Last weekend I turned 30.

Instead of knocking myself out and getting wasted and I spent the day in the mountains and took some time to reflect on life.

This article is about my biggest take aways from the last 3 decades.

Things I am happy about and things that I wish I would have done differently (maybe helpful for the younger generation).

Since age doesn’t really matter, it is also food for thought for the ones beyond 30.

Ok, let’s start with the list of the……

Things I wish I would have done differently

1. Start Traveling Earlier

It’s never too early to start. I believe that traveling makes you become a better person. And by traveling I don’t mean only trips to the beach but taking your time to immerse in a new culture. Becoming more brave to try new things and learning from different cultures. My first big trip abroad was to japan when I was 24. This still seems pretty young though, but I wish I would have started a couple of years earlier. I never thought of traveling that far, but in the end it was the best thing that happened to me.

2. Reading More Books

I hated reading books at school. Mostly because they weren’t interesting enough. I couple of years ago, a friend recommended ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’. Ever since, I can’t stop reading books that benefits my personal development. I recommend anyone to start reading books from great people of the past. Because it will change your view on life … and not only make you theoretically smarter in your job.

3. Stop Trying To Please Everyone

Everyday you will encounter people who will tell you that you are not good enough. I studied architecture. Assistants and professors always gave me the feeling that my stuff was not good. Then I changed my design to please them. It stressed me out more than necessary and in the end no one really cared. I never saw them again. If you make sacrifices all the time to please others, you will never be happy.

4. Taking Risks More Early

If we are raised in a safe environment it is just really hard to think outside the box and experiment. But the thing that makes us uncomfortable is exactly what we need to do in order to grow. I wish I would have started to experiment with business ideas more early. Trying to build something on my own instead of just going to university in hope to find a high paying job later.

And here are the things I am glad that I did before 30.

1. Changing My Career

Moving away from architecture to digital design was the best decision I made after graduation. This enabled me to meet amazing people with amazing skills that I can learn from. I had the opportunity to work in countries that I never thought of going in the first place, such as Australia. I worked for great companies that embrace the future instead of being stuck in a conservative mindset. This decision for sure had a big impact on my future and where I am going from here.

2. Traveling Solo

My first solo trip was in 2013. I went to China. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I didn’t understand the language and couldn’t read the signs. I felt lonely and helpless.

However, it was the best trip I ever had.

Ever since I got hooked on the idea of just booking a ticket and go. I love traveling solo because it gets you out of your comfort zone. You need to figure out things yourself and cannot rely on other people. It teaches you to be independent. It makes you stronger.

And most of the time you end up in places and with amazing people you never expected. And these memories are yours for a lifetime.

3. Stop Reading News

At the end of 2015 I made the decision to stop watching news and focus my energy and time on only absorbing information that has direct impact on my life and personal development. I started reading more books and studying from successful people to learn about their mindsets. This also helped me to figure out what I want to do in life and what to focus on. Today we tend to spent too much time on complaining and ranting about things we cannot control and that makes us unhappy. Just check your fb feed on the number of trump news and you know what I mean.

4. Starting The Journey To Freedom

As a young and naive designer I always wanted to change the world. Changing the world by working for a big company.

Today, I am less attracted by the idea of being a small cog wheel in a big machine. I am less attracted by the idea of following someone else’s instructions, especially if I don’t believe in it. I realized that we live in a world where we can make impact much faster when we take control and ownership. If you want to really help people, go out there and start to create. Don’t wait for someone else to give you permission to execute on your idea.

Where to go from here?

Turning 30 got me another push.

I think that from 20 – 30 we are still focused on education. We enter university and start with our first jobs.

Then slowly getting more experienced in our work, earning more money and getting more serious in life.

Most of my friends are starting a family now, settling down and creating a stable life.

However, I still don’t feel ready for this yet.

For me on the other hand, 30 – 40 will be an even more unstable chapter. I am not sure what exactly awaits me, but I am confident that it will be a very exciting journey.

It’s time to accelerate!

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