Home > All About ME, Building PEOPLE Relationships, What's in my head now? > 30 Things I’ve Learned in 30 Years

30 Things I’ve Learned in 30 Years

People keep asking me, “what does it feel like to turn 30?” and my response, “It feels the same as I felt yesterday”. In looking back over the ‘years’, I realize the reason I feel the same is because I make it a priority to learn and grown every year. People ask what my passion is – my passion is learning – how to better myself both personally and professionally. So, to share some of the “hard learned lessons…”

1. If you love what you do, don’t strive for balance in your life as you’ll never be happy. Strive to be fulfilled.

2. Marry your best friend. They may have been your “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” first, but if they didn’t become your best friend, the marriage won’t work.

3. Travel. Learning about and engaging with other cultures will not only make you more appreciative of what you have, it will make you more tolerant of other people.

4. Don’t waste time with obligations.

5. There is nothing more important than relationships; whether personal or professional – build them and appreciate them.

6. If you’re feeling unmotivated, watch a TED video. Seriously – it can get you right back up.

7. Learn to be independent; financially and socially. You never know when something bad will happen.

8. If you’re comfortable where you are at, get out! Comfort is death. Only way to grow / better yourself is to get out of your comfort zone.

9. Major in something you find interesting. If you don’t, you won’t learn anything.

10. Seek out mentors. Both professional and personal. Everyone you meet can mentor you in some fashion; open yourself up to their teachings.

11. Everything is sales. Even asking someone out for a date, you’re selling yourself.

12. Trust your gut – but still engage in due diligence. Your gut can be impulsive.

13. Stay present. Granted, I’m not great at this yet, but the few times I can remain ‘present’, I enjoy myself far more than when I’m thinking about tomorrow.

14. People will trust you if you demonstrate your trust for them. If you want to learn about someone or get to know them better, tell them a secret; if you open up to them, there is a far higher likelihood they will open up to you.

15. Embrace innovators – don’t shun new ideas. They may sound crazy, but at some point so did a computer.

16. Don’t settle for a job just to make money. Find something that excites you to wake up in the morning. If you don’t love what you do, you won’t love YOU, and the job won’t last.

17. Don’t invest in companies – invest in people. There is less risk in investing in a start up company where you know the people than there is investing in the stock market.

18. Family comes first. That doesn’t mean that some of your friends have not become part of your family.

19. Always welcome competition; it only makes you try harder.

20. Cut the fat. In your personal life, cut out people who don’t add value. In your professional life, do the same. No one should ride your wave unless they’ve helped to create it.

21. Have goals; but don’t be afraid to stray from them when opportunity arises. You may just be taking a longer path to get to your goal, but what you learn along the way may be more important than achieving the final result.

22. Don’t get into an argument for argument’s sake. It’s a waste of energy – even if you’re a lawyer.

23. It’s just as important to SPEND as it is to SAVE. Reward yourself once in a while, but do so strategically. Budget yourself to put aside money to do 1 thing you love per month or per week (depending on your budget).

24. Get a pet. It not only teaches responsibility, but we all need unconditional love sometimes.

25. Failing is a good thing. After you make a mistake, no matter how small, take a step back and assess what you did wrong. Learn from it. If you can’t figure out what you did wrong, ask someone. Don’t repeat it.

26. KNOW what you DONT KNOW. Admit that you don’t know. You’ll get far further not knowing the answer than giving the wrong answer.

27. Always hold yourself accountable. It sucks when someone calls you out before you call yourself out. This requires self awareness and the ability to admit when you are wrong. People will respect you for it.

28. Be well read. If you don’t like reading books, read the internet. If you don’t like reading books or the internet, listen to books on tape. The more you read, the more you learn, the more you offer to those around you.

29. Know what your natural high is; whether your endorphins get going from exercising or closing a business deal, know what that is and replicate it as needed.

30. If you don’t love yourself, no one else will.

  1. December 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I love this. Especially #20 and “No one should ride your wave unless they’ve helped to create it.” So true.

    • December 9, 2010 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks! Funny b/c as I was writing that line, I was thinking to myself…”I like the way that sounds – I wonder if I’ve heard it before and am copying it from somewhere else?”…but I don’t think I am – go figure.

  2. December 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Wow — how can I add to that list? Great thoughts, Jamie. And Happy Birthday! Here’s another one for anyone thinking about making a career change or starting a business:

    The gap between what you know and what you need to know will be filled many times over by your passion and commitment, but only if you do something you love.

    • December 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks Charlie – I love that line; maybe I’ll blog about that specifically next week and give ya a shout out!!!

  3. December 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Hey Jamie,
    Thank you so much for providing this list and being a source of inspiration. I always love reading what you have to say – straight shooting and full of wisdom. Happy 30th birthday! You seem to have accomplished a lot already.

    The failure, cut the fat and accountability points really struck a chord.

    • December 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you for reading! I’ve accomplished the things I’ve chosen to accomplish; and failed at about the same number of things ( ; It’s just easier to write about the successes – or rather, what I took away from the failures. I think by ‘taking something away’ from a failure – we can turn it into an “accomplishment”. Then again – that could just be me rationalizing OR putting that wonderful SPIN SELL on it that we sales folks can do ( ;

  4. December 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I can agree with some, and not others on your list, but I won’t elaborate as you probably already know which is which.

    But I like self-assessment of it all. I learn things, but I don’t think I am very good at presenting them to a candid world. I think one day I just find myself behaving differently and knowing why, but not being able to say, “I learned this.”

    Nor do I learn something from every experience.

