A few weeks after his thirtieth birthday, writer and entrepreneur Mark Manson asked subscribers of his blog over the age of 37 to share his life experiences from 30 to 40 years. Combining all the answers, Mark received an impressive sample of collective wisdom.
More than 600 people responded to the request, many of whom sent detailed answers to several pages. Analyzing them, Mark found with some surprise that 5-6 councils sounded over and over again from different people and, in one form or another, hundreds of times. Apparently, it is these few thoughts that accurately describe what happens to a person who has exchanged the fourth decade.
Below are the 10 most common tips from 600 letters sent to Mark - mostly in the form of direct quotes. Some indicated their age and name, some wished to remain anonymous.
1. Start making savings for old age now, without delay.
"I lived up to 30 years, not thinking about anything, but after thirty you have to make a big financial breakthrough. Pension savings should not be shelved. It is necessary to learn how to understand how things like insurance, a pension program and a mortgage are arranged, because now this load lies on your shoulders. "
- Cash, 41 years
The most important advice, which was present literally in every letter sent - immediately start building up your financial well-being to start saving your savings for old age.
To do this, readers suggested taking the following actions:
1. Make your main task to pay off all debts and credits as soon as possible.
2. Create a personal financial "stabilization fund" - thousands of people found themselves without a livelihood due to health problems, lawsuits, divorce, problems in business, etc.
3. Spend part of each salary on accelerated repayment of the loan or save it to a savings account.
4. Refuse frivolous shopping. Do not buy housing until you can ensure the most affordable conditions for you on a loan or mortgage.
5. Do not invest in something that you do not understand. Do not trust exchange brokers.
One of the readers wrote: "If your debts exceed 10% of your salary for the year, this should serve as a serious caution. Stop spending too much, pay off your debts, start making savings. " Another: "I would like to save more money for a rainy day, because unforeseen spending literally killed my budget. And I would like to pay more attention to my pension savings, because for today they are very small for me. "
Some have had major problems in their life due to their inability to save savings after thirty. A reader named Jody regretted that she did not start to save 10% of each salary when she was 30. Her career eventually went downhill and at 57 she still lives from salary to salary. Another 62-year-old woman also did not make personal savings, as her husband earned more than her. Afterwards, they divorced, and all the money received after the divorce, she was forced to spend on solving the suddenly started health problems. She, too, still lives from salary to salary with the prospect of ending days in a nursing home. Another reader said that he had to live with his son’s money, because he unexpectedly lost his job during the 2008 crisis, without having any savings on the account.
All of them converge in one: start to save money as soon as possible and as much as possible. The story of a woman who, in her thirties, having two sons, worked on a low-skilled job, still managed to save money on her pension account. Since she started early enough and successfully invested, she made financial stability for the first time in her life. Her words: "You can achieve anything. You just need to do this. "
2. Begin to take care of your health now, without delay.
"Your mind considers itself to be 10-15 years younger than the real age of your body. Your health will go away faster than you think, and you will not even notice it. "
- Том, 55 years
We all know how to take care of our own health. We know how to eat properly, how to sleep properly, exercise, and so on. But, as in the case of pension savings, the opinion of the elders is always unanimous: become healthy and stay in their old age. This was said by almost everyone who took part in the survey, saying roughly the same thing - what you do with your body has a cumulative effect. Your body does not break down suddenly one day, it gradually subside slowly over the years. In the next 10 years, you should slow down this destruction.
We are not talking about the banal advice "eat more vegetables." Patients with cancer, survivors of heart attack and stroke, diabetics and hypertension, people with aching joints and chronic pain, they all say the same thing:
If I could go back and start over, I would start eating healthy food and doing sports without stopping . Then I found myself an excuse, but did not imagine the consequences.
3. Do not communicate with people who do not like you
"Learn to say" no "to people, actions and obligations that do not have any value for your life."
- Hayley, 37 years old
After appeals to take care of your physical and financial health, the most frequent advice from those who have already lived for the fourth decade was quite interesting: they would gladly return to the past and set up stronger restrictions in their personal lives to conduct more time with good people.
What exactly did they mean?
"Do not tolerate people who do not treat you well. Dot. Do not tolerate them for the sake of financial benefits. Do not tolerate them for emotional reasons. Do not tolerate them for the good of their children or your own good. "
- Jane, 52
"Do not let mediocre people in friends, work, love, relationships and life."
- Sean, 43 years old.
People usually overcome their own limitations, because they find it difficult to offend other people’s feelings or they fall into a trap, wanting to change another person, like him or make him better treat themselves. It never works. In fact, it even makes everything worse. As one reader has wisely observed: "Egoism and personal interests are two different things. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. "
The twenty-year world seems open, filled with opportunities, and the lack of experience forces them to cling to people, even if they do not deserve it. But the thirty-year-olds have already learned that good relations arise with great difficulty, that there are always enough people in the world to be friends with, so there is no reason to waste time on people who will not support us in our life journey.
