When I read ‘10 Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30s’, part of me agreed with the advice…and part of me panicked! I mean, I have about 6 months left before I hit 30 and I guess I have a lot to do! This article was fantastic and gave some great advice about financial matters, personal/professional relationships, self-awareness, health and a whole host of other topics. It is true. The older we get, the less time we have to ‘figure it all out’. But the reality is that sometimes we take things to the extreme. Young people tend to have the ‘I’m invincible’ attitude and take huge risks and forgo planning for the future. Older people have lived life and experienced many things which make them ‘wished they had known better when they were younger’. There should be a happy balance between living a carefully calculated life and living a compass-free life. We think We’re proof of that. So check out these tips for how you too can a more balanced and fulfilled life in your 30’s (even when living abroad):
1. Plan for the Future…But Don’t Plan Too Far Ahead
With no guarantees that the future will even come (or if it does, in what form it will come), it’s important to strike a balance between living in the ‘now’ and planning for ‘the future’. We have been lectured by many people (and even felt the occasional guilt trip from online articles about planning for the future!). There are two main schools of thought on this subject: work hard now, play hard later (later = retirement) OR play hard now, and spend the rest of your life making up for it. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t we have it all?
We’re able to save money for our future, further our careers, travel the world, spend time with loved ones and even start planning for a family. If there is a will, there is a way. And the way we choose to live is to have it all.
2. Be Brave Enough to Do Your Own Thing
In order for us to have it all, it means we have to go against the norm sometimes and create our own way. When we first announced that we were moving to Turkey for our new jobs, so many people said ‘I wished I could do that” or “we don’t have the (time/money/etc.) to do that’. Well, you know what I say to that, you can do it. It’s all about choices. Every one of us prioritizes what is important to us and then organize our actions, time, money, and other resources to make that priority a reality. It is easy to follow the herd, but I applaud anyone who, in their own way, follows their dream and can take the step towards personal fulfillment. It is easy to do what others tell you to do. But it is difficult to accept that not everyone will support your dream–whether it’s who you date, where you live, the job you have, the clothes you wear.
The scariest part of doing your own thing is knowing that no one before you has ever done it exactly how we’re doing it. YIKES! We honestly have no idea if our plans will result in the life we want. We don’t know how these decisions today will affect us in the future…but we have much reason to believe that it will all work out. We’re making educated decisions about it all and finding that balance between a care-free life of college students and a super-responsible adult life (that seems less fun to us).
3. Choose Your Inner Circle Wisely
We find ourselves where we are today because of the company we keep. The first time I heard that we become the people we spend the most time with…I froze. Can that be true? (the answer is yes, by the way). If that’s the case, then I want to be surrounded with open-minded, successful, driven, passionate, caring and loving people. Ethnicity, nationality, religion, profession and hobbies don’t make a difference to us; but your character–who you are and what you stand for–is extremely important.
Our strategy: surround ourselves with people who possess qualities and skills that we dream of having. These are people who are doing things we’re too afraid to do and/or are living a life we wished we had. By surrounding ourselves with these people, we hope that we can draw strength and courage from them and soon make our dreams come true. So one of the wisest decisions we can make for ourselves is to surround ourselves with the people we admire. Some of that good stuff is bound to rub off on us eventually…right?