30: What I’ve learned

Writing

29 September/Posted by aaronplaat

Reading Time: 5 minutes

1. Talk with your family

Your family is your role model for your other relationships. Your family relationships can be the source of love, pain, or differences – it is entirely what you make of them. Strong relationships don’t happen without regular communication. Call home.

2. Get sh*t done

Your 20’s are a decade-long learning lesson. The best resume is one that’s full of substantiated experience, projects, and skill sets. Take the time to acquire unique skills that set you apart from others in the workforce.

3. Forgive

I don’t like holding a grudge anymore than I like breaking #14. They’re toxic, unhealthy, and cause you more damage than the person you’re holding it against. Forgive quickly and mean it.

4. Give to the poor

Food. Money. Leftovers. Your ‘extra’ is a treasure to somebody with lessor means than you hold. Even the smallest gesture can go a very long way when you give from your heart.

5. Get a tattoo

I see lots of posts talking about how much you’ll regret your tattoos later on in life. I disagree. Getting a tattoo is a form of radical acceptance of long-term commitment. Accepting commitments is a valuable personality trait, and will be appreciated by others.

6. Become a regular

Being a regular at a coffeeshop, bar, or restaurant is a really simple way to feel like you’re at home when you’re away from home. I treasure places like The Sea Star, because it’s a place where I know I’ll always run into a friend (or a party next door) when I visit.

7. Make your bed in the morning

Surprisingly simple. Making your bed in the morning helps provide a feeling of accomplishment. It sets your mind to “get things done” mode, instead of leaving messes behind you.

8. Healthy eating

Eat well. Feel well. It’s a wise investment to take the time to find quality sources of food, free from artificial ingredients, genetically modified materials, and pesticides. Your body will thank you when you’re cancer-free in your 50’s.

9. Morning routine

I’ve spent the time creating a morning routine I follow, every single day. Because the routine is so consistent, it’s become enjoyable to wake up and go through the motions. Sprinkle in time to process your gratitude, tasks, and memories of people you love.

10. Call people by their name

I’ve heard it said that calling somebody by their first name is the highest compliment you can give them. I agree. It’s a small gesture that says “I care enough about you to remember – and call you by – your first name.”

11. Put your phone down

Life happens outside of your apps and your phone is a lessor version of the binky. Instead of texting, take the time to make a phone call, FaceTime, or have a face-to-face conversation with the people you care about.

12. Reflection time (daily)

One of my favorites. I have learned to spend an hour or two, daily, thinking. The dedicated time allows me to think about my past, present, and future. It’s a healthy time to hit the pause button on your external stimuli and make conscious decisions about your life.

13. Travel

Traveling can be a trip across the world, or a walk outside your front door. Seeing new places, people, and cultures is absolutely priceless. Don’t push it off until you retire. That day may never come.

14. Stay regular

It’s great for your digestive health, as well as your comfort levels. Poop when you need to and get over your phobia of using public restrooms. You’ll feel so much better – all the time.

15. Learn public transportation

Especially handy for travel, it’s important to know how to get around a city by way of public transportation. This includes learning how to read maps, travel schedules, transfer rules/options, and running hours.

16. Get rid of things

It’s really liberating to slim down your possessions and do a routine cleaning to give things away, or pitch them. Letting go of things has helped me appreciate the things I’ve consciously decided to keep around.

17. Nail breakfast

If you have to learn how to cook – and nail – one meal, should be breakfast. It’s simple to learn, universally loved, and makes for an incredible start on your weekends. Once you’ve nailed breakfast, serve it regularly to your friends for brunch and mimosas (#29).

18. Find mentors – thank them

“If I appear taller than others, it is because I’ve stood on shoulders of giants” is a favorite quote of mine. Find several mentors in your life that can guide you on your life journey. Regularly stop and thank the time to show them gratitude, and clearly articulate what it is that you’re thankful for.

19. Buy Allbirds

This is my latest revelation. I love putting on my Allbirds, every time I wear them. I really appreciate knowing I can put on a well-made pair of shoes (not made by children) that feels as comfortable as a slipper, performs like a sneaker, and looks great in…everything. It’s like having a binky for your feet.

20. Come face-first with poverty.

Whether it’s visiting a 3rd world country. or having a seat on your park bench, come face to face with somebody who suffers from poverty or homelessness. Spend the time getting to know their name, build conversation, and laugh. Then laugh some more. You’ll see the things that matter most.

21. Ask “how are you”

Don’t be afraid to ask a friend, co-worker, or stranger how they’re doing – and be sincere about how you ask. You’ll find a lot of friends you never knew you had when you are the first to engage in authentic conversation.

22. Love your coworkers / job

The secret to dominating every Monday is looking forward to them as much as your Saturday. Recognize that your job is a vital part of your personal life, as it’s the backbone that allows it to happen. Being yourself in front of your coworkers is the first step in inviting them to do the same – which creates a healthy work environment you’ll look forward to returning to.

23. Invest in your friends

Plan regular events with your loved ones. On the same token. invest in yourself when you need to hold space away from the social scene. Creating a strong, authentic tribe of friends/family is a pillar of peace and well-being.

24. Know what you want

Have a good answer for the question “What do you want to do with your life” – then be prepared to work for it, taking time along the way to have checkpoints to review your progress.

25. Write letters

In a world of 150-character newsiness. a letter goes a long way to a loved one. It doesn’t have to be short, long. or anything in between; it just needs to come from your heart.

26. Listen

I don’t get smarter when I speak. Learning this truth helped me listen more to what others are saying. A great exercise to help pay attention to others is to pretend that at any point in the conversation, they may stop and ask you to repeat their last few words. Try it.

27. Dance

Dance is the movement of escaping your body and letting your heart connect to something – far greater than yourself – through your motions. I’ve found that dance helps me ‘dance’ my way through other parts of my life; making the journey much more enjoyable and fun.

28. Drink champagne regularly

My favorite sound is the sound of a champagne cork popping. Champagne makes every occasion a special one. Bringing a bottle is always a welcome gesture to any party.

29. Buy a robe

Invest in a high quality robe (or several) and wear them frequently. They’ll put a smile on your face and make your morning routine (#9) something you look forward to every day.

30. Make eye contact

Look others in the eye when you speak. Looking away frequently during a conversation makes you look unengaged, disinterested, and uncomfortable. It goes a long way to others when you hold appropriate eye contact and convey mutual nonverbal respect.

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