4. Be good to those who care about you.
"Tragedies happen in everyone’s life, in the family and friends of each person. Be the person you can count on at such moments. I think the interval between thirty and forty years is a decade when with you and your loved ones there begins to be a lot of shit that you could not even think about. Parents die, your spouses die or change, children continue to be born, friends divorce ... The list has no end. You can not imagine, probably, how much you can help a person at that time, just having been with him, listening to him, not judging. "
- Rebecca, 40 years old
Accordingly, urging to strengthen personal boundaries before those whom we do not want to let into our lives, many readers are advised to spend more time with those friends and family members who are really close to you.
5. In total you will not achieve anything - focus on what you are really good at.
"In life everything is built on compromises. You sacrifice one thing to get another, and you can not get both together. Accept this. "
- Eldry, 60 years old
Twenty years old full of dreams. They are sure that they have all the time in the world. I myself had a lot of illusions about my site in my twenty - that it would become only one occupation of many. How could I know that most of the next ten years I will have to spend to become sufficiently competent in this field? And now, when I have acquired the necessary competences, I have tremendous advantages, I love what I do, so why should I leave all this for the sake of something else?
"In a word: focus. You can achieve more in life if you focus on doing one thing very, very well. "
- Erickson, 49 years
Another reader: "I would advise myself to focus from the past on 1-2 goals / desires / dreams and work hard for them. Do not be distructed". And one more: "You must accept that you can not do everything. To achieve something in life, you will have to sacrifice much. "
Some readers have noted that most people choose their careers at the turn of the twentieth century, and like many other elections made, this often turns out to be wrong. It takes years to find something that we really do well and bring pleasure. But it’s better to focus on your main merits and bring them to the maximum year after year than to succeed half in something else.
"I would tell myself thirty years to drop what other people think and determine my natural advantages, my passion, and then build my life around it."
- Sarah, 58 years old
Some people will be worth the big risks even at the age of thirty. This can mean the destruction of a career, the construction of which has already spent 10 years of life, the loss of income for which they worked and to which they are already accustomed. Which leads us to the point...
6. Do not be afraid to take risks, you can still change.
"Although by the age of 30 most believe that they should stick to the chosen path, it is never too late to start everything from the beginning. Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen people who are most sorry for their decision to leave it as it is, although they thought it was wrong. These are such quick ten years of life that turn days into weeks, weeks into years. And at the age of 40 they found themselves in the midst of a mid-life crisis, without taking anything at all to solve the problem that they were aware of 10 years ago. "
- Richard, 41
"I regret most of all that I did not do."
- Sam, 47
Many people noticed that society requires us to "decide" by the age of 30 - with a career, family status, financial situation, etc. But this is not true. In fact, dozens of sent messages literally begged not to allow the public expectations from the "adult person" to stop you from taking risks and start everything from the beginning. "
"I will soon be knocked 41, and I would tell myself thirty years: you should not lead your life in accordance with ideals that you do not believe. Live your own life, do not let anyone control it. Do not be afraid to put everything on the map, you have the strength to create everything anew. "
- Lisa, 41
Many readers were united by the decision to change their careers after thirty and the subsequent improvement of their lives. One of them gave up a highly paid job as a military engineer and became a teacher. Twenty years later, he calls it the best decision in life. Asking my mother’s question, I received the answer: "I would like for me to think more non-standard. Your father and I made up something like a plan: to do one thing, then another, then the third, but looking back, I understand that we should not have done it at all. We have judged too narrowly about our life, and I regret this a little. "
"Less fear. Less fear. Less fear. Next year I will be 50 and I just now learned this lesson. In 30 years, fear was the poison driving force of my life. He incredibly negatively influenced my marriage, my career, my self-esteem. I plead guilty to worrying about what people say about me. Thought that I could fail. Worried about the consequences. If I could live this time again, I would risk more often. "
- Aida, 49 years old
7. You must continue to grow and develop.
"You have two assets, the loss of which you can not make up: your body and your mind. Most of them stop developing and work on themselves after 20. Most of the thirties are too busy to worry about self-development. But if you are one of the few who continue to learn, develop their thinking and take care of their mental and physical health, by the age of 40 you will be ahead of your peers in the light years. "
- Stan, 48 years old
If someone can change at thirty - and must continue to do so - then he must work on himself to become better. Many readers noted that the decision to sit down at the desk again at the age of thirty is one of the most useful actions that they did. Someone signed up for courses and seminars. Someone first started their business or moved to another country. Someone started visiting a psychologist or began to practice meditation. "
"Your goal number 1 should be the desire to become the best person, partner, parent, friend, colleague, etc. - in other words, grow as a person. "
- Emilia, 39 years old
8. No one understands what he is doing. Get used to it
"If you have not died yet - mentally, emotionally or socially - you can not predict your life for 5 years ahead. It will not go the way you expect. So stop thinking that you can plan ahead, stop being tormented by what is happening now, because everything will change anyway, and overcome the desire to control the direction of your life. True, fortunately, you can take advantage of a bunch of chances and do not lose anything - you can not lose something that you have never had. In addition, your sense of loss is the fruit of your thinking, which will weaken over time. "
- Thomas, 56 years
One of the lessons I learned from summing up my 20th anniversary was that no one understands what he is doing. Judging by letters from forty-year-olds, this rule continues to work and at a later age - in fact, it works forever.
