30 thoughts on turning 30
I turned 30 today. That's 30 rotations around the sun; 946,707,779 seconds; and 210 dog years (if you believe they don't age on a logarithmic scale).
In return for surviving 3 decades, the people in my life have made this an exceptional day for me and I feel loved and appreciated. Thank you all.
As any good blogger should, I've compiled a list of 30 bits of advice that I've accumulated over the first (hopefully) 1/3 of my life. I hope they serve you well.
1. Respect is given, not earned
The idea that respect is earned is toxic as it assumes the worst in people. Instead, approach every new person with respect (and rescind that respect if necessary).
2. 10 people who love you is worth more than 10,000 people who like you...
...which in turn is worth more than 10,000,000 "followers".
3. Relationships are an investment
In that they require consistent input (as all good investments do). Otherwise it's just a nice gift.
4. Difficult conversations are the most important conversations to have
Yet we avoid them more than any other kind.
5. If you live with others get a dishwasher
This applies to living with a partner or with friends. It'll save your relationship.
6. Exercise regularly
I know this is fairly obvious, and I've written a whole essay about it. It makes every other part of your life better.
7. Sugar and caffeine affects mood
It took me a while to realise how much. Sugar crashes and caffeine anxiety are something that can be controlled. Use these substances wisely.
8. Sleep well
Natural and artificial light, as well as the comfortability of your bed and many other factors affect your sleep. Figure these out as they contribute to your overall well-being. Most insomnia is solved with some simple sleep hygiene.
9. Get into nature often
For both an afternoon walk, and month-long hikes. It's good for the soul.
10. Take care of your back, joints, and teeth (!)
Keep your knees kicking and your back mobile. And go to the dentist at least once a year. It's cheaper than the alternative (trust me on this one 💸).
11. You suck at investing
The only way to consistently build wealth over time is to stop trying to game the market (you can't). Instead consistently invest in stable growth.
12. The only way to get rich is to increase your income
Despite all the personal finance gurus telling you otherwise, you can't save your way to a million (at least not in the foreseeable future). You have to find ways to increase the amount of money coming in (and then you can optimise).
13. No one is going to sell you a way to get rich
Related to no. 12, all the courses, videos, and books promising the secrets to wealth are just trying to sell you courses, videos, and books.
14. Crypto started with good intentions and ended as a scam
I agree with the fundamental premise of a web-first, decentralised currency. I don't think any of us predicted the absolute shit-storm that experiment turned out to be.
15. Buy for the long term
I have a few items of clothing that I love, and a bag which will last me forever. This tangentially ties into Sam Vimes "Boots" theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
16. You don't need to monetise your hobby
This has the potential of turning your hobby into work, and work is work.
17. Successful people are lucky
All successful people can attribute most of their success to luck. I respect successful people who recognise this, and am often put off by the self-made man who thinks it was all their doing. That being said, the more lucky you perceive yourself to be, the more lucky you become. Optimism is powerful shit.
18. Always have something you're working on
Humans tend towards consumption to fill our free time (think movies, books, games). More enjoyment can be had through creation.
19. Writing is thinking
Writing is a way of ordering and articulating your thoughts, which helps you understand them better. This inadvertently also makes you a better speaker.
20. Journal every day
I've written about this twice before, and it is still one of the most important things I do.
21. Curiosity is one of the most interesting attributes a person can have
The most interesting person you've ever met is probably extraordinarily curious.
22. Don't be afraid to stand out or go against the grain
It's where novel ideas and self-expression come from.
23. Celebrate the small things
Our time here is limited. Celebrations are an expression of gratitude. Embrace the opportunity to celebrate.
24. Travel is not that impressive
Anyone can travel. It's not hard. Many people wear it as a badge. Meh. What's impressive (and takes time and practise) is being excellent.
25. Video content is not nuanced
Video is too expensive to produce for nuanced topics. If your only source of information comes from video, you're only scratching the surface (this especially applies to politics and economics). The only example I've seen of an actual deep dive using video is this talk on NFTs, and it's over 2 hours long.
26. Social media sucks
Both for individuals, and for society as a whole.
27. Most things are driven by incentives and economic forces
The news will paint war and upheaval as someone's doing. But the truth is (as always) more nuanced.
28. The world is awful. The world is much better. The world can be much better.
Our World in Data summarises this better than I ever could.
29. How to properly clean your glasses
Run your glasses under a warm tap to get all the dust off. Use a small amount of dishwashing liquid to rub the lenses down until they get squeaky under your fingers (this removes all the oil). Dry with a can of compressed air (or a recently laundered cloth). This will clean your glasses better than they have ever been cleaned, and prevents you from scratching them during the cleaning process.
30. Things will be okay
There have been times where I've felt so depressed or heartbroken that I believed that I would never be happy again. It never helps in the moment, but the adage "time heals all wounds" is mostly true. Things will be okay. ❤️