Turning 40 has me thinking, what I maybe should have done while I was in my thirties…
1. Love and fully accept yourself
I believe that I would have avoided many wrong decisions in life if I had accepted both the good and bad in myself when I was young. Once you learn to love yourself, you will be able to accept others. This is very important for a healthy relationship.
2. Enrich your soul
If you don’t know what you enjoy or are passionate about, then start trying new things. Try various activities until you find something that gives you a sense of freedom and inspiration.
3. Find support
For quite a long time I was trying to deal with all my problems on my own or with a little help from someone else. Years later, I realized that having friends and relatives who can support you in all areas of your life is very important.
4. Be sincere
Every time I faced some difficulties, I just put on a smiling mask and behaved as if nothing had happened. Only a few close friends knew what I was actually going through. Honesty is the best policy, and revealing your problems to others can make you seem more sincere.
5. Live for yourself, not for others.
I have spent most of my life taking care of others, leaving no time for myself. This made my life much harder than it had to be. Remember, you will never make everyone happy. Stay true to yourself, start making decisions that will make YOU happy, and you’ll be surprised how much easier your life will be.
6. Stop compromising too often
We all have different desires and needs, that is why compromise is an inherent part of a any relationship. But remember, compromise is good as long as it is a mutual agreement. If you always put other people’s needs and desires before your own, it’s time to ask yourself this question: is your relationship really worth saving?
7. Travel more
This is probably my biggest regret. When I was younger and had no children, I did travel. It was amazing. Money allows you to buy things and memories. And you know what? If I had understood this earlier, I would have stopped wasting my money on useless things and would have spent it on traveling. Trips give you a sense of freedom, making you understand how diverse life and lifestyles can be.
8. Worry less
I was constantly struggling with worry and anxiety. Once you realize that worrying serves no purpose, you make your mind accept anything that can happen. You’ll see that things will work out for the best in any case. As soon as I stopped worrying about everything in my life, I found my stress levels dropped dramatically.
9. Stop comparing
Sometimes I think I should quit social media. It’s okay to compare yourself to your best friend, but comparing your life to the glamorous internet lives of someone on Facebook can be downright depressing. Once you begin down that road, you never find an end. You stop only when you realize that such a comparison is a useless thing that does nothing but lowers your self esteem. There are always people out there who appear to be better, smarter, and prettier than me. I accepted this as an obvious thing. When I catch myself comparing my life to someone else’s, I begin listing the things that I’m grateful for in my life immediately. This helps me to redirect my thoughts.
10. Forget about expectations
I’ve always had a bit of «Princess syndrome» in myself. I dreamed about a handsome prince who would take me away to a beautiful castle where we’d live happily ever after. This actually has nothing to do with real life. After my second marriage failed I threw all my expectations out the window and enjoyed it. Once you realize that you can dream about your life without expecting people to be a certain way, you begin to live your life to the fullest.
11. Live to work, don’t work to survive
If I could start over again, I would have tried many different jobs to find one that suits me the most. Once you find a career path that you can follow throughout your lifetime, you understand that «living for work» makes sense. It means to love and respect your own choice. Lots of people are stuck at jobs they hate just to make a living. But the truth is, such a life is not ideal.
12. Save your money
It seems to be common sense to understand this, but I didn’t save money when I was younger. Now I’m looking at my parents who have to live on their pension income and thinking of how I can make myself financially secure in retirement. Life is constantly changing, and there will always be sharp turns and changes. Saving for a rainy day is one of the smartest things you can do with your money.
13. Give back more
I realized later in life that I like to help others. You can do anything you wish to help; you can become a volunteer, donate to charity or just help your close friend out when times are tough. When you do something for others, you forget about your own problems for a little while. Doing this from the heart without expecting any reward, you’ll find your own life improving as well.
14. Forgive yourself and others
For most of my life, I was angry and upset because of what had been done to me, blaming another person for that. Later I realized that my inability to forgive myself and others for past mistakes affects my life strongly. That was when I decided to change myself. Letting go of my past was not an easy task, and it took some time, but the feeling of freedom that I got from doing so was amazing. Let things go, and you’ll find that life is still beautiful.
15. Stop wasting so much time on negative people
Sometimes it’s hard to get rid of negative people if they are your colleagues or family members. But you can always choose the right friends and spend most of your time with them. Setting boundaries to protect yourself from certain people will help you decrease their negative impact and improve your life.
16. «No» is a complete sentence
I’ve always found it hard to say «no.» For me, it would be much easier to say «yes» all the time. But the truth is, trying to make everyone happy is impossible. Each time I said «no,» I tried to justify myself and explain the situation. But the older I get, the more I realize that «No» is a complete sentence that requires no justification. I don’t have to explain why I have refused to do something for someone. If you are confident in your «no,» other people will accept your decision more easily.
17. Think twice before you say «I agree»
I’m divorced. This is hard to admit, but now I know for sure what I want and need in a relationship. It’s easy to get caught up in your own emotions and feelings. I counted the days that we spent together, and I wanted more from my partner, so I thought it was the right decision to accept his proposal. I hoped that things would become better over time. Things did change, but for the worse. If you don’t think your relationship will last, you should ask yourself whether your partner is the right one for you. Ending a relationship is much easier before it gets too serious.
18. Stop and enjoy the little things in life
As technological advances change work and life habits, it becomes harder and harder to disconnect and simply enjoy life. It’s simple. Just wake up early to watch the sunrise or take a break in your daily routine to admire a sunset or starry night. Stop and smell the aroma of flowers. Go to the sea or to the mountains and enjoy nature. As one movie hero said: «Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.»
19. Stop worrying about what others think of you
I wish I knew this earlier! I worried so much about what other people think of me, that I did things that I was not expected to do. As soon as I realized that other people’s opinions don’t really matter, I could choose the right motivation. Be yourself and stop trying to please everyone. This will make your life much easier.
20. Accept changes
When I was younger I wanted things to be predictable and stable. It seemed safer to think that my life would be pretty much the same for many years to come. I was not ready for major life changes. Now I know that the only thing you can count on in life is change. Understanding that sudden changes are inevitable makes it easier to take up the challenge; it’s also a great way to get ready for anything life throws your way.
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