Stepping into the 30th year of life on Earth is like being dragged by the ear into adulthood—you’re not ready! But the good news is: almost no one is ever so.

Turning thirty isn’t an achievement, but knowing what lessons to take with you into the next decade of your life is.

Before I launch my 30th journey around the sun, which I hope will be a very hot—oops, adventurous one, I have packed these thirty lessons to take with me:

Lesson 1:

Rejection is bitter, ugly and excruciating, yet it’s an inevitable part of your success journey… and life. Nothing will numb your pain but faith and determination—definitely not a self-lashing. I speak from experience.

Carrie, Stephen King’s first published novel, was rejected by 30 publishers but, today, he’s an international best-selling author with at least 102 successful books.

Lesson 2:

Your friends and family are important, so make time for them, value their company and always remember: you are who your friends are, so pick wisely.

True friends do not judge one another, advocate for each other, have each other’s back and know how you feel without you telling them. 

Befriend those who bring out the best in you and push you to the top.  

Lesson 3:

You cannot get screwed without your approval, and you are not screwed until you raise the white flag in the face of hardship.

Lesson 4:

Love is a bitch, but a hell of a precious one.

Alfred Lord Tennyson most likely was bitter when he said this, but no one could put it any better, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Even if a love story did not work out as planned, it definitely left you with heartwarming memories, life experience and something to write about. 

Don’t punish a new love for the faults of a past one. 

Lesson 5:

Always have an open mind, but keep your values in check.

An open-minded person is forgiving, modest, understanding and compassionate—not someone with no values and no moral code.

Lesson 6:

Pity parties, when used wisely and moderately, are necessary for getting over a painful event.

Throw yourself a pity party whenever you feel the need for it—but not often, and make sure it does not last more than one night.

Lesson 7:

You can never be the same after your heart gets broken.

I’m not saying it never heals—it does. Only you will be a completely different person after every heartbreak. You will be stronger, maturer and wiser.

Lesson 8:

The more you give, the more you’ll be given. It’s one of the Universe’s fixed laws.

Do not withhold anything you can give to make another person’s life better, or else goodness will be withheld from you.

Lesson 9:

No matter what, always make sure Karma is on your side. It is better to be done injustice than to be the one doing it.

Always show respect and do not be the person who inflicts the pain of humiliation on others.

Lesson 10:

Your job does not define you, but the way you perform it does.

Lesson 11:

Not everyone will like you, but you won’t need a fan club when you can be true to yourself, comfortable in your own skin and have the power to unapologetically voice your opinions. 

You cannot have these luxuries when you want to be liked by all.

Being liked does not mean you’re a better person—manipulative people can be easily liked and have huge fan clubs.

Lesson 12:

Jealousy is usually a wasted emotion, but sometimes a necessary one.

Mostly, no good will come of it—it’ll only drain your energy and make you constantly unhappy and bitter, but if wisely redirected, it can be an engine to push you towards achieving more goals.

Lesson 13:

Don’t hold grudges because whoever made you hold a grudge is definitely not worth your time and effort. It’s like holding a burning coal and expecting somebody’s else’s hand to burn.

Loosen that clutch on your grudges and let go of them; you deserve peace.

Lesson 14:

What we know as the seven deadly sins are nothing but failings of character that can be corrected with love, forgiveness and compassion rather than condemnation, damnation and harshness.

Lesson 15:

Those whom we condemn as ‘bad people’ could be merely in a lot of pain and distress and in need of help, support, love, and compassion. They need to be redirected towards nobler ends rather than judged and abandoned.

Lesson 16:

Point 15 does not cancel the fact that bad seeds and psychopaths do exist, and I doubt those can ever be corrected.

Lesson 17:

Everybody errs and sins. Sinning differently does not give us the right to judge other sinners. 

Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.”

We all are with sin.

Lesson 18:

When you hurt others, don’t expect forgiveness without making amends. And remember that making amends does not guarantee the forgiveness of those you’ve wronged.

Forgive yourself after you’ve tried hard and, moving forward, try your best not to hurt anyone. 

Lesson 19:

We all are imperfect, incomplete and in need of improvement. 

Don’t stress over your flaws and weaknesses, but rather focus on your strengths and talents.

Lesson 20:

Being flawed is being beautiful and real. 

Our imperfections and blemishes make us attractive and extremely intriguing. Perfection is tedious and draining.

Think of your favorite fictional character—is s/he perfect in everything? I’m sure not. Mine currently is Ross Poldark from Winston Graham’s books. Not the most handsome, not wealthy and not without a past. He is selfish on many occasions and equally a tyrant whenever it suits him. Not a social butterfly and not good at expressing emotions.

Lesson 21:

Don’t allow others to put you in a labeled jar.

As part of our survival instinct, we tend to label people based on shallow perceptions and mere assumptions, which are not true in most cases. Don’t succumb to their lame judgments and enjoy being your truest self.

Lesson 22:

Keep a hobby and make time for it even if it had nothing to do with your business life.

Hobbies enrich our sense of selves and life and make us more interesting. Your hobby will never fire or abandon you, and it’s a choice only you control.

Lesson 23:

Change is inevitable. 

Even when we detest it, it will find us and, when it does, we better embrace it. Fighting it is futile. 

Lesson 24:

Whenever on the verge of throwing a tantrum, breathe and remember the child at the supermarket who wiggled on the floor and screamed because his mom did not buy him what he asked for.

You don’t want to be a bigger version of him, do you?

Lesson 25:

Do not put up with ill-treatment. 

Walk away from disrespectful people and situations for good.

You deserve respect.

Lesson 26:

Trying and failing is better than being a wimp and hiding in the cocoon of your comfort zone.

When I started sharing my first novel on Wattpad, a friend told me someone said I was the biggest joke and always amused them with my insanity. My response? As they sit there thinking of me, laughing at me and gossiping about me, I sit here not minding anyone and weaving a beautiful story.

Who wins?

Lesson 27:

Appreciate it or lose it.

Be grateful for everything in your life, including hardship and drama. Every single thing is a blessing, and if you’re not thankful, you risk losing what you take for granted.

Showing gratitude will attract more good into your life… probably more than you ever wanted.

Lesson 28:

Be the person who restores others’ faith in humanity.

Be the reason someone smiled today.

Lesson 29:

Have preferences. 

It’s okay to be picky and stubborn when it comes to life choices—this includes marriage, business investments, moving to a new country, etc.

Do not settle for less than what you deserve. 

Lesson 30:

Don’t let society dictate how you live your life. 

In the end, no one will join you in your grave—you’re on your own.

As I step into my 30th year on Earth, I realize that the least of my concerns is age. Age doesn’t mean much. 

What matters most is the lessons we learn and how we plan to employ them during the next phase. I honestly am taking a lot more than 30 lessons with me, probably 3,000 or more.

… so, here is an extra:

Never fart in public while wearing earbuds or a headset—you never know how loud it is.