I'm turning 30 years old - here are 30 things I've learnt
I turned 30 yesterday, and I thought I'd make this video about 30 things that that I've learned, and I'm glad I've learned in my thirty years of life.
- When you feel bad, all you really need is plant life. So that is fresh air, water, nutrients, and someone to care about you. If you're, if you're houseplant/a person, if you want to be happier, make space in your life for things that make you happy. This probably sounds really stupid and obvious, but it's true. I think a lot of the time I feel sad because I'm not actually doing things that make me happy. I'm just doing things that keep my life running in order.
Yo Samdy Sam has a really great video on this. Try and do things that make you happy
- Know your values and plan around them. A lot of people don't think about their values; here's a test so you can find out yours if you don't know them.
One of my values is rapport which is basically a fancy way of saying talking. I really value it as a person who's introverted; I like having interesting deep conversations with people a lot. And I think before I would've ignored that and just thought "oh, it's like something I will get if I happen to come across it". Now I can build my days around it, and try and optimize for having good, nourishing conversations.
Good friends stick around through bad times. They don't make you feel shitty for it. Again, sounds obvious, but I have had a lot of friends who make you feel obligated to them for things like coming see you in hospital or being your friend when you were depressed... People like that are not you "really good friends". You deserve better.
There's no prize for hard work. I briefly dated a girl who said "my parents work very hard" when questioned about family wealth. My parents worked hard too, but they also not quite (understatement!) as rich as her parents.
A lot of people seem to think that there's a magical scoreboard in the world that will address redress the balance eventually. Sadly untrue. Books that have helped me with this are 4,000 weeks and I didn't do the thing today, and Laziness does not exist.
Rest should be restorative. Just because you've been sleeping a lot, if you still feel tired it doesn't necessarily mean that you just need to sleep more. There's other types of rest. Have a look at the healthy mind platter; I have it on my wall as a reminder. It's an illustration of all different Things you should have in your day to have like a healthy life/ have a healthy mind. It's been really helpful for me thinking about the ways that I do and don't look after myself.
My next lesson is one, I think I've heard best articulated on TikTok. The lines goes "if the choice is between ending your life and ruining it, then ruin it". I think people often estimate overestimate how much "ruining our life" will actually destroy your life. There's always an after, as long as you're alive, so don't worry. Just do the thing you need to do to keep moving forward.
For people who get anxiety, a lesson is to sense check anxiety with people that you care about. I have a tendency to assume that the things that I'm worrying about are important; often the things that worry me are not things that are actually going to affect me long or medium term. The things I don't worry about are things that are going to be more important. Like, not exercising, ever is probably gonna affect me more than the ceiling hypothetically falling in one day. Talk to people you love about things that you care about, that you worry about and see if they also think that's what you should be focusing on.
People often give the advices around yourself with good people. I think that is useful advice to a degree. I think a lot of people find it difficult to like control who their friends are, but I think what you can control is if you surround yourself with shitty people. It's much easier to let go of a person than it is to find new ones. Decide who you want into your life. People should have higher standards for who they surround themselves with. As Warsan Shire says "I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude".
Intentionality has gotten more and more important to me as I've gotten older. Have a list of quotes or a vision board, or maybe even a little voice clip or a video you make of what your goals and intentions are, for the year (or for your life or other blocks of time if you want).
It's nice because then you know what you are aiming for and what you care about. I've got my vision board on my desktop background, so I'm reminded of it daily. Doing this helps you to know where you're going and is a fun reminder of like what you want out of life.
If you're hungry, eat. Life is way too short to be uncomfortable for long periods of time.
When you get dressed, do it for yourself as much as possible. I know that uniforms exist and I know that people and their opinions exist, and these can sway your resolve, but even if it's something invisible, like your undies or socks or something fun like that, like dress for you. Do something fun for you.
Use the nice art supplies! Use the nice stationary now! Life is short. Like what you waiting for?
Tech isn't gonna save us sadly. People are waiting for the next revolutionary tech advance to save the planet, save us from starvation in other countries, save us from war. These problems are - not wholly, but mostly - people problems. That is the main issue. It's not gonna be the newest technology that makes the crucial difference and makes everything better, so try and remember to invest your time in people. I know tech is important, I obviously work in and care about tech.
