Thirty Things I Learned Before 30: Learning along the way and getting past being "young" - Reginald Parks
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Thirty Things I Learned Before 30: Learning along the way and getting past being “young”

Thirty Things I Learned Before 30: Learning along the way and getting past being “young”

By no means am I an expert at life. I would like to start with that disclaimer, because that is a known fact. I am simply writing about things I have learned in these initial 30 years of my life that I will take into the subsequent years. These items are things that I have seen as important to me and that I believe may be helpful to others as we all continually maneuver the game of life. I have learned so many things over the years, and a lot of which has molded me into the man I am now and allowed me to grow. In life, as we all know, we all make mistakes. The key to all mistakes and experiences is to learn from them and to take important lessons out of each pivotal moment in life.

I have categorized some of the things that I have learned into very crucial parts of life and how we approach things. Check out my list as I am sure you may align with me on a lot of the things that I have learned in these first 30 years.

 

When It comes to Goals (3)

  1. Do not let anyone deter you from them
    • Following your dreams is an action, and not a hypothetical list of things you want to complete or do. Make sure to let no man or woman stand in the way of what you plan to do in life.
  2. Focus on them, and aggressively attack them daily. Evaluate them yearly. (Education, Financially, etc.)
    • Verbally state what you are looking to accomplish as much as possible. Write things down and aggressively make sure that each and everything you do aligns with those goals. If it does not, you are only wasting your own time.
  3. You are the master of your fate.
    • Fraternal life taught me several poems, this segment of one is so true. You truly control your own destiny. The worst person in life to lie to is yourself, so make sure that you are living up to your own expectations as you focus and attack the goals that you have set for yourself.
    • At the end of the day, or in our case when our days are done, you will be held accountable for your decisions, pursuit of dreams and more. Do not let anyone else control what you accomplish or lack thereof.

 

When it comes to Relationships (5)

  1. Only keep positive people in your circle
    • The saying “You are who you hang around” is very accurate. Make sure to keep positive energy around you to feed off. Be very careful about letting pessimistic people around you, as you will slowly notice that you garner some of those tendencies with time.
  2. Only keep people who elevate you around and aim to have people who you aspire to be as your core group.
    • If they do not add to you, then they are subtracting. Remember that in each step or phase of life. This can go for significant others as well as general relationships.
    • You must be very selfish with your relationships. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but initially and from time to time you will need to ask yourself “what does this person add to my life?”. If there is no answer or the answer is negative elements, you absolutely need to part ways.
  3. Do not settle, get what you deserve out of a relationship
    • So many people settle for two thirds of what they need in a positive relationship and let the other third slide. This goes for all types of relationships. Do not settle for less than you need out of a relationship with someone or what you need to grow.
    • Being in any relationship can be emotionally draining if you are constantly stepping backwards two steps each forward step. Do not let things slide. Time is your most important asset, do not let people waste it just because you are too stubborn to look for more out of your significant relationships.
  4. Do not be afraid to delete people
    • This is self-explanatory. Do not be afraid to sever ties from people that do not elevate you or meet your standards of a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife. If you are carrying around dead weight, you are missing blessings simply because you cannot move in peace.
  5. Do not let people waste your time
    • Again, time is your most valuable asset, do not waste it. There is a saying, “I can waste my own time, I do not need you to as well”, this statement resonates more and more as I grow older.

 

When it comes to your Business or Career (5)

  1. Know your worth
    • Know the value of your services or your employment to a business.
    • You have to also showcase your worth to a business or organization and create leverage to negotiate and to truly get what you deserve out of your services.
    • Continually showcase your worth and pursue opportunities in which they truly appreciate what you bring to the table. At this age, we are entering peak earnings. It is time to truly get the most out of your time in effort. Make sure where you are in relation to your “9-5” is allowing you do that.
  2. Make sure that you’re happy. This is a heavy percent of your life, spend it happily
  3. There is never a better time than now to pursue your career dreams.
  4. Invest in you (learning, decisions, etc.)
    • Make sure that each opportunity is preparing you for that next step.
    • Use each opportunity to learn, create opportunities where you can make decisions and to grow in relation to your career or business.
    • Make sure that at your job or workplace that you take advantage of learning budgets that they have available to learn new skills, technology and more. Do not be stagnant.
  5. Leave bad situations, follow your passion over anything. Align with your goals at all cost.

