I recently celebrated my 40th birthday. Because this is a new chapter in my life, a new decade, I wanted to find something valuable that I could share with you. Having reflected upon my thirties, I found a major theme and dominated the last ten years of my life.
I discovered that my thirties was dominated by pressure and responsibility. It’s important to understand your relationship with each because it can be easy to let the pressures of life weigh us down. We have bills to pay, traffic to deal with and people that are just rude. There’s also the demands of our husbands and wives, sons and daughters, bosses and clients. It’s a lot.
Learning to master the pressures of life will help you live your most expansive, expressive and meaningful life. You will be able to initiate crucial conversations, make 5-second decisions, and work towards what’s most important to you.
I’m committed to sharing the best of what I’m living and learning, and to keep it real and honest. Here are 5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned In My Thirties. Enjoy.
1. Don’t be all work and stress
My thirties was a time dominated by my desire to keep moving forward. I had built two companies from the ground up. My wife and I brought two children into the world and raised them with our values.
If we’re not careful, we could end up with too much pressure and responsibility to enjoy life. If you’re all work and stress —if you’re dealing with pressure all the time — it’s going to weigh you down. It’s possible to be so busy raising your children that you don’t have the time to enjoy them. If you’re busy chasing after your children, changing their diapers, getting your kids to and from school -it’s all work and no play. You won’t be happy. You’ll be too busy.
Don’t get lost building whatever it is you’re working on: your family, your career, your hobbies. Find a healthy release to keep a light-hearted spirit. Don’t be so serious all the time.
2. Avoid bad relationships
If you don’t take the time to enjoy your life, you won’t have good relationships. Nobody wants to be around a grumpy, sour person. Similarly, it’s difficult to enjoy your life while letting bad relationships into your home or business.
We all experience that person that always seems to make wrong decisions in life. Maybe they’re childhood friends or a family member. Just being around these people is exhausting. And, the only time it seems they call is when they want to discuss their problems. Like the good friend you are, you listen. You offer your opinion. But they never seem to listen.
Getting rid of bad friends can do great things for your mental health. You also become receptive to forging new and better friends. And that’s awesome.
If you need help ending a bad relationship, check out this article from Dr Juliana Breines.
3. Find a reason to laugh every day
I love my wife. She always finds something to laugh about throughout the day. Even if it’s me that she’s laughing at.
We work from home. I could be in another part of the house and hear her laughing about something. Being a curious person, I have to see what’s going on -because I can hear her laughing so hard.
The funny thing is, it wasn’t even funny. It was just a video clip of a dog that someone posted on Facebook. Other people would have ignored it, or just give it a thumbs up and move on. Not my wife. She’s always looking for a reason to laugh. She loves to have fun. She keeps a joyful atmosphere in our home.
Finding a reason to laugh every day will help you relieve physical tension and stress. It leaves your muscles feeling relaxed for almost an hour. Laughter also boosts our immune systems and decreases stress hormones. Clearly, laughter heals more than just the soul.
If you were to log into my Netflix account, you’d be amazed to see all my recommended videos are stand-up comics. Finding reasons to laugh, helps me deal with life’s pressures.
4. Keep respect and laughter in your relationship
This is the secret sauce to happiness in any relationship. Always respect your spouse -even when your girls or guys are bad-talking their spouse.
Love is the ability to forgive your spouse. It’s the ability to forgive them and then forget whatever it was they did. If you can’t do that, you’re not in love. Forgive and forget, then try to find the humour in it all. A family that laughs together stays together.
Couples that fall apart stop laughing. They stop having fun. They let the pressures of life take them over. There are bills to pay and children to raise. They’re busy dealing with problems and don’t see eye-to-eye on every situation. Having a high regard for your partner, respecting them and find joy together is what’s going to help you through the tough times. Laughing together and having fun, that’s going to help keep you together.
I was meeting with a potential new client. It was clear that she was annoyed with her husband. Everything he said just irritated her. She told me that she’s not sure if they’re going to be together in the future. In short, their laughter died. They let division into their home.
How long has it been since there’s been laughter in your home? Maybe you could take your relationship to a new level if you could bring joy and happiness into your home. Speak highly of your spouse. Avoid gossip. That’s going to bring tension, division and stress into your home. That will only drive you apart.
If you want help understanding your partner, check out this book: Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, by Dr John Gray.
5. Make your home a cheerful place
If you’ve ever held a job, you’ve felt the pressures of work-related stress. Even if you love what you do, your job can have stressful elements. We have unreasonable deadlines on projects and revenue quotas to meet. And there’s always that call from a customer that took over an hour to resolve.
Unfortunately, work-related stress doesn’t just disappear when you head home for the day. We often bring it home. We want to share it with our husband or wife. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being.
Yes, we all need to deal with tension and stress. But you need to create a joyful atmosphere in your home. Don’t bring home pressure from work or stress from school. Leave it at the front door. Your home should be a retreat from the negative things that you have to deal with during the day. Your home should be a cheerful place.
If your stress levels are high try going to the gym. You’ll feel fabulous after a good workout.
I wasn’t looking forward to turning 40. In truth, I dreaded it. It almost felt like I was losing something. However, my wife threw me a Big 4-0 party with all my friends and I had a good time. I laughed a lot.
From there, I made the decision that I wasn’t going to grow into a grumpy old man. I’m not going to get more and more sour, the older I get and the more responsibility I have. I’m going to stay full of joy. I’m going to have fun in my forties.
As you live out your thirties, work hard. Make good progress toward your financial goals. Give yourself permission to enjoy your life. Don’t be all work and stress. Bring some cheer to people around you and put a smile on your face.
I want to hear from you
Do you have a pressing question. If so you can drop it in the comments below or ask me privately. If it’s good enough, I’ll answer it and mention you on my next Q&A Tuesday on TommyTV.