Turning 30 is a major milestone. For many young adults it comes with mixed emotions. In particular it can be an emotionally challenging time for young doctors, who have spent the whole of their teens and 20s studying, training and preparing for a tomorrow that seems to be getting further and further away.
Many may hope to be married, be property owners or even parents. Few people wish to still be studing for exams in their 30s, but that is the reality for most doctors. Watching your non-medical friends earn good money, be promoted, build families etc, can add a further dimension of frustration.
Below are some of the major life lessons I learned after turning 30.
- Knowledge is power
Somewhat cliché, but I have learned the more you know, the more you can do and achieve. Leveraging your knowledge is the real key to success. Learning and then doing should be life long, but the earlier you learn this, the greater you can be. This is why billionaires like Warren buffet and Mark Cuban still claim to be prolific readers. They are consuming massive amounts of information, which guides their business and investment decisions. This process of learning for self (as opposed to for exams), is a major trait of the successful.
- Nobody will do it for you
If you have a dream, only you can make it a reality, We have all been guilty of procrastination, subconsciously hoping that our challenge somehow just sorts itself out. Sadly this virtually never happens. In todays information age, people spend years researching their dreams rather than taking the first step. This has been termed ‘Research Paralysis’. You have to take charge of your life, shake the fear and take action. Rob Moore, millionair author famously said ‘start now, get perfect later’
- Find fulfilling work
Warren Buffet said you should take a job that you would take even if you didn’t need a job. The true key to real happiness is loving what you do for a living. As you get older and less patient, finding meaningful and challenging work is perhaps more difficult, but becomes more important. My advice is to look early, build a career that compliments your purpose and philosophy.
- The Grass is always greener
Stop comparing yourself to other people. There are several reports documenting the association of social media and depressions, anxiety and low self-esteem in young people. Take it with a pinch of salt. There will be plenty of people who envy your life. Embrace who you are, and run with it.
- Building real friendships
Real and true friends are few and far between. To build real friendships genuinely take work. It takes patients, understanding and sacrifice. You need to go beyond to show your appreciation, perhaps even at your expense (time and money). In todays busy society with social media and virtually anything available immediately, it can be difficult, to build real friendships. But these become the most valuable things in your lives as you get older.
- Living Healthy is priceless
This is a very topical issue. Every day some new diet becomes the must-do. But at the end of the day, true health is about balance. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, keep stress levels down. sleep well, don’t smoke, avoid fast food and get plenty of exercise. These are fundamental principals of healthy living. Even in your 30’s your body will begin to show signs and suffer the consequences of the decisions you made in you teens and twenties. If you want to enjoy life, healthy living is key.
- Love and family
For most this will become the most important thing in your life. All the years of work, exams, meetings etc, suddenly are put in to perspective when you start a family. Happiness, balance, financial stability all become more important than ever. As we live our busy lives and continue to set professional and academic goals, it is easy to neglect personal goals. Don’t! These will eventually be the most significant things in your life. Therefore invest in relationships, spend time on yourself and build a family in the image you have. Don’t sacrifice your personal aspirations for your professional life. The two can co-exist, and balance is key.