December is around the corner which means my birthday is coming up. This year I will be turning 32 years old. Age 32 is coming with a short life time of mistakes, accomplishments, poor decisions, and prudent choices.
I have been fortunate enough to be married, make an income each day, and generally live a good life. None of this came easy or happened by accident. Some of us are given easier paths to life while others have to deal with obstacle after obstacle.
I have compiled a list of 32 things I learned over the years to commemorate my 32nd birthday which I think can be a good guiding light for readers of this blog.
The 32 Lessons I Learned At Age 32
1. Constantly read a self help book. Personal development is a science in my opinion. It is something that you can fine tune and work on constantly. Without people like Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill, I am certain I would not be successful or content. Always have a self help book on your night stand and travel bag to constantly review even if it is one page a day.
2. Buy real estate as soon as possible but make sure it is well within your budget. Ownership of a home is important. Your money is going towards building equity. When you rent, it goes towards someone else’s pocket. Rent can always increase on you especially if you live in a major city. Your first serious purchase in life should be a home, not a car.
3. Being vegan is a must. As a vegan for 3 years now, my life has changed drastically. I have more energy, I’m healthier, and I don’t contribute to the high degree of animal cruelty that is currently happening in the world. The benefits of veganism are immeasurable. Check out two of my blog posts on the topic: How To Become a Vegan and The Truth About Vegan Men .
4. Get a solid education. Make sure you get a really good degree. Without a good education, making a decent living is virtually impossible today in America. Don’t bother getting a degree in liberal arts. Stick with the hard sciences, nursing, accounting, law, medicine, and anything that cannot really become obsolete due to automation.
5. Remove toxic people from your life. Negative people will weigh you down. They will be jealous of your success and be critical of your minor deviations. Choose the right people to have around you in life.
6. Remember that high school and college are the toughest periods you will face in life. When I look back, high school and college were the worst periods of my life. I think that goes for many people. All of it is temporary.
7. Intern like crazy. Fill up your resume with internships as early as you can. You’ll learn how to interact with people and certainly become more well rounded. There are intangible skills you learn just from being in a position of employment.
8. Have a serious 10-year plan. This is hard to do but figure out what your next 10 years should be like. Keep it realistic. I have a 10-year plan now and work to attaining the success I want each day. Break down your 10-year plan into yearly and quarterly goals so you are always on track.
9. Do 1 thing a day. You don’t realize it but many of us do virtually nothing each day. Start doing 1 important thing a day be it blogging for your company website, getting a task done for your day job that you’ve been pushing off, or simply promoting yourself.
10. Avoid credit card debt. Not all debt is good debt as some may otherwise try and convince you. The last few years I have focused on paying off my credit card debt. That money could have gone towards a retirement plan instead. The amount of interest I have accrued over time is embarrassing. Do yourself a favor and avoid as much credit card use as possible.
11. Never talk politics. No matter who is running the country, more than likely, it will not have an impact on you. There is no reason to try and convince people to agree with your political inclination. Time on this planet is limited. Find ways to connect with people with the end goal in mind of producing a new stream of income, a new contact in your network, or a new donor to your nonprofit or cause. Talking politics will simply get in the way of all of that.
12. Cook your own food. Cooking your own food is cheaper than take out. You know exactly what is going into your food. It is generally healthier than take out as well. You will save a ton of money. $50 worth of take out is approximately 5 meals. $50 worth of groceries can easily stretch you out to 10 meals.
13. This is the greatest time to be alive. You can find any answer you want within seconds. You have indoor plumbing, heating, and a roof over your head. Technology is the most advanced it has ever been. Enjoy this moment of comfort and convenience.
14. Social media is one big ruse. Every post you see on social media from a friend is when they are at their best. Perfection is impossible.
15. You can be ugly and still attract someone. Looks aren’t everything. You should not have a major issue finding a partner as long as you take care of your appearance, do your best to have a decent wardrobe, and keep your gut down.
16. You have to hit the gym. Physical fitness has to be a part of your life. It’ll prolong your health, it’ll make you more attractive, and it’ll make you feel good. No matter how minimal your workout regiment is – you must stick to it. Just make sure you go to the gym and do cardio at a minimum.
17. Take classes in writing and public speaking. I did not realize how much public speaking and writing I do within my career. Even my side hustles require an extensive amount of writing. If you are still in college, take the opportunity to enroll in a writing and public speaking class. These are invaluable skills that will be constantly utilized all throughout your life.
18. Get a side hustle. Aside from the obvious benefits of a possible second income, having a side hustle will ensure your free time is spent on doing something productive. On top of that, you may be able to acquire a new skill. My side hustle is blogging and SEO. I’ve learned how to utilize WordPress, run social media ads, and create massive amounts of content.
