• Matthew Broom

30 Things I've Learned in 30 Years

Have you ever strolled into your fire station, office, home, etc. intent upon completing a task and then proceed to do something completely different?

Well, that just happened to me.

I sat down at my desk intent upon editing an investing article that I planned to post today. The first draft was done. I was going to knock out a second, give it a title, and slap it up on the interwebs.

And then, my fingers touched the keyboard. I paused. I opened a blank document and banged out 30 things I've learned in 30 years.

Today is my 30th birthday. The turning over of the tens column tends to spur contemplation (and probably more so for age 30 and beyond). You think about your past and the possibilities of your future. You think about the lessons learned, the good and bad decisions, and the friends and family that you got to share it with.

Maybe that reflection caused the fortuitous domino to fall and get this post going, I don't know. But here it is, and I hope you dig it.

30 Things I've Learned in 30 Years:

1. I know almost nothing about almost everything.

2. Life is great until it is not, and those moments define you.

3. Struggling forward is better than comfortable stagnation.

4. School and Education are not the same things.

5. Knowledge and (real-world) Skills are not the same things.

6. Anything worth having or experiencing takes sacrifice.

7. Communication is the most essential skill if humans are involved.

8. If you punish your body enough (tough exercise), eventually, you will be addicted to it.

9. Choose your addictions wisely, we all have them.

10. You never really figure it out, but you get better at making it up as you go.

11. The more you know about something, the more there is to know about it.

12. Reading is required for personal growth.

13. It is better to understand someone's perspective than to argue for yours.

14. Numbing the pain doesn't fix the problem.

15. Simple is (almost) always best.

16. Your body tells you when you're doing something stupid, listen to it.

17. The only inherently evil thing in the world is humans, but it's easier to blame money, drugs, guns, etc.

18. If there is one thing, we can all agree on…it's pizza. Everyone likes pizza.

19. There is nothing like cooking a good meal at home.

20. If you can read, you can cook.

21. Waiting tables is universal training for any career. Everyone should do it.

22. To conform is the norm. Don't lose your you-ness.

23. "Do a budget" is the best financial advice out there.

24. There are very few things worth sincerely caring about.

25. You must have an aim, but the goal should be a moving target.

26. Inner peace seems to correlate positively with voluntary outer struggles.

27. Failure, if appropriately applied, strengthens the psyche.

28. If you succeed at everything, you aren't attempting hard enough things.

29. You aren't your circumstances.

30. Discipline isn't a bad word.

The first 30 years have been one helluva ride, but I am excited about what is in store for the next 30.

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