Turning 30 is a major milestone. It’s really the point at which you leave the youthful 20s behind and settle into who you are, and what your life will be about.

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Here are 15 life rules you’ll want to know before you turn 30.

Be Yourself

Hopefully, you’ve already realized this. The older you get, the more you’ll see that being anything but yourself is counterproductive — and no one really cares. Just be yourself. You’ll be happier. What people think of you will become so irrelevant you’ll wonder what you were so worried about.

The Clock Only Goes One Way

This becomes really apparent as you creep up to your 40s. You’re heading into the second half of life, so make the most of the time you have now while you’re young. You’ll only be young once. Make the most of your teen years and your 20s.

Experiences Matter More Than Things

Sure having a new car, TV, Xbox, and iPhone are all really cool. We all like nice things. The older you get, you’ll look back and it’s not the iPhone or the Xbox that you’ll remember — it’s the experiences you had. The places you visited. The people you hung out with. Focus on having more experiences than things and you’ll have a rich life to look back on!

The Golden Rule

Treat others as you’d like to be treated. You’ve probably already learned this, but in your 30s you’ll be a lot more self-conscious about it. You’ll also feel better. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but treating people right, rather than worrying about personal gain or appearance, will leave you feeling better. It turns out that the nicer you are to people, the happier you are.

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Help Those in Need

The older you get, the more sympathy you’ll have. Take every opportunity you can before 30 to ask yourself how you can help someone that needs a hand. You’ll look back fondly on these moments. As time goes on, this will affect you in ways you never thought possible. A simple act of kindness today can catch up with you down the road in the most surprising ways.

Your Health Is the Most Important Thing

Everything you do, and I mean everything, no longer matters if you lose your health. Your health is more important than your grades, that next promotion, the new car — everything. Try to do something every day that makes you a healthier person. Poor health will stop you from having a lot of experiences. Don’t rob yourself of those by treating your body poorly. It gets harder in your 30s.

Lying Only Haunts You

Lies will catch up with you. They’re also extremely unnecessary. Being honest is always the best policy because you never need to remember the truth.  Once you lie, you may need another lie to cover up the first lie. After a while, you’ll need to recall lies from your past, or get caught and feel terrible and embarrassed. The truth, even when painful, will always leave you feeling good at the end of the day.

Money Vs. Time

The big difference is that you can usually get more of one, but only by trading some of the other. Need more money? You can trade in your time and work for it. Need more time? It’ll cost you hours of potential work and dollars earned. The biggest difference is that you can always get more money while time is limited to a certain amount. We don’t know that amount up front, so you’ll want to spend it wisely.

Call Your Mother

It doesn’t matter how busy you are, how old you are, what you’re doing — call your mother. She will be dying to hear from you. Most of us don’t call our mothers enough. There will come a time when you wish you called your mother more, and that time is usually when it’s too late. Pick up the phone, even if you have nothing to say, and call your mother.

Build Bridges, Don’t Burn Them

Sometimes you just want to tell someone to go pound sand. When you’re quitting a job this may be very tempting. If there’s a friend in your group that you just can’t stand, or if you’re not getting the service you require at a business, it’s easy to lose your cool and stick it to them. This is a mistake. The number of times you’ll run into these people later in life is astounding. Quite often, you’ll be in a position where you need something from them. Build bridges; even if it sucks, it could pay off later.

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

People will surprise you. If you count them out simply by looking at their appearance or their status in life, you’re going to miss out on some great relationships. Have you ever met or worked with someone and realized that you had them figured all wrong? This happens a lot more than you think.

Be Open to New Experiences

The older you get, the more difficult it is to be open-minded about new things. We all get comfortable in our surroundings, with the people we know, the restaurants we like to eat at, etc. You’re going to miss out on a whole lot of life if you close the door on some things. Our brain tricks us into thinking the couch is better than what’s outside. These experience are also richer than the ones earlier in life as you tend to appreciate them more.

Life Is Too Short to Ignore Your Dreams

You only go around once, so stop putting off your biggest dreams until later in life. Do them now. Find a way. There’s no prize at the end for working the hardest or making the most money, so you might as well live the life you want to. You’ll regret not following your dreams if you don’t take a chance and at least try.

Forgiveness Is Important

It can be really hard to forgive someone who has hurt you, but carrying around that anger becomes some hefty baggage. You’ll find it a lot easier to go through life not being angry all the time, and learning that before 30 can ensure you’re a whole lot happier. Find a way to deal with it, forgive them, and move on. This doesn’t mean trusting them again, it just means not holding a grudge.

There’s no real key to happiness, it’s just about discovering what happiness means to you and living a life that way. If you can learn the above lessons before 30, you’ll be way ahead of the curve and your future self will thank you. Have fun and enjoy life!


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