If you can't sleep after a 15 to 20 minutes, get up and do something that's restful, but not sleeping, obviously. Maybe read a book without a backlight or do some like tidying/meditate. It'll help yoy stop feeling horrible and avoid the dreaded tossing and turning.
Make bad art. It can be art that you intend to be good, art that just turns out bad, or it can be art that's intentionally bad. But make bad art, and don't worry about it. The only way to get to good is to be bad. So just make stuff!
Take regular breaks. There's lots of studies about how we can't work more than three to four hours without it concentration suffering, making those extra hours terrible ones for concentration. Take more breaks and be kind to yourself about how much you're working.
If you care about political issues, try and act as locally as you can. Don't even attempt to directly fix a global issue with a global action. Local actions for less overwhelming, they feel less intimidating and they usually are more impactful in the immediate term.
If you wanna tackle a huge project, break it into as many steps you need, until the steps feel possible. They can be the tiniest steps ever - for the video above it could "turn on the camera". And that would be a great start; it's small enough to definitely to be able to get started.
Celebrate as much as possible. Celebrate small things. Celebrate big life-changing events. Celebrate the in-between. Life is short. You may as well make the most of it.
Unless you're part of a vanishingly small minority of people, your life probably isn't exactly what you planned for yourself. It's completely okay. It's normal. You can grieve what you didn't get and what you expect of yourself that you don't have now, but enjoy what you've got. You're alive. You're here. Make the most of that.
I think an important tip, especially online, is you don't owe anyone authenticity. Like you don't owe them personal details like your sexuality or details about the state of mental health. You don't owe them anything that you don't wanna tell them. They're your info, your secrets. If you want to tell them, you can, but you don't have to.
"Remember, this is water". This is from a David Foster Wallace speech. It's a story about how there's two fish and they're swimming along in the water and,another fish passes them and says, "how's the water boys?". After he passes the two fishes turn to each other, and they go, "what the hell is water?" Even if you're surrounded by something, you can sometimes just forget the stuff of it.
This applies a lot of human society, and how we often don't realize how great we have it, even not so great. We forget how awe inspiring and interesting the world. Keeping a sense of awe and gratitude is really important to being happy and healthy.
Let yourself feel your feelings. Like there's a Kimya Dawson song called 'the competition' that goes "I got good at feeling bad and that's why I'm still here". The ability to allow yourself to feel bad feelings and feelings that you don't wanna be feeling is a really important one as an adult.It's being able to regulate yourself and understanding that it'll pass. And even if it doesn't, these are feelings that you can live with, and cope with, and thrive with.
Don't make fun of the way people look or speak. Attack their ideas. You're not gonna hurt the person who you are attacking most of the time, you're gonna hurt someone else who you care about, especially if you do it online.
Focus on what matters. Dream big, act small. Be uncompromising when it comes to things that don't fit your dreams. That makes it sound like I think dreams should neevr change, but you should be flexible about the directions you could take. You never know where you're gonna end up. Be open minded.
Time's gonna pass either way. So just try and try and do the thing you want to do. I know it's difficult because we get scared about time commitments and sunk cost fallacies and all this stuff, but you'll regret not trying more.
A common tip people often say is "seize the day". The full quote is "seize the day, thinking as little as possible of the future". "As little as possible" is the important thing. Don't quit load bearing opportunities if you can think of a way round it; for example, most people need a job to eat, so don't quit willy nilly to follow your passion. Try to think about what you need in order to get to where you're going, and make sure to consider practicalities int that.
Accept your messiness in all its forms. Acceptance is the first part of change; there's a form of therapy called "acceptance and commitment therapy" or ACT, which exemplifies this. If you can't face reality how can you change it?
Decorate your house, whether that be your literal house or your home of your body. Ifd people don't like it, then don't be friends with them. Final point, fuck perfection. Like your haters gonna make good points.
You're gonna make mistakes. You're gonna fumble and that's okay. That's life. The messiness and mistakes will be part of tapestry in the end. You'll be happy that these things happened, or at very least you won't mind, because you tried your best. So try not to beat yourself up.
Thanks so much for learning with me. See you next time. Goodbye world.