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What 40-year-old Me would tell 30-year-old Me

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

Yes, I turned 30 years some time ago :)

Here are some things my 40-something-year-old self would say to my current 30-something-year-young self; these are very personal, and apply to me dearly - I hope that you can relate to some of these things and find them useful (or entertaining).

1. Don’t let your emotions get in the way. Although all emotions are valid, they are not real. They are created by your thoughts. They are created internally. They are valid, but not a reality. Emotions are there to teach you something about yourself and make you a better person. Don’t lock yourself in that prison of emotions. Get out. Free yourself from what doesn’t exist.

2. Don’t stress about the future you can’t predict. All you have is now. You don’t know what the future will bring - who would be there, who won’t be there; where you would be living; who you would be with; what kind of opportunities would show up along the way.

We certainly did not predict Covid-19 to appear in the middle of what seemed to be yet another winter, and changed the way that people lived and countries operated.

We don’t know what the future will bring. Just let it go and don’t dwell in the thought of the future. Instead, work on growing confidence in yourself so that you have the trust that whatever future brings you would be able to deal with them, one by one. And trust. Trust that you will be OK.

3. Don’t stress about work. In fact, don’t work so hard.

I say this, only because I know I'm can be workaholic. If I were rather lazy, I would probably advise me to work harder ;) Your job or work doesn’t define you.

It will all unfold in time. Just keep doing your best, make sure to be patient, take care of yourself and those around you so that you practice non-violence to yourself, as well as to others (not just physically but mentally and emotionally).

Keep examining your motives for doing what you do, and make sure it doesn’t get out of hand at the cost of your health, relationships, and enjoying life. And did I already say, be patient. What you do every day makes what you do in life.

How you show up every day makes who you are in character.

Do your best, and as Dori said, “just keep swimming”.

4. Find mission in everything that you do.

Life isn’t about one grand mission - but to find mission, purpose and meaning in everything that you were given to carry out. So be thankful - and find meaning and purpose in everything.

5. Take care of yourself before anything.

Take care of your health, energy levels and attitude before you take care of anything else, because if you’re not healthy, have low energy and negative attitude, you can’t be creative, you can’t be productive, and you can’t create value or help others as much as you would like to, as your full being can’t be there.

Also, you deserve some pampering - your mind and body deserve to be taken care of. Don’t wait till you feel physically or mentally exhausted. Sleep. Rest. Don’t abuse your body. Don’t deprive yourself of joy, R&R and pleasure.

Trying to be too good or perfect isn’t always good, as it makes you rigid. What is “good” or “perfect”, anyway? - many times those are your perceptions and opinions.

Be nice to yourself.

Be good to yourself.

Give yourself what you need.

Give yourself lots of love.

6. Accept others’ choices and life.

To each their own. Everyone has their own logic, thought processes, opinions, past experiences and values in choosing to do what they want to do. Respect their choices, and voice it in a mature, kind and gentle manner when some of their choices bother you, create inconveniences, or even worse, is harming you, others or the world.

7. Help people FEEL good about themselves. AKA LIFT them UP!

When you think something positive about someone - express your thoughts to them. Let them know that someone thinks good about them. It makes them want to be better.

Positive reinforcement is a very strong motivator that sticks.

Focus on their feelings when they are around you, and forget about their thoughts or opinions about you. Changing their thoughts and opinions may seem easier and more direct at the moment, but it won’t last long.

The effect of how you make them FEEL around you will last much longer, and it will make them want to be around you. You will be able to build positive, uplifting, encouraging, and supportive relationships with them. And it will encourage them to be the good person you view them to be!

So lift them up. Let them see their own good side.

Help them feel positive in your presence.

8. Remember that everyone's winging it.

I remember when I was doing my undergrad, I looked up to the Master's students thinking "oh, they are so grown up, and they're going to think I'm dumb if I open my mouth."

I also remember when I've completed my Master's, I still felt lost.

I remember looking at 28 year olds, thinking, they're so old and mature.

I also also remember being 28, and not feeling so mature, all the while looking at 40 year olds like they must've figured everything out. Now I know that is probably not true.

The truth is .. nobody has figured it out.

If they say they have - well, it's their opinion.

They might even look back at their own life and think - what the heck was I thinking, saying I've figured it out - that I knew nothing.

People may have their opinion on where they fit in, in this world.

People may even have their opinion on where you fit in, in this world.

But the truth is, we're all just winging it.

Nobody's lifestyle is better than the other.

Nobody's working style is better than the other.

Nobody's better than you.

Nobody's less than you.

We're all just winging it.

It's all new to us - today has never happened before.

Although, I may mistakenly, and arrogantly think that it's not, sometimes.

But it would be wiser for me to look at everything with a fresh perspective, with a beginner's mind -

to learn from everyone,

to accept everyone,

to see everyone's value in the world,

to not be intimidated by anyone

'cause I know, that they're winging it too.


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