The 1 thing you should do before you reach 30…

…stop reading ageist lists!

Black and white image of girl by river.

The twenties are the most complex, disoriented decade. On the one hand, you are told that this is the time to make your mistakes.

  • Go on lots of bad dates
  • Kiss a couple of frogs
  • Get fired
  • Drink alcohol all week
  • There’s a party over there and a party over here (S Club will show you how!).

But wait, this is also the time to be responsible.

  • Move out and buy your own place
  • Get married and have kids
  • Earn a considerable amount
  • Have a stable and successful career

Let’s not forget:

  • Travel the world
  • Eat at a Michelin star restaurant
  • Learn a couple of languages
  • Study and work abroad.

Simple really!

With the millennial generation, we are known to be a group which truly reaches for the stars. In spring this year, Merrill Edge reported that “63% of millenials desire financial freedom vs. retiring”.

The digital world has opened up our sheltered eyes and unveiled an endless pursuit of possibilities. We no longer want to have our own office; we want to run the office and in fact we want to travel for work and we want our names as brands.

It seems success is earned younger and younger. Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his twenties; Huda Kattan launched her eyelashes in 2013 (in her late twenties) and ‘Zoella’ has a few years to go before she reaches 30.

We rarely read the entrepreneurs who achieved greatness much later. That in itself puts mounds of pressure on the rest of us, who are trying to endeavour our own toes in this online river.

Fitness girl by river.

When I read these lists, I feel my anxiety stirring. I do not want to read about my shortages, yet on the contrary I want to know where I stand. I find it perpetually frustrating when I hear my talented, driven friends, inform me that they are failures – unmarried and in their thirties.

What a breakthrough Sex in the City was, to have older women not all settled down. Yes they still had urges and yes they wanted different things.

Although I know that I aspire for something that my loved ones do not chase, I continually analyse if I am doing ok. My biggest fear is being stuck on a train; everybody has moved on and are now flying in a plane, where as I am trapped at a station.

At my half-way point, I feel an urge to complete my twenty-something list. I have not really travelled the entire world and I am not yet confident enough to communicate Spanish. I cannot control biology and I may run out of time to selfishly complete my own goals when I have a family back home.

The answer lies in my favourite book.

“Hope focuses on a future where you believe that things will somehow get much better for you. Such a desire though, subtly discounts the present moment of Now, by seeing it only as a stepping stone to another time in the distant future where you may, finally, become happy”.

– Chuck Hillig, Seeds for the Soul.

Instead of over analysing my life away, I should be content appreciating the present. As long as I do what I want right now and work towards my own satisfaction, I have to be confident that in the next five years, I will have left my twenties in the best way possible.

A list is just a list; our own happiness determines our accomplishments.

What do you think of these types of lists? Do you find them helpful to read?

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38 thoughts on “The 1 thing you should do before you reach 30…

  1. It depends what success means to you: if it means being famous or just reaching and working towards your full potential! In my opinion, if a person is doing everything they can to achieve there dreams, then they are already successful in my opinion! I hope that made sense haha!
    As for these types of lists, I rarely ever read them as they do overwhelm me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha I understood! Most people want to reach their full potential and if you are doing everything, you are definitely successful on some level. How many can go to bed at night and know that they utilised their day entirely?
      I am avoiding the lists now too! x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. oh my gosh yes. It stresses me out so much to hear about those who are so accomplished so young. It makes me think, what the hell am I doing? I agree that we all have our own journey, and I like to remind myself that I’m doing what I’m supposed to in the right time. That way it doesn’t freak me out about not accomplishing my goals and dreams so quickly.

    Natalie | http://nataliesalchemy.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! Everytime I think that I have my life together, I come across someone who is doing so much more. But I guess in reality, the world would be crazy if everyone achieved the same thing at the same time.
      The main focus should be our own happiness right now and working on our own goals.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved this and love these kind of posts. They make me stop and think and look around me. See how I’m doing, where I should be and where I should be focusing… In the best kind of way 🙂
    I also love your SATC reference. That is such a good point, women of a certain age all in different stages of there life. I mean show me someone who has everything in a row and all lined up!? There is so many paths to take!!
    Great post baby doll

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose this links to the whole concept of the woman who can do it all. There has been a debate going on since forever now, about if you can do both and do it all successfully.
      I think we live in a really competitive society and we put such high expectations on ourselves. I think what SATC shows, is that women can choose any path – they can be married, have kids, a career etc,, and still not have it all together. Nobody ever can and these lists that us what to do, almost try to conform everyone to be the same and think that we should all aspire to what everyone else has.
      Thank you girl! xxxxx


  4. Just make 30. If you do you will realize not everyone does and give yourself a pat on the nack. The world may appear nice and positive… though it can be dangerous and unfair. Be grateful and protect others… especially those weak or afraid

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it is ok to make your own personal list and I think that is really helpful. But when there is a random list and someone tells you to do it all, that’s when I think there is too much pressure.
      The world can certainly be unfair. I will stay focused on my own goals. 🙂


      • Good work. I know when I did I breathed. I didn’t think I would make it. My brother was killed. So was my best mate. I went around the world to find myself. I take my hat off to anyone who makes it. I respect every person older than me each decade they make.
        Mitakuye Oyasin.
        Have a wonderful day and birthday

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am sorry to hear about your brother and best mate. It is good that writing your list helped and I respect people older as well. Life can be full of such difficulty. I hope you have a wonderful day as well.


        • You too. Had usual Chinese medicine last night. Was tired after though feeling so peaceful imside. Fell asleep earyish and now awake early…. brand new day ahead of me yet to be touched by human hands. Enjoy the rest of your week 😄

          Liked by 1 person

        • All good. I’m sorry for being rude or if I appear some other way judgmental. I do not mean to be. I like what I have seen in your blog and you come across as a cool person. I am smiling a bit in my words. Why blogging is better than social media…. we all liked reading and writing before a cyber brothel appeared for the world’s bogans and made them all think they were literate.
          Thanks for the communication anyway. It is a beautiful thing when people can do it… often for it’s own sake.
          Bless you 😑🙃

          Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for saying that I come across as a cool person :). I do not think you sound judgemental.
          I was unsure of my blogging when I first joined but I do prefer it to social-media now. It is more real and open. The communication is also much better – it’s more than a word or two. 🙂


        • Blogging also infers an interest in communicating about or through areas of life involving some work and refinement. I found Facebook full of very dark people and.those following them. Often there was little difference between the two.
          At the end of the day, those of us who have always loved reading will find instant self publishing of ideas electronically to be the new Ogham’s script for druids… so to speak 🦊

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I never take those lists seriously, they all seem a little silly, and basically all say what you say in yours 😂 Those 10 years I think are a time for figuring yourself out. It’s not a checklist . I would say there’s those in their 30’s who are probably still figuring themselves out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think at any age you can suddenly want a change or go of course and do something else. These lists can be really silly. I saw one that said things like – go for a picnic on the beach, go on a hike with your friends. We should be able to choose what things in life we want to do right!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this so much. Even though I am only 18, I can relate because I feel like society pressured me to grow up faster. You should experience various “firsts” by the time you’re 18. I do have this mental checklist engraved in my mind of things I should do before I hit 20, things I should do in my twenties, if I like it or not. Why? Because people constantly tell me that THIS is the time where I do all of these things and after that time it will be too late. The weighing pressure is starting to drag me down because I feel like I am working towards all of these “goals” because I SHOULD. (“this is what girls your age do”) I am however not so sure if I really want half the things I should want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can remember feeling the exact same way when I was 18! I was a ‘late bloomer’ and I felt tremendous pressure to do what my friends were doing. I look back now and wish that I just enjoyed it more.
      The problem with this stage is that everyone will divide and pursue different things. For some, their biggest concern is saving up for a mortgage. For others, they want to travel the world or invest heavily into a huge career goal.
      There is not really a right or wrong. However much society dictates, you have to work towards what you want. If I have learnt anything from being 18 to now 25, it is that my entire viewpoint has changed. I know it is easier said than done, but do not let pressure bring you down. Do not work towards things you do not want.
      I never did the wild drinking holidays and all that and I don’t look back and regret it one bit. Do what makes you happy!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahh, we both think alike! Nowadays, people are so preoccupied in chasing their goals and working/studying that people tend to forget to enjoy some time for themselves and actually live life to the fullest. A balance between the two esp in the 20’s is really important. Love this post girl ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The 1 thing you should do before you reach 30… — Lauzies Lifestyle – Suman Das Freelancer

  9. I used to make those kind of lists all the time, but in the end the only thing I’ve ever achieved by doing that is to feel bad about myself if I don’t complete them. Now I just do what makes me happy and when it makes me happy and hopefully that’s the right thing to do 🙂
    Also, I’m new in this all blogging thing, so it would mean much to me if you could check out my blog https://chickandchic.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get what you mean. We can be really hard on ourselves and even if we had completed a reasonable amount, we focus on what we haven’t done.
      I think doing what makes you happy is the right thing to do. Happiness is a huge part of success in my eyes. I will check out your blog now. 🙂 x


  10. I have to remind myself everyday that I do not have to live up to these very lists you talked about. Why are we so obsessed with comparing and thinking we need to be the same place as our friends, family, or the people on social media? It’s tough and this post is appreciated. Time to print this off and read it when I’m down on myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I think society puts a tremendous amount of pressure on us to reach certain goals by a certain age. We look to the people around us, to figure out if it is ok that we have not reached everything.
      The way I see it now; everyone is unique and we all have our own life plans. How strange and boring would it be, if we all got married at the same age or reach the same position at the same time. As long as you are striving for what you want, I think you are achieving far more than these lists suggest you should.

      Liked by 1 person

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