I started writing this in 2017. I was one year away from turning 30 and this listicle post was to be an inspiring list of accomplishments I should be looking to achieve or working towards in the coming decade.
3 years later and I’m about to turn 32. I can proudly say I have been working on most of these things without even noticing.
- I continue to work on cutting out bad habits and developing more useful and constructive ones. This is a constant work in progress. I developed healthier eating habits and I now have more favourable feelings toward exercise, but I still like to indulge in donuts or gummies.
- Do not compare your path with others. I learned there is no one timeline that everyone should be on. This was key when my friends were all getting married and having babies on purpose, while I am still trying to navigate dating.
- Curate an inner circle free of negative people but inclusive with positive and driven people. I found my tribe! I found a set of girls who accept me and encourage me and push me to do better and be better and even though I think we’re still at the beginning of our journey of being lifelong gal pals, I love and treasure them!
- Your life is a reflection of how well you know yourself. This was so key because I also believe in building and working on self-awareness and introspection. I am always learning about myself and working on the uncomfortable or newly discovered parts.
- How you invest your time is a reflection of how you invest your money. This is the real work in progress. My goal is to spend more time on learning. Learning a new language, learning data science, learning marketing, etc.
- To be productive, you have to remove distractions. Distractions like YouTube vloggers with super cute kids and interesting podcasts that make them feel like they are actually part of my friend circle, Netflix shows I need to catch up on in English as well as the revolving door of Korean dramas released every month, and the endless constant supply of BTS content available online.
- If you aren’t getting done what needs to get done, there is a fear. This is a fact. I am convinced that this is why I can’t commit to continuing learning Python on Data Camp, why I feel uninspired to sketch any art, why I only hoard the Korean language learning materials and apps instead of actually taking notes and practicing to learn the language, and why I watch all the new shows and movies before I catch up on all the series I’ve now missed too many episodes to be able to reasonably catch up with. We avoid the things we don’t want to do or wonder if we can do at all. To get the work done, you have to confront what’s holding you back. This is also a work in progress.
- The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. Linking back to the last point in self development, without a positive relationship with yourself , every other relationship in your life will suffer. My take on this is because it would never be a genuine connection if you can’t be authentic with yourself about yourself.
- Friendships and relationships are collaborations, not one-way streets. Healthy relationships should make both parties better and I definitely experienced this once I found my tribe. I make sure I do my part to practice active listening while working on being vulnerable and being brave enough to share myself with others.
- A real relationship is built on vulnerability. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friendship, a significant other, or even a business connection, the best exchanges are rooted in some level of vulnerability. This is a real work in progress and significant discovery for me as I’ve realised I’m not comfortable or as good at expressing negative emotions. So I’m working on this.
- Every relationship has its ups and downs. Conflicts and disagreements are inevitable. What matters is how each conflict is resolved. The key is to always maintain a level of respect and allowing both parties to be heard and mutually understood. Part of the reason I think I am not good at the negative emotions from the previous point is my fear of the downs of the relationships and only wanting there to be the ups.
- Your body is your temple, treat it well. So in addition to building the habit of eating healthier meals, I can now say I like to exercise and do not see it as punishment for eating badly. I like lifting heavy weights and I like to see the results of consistent workouts. However, there is a level of catharsis from complaining during the process that helps me get through it.
Career – working on all of these still.
- External rewards are fleeting and unfulfilling. What holds the most value and defines the quality of your life is how many people’s lives you impact for the better. Even in all the many small ways, this is something I experienced in my previous job that by providing statistics and analysis that influential people used for their decision making, I was also making an impact in the lives of many people.
- Believing your own hype is dangerous. You should never lose the childlike sense of wonder that got you started on this path because of pure curiosity. I would add the point about humility going a whole lot further than bravado here as well.
- Somewhere, someone much younger than you is practicing his or her heart out, coming for your spot. Don’t get too comfortable and always keep learning and advancing your skill set.
I love that my thirties started out with so much personal construction and work in progress, and I know it will continue for the rest of this decade of my life. I’ve enjoyed the journey of self discovery and I’m looking forward to gradually molding myself into an even better version little by little day by day.
This is my version of living my best life.