through life obsessed with want people would think about what we are wearing, what we say, how we spend our money, how we parent our children, and basically how we live our lives. People are just going to judge us. It's human nature. The thing is to find a way not to be bothered by it because you just can't go around fighting it. So live your life the way you want to and be happy with it.

#31 You are the creator of your life

Whatever you envision your life to be, you can create it. It will be a process and will not just appear overnight but with hard work and a vision, you can create the life that you want. Have a vision of what you want your life to be like. Visualise it and set up a plan on how you can get there. Never get distracted by other people's opinions because if you start listening to other people's opinions you might just start questioning yourself and drop off the path you set for yourself.

#32 Take time for timeless things

This doesn't mean you have to make full use of every minute doing what makes you happy because it's quite impossible BUT to arrange time for the things that truly matter.

#33 You really can't control other people

As much as you want to, you really can't control what people say, how they act, and what they do BUT you can control how you react to them. This is important for your own well-being. You can choose not to react which is also a reaction. Some people and situations are just not worth your time and energy.

lessons I wish I had known at 30

These are the things I wish I had known at 30 and some of which were advice I was given but was too caught up with life to take heed of.

What would you add to the list?


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