"Most of what you consider important now, will look absolutely unimportant in 10 or 20 years, and there’s nothing wrong with that. This is called "development". Just try not to take yourself too seriously. "
- Simon, 57
"Contrary to the feeling of your own invulnerability that accompanies you this decade, you do not know what will happen - and no one knows. Although it bothers those who cling to permanence and security, it gives freedom, once you realize the simple truth: everything is constantly changing. In the end, truly sorrowful times can come. Do not stop the pain and do not avoid it. Sorrow happens in everyone’s life, it is the result of an open and passionate soul. Appreciate it. First of all, be kind to yourself and others, because life is a wonderful journey, which is getting better. "
- Prue, 38 years old.
«I’m 44 and I’d like to tell myself that I’m thirty, that by the age of forty my life will be filled with stupid things, diverse, but stupid ... So, thirty years old, do not judge me down. You still do not know anything. And this is good".
- Shirley, 44 years old.
9. Invest in your family - it’s worth it.
"Spend more time with your family. As you grow older, your relationships change, and the way they change will depend on you. Your parents will always see you as a child, until you show them yourself as an independent adult. All grow old. Everyone dies. Use the time allotted to you to build the right relationship and enjoy your family life. "
- Cash, 41
I was filled up with letters about the family and stunned by their strength. The family is a new big topic for our next decade of life, because it begins to concern us on both sides. Your parents are getting old and you need to think about how you will communicate with them as an adult. And you need to think over the construction of your own family.
Most agree that it is necessary to leave all grievances and problems with parents in the past and learn how to interact with them. One reader wrote: "You are too old to blame your parents for any of their own shortcomings. At the age of 20, you could just run away from home. At thirty - you are an adult. Really. Be above that. "
Then each of us faces the next question: do we have a baby or not?
"You do not have time. You have no money. You must first make a career. It will end your familiar life. Stop it ... Children are great. They make you better in everything. They force you to go beyond your possibilities. They make you happy. Do not delay the birth of children. If you have not done it before 30, now is the time. You will never regret."
- Kevin, 38 years
"Correct" time for children will never come, because you have no idea what it is until you try. If you have a good marriage and environment for education, strive to get them as soon as possible, it will give you a lot of joy. "
- Cindy, 45 years old
The consent between the spouses, apparently the main thing, on what marriage is held, provided that you have a healthy relationship with the right person. If not, see point 3.
But interestingly, there are a lot of similar letters:
"Everything I’ve learned in the past 10-13 years is just the next ... bars, women, beaches, drinks, clubs, trips to other cities, because I have no responsibilities other than work ... I would give every memory of all this for a good woman who would truly love me ... and maybe a family. I would add that it is better to grow up really and start a family than to succeed in work. I’m still enjoying life a little, but sometimes at the next party I feel like a guy who keeps coming to school after finishing it (like Matthew McConaughey in the movie "High and in a state of confusion"). People around me fall in love and build relationships. "All" my peers are now married, and many - not just once! Being constantly lonely sounds cool for all my married friends, but no one should choose this path in their lives. "
- Anonymous, 43 years old
"I would tell myself to stop looking for a prince on a white horse and be grateful for a relationship with a good, smart guy who really cares about me. Now I’m alone and, it seems, I’m already late to do something about this. "
- Farah, 38 years old
On the other hand, several letters expressed the opposite view:
"Do not feel obliged to have a family and children if you do not want it. What makes one happy does not make everyone happy. I decided to remain a bachelor without children and still live a rich and happy life. Do what’s best for you. "
- Anonymous, 40 years.
Conclusion: although the family is not something that is absolutely necessary for happiness, most people find that the family is always worth the effort they put into it, of course, provided they have healthy and harmonious relationships in it.
10. Be kind to yourself, respect yourself.
"Be a little selfish and do something good for yourself every day, something else - every month, and something wonderful - every year."
- Nancy, 60 years
This item was rarely highlighted in the readers’ letters, but, one way or another, was present in almost every one of them: treat yourself better. Almost everyone said this in one form or another. There is no one who cares or thinks about you as much as you yourself. Life is difficult, so learn to love yourself now, because later it will be harder to do.
Many used the old cliche: "Do not waste your energy on the little things of life." Sixty-year-old Eldry wisely noted: "When faced with another problem, ask yourself, will the result be significant in 5 or 10 years? If not, spend a few minutes on it and live on. " Most readers agree with the simple rule of accepting life as it is, with all its imperfections.
Which brings us to the last quotation from Martin (58 years old):
"When I was forty, my father told me that I would like to be forty, because at twenty you think you know everything, at thirty you understand that it is not so, and at forty you can finally relax and just accept things as they are. In my 58 I want to say that he was right. "