  5. Adam Stewart
    December 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Man, that “ride your wave” quote really hit home with me. Great list. Thanks, Jamie.

    • December 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

      You’re the 2nd person who said that. Hmmmm – maybe I should coin it? Maybe you should write a song about it???? ( ; I’ll take 10%

  6. December 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Brava! And happy birthday. This is a wonderful collection of lessons. I personally liked the “cut the fat” note, but riding the wave is good too.


    • December 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      “cut the fat” was the hardest thing for me personally – but also the best thing I’ve ever done. Learned to put ME TIME first.

  7. Elliot Susel
    December 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Great post – I enjoyed reading this.

  8. December 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Happy (belated) Birthday!

    Seems you’ve learned great lessons–thanks for sharing them with us.

    Ones that stand out for me:

    15. Embrace innovators – don’t shun new ideas. They may sound crazy, but at some point so did a computer.

    17. Don’t invest in companies – invest in people. There is less risk in investing in a start up company where you know the people than there is investing in the stock market.

    24. Get a pet. It not only teaches responsibility, but we all need unconditional love sometimes.

    • December 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      I think 15 and 17 are “biz” faves of mine. Any to add?

  9. Stacey Friedman
    December 17, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Thank you Jamie for taking the time to write this list and SHARE the knowledge, passion and wisdom with the world. I have to admit, each one of them made me say “aha” and at the same time, makes me want to think and reflect. You are a transformational leader, Jam which is the best compliment I can give someone:) Happy 30th!

    • December 17, 2010 at 11:49 am

      People can only become leaders if they have the support and good people around them to push them to be so. Thank you for being a constant inspiration…for I BELIEVE about 2 decades now!

  10. ellen
    December 17, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Putting this all out front is amazing!You hit the high and low points. Your writing is incredible! I have seen you grow up to be a happy, confident, successful and loving person. You have always reached out and let your thoughts be known…..now seeing them on paper, you have reached many more. They are so lucky! I love having you in my life. Thank you.
    Happy 30th!!

    • December 17, 2010 at 11:49 am

      Thanks El! Who would’ve think it, huh? Actually – I think you were the ONLY one ( ; or one of the few of my mom’s friends who appreciated the insanity while I was younger…we’ll see how Emily turns out – remember – “I’m her idol” -hahahaha

  11. December 23, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Dear Jamie, I just read your comment on my blog and came here to see what you had going on here…and this is such serendipity. Would you be so kind as to want to participate in a project called Life Lesson series by me and a friend, Abubakar Jamil. Over 88 bloggers have participated and it’s about their life lessons and you have the perfect post here….Please let me know and I can email you details on the tiny change it’d take to want to participate. And happy birthday – 30 is nothing. Wait til 35 ;)! I think 20s were over-rate and 30s, way under-rated. Greatest decade yet!

    • December 23, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      I’d love to participate in anything you have going on – you’re my fave blog and I have to give a shout out to Jen Gresham as I believe she was the one who pointed me your way. Shoot me an email at Jnachtfarrell@gmail.com and let’s get this party started ( ;

    • December 23, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      Oh – and everyone has said their 30s are better than their 20s…I was born ready, so….

      • December 23, 2010 at 11:45 pm

        You have my answer in your inbox. We are thrilled to have you as a new participant, thanks dear Jamie!

  12. December 24, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Hi Jamie

    Came over from Prolific Living via your comment.
    So that CommentLuv thing does work then. LOL

    Thanks for sharing your secrets.
    My favourite…

    “If you’re feeling unmotivated, watch a TED video. Seriously – it can get you right back up.”

    Those TEDDS videos are fantastic, and as coincidence would have it, my latest post features a TEDDS video that will blow you away… honest.

    If you get a minute, please take a look.
    If you don’t get a minute… have a great Christmas anyway.

    • December 24, 2010 at 5:21 am

      Keith ~ I actually have your blog open now and read the first half of Look For the Shining Eyes earlier in the eve and about 6 minutes into the classical music video, stopped to do “family fun” activities. I’ll be continuing to watch and giving some “comment love” to you as well ( ;

      • December 24, 2010 at 5:26 am

        Thanks Jamie
        Sorry the video is so long.
        Unfortunately… the ending is the best bit.
        I’ve watched it at least 3 times.

        If you don’t shed a tear, you will have to check your pulse. LOL

  13. December 24, 2010 at 5:33 am

    So nice to see the interaction here….Keith, I’ll be watching that Ted video too. And like you, I have been checking out Jamie’s blog too.

    • December 24, 2010 at 5:39 am

      Hi Farnoosh
      Always good to see interaction – only got involved 2 maybe 3 times in interaction on a post.

      The one I really remember was called someting like…

      “Why bloggers make the best lovers”

      It was on Virgin Blogger Notes and you were involved.

      There was lots of discussion about Mr Darcy as I recall.

      The interaction went on for ages…. but not this time.
      I’m off for a haircut.

  14. December 24, 2010 at 6:07 am

    “Cut the fat. In your personal life, cut out people who don’t add value. In your professional life, do the same. No one should ride your wave unless they’ve helped to create it.”

    This is like the summary of the 20s. We make such huge emotional investments on people who will never reciprocate , on projects that will never add value to our lives.

    • December 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      I love the last sentence you wrote; are you going to guest blog about it? ( ; or leave it to me?

  15. December 24, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Jamie, great lessons and thank you so much for being a part of the Life Lessons Series.

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  1. December 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm
  2. December 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm
  3. January 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm
  4. January 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm
  5. March 2, 2011 at 1:06 am

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