I’ve been meaning to put together a list of things I’ve learnt before I turn thirty this November. In my 20s, I was able to achieve a lot of things, I’ve written 4 books, built 5 businesses, 3 failed 2 went really well, travelled the world, given thousands away to charity, donated a house in a village, trained over 1,000 people and bought my own house. I’ve discovered a few gems I’ve learnt along the way and I will share with you what they are in this post.
The purpose of this post is to show you some of the major things that I’ve learnt in my life before I turned thirty. These are the major things that have really made a huge difference to my life in a positive way. Some of the things will be about the lessons I’ve learnt along the way.
No matter what your age is, I hope some of the things I share with you in my post will provide you some “shortcuts” in achieving whatever it is you want.
So here it goes, my list of things I’ve learnt before turning thirty years of age.
1. Follow your passion.
When I was working as a software developer in my early 20s, I learned that I spent nearly my entire life in school and studying really hard to finish all my exams and assignments. All this ended up landing me a job as a software developer, something I’ve wanted since the start of my studies.
I remember sitting in a cubicle, writing code, grey walls, grey desk, grey computer, next to me, were sitting grey haired people. I hated it. I really did. It was that day, I thought to myself that if I were to spend the next 30 years of my life there, I would of wasted it completely, sure I would of increased my income, maybe bought a bigger house, paid the bills but that would pretty much be it, oh and maybe get a few bonuses and 2 week vacations here and there.
It was then I decided to go after my dreams and start my own web design business. I handed in my resignation and started my first web design company. It was a really rocky start, I had no idea what I was doing however, things just fell into place. I started getting my OWN clients, I was finding my own projects and charging my own prices. I didn’t have to answer to a boss and I was able to work from home. I was working harder on my business than I was at my original job but I loved it completely. I generated several thousands of dollars from that business online and offline. I built websites for government, education, mining and financial sectors. It was fun and extremely rewarding. That was when I discovered that you should always follow your passion because it always leads to something good.
2. Learn to manage your money.
When I was around 22, I was completely broke. No money, no savings and nothing in the bank. It was then I realised the importance of managing my money.
It was until I was away for a weekend when I only had $20 to last me for 4 days. As a result, I had to borrow money from my girlfriend who kept paying for everything. I felt rotten and then as a result of all of that, I realised that I needed to change something in my life.
I realised that if I were to continue being ignorant about managing my money, I would continue to be broke and struggle for many years. After that painful long weekend away, I immediately made the decision to save a percentage of all my earnings into an envelope. I would force myself to not spend it even if I’m tempted to do so.
Little did I know, that small tiny action compounded and I eventually saved up a huge sum of money. I also became more secure with money and knew that I always had enough to cover my bills and other things. It was a huge weight off my mind. It was then I learned that it’s extremely important in life to manage your money on a regular basis.
3. Learn how to set goals and achieve your goals.
Early on, I started listening to many audio cds and tapes from various successful personal development experts such as Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Og Mandino and Zig Ziglar.
While I went for my morning walks around the lake, I used to play these tapes on my music player and just listen. One key topic that got my attention was the ability to setting goals. I knew about goal setting in the past, however I never really understood the power behind setting goals.
The main idea behind goal setting is this: you make a specific goal, set a date, make a plan for it and work every single day towards that goal. When I first heard this, I was a bit skeptical because it seemed so easy, however I tried it on a few things. I made really small goals such as recording a video and have it featured on a popular productivity site.
I made a goal to ride my bike from the city all the way to the mountains. I made a goal to simply find a client and get paid for doing the work. After achieving several goals, I started increasing my goals and making them bigger. Years later, I was able to achieve my bigger goals such as travelling the world and buying my own home. None of this would of been achievable if I never started setting goals. Learn to set goals and achieve them. It will change your life forever.
4. Take more action in your life.
When I first started reading about personal development and success, I was learning several ways to do this and that. I used to learn all there was about websites, internet marketing, business building, accounting… everything. There was so much information out there and it felt like an information overload.
Several years later, I realised that all I was doing was simply learning, that’s it. I realised that you can’t learn your way to success, in order to get results, you need to take action. Whenever you take action, you ALWAYS get results, be it positive or negative, you ALWAYS get results.
If success comes from only information, all librarians would be rich. It was then in the later years, every idea I came across, I would implement and FINISH it. Sometimes it generated money, sometimes it didn’t but the most important thing was that I took action and got a financial result. If you want to improve your results in life, you need to take action every single day. It’s the most basic principle of all, this “secret” will be rediscovered time and time again but it’s a success principle that never changes. Take more action.
5. You must read books on success and personal development.
If you’re starting out, it’s a really good idea to go to the local library and introduce yourself to the powerful authors out there such as Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Og Mandino, Maxwell Maltz, Napolean Hill. As Og Mandino used to say “These people are waiting for you tonight, they are waiting to guide you and help you achieve success”.