19. Don’t overspend on your education. A good education does not have to be an expensive education. Large amounts of student loan debt can be crippling. If you are somehow liquid and can pay for your education fully, why not go to a cheaper school and put the difference you are saving into a Roth IRA instead.
20. The best way to network is through charity. You can meet a ton of new people by joining a charity organization and volunteering. If you are single – don’t join POF. Work at a soup kitchen instead and talk to the people volunteering with you. You are dealing with people who are inherently good since they are giving up their time for a positive cause.
21. Find a higher being in life. I believe that we as people seek out a higher purpose than ourselves. I’ve personally found religion to be therapeutic. Consider learning more about the religions of the world and finding one that suits you. You don’t have to be completely observant but perhaps attending a synagogue or church on a weekly basic can give you more clarity in life.
22. Most people are just as self-conscious as you. You ever look at your reflection everywhere you go to make sure you look presentable? Everyone does that. All of us are self-conscious. It’s easier to worry less about your appearance knowing that others worry about it just as much as you do.
23. Don’t own a television. It is so easy to watch TV for hours on end. That is wasted time. You could be reading a history book instead. By removing TV from your life, you are more likely to spend that unused time on something productive.
24. Keep your phone use limited. Our phones are really needed for 1 thing – emergencies or a specific need to be accomplished.
25. Twitter does not reflect reality. I sometimes go on twitter to see what all of the journalists, tech professionals, and political commentators are saying. What they tout and lose their gaskets over isn’t really a reflection of reality. Don’t letter twitter affect your view of the world. Most of us are basically just trying to get by. If you go on twitter and the headline is making a big deal out of something – that doesn’t mean it should be a big deal to you. Control your own narrative. Don’t let a large corporate tech company pull the strings of your emotions.
26. Speak to people as often as you can. When your at your church, school, or coffee shop and you see a chance to converse with someone normal – do it. You never know what positive outcome could come out of it.
27. Run to an opportunity because it wont be there for long. If there is an employment advertisement on LinkedIn or a weekly discussion event at your local community town hall, move in on it. Its another opportunity to make new income, meet new people, and create your own luck.
28. Find the right spouse. Finding the right partner to life will make your remaining time on this planet all the more easier.
29. Don’t admire people that look wealthy. Being wealthy and looking wealthy are two different things. Just because someone looks like they have a lot of money doesn’t mean that is the case. Wealth is having equity, a large amount of money in your savings accountant, and a fat IRA account. These are things that cannot be worn on a wrist. Don’t admire surface deep richness.
30. Get enough sleep. Being well rested comes with several benefits. You’ll be less stressed and get sick less often. Your weight will be at a healthier level. You wont be running to the next stimulant. Here is a great article on the importance of sleep from Harvard Health Publishing.
31. Success is luck but luck is a result of persistence and hard work. Some people are just straight up lucky. Opportunity just always seems to fall in their laps. As for the rest of us, life isn’t miserable but it isn’t easy either. Success is just a matter of perseverance, making sound decisions, staying consistent, and working hard but smart.
32. Always budget. For most of us, money is a limited luxury. Always have a budget in order. The more money you can save, the more you can invest.
And there you have it. Being 32 years old means you’ve lived long enough to become aware of what actual happiness is and how to achieve it. I hope this list will help. Just to close it off – let’s recap the 32 things I learned by age 32:
- Constantly read a self help book.
- Buy real estate as soon as possible but make sure it is well within your budget.
- Go Vegan!
- Get a solid education.
- Remove toxic people from your life.
- Remember that high school and college are the toughest periods you will face in life.
- Intern like crazy.
- Have a serious 10-year plan.
- Do 1 thing a day.
- Avoid credit card debt.
- Never talk politics.
- Cook your own food.
- This is the greatest time to be alive.
- Social media is one big ruse.
- You can be ugly and still attract someone.
- You have to hit the gym.
- Take classes in writing and public speaking.
- Get a side hustle.
- Don’t overspend on your education.
- The best way to network is through charity.
- Find a higher being in life.
- Most people are just as self-conscious as you.
- Don’t own a television.
- Keep your phone use limited.
- Twitter does not reflect reality.
- Speak to people as often as you can.
- Run to an opportunity because it wont be there for long.
- Find the right spouse.
- Don’t admire people that look wealthy.
- Get enough sleep.
- Success is luck but luck is a result of persistence and hard work.
- Always budget.
Is there a lesson you’ve learned over time that isn’t on this list? Leave a comment below and share with the readers of this blog!