 

When it comes to Education (5)

  1. Learn, learn, learn
    • Do not stop learning. Practice things and read articles that continually grow your mind, vocabulary and overall insight on topics.
    • As I have gotten older, the more entertaining learning has become. I have stopped even listening to the radio in my car and I am quick to turn on an audio book or a podcast that is in an important category for me to grow as a person, husband, investor or in my profession.
  2. Be a master, not a novice in your craft
    • This goes hand and hand with learning. Get your 10,000 hours in and be the best at what you do. If you are working all these hours and focusing all this time on what you do, you should aim to be the best.
  3. Never stop learning, even when you are a master
    • I consider myself very good at what I do, maybe even getting close to being considered a master, but why stop there. You think that MJ stopped shooting jumpers after he won one championship? Keep going, be better and better each day in life overall.
  4. Time never loses, pursue those degrees if you want to now!
    • Go back to school now. If that is a goal you want to achieve, do not hold yourself back awaiting the “perfect time”. Sorry to tell you, but there will never be a perfect time. This goes back to attacking your goals, do that!
  5. Education isn’t going to make you, it is how you apply it to help yourself grow in all other categories
    • Get educated, learn and learn more, then apply that to your job or life. Education is great, but if you are not applying it to elevate your situation, then it was a waste of time and effort.

 

When it comes to Finances and investments (5)

  1. Invest in you, yes, I said this before
    • Keep investing in you first and foremost. Be selfish with your money, your investments and more. It is yours first, think of it this way each and every time you get paid.
    • Invest in what you are trying to do first. This is how I eliminated all dept in my late twenties, taking back what is mine and allowing myself to create financial freedom.
  2. Save or pay yourself first
    • Your first bill is to you, transfer it to saving or debt elimination. It makes things so much easier that way to budget and to feel way better about your paycheck no matter the size. You are your first priority.
  3. You’d be amazed how far a dollar can go
    • As an entrepreneur, I know how to make a dollar stretch. Use your dollars wisely and know the true value of each dollar. If you are making more than the average American then you should be doing very well in regards to savings, ability to invest and more. There is no excuse for you to not be killing it, as it really doesn’t take much to live nicely (especially if you have a significant other to share expense with).
  4. Eliminate debt, keep your numbers right (house, cars, etc.)
    • Keeping a credit score over 800 is not easy, but once you create good spending habits and eliminate the use of credit as much as possible, you will get there. I stressed this earlier in life and it has allowed me to have a score where investments are far easier than I would have even imagined.
  5. Cash rules everything around you, cash and capital is key. Not credit.
    • If you can buy it in cash, do that.
    • Do not lean on credit to make purchases as much as possible. Maintain your credit to debt ratio by saving aggressively and always creating a personal cash flow habit that allows your budget to create the lifestyle you’d like or can afford.

 

When it comes to Family and the life ahead (5)

  1. All of this will make a better you
    • These items have truly been things I have learned over time that have made me feel and overall become a better me.
    • Do any and everything to make yourself better. Doing so will only make any and everyone around you better.
  2. You are doing all of this for a bigger reason
    • At the end of the day we are all doing this for our future selves, our kids, our grand kids and so on. Make sure to set the best foundation for them so that they can do even better than you have with these lessons learned.
  3. Decisions you are making now will affect others (finances, health, etc.)
    • Being healthy, being financially savvy and so on are affecting everyone after you. Some items are literally hereditary, it doesn’t hurt to pass down a clean bill of health, amazing finances or a nest egg and more. Practice healthy habits in all facets of life, they may help your next generation even more than they help you in the now.
  4. Spend time with family and “family” as much as possible.
    • Time is not unlimited. Try to spend as much of it with people you love and care for. I have had times where “I wish I was there” or times where I was at work rather than experiencing times with loved ones. Maximize time with the things and people that truly matter.
  5. Time always wins, there is never enough. Spend it with those who “Spark Joy”
    • You may be familiar with Marie Kondo, as she always says to only keep things in your like that “Spark Joy”. If it doesn’t give you a feeling of positivity, it is simply clutter. This goes for clothing and an array of things as we go through life. Try to be with people and items that spark joy at every moment.

 

Just some items in General (2)

  1. Live your best life and be positive
    • Be healthy, happy and always keep your mind and body in it’s best shape.
    • This will help you in the long run. Feeling healthy (mentally and physically) and ready to attack each and every day will help your mind to process the road ahead. Take a mental break and step away from time to time to make sure that you are in a great mental and physical space. Walk a mile, or run one because there is no better time than now to elevate yourself physically and help yourself reach all of your goals.
  2. Keep pushing, you may have downs, but stay up and learn, focus and build daily.
    • Life is an ongoing process of learning, growing, smiling and frowning. Make sure to just live it our to the fullest.

I am just starting this journey! Today I turned 30, which is the milestone where you are no longer “Young” but, due to these items that I have learned, I believe that I have felt younger and younger and have loved life more and more. These things have allowed me to be a better husband, a homeowner, an entrepreneur for years and to reach financial, educational and business goals I would have never fathomed.

I hope that you enjoyed this read… from your friendly 30+.