I’ve built my own library of successful authors and continually read more and more every day. I’ve discovered the power behind the compounding effect. For example, if you were to read over 100 books on success, would you think that would give you an advantage over someone who didn’t read those 100 books? You bet it would. The strange thing I find is that most people complain about the lack of money they have but they never think about going to the library and reading a book on money, it’s completely free and doesn’t cost them anything. Anyway, I can not stress the importance and benefit reading books on success and personal development has done on my life.
6. Apply the law of attraction in your life.
You’ve seen “The Secret”. You already know about this law. However I must admit, no matter how hyped up the movie is and also how much this “Law of Attraction” has been abused in today’s world, I must admit, the law of attraction is alive and well.
It never ceases to amaze me how powerful this law is. I would say that about 80% of the time I write a goal down on paper, several months later, I seem to achieve it without even remembering I’ve written it down. For example, I recently wrote a book with Brian Tracy “Counter Attack” and before when I got the opportunity to write with him, I wrote a goal down on a piece of paper “Write a book with a high profile author/speaker” and that was only 3 months prior to writing a book with Brian. Nearly all of the things I’ve achieved so far was a result of writing down my goals and attracting the opportunities and circumstances my way. The law of attraction is alive and well.
7. In every disappointment, there is always opportunity.
This secret never lets me down. Every time I encounter a certain problem or a major setback, I find that an opportunity always arises out of it. At the time, it feels like utter crap but in a way, it forces you into a better position than you were before.
For example, if you were ever fired from a job, you’ll most likely find a bigger and better one. If you started broke and frustrated, this is an opportunity to do better in finances. If your car breaks down in the middle of the road and you miss an important meeting, something usually happens that leads to something else more positive. Of course, sometimes this secret may not work as often but I know for a fact that when I look back of all my major setbacks, they all provided me an opportunity to learn, grow and move forward with better opportunities. For example, if I started out in a job I absolutely loved, they paid me extremely well, the environment was fun, the work was rewarding, I would of never left the company and therefore never started my own businesses and ventures. I would of never bothered improving myself through books and education and would remain com placement.
8. Decide what it is you want.
One major thing I discovered in my 20s is the simple power of deciding what you want. A lot of people I know don’t know what they want therefore they are highly unlikely to achieve anything worthwhile.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you have to really decide whether you want to really lose weight. I know it sounds weird but when you decide to lose weight, every time you are tempted to eat a piece of chocolate or grab that burger, you make a decision, put on weight or lose weight. Same goes with writing a book.
If you always wanted to be an author, you need to decide that you will write a book by the end of the year. Once you’ve made that decision, from that day forward, all irrelevant time wasting activities such as Facebook, TV, Computer Games either move you forward towards writing your book or backward. I’ve learnt that the starting point of achieving anything worthwhile in your life needs to start with an honest decision, do you want to do it, or do you not want to do it?
9. Take responsibility for your life.
I have to thank Jim Rohn for this one for I’ve learnt that you can not change life. Things will always change, the government will change, situations will change, everything around you will change.
Whether you welcome these changes or not, no matter what you do, you can not change circumstances, you’re given what you’re given. However the only thing you can change is yourself and how you react to these events.
For example, when I nearly weighed 90kgs, for many years, I used to blame my friends, my family, mcdonalds, burger king, cheap prices of unhealthy foods and expensive prices of healthy foods, my genes, the location of where I live (it’s close to restaurants), big bones and everything else. I blamed everyone and everything else as the reason for my overweight issue. Then until one day, I looked at myself in the mirror and finally discovered that it wasn’t everyone else who made me fat, it was me, it was my choices. After going through a bit of trauma that being fat was MY fault, I found that if it’s to be, it’s up to me.
So I took responsibility and changed myself. If I were to end up in restaurants, I would eat half my meals and leave the rest. If I were to have dinner with friends, I would watch what I would eat and not take given food. If I were to feel tempted to drink soft drinks, I would swap it for a better option. If I felt tired to go to the gym, I would force myself to go anyway and get on that bike.
After taking responsibility in my life for my health, I managed to go from 90kgs to 68kgs in only 8 months. However, after 8 months of hard core training at the gym, nothing else changed on the outside, my friends were the same, my family was the same, McDonalds was the same, the only thing that changed was myself. Take 100% responsibility for your life.
10. Your time is limited, use it wisely.
Finally I would like to leave you with a small thought. Did you know that work will take up about 80% of your life? Imagine if you changed your work to something you were really passionate in doing?…..
There is quite a large number of other things that I’ve also learnt before turning 30 but I thought I would just list the main ones here for now.
I hope you found this list useful, please share with us what you’ve learnt before turning thirty.
- Khoa Bui