3 Key Lessons I Learned Turning 30

My current view (as seen on my Instagram)

My current view (as seen on my Instagram)

There aren’t many historic events that have occurred on July 8th. Today is Kevin Bacon’s 57th birthday, Sophia Bush’s 33rd, Jaden Smith’s 17th, and even Ringo Starr’s 75th.

Someone reported the first UFO in New Mexico 66 years ago today (thanks, TimeHop!).

A friend even told me today is National Chocolate with Almonds Day.

But what’s most "historic" about July 8th?

Well, today, I turn 30 years old. Normally, I don’t like making a big deal out of my birthday, but over the past week, I have been convinced by my wife and friends that this is indeed a milestone worth celebrating.

But what is there to celebrate?

Right now, I’m sitting on the 20th floor of the Hotel on Rivington, looking outside to an amazing view of downtown Manhattan, writing and realizing there’s a lot of celebrate — or at least reflect upon.

The skills and experiences I have acquired over the nearly 7 years of coaching has led me to a point where I can look back on all the lessons learned in my life I now impose on my clients. In this piece, I’ll share three of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned having turned 30 years old.

I’m still cringing at the sight of that number…

Your value to the world HAS to increase each day

Credit: news.nike.com

Credit: news.nike.com

People always talk about how time is the most valuable asset because you can never get it back. I 100% agree. However, I believe what’s achieved and experienced within that said time is even MORE valuable.

I have a personal and professional obligation to constantly increase the value I offer to the world in hopes of positively impacting people’s lives. While that’s not for everyone, I do believe it’s important to use your skills and experiences to affect the people around you in potentially transformational ways.

We owe it to ourselves to be the best we can be and to push the people around us to do the same. I have tons of friends and acquaintances who I look up to because of what they accomplished — personally and professionally. It pushes me each and every day to maximize my abilities just as they’ve done themselves.

Imagine if we lived in a world where “hustle” wasn’t something we did but rather a makeup of who we were. In other words, what if everyone “strived for greatness?”

As adults, we’re allowed to communicate like adults

You want to know why elderly people seem to be have the most “I don’t give a flying f*ck” mentality? Because they realize they’re an adult — and it’s totally OK to talk about adult things with other adults.

This whole nonsense of taboo topics and over-the-top sensitivity needs to stop. If you think someone is cute or sexy, you’re allowed to say without worrying about the ramifications.

If you’re in a relationship and you want to talk about the fact your partner keeps leaving the toilet seat up in the bathroom every time, you’re allowed to talk about without ridicule.

These things might seem trivial yet, people are afraid to speak up. It’s time to stop being sensitive and thinking we’re “being too insensitive.” If the person you’re talking to can’t handle what you say (also known as “speaking like an adult”), then it’s likely they can’t handle that level of maturity.

In other words, if you act like an adult, you’ll be treated like one.

This seems like a rant, but it’s actually the complete opposite. Most of us live in fear, hoping we don’t “cross the boss” or make someone upset because of what you say, stand for, or want to talk about.

Have the courage to speak up and express yourself. How someone reacts is NOT necessarily a reflection of you but could be more about their own issues. You don’t have to be responsible for how they behave or respond — that is not your job.

What makes great leaders — or people others rally around — is they have the ability to empathize with their followers but also don’t let it influence hard decisions that need to be made. Most aren’t capable of doing this and thus, separates them from everyone else.

We’re ALL in the lifestyle business — so strive for perfection

Credit: twitter.com

Credit: twitter.com

This whole idea that certain jobs (like mine) are considered “lifestyle businesses” is plain silly. For those of you who aren’t familiar with that phrase, Wikipedia describes a lifestyle business as,

...a business that is set up and run by its founders primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income and no more; or to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle

As my buddy Ramit Sethi would say, “many of us are looking to live a Rich Life.” Let’s face it, we’re ALL in the “business” of living an amazing lifestyle. It’s why you go to work, whether it’s your business or someone else’s.

If that’s what you want, then go all out. Obsess with it. Get intimate with it — so much so it’s as natural as breathing. And never deny yourself what you want. For some, it could be as simple as traveling more. For others, it could mean spending more time with their friends. 

One of my biggest mistakes in my 20s was thinking I couldn’t have it all. But in reality, I do.

Sure, there are certain things I still want to go after — milestones, toys, experiences, etc. But ultimately, I don’t shy away from going after it all and make sure my clients don’t either. In order to crate the lifestyle you want, you have to be selfish (one of the few times it’s OK to be selfish).

It’s the only way you’ll get to live the the life you want. So whether you’re a waiter or on Wall Street, understand you do what you do because you want a certain lifestyle — for now or for the future.

30 is my new 20

If you were to tell my 20-year-old self that in 10 years, I’d be living in New York City, with an amazing wife and friends, with a job some people call “the best job in the world,” helping people find their confidence and great relationships, I’d say you were nuts.

And here I am, looking out at the city I thought I’d never live in let alone “make it” in. 

The great (and sometimes scary) part about turning 30 is that there is SO much more to accomplish — not just for myself and my future family, but for every person I’m able to help along the way.

Looking ahead, thinking about this year’s theme of emotional fitness, the best way to sum up this day and this piece is by saying to the same motto I have been sticking to for the past 8 years.

Keep it simple, but significant.

No matter how old you are or where you are in your life, know one thing —  your story is never over until you say it is.

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