A recent Business Insider article featured in the AFR titled ‘Things Successful People Don’t Do In Their Thirties’. Being almost twice the target audience age I didn’t pay much attention…. until I glanced at number 3.
Number 3 prompted a closer review of the article – and the thought of passing it to my children. However, I also reflected on how crazy life was in my thirties. At that time I’d moved jobs and was juggling the pressures of a senior role while trying to scale the corporate ladder. Long hours were common. We had a young family and moved from 2 incomes to one, while facing all the usual costs and a steep mortgage.
We stumbled and worked our way through this exciting but crazy time in our lives. But what about today’s ‘thirties’? Life for them is more pressured and less affordable than during my time. How do they cope?
For this reason I found the article a good read. It provided some basic reminders about not letting relationships suffer and opportunities pass by because you’re so busy just trying to survive.
The article’s advice on what successful people DON’T do in their 30s.
1. They don’t lack purpose and meaning
Many, like me, drift into work in their early 20’s without giving thought to the longer term. It can be so hard to find a job that we settle for any job. Is that wrong? Perhaps not – but so many of us get into our 30’s and find we can be trapped in a role that lacks meaning and purpose. Successful people don’t lose sight of what provides them with a purpose in their life.
2. They don’t neglect a financial foundation for the future.
Doesn’t our spending always seem to keep pace with our income? There always seems to be too much month left at the end of the money. I wish someone would have given me a copy of the classic ‘Richest Man in Babylon’ while in my 20’s. Today’s 30’s should also read ‘Profit First’. It doesn’t matter how tough your finances, we all need a saving and investment plan.
3. They don’t ignore their ageing parents.
Self-explanatory? Who knows how long they’ll be around. My father died 10 years ago and how I’d dearly love to sit down and ask him to tell me all those stories that I’d been always too busy to listen to when he was alive.
4. They don’t neglect their health.
Priority number one is your physical and mental health. It is Covey’s ‘Sharpen the Saw’. The Business Insider article reminds us to “Exercise, eat right, limit your vices, and take care of your mental health”.
5. They don’t think they have to be ‘ready’ to start a family.
The article states that a recurrent regret amongst people in their 40’s was waiting too long to start a family. The advice was that the 30’s is a good time to decide if you want children or not – parenthood is not for us all. Just don’t keep putting it off by saying “the time is not right”.
6. They don’t stop setting aside time to have fun.
I still remember all the concern amongst my friends as we spoke about hitting “the big three oh’. Did we all think that life stopped at 30? Yet for many of us there were big changes – we went to out to dinner less; concerts and movies or theatre trips became less frequent; our friendship groups seemed to thin out. We are reminded in this article to go out on dates with your partner; have friends over to dinner; and make holidays a priority.
I’m sure the 50’s and older who read this will nod and agree. Sadly, I’m not sure if any of the 30’s this is meant for will see the relevance. If you want to read the full Business Insider article click here. Interestingly the article is really titled ‘Eight Things Successful People ……’ although only 6 are listed. I’m assuming that number 3 was repeated twice